The permanent industry has grown and branched out so much it now offers a micropigmentation solution that can double as virtually any makeup product, and do away with certain skin insecurities as well.
An under eye tattoo is better known as a permanent concealer, and it’s a treatment meant to recreate – you guessed it – undereye concealer. It’s one of the more polarizing permanent makeup treatments, in equal parts praised and bashed.
It’s also one clients often get confused about. So let’s answer the 7 most frequently asked questions about under eye tattoos.
#1 How Is an Under Eye Tattoo Done?
To start off with a hard one, this is a difficult question to answer because there’s no 1 standardized, uniformed way of doing an under eye tattoo for dark circles. In fact, there are several techniques performed in different parts of the world, and different artists have their own techniques.
One thing that’s universal to all the under eye tattoo techniques is using a PMU device – a pen-shaped machine that ends in a needle cartridge – to implement dyes a couple of shades lighter than your natural skin tone into the skin, to camouflage dark under eye circles and blend them.
However, the type of dye used and how deep it’s implemented varies.
Most artists use PMU pigments, which stay visible in the skin for a few years, but eventually fade. A portion of artists use traditional tattoo ink which isn’t supposed to fade as fast, claiming that the longevity of the ink ensures color stability.
In terms of depth of the implementation, every technique of under eye tattoo for dark circles implements color between the surface of the skin and the dark tissue underneath that’s to blame for visible dark circles. But how deep into the skin different techniques deposit the pigments varies.
Standardized forms of permanent makeup all deposit pigments into the dermis, the second layer of the skin which is firm enough to hold them in place. But there’s been talk lately of a treatment which deposits them deeper, allegedly creating a more opaque barrier. There’s not much information available about this, though.
Learn more about the technique(s) in our Ultimate Guide Through Permanent Concealer.
Image source: YouTube screenshot by SACHEU
#2 How Long Does Permanent Concealer Last?
This depends on the type of dye used. Technically, all under eye tattoo techniques last forever, since the implemented dye can’t really disappear from the skin altogether. But how long the color barrier stays visible is a couple of years with permanent makeup pigments, and much longer for traditional tattoo ink.
Both require occasional touch ups, though. As the skin exfoliates itself, a portion of the color gets taken away, so it needs to be replenished. Most artists advise an annual touch up.
#3 Does Permanent Concealer Work?
It can but its effects are limited. It can diminish the visibility of dark circles, but it probably won’t make them disappear.
How effective the treatment will be depends on how dark the circles were, to begin with, and how many sessions you get. More sessions give better coverage.
Image source: Instagram @kromed_medical_beauty
#4 Does Getting an Undereye Tattoo Hurt?
This treatment is usually done with topical anesthetics, so the pain is minimized as much as possible. That said, since the skin under the eyes is so thin and delicate, you might still feel some discomfort. It’s all over in about an hour, though.
#5 Is Permanent Concealer Safe?
The problem with under eye tattoo is the fact that the skin under the eyes is so delicate, so it’s very easy to overwork it with needlework and cause scarring. Scarring in the area can be problematic, as tougher scar tissue may pull the surrounding skin and make it look like the eyelids are sagging.
There’s also a high risk of infection, due to the proximity of the eyes, the tear ducts, and the tiny glands located in the undereye area.
As with any form of tattooing, there’s always the chance of allergic reactions, which can be particularly problematic, again, due to the proximity of the eyes.
An experienced tech will probably know how to prevent these risks, but you have to be extremely careful who you trust for this procedure.
#6 What Does Permanent Concealer Look Like After a While?
This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer and the biggest reason why so many experts warn against the under eye tattoo.
The problem lies in one of the common ingredients of skin-toned pigments/inks – titanium dioxide. A type of white pigment necessary for achieving light shades, titanium dioxide implemented into the skin can be unpredictable over time.
Due to sunlight exposure, it tends to turn yellowish, so there’s a possibility of discolored patches emerging where the pigment was implemented. Then, there’s the fact that many people’s systems identify titanium dioxide as foreign matter and work hard to extract it from the skin, causing it to rise and create small bumps on the skin.
Since this treatment is still so new, there’s yet to be more extensive study into the long-term side effects.
One thing that’s been established, though, is the fact that titanium dioxide is nearly impossible to remove from the skin. When touched by a laser beam, the go-to option for tattoo removal, it darkens and causes visible discoloration.
Image source: Instagram @skndeep
#7 How Much Does Permanent Concealer Cost?
The average cost of an under eye tattoo for dark circles is around $400, but the price can vary form $350 up to $800 per session. It all depends on the technique the artist uses, their experience, the location, and you have to bear in mind the cost of additional touch ups if you want to calculate the price long-term.
If you’re desperate to find a way around having to wear foundation and concealer on your face every single day, there’s another treatment you may have heard of – BB glow. This skincare/PMU hybrid is supposed to even out your complexion much like a lightweight foundation would, but it’s not without its shortcomings.
So, if you do decide to get one of the complexion-perfecting PMU procedures, we caution you to go to someone licensed, certified, and experienced. This is the only way to minimize the potential side effects, if not eliminate them completely.
Cover image source: Freepik