Frequently Asked Questions
Permanent cosmetic makeup is cosmetic tattooing. The specialized techniques used for permanent cosmetics are often referred to as “micropigmentation”, “micropigment implantation” or “dermagraphics”. The cosmetic implantation technique deposits colored pigment into the upper reticular layer of the dermis.
Permanent cosmetics procedures are performed using various devices, including the traditional tattoo coil machines, the pen or rotary machine (includes the digital rotary machines) and the non-machine or hand device. The process includes a consultation, the application of pigment, and at least one or more follow up visits for evaluating the healed design work and color of the pigment.
People who meet minimum age requirements and have the ability to heal properly from minor wounds can benefit from the liberating benefits of permanent cosmetics. Interest in this service spans the young to the more mature; those who desire a soft, natural enhancement to their appearance. It is especially valuable to people who can’t wear traditional cosmetics due to allergies and skin sensitivities; active people who want to look their best for sports activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, tennis, aerobics; and those who don’t want to worry about “sweating off” or reapplying cosmetics. Permanent Cosmetics also benefits the vision challenged who have difficulty applying their cosmetics; and others with dexterity related conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke survivors, and busy people who don’t have time to spend applying and refreshing makeup throughout the day and evening.
Permanent Cosmetic procedures can be very subtle or dramatic depending on what you are looking for. Options include:
• Eyeliner, Top and Bottom
• Lip Liner
• Full Lips
Permanent cosmetic procedures are considered semi permanent (1-3 years) because pigment is tattooed into the upper reticular part of the dermal layer of the skin and cannot be washed off. However, as with any tattoo or colorant (pigment) in general, fading can and often does occur, requiring periodic maintenance referred to as color re-enhancement or color refreshing. The scientific structure of pigments and the requirement for periodic refreshing is identical to that of tinted hair color; faded material on furniture that may be located near a window and subject to sun exposure; house paint that is exposed to the sun and other environmental elements; pigment implanted in the skin may fade with time. This colorant periodic maintenance requirement is a good opportunity to revaluate one’s color and design preferences. While the concept of permanent, without any change, may seem like a perfectly good idea, think about how your tastes have changed over the years. From time to time likely you have made subtle or dramatic changes in your clothing preferences, your hair color and style, and if you wear topical makeup, those colors have changed as well. The fact that most people will require periodic color refreshing of their permanent cosmetics is the opportune time to work with your technician to revaluate your overall appearance profile and determine if any changes are appropriate. Longevity varies from person to person depending on their life style (sun exposure), the color(s) used for the permanent cosmetic procedure, and are also thought to be affected by topical products applied to the skin.
The average cost per procedure varies but usually averages between $450 and $900. Many of these procedures are commonly referred to as para-medical procedures. The cost of the procedure should not be the most important issue when consulting a potential permanent cosmetic professional. Most important is the training and skill of the person performing the procedure and the confidence of the client in that skill.
The initial procedure will generally take approximately 1 to 2 ½ hours; there are records to establish; photographs to take; desired design and color to discuss; the procedure to perform; and the aftercare requirements to discuss. Follow up or color refresher procedures usually do not require the same amount of time.
Most people experience some discomfort. This will vary according to each individual’s pain threshold. There are different methods available, however, to help with discomfort management, including topical anesthetics that are specifically developed for our industry. Your permanent cosmetic professional will discuss these methods with you to determine which one is appropriate. To put this in perspective, thousands of body art tattoos are performed annually, possibly millions. As a rule, traditional tattoo professionals do not use any anesthetics for their tattoo procedures. Anesthetics for permanent cosmetics are more of a tattoo service luxury because of the nature of the tattoo location and the fact that permanent cosmetics falls into the beauty treatment category.
Permanent cosmetics are completely safe. Our resident nurse Lisa routinely attends Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes to become well versed on safety principals. These guidelines include, but are not limited to the following:
1. All Needles are new and sterile for each client. Unopened new and sterile needles will be opened in your presence.
2. Disposable sterilized one-time use machine parts are purchased by the artist, and disposed of in a sharps container immediately after the procedure has been completed.
3. Personal protection equipment such as disposable one-time use mask and gloves are new for each client and changed during the procedure when needed.
4. The technician is clean and neat.
5. Bed coverings are new for each client.
Although the procedure is considered permanent, these procedures do have flexibility in changing colour and shape to some extent. Colours will appear darker immediately following the procedure but will soften and lighten during the healing process. The healing time is different for each individual and procedure. It takes time to become acclimated to a new look (very often this applies to eyebrows which were sparse and unnoticeable before the permanent cosmetic brow procedure.) Eyeliner color is more evident due to the contrast to the skin color. Lip color can take up to six weeks to reflect the final color. Be patient. Wait until after the procedure has healed, and you are able to make an informed decision about the healed version of the procedure, the only reason you should not like your permanent cosmetics is if you chose a technician who did not work with you on design and color.
