Permanent Makeup – From First Steps to Aftercare Advice

Permanent makeup or cosmetic tattooing is a coveted, yet widely feared territory of the beauty industry: lots and lots of women would want to try it, but only a few dares to do so. If you have already toyed with the idea of getting fuller eyebrows, a more defined lip line or a flawless eyeliner design, but you don’t know much about the procedure and what you have to be careful about, keep on reading: we prepared a quick guide that could help you decide whether you’d like to give permanent makeup a go or not.

What is Permanent Makeup and How It’s Done?

There are several marketing terms out there that describe permanent makeup like micro-pigmentation, derma-pigmentation or permanent cosmetics, and they all mean the same thing: a cosmetic technique that is meant to create a look that you would normally achieve by using diverse makeup products. It is a very specialized form of tattooing: as distinct from conventional body art tattoos, permanent makeup is only implanted in the upper dermal layer, right below the epidermis or the top skin layer.

What Procedures are There to Choose From?

There are a few basic procedures to choose from, which are also the most popular and frequent ones. They are permanent eyebrows, lip liner or full lip colour, and eyeliner enhancement.

Permanent eyebrows 

Are most commonly applied if one has faint eyebrows, partial or no eyebrows at all. Brows frame and enhance the face, they can make your eyes pop out and even give your face a lift. Undeniably, they are the most important facial features of all. If you decide to get permanent brows, here are a few things to know about the procedure:

  • The average time to create brow tattoos is approximately 1 to 2 hours, but this can vary depending on your technician’s tempo and your needs.
  • Your permanent makeup professional will discuss with you every detail about your preferences from shape to colour. If ever in doubt, ask for her/his professional opinion or advice.
  • Your new brows will be measured, drawn and redrawn on your face until you’ll be able to give your 100% approval.
  • You can tweeze your brows a day before the procedure, but consult first with your technician because it might happen that she/he would like to do it to achieve the best results.
Lip liner & full lip 

Lip colour tattoos can keep your lipstick from bleeding and feathering, also can make lip scars less visible. If you’re interested in living in a world where you don’t have to reapply your lipstick after every kiss, bite or sip of coffee, keep on reading!

  • Here, the first steps also are discussing your preferences: the way your lips are enhanced and the colour that looks best on you. These procedures can even help to make your lips seem fuller or thinner.
  • A topical numbing solution may be applied to your lips. 
  • After everything is set, your technician will draw on the lip liner. This could be redrawn multiple times until you’ve reached the desired look, and have given your professional a thumbs up to begin with the procedure. The chosen colour is implanted directly over the line previously drawn on, then filled out if required.

Eyeliner enhancement is for those who find it challenging to apply their eyeliner on early mornings, who grew tired of smudged designs and who would want to save a great deal of time and aggravation, and still have their eyes look nice ALL the time.

  • Eyeliner procedures usually take 1 to 2 hours to make, and they are only started after discussing everything in detail and you being perfectly satisfied with the planned design. 
  • A topical anaesthetic is generally placed on the area to be worked on beforehand.
  • The most commonly used colour for eyeliner enhancement is brown-black, which can really make your eye colour pop out if done softly.

Recently, there are also more serious, health-related applications of cosmetic tattooing, such as refining the appearance of a nipple after breast reconstruction or scar camouflage. 

Methods and Tools

Professionals most commonly use one of the following three permanent makeup application methods:

  • manual or hand-tapped method – this method is the oldest of them all; it is quite a slow option, since it doesn’t use any machinery but relies 100% on the artist’s hands and hand tools, which may result in uneven lines and pigment application;
  • rotary/coil machine – this is a traditional tattooing tool also known under the common name ‘tattoo gun’ used for body, as well as face tattoos, and it works by running off a coil in a reciprocating motion; it is the most utilized in our days, considered better over the manual method, however, this machine can sometimes be inconsistent and unstable too;
  • digital/computerized equipment – these are the most advanced, state-of-the-art methods available, their main advantage being incredibly stabilized so that they can create a beautiful result with a much more comfortable procedure. 

Aftercare Advice

Proper aftercare and maintenance of your permanent makeup are essential as what concerns the quality of the tattoo, and your health as well, so be careful there and follow these steps to avoid fading and infections:

  • Avoid touching the tattooed area, except for when cleaning.
  • Apply (with washed hands) a nourishing cream to the area twice a day in the first two weeks.
  • No makeup, lip balm, oils or exfoliants on the tattooed area on the first week following the procedure! Also, no swimming.
  • Avoid sun exposure.

Pros & Cons

Like everything in this world, permanent makeup has its joys and sorrows, its pros and cons, of which you should be aware before getting one.


  • time saver;
  • lasts a long time;
  • looks pretty;
  • perfect for the ones with mobility or sight issues



  • sorry to say, but the procedure is hurtful;
  • isn’t exactly permanent, fades over time;
  • mistakes can be difficult to correct, and removal is pricey;
  • there’s a risk of getting an infection or an allergic reaction;
  • after-care is fairly involved


There’s a lot to think through, but if you have done your research and made up your mind about getting a cosmetic tattoo, you will surely have fun along the road! Don’t forget: trust toward your beauty professional is essential, as well as to be sure of your own decisions.