What is Permanent Makeup?

By Katarina V.| Last updated on October 12, 2022
what is permanent makeup
⏱️ 5 min read

Have you ever thought how nice it would be if you just had those 10 minutes more in the morning to properly apply your eyeliner? Or even better, if you just got up, rinsed your face and makeup would already be there?

With permanent makeup, all this is possible.

What is permanent makeup?

Permanent makeup, also known as intradermal pigmentation, is a revolutionary technique in which natural pigments are applied into the dermal layer of skin. With permanent makeup, your lipstick, lip liner, eyebrow pencil and eyeliner will appear as just-applied 24/7.

Apart from having this beautifying effect, permanent makeup is also useful to people who wish to disguise vitiligo, scars and white spots, or who suffer from diseases such as alopecia totalis and want to have eyebrows once again. Similarly, it is also used to restore or enhance the breast’s areola after breast surgery. The uses are many, and the best thing is, if done correctly, procedures are perfectly safe with minimum worry about the potential risks.

How is permanent makeup done?

Yes, the procedure involves needles, but so does getting a regular tattoo, thus there is no reason to be afraid. The process is called micropigmentation in which a special kind of tattoo pen is used to inject permanent pigment ink into your skin. The pen is equipped with a hollow, vibrating needle which penetrates the skin and releases a droplet of pigment every time it touches it. 

To ease the pain, the makeup artist will apply a local anesthetic to numb the area which is being treated, so you will only feel minor to no discomfort, usually in the form of slight stinging.

Before any procedure, you will get a patch test on your skin to check whether you have an allergic reaction to the pigment that will be used. The shape and color of your permanent makeup are to your choosing, of course, but it’s not a bad idea to listen to advice and suggestions from the makeup artist, after all, they want what is best for you as well. 

Each procedure normally lasts between 30 and 120 minutes, and like with any tattoo, the colors will be little darker/brighter at the beginning and the area swollen and red, but after a few days, depending on the procedure, everything will come into place.

Available permanent makeup treatments

Regardless of being done solely for aesthetic purposes, or due to more serious reasons, such as illness, the most popular PMU treatments are: eyebrows, lip blushing and eyeliner.

Permanent eyebrows

Nicely done eyebrows have been a focal point of any makeup look for a few years now, and therefore, understandably, the permanent eyebrow procedure has become one of the most popular PMU treatments as well. The technique involves a handheld manual tool, either in a form of a blade or a rotary pen with various kinds of needles. The first one, known as microblading, uses blades which make hair-like strokes which mimic natural hairs of your brows, which are then filled with pigment. 

The second one, known as microshading, is a bit less invasive because it doesn’t create cuts in the skin, but uses small needles that deposit pigment on the epidermis layer of the skin, creating gentle, powdery look. The procedure usually lasts from one to two hours with the prices ranging from $350 to $3000.

permanent eyebrows
Image source: Instagram @parichehr_pmu

Lip blushing

Imagine not having to worry about your lipstick after meals or coffee, or when you are busy at work. With lip blushing your lips will always look like you just reapplied your lipstick and lip liner combination. For this procedure makeup artists will use rotary pen, similar to the one used for microshading, just with a different set of needles. Due to greater sensitivity of the lips, even with the numbing cream, this procedure can be a bit uncomfortable, but just remember, after only two hours you will have your desired shade of lips.

Apart from not having to spend a penny on lipsticks anymore, a semi permanent lip tattoo can reduce “bleeding” of the lipstick on the surrounding area and give a better definition to the lip line. Regarding the choice of color, many opt for a natural look and therefore choose nudes or soft pink, but, of course there is also a plethora of colors for those wishing a more dramatic look. The cost varies due to many factors, such as the location and the experience of the makeup artist, but the average lip tattoo cost is around $590 per session.

lip blushing
Image source: Instagram @zoehughes_pmu

Permanent eyeliner

Now that we’ve covered brows and lips, the only thing missing, and honestly the one that takes most of our time, is the application of the eyeliner. Remember those mornings when you were in a hurry and your hand decided to play with you and instead of drawing that perfect line you got, well a disaster?

Luckily, there is a way to end all that misery in the form of a permanent eyeliner. Using tiny needles with pigment in them, the makeup artist injects color into your lash line, making it look darkened and simply, everything you desired to achieve with your regular eyeliner, just without smudges. With a permanent eyeliner, you can go for a run or in a swimming pool and your lash line will still look perfect. The average cost of permanent eyeliner is about $550, and it usually lasts around 1.5h.

permanent eyeliner
Image source: Instagram @fatfugu

Benefits of permanent makeup

Hopefully you’ve got your answer to: What is Permanent Makeup? A set of procedures which can make life easier to both men and women, people seeking simply to enhance their looks, or to the ones who want to feel better about themselves. With PMU you can now have your perfectly applied makeup even when you play sports, you are in a rush somewhere or when you have some imperfections on your skin you wish to change. Also, this is a great option for people who can’t put their makeup on due to hand trembling or similar conditions or have allergies to conventional makeup.

There are many applications for it, and what is best about it, everyone is a candidate. Just be wary and triple check the credentials of your chosen makeup artist, because this is the one thing that can promise you success and the satisfaction with the final result. Also, even though it is called permanent makeup, know that, like most things in life, it doesn’t last forever, so it will need touch-ups every once in a while, depending on the procedure.

Cover image source: Freepik



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