While eyebrows may show little after effect, eyeliner and lips may show slight to moderate swelling. This is very dependent upon the amount of work performed. As examples; an eyelash enhancement will show very little response to the tattooing procedure compared to a more moderate response when wide eyeliner is performed. The same philosophy applies to lip color procedures. A lip liner or blended lip liner will show less effects of the procedure than that of a full lip color. Also, some people swell more from minor skin infractions than others. During the procedure there may be some minor bleeding. This again, is client specific.
Many people take blood thinners on a daily basis so some slight bleeding would be expected. Others show little or no signs of bleeding. Bruising is rare but again, if a person is on blood thinners, bruising could occur. What is seen more often is that eyebrows rarely if ever produce any bruising; minor bruising during eyeliner procedures is possible if the skin being tattooed is very thin and close to the vascular system. This also applies to lip procedures in the event the client is more mature. If bruising does occur, typically it is minor and subsides in a few days. There is usually some tenderness for a few days. The color is much darker than you may expect for the first six to ten days.
Other less often reported side effects are difficult to determine due to the individuality of each person’s biological system. This is why professional permanent cosmetic technicians require a client history profile be filled out to assess different factors that may contribute to your experience after the tattooing procedure has been completed.
Often the tattooed color is not perfect after the initial procedure heals. Permanent cosmetic procedures are a process and at least one follow-up to the initial procedure should be scheduled. It is recommended that any required detail work to the original procedure be performed no sooner than four weeks after the original procedure. The minimum standard for follow-up detail work for lip procedures is six weeks. Lips have a different healing agenda than procedures performed on other parts of the face due to their delicate nature. The cited time frames will vary depending on the health profile and age of the client, but these are good minimum standards for consideration.
People can develop an allergy to anything, anytime; however, pigment allergies are considered rare. Some doctors recommend that people with environmental allergies or allergies to conventional makeup have permanent cosmetic procedures because they can replace cosmetic products that people are sensitive to. While allergic reactions to any type of tattooing pigments on the body or on the face through permanent cosmetics may occur at any point in time, they are extremely rare.
Pre Care Instructions
All Permanent cosmetic procedures are multi session processes. You may need to come back for at least one touch-up visit before it can be determined that your work is complete. It is recommended that Touch-up visits are scheduled within 4-6 weeks.
Be prepared for the colour intensity of your procedure to be larger, sharper, brighter and darker than what is expected for the final outcome. It will take time for this transition for the wet ink to dry to a soft powder form, approximately 7-10 days.
While these injected tones may initially simulate the exact colour and tone desired, it will not always remain a perfect match. Injected tones are constant, while your own skin tones will vary depending on exposure to cold, heat, sun and circulatory changes. For example, if you tan your skin and had a scar camouflaged, your surrounding skin will be darker in appearance than the treated area.
Recommendations For Your Appointment:
- Aftercare products – Hydra Skin Renewal Gel sold at Altitude Spa. Tattoo must be kept moist.
- For eyeliner procedures it also helps to bring an eye rinse (Visine) to cleanse your eyes thoroughly after your procedure.
- Since delicate skin or sensitive areas may swell slightly or redden, some clients feel it best not to make any social plans for 3 days following any procedures.
- Bring your lip, brow or eye pencils to the office on the day of the procedure.
- Any waxing or tweezing should be done at least 48 hours prior to the procedure. Electrolysis no less than five days before.
- Any eyelash or eyebrow tinting or curling should be done no sooner than 48 hours before or two weeks after the procedure.
- Do not wear contact lenses during or immediately following the eyeliner procedure. Remember to bring your glasses. You may resume wearing your contact lenses as soon as your eyes return to their pre-tattooed condition in 5 days.
- To prevent swelling and watery eyes, take 2-4 Benadryl 30-45 minutes before your appointment (only if you’re not allergic to it).
- If you are having lip procedures and have a history of cold sores/fever blisters/herpes simplex, you will be required to contact your physician to obtain the proper prescription medication to prevent such outbreaks.
- Refrain from the over use of alcohol, aspirin-containing medications, Ibuprofen or Coumadin for 7 days before and 2 days after any procedure. No medication should be discontinued without consulting your physician.
After Care Instructions
- Apply a light coat of Hydra Skin Renewal Gel. to the area
- If you have an eyeliner procedure, rinse the eye thoroughly with saline solution, then apply your eye ointment. Do not rub, scratch or irritate your eyes as this could cause you to tear your cornea.
- Do not touch the healing pigmented area with your fingers, they may have bacteria on them and may lead to infection.
- Apply your healing ointment 3-5 times daily (using a Q-Tip) for 5-10 days until the procedure area has healed (5 days for eyeliner, 10 days for Eyebrows).
- For Eyeliner: The first 72 hours you may use 800mg IB profen every 4-6 hours as needed and ice on and off every 15 minutes each hour.
- Sleep elevated and on your back while healing for 5-10 days.
- No Makeup, tinting of lashes or brows, sun, soap, sauna, Jacuzzi, swimming in chlorine pools or in the ocean for 7-10 days (until the area is completely healed).
- Restrictions on physical activities including bathing, recreational water activity, gardening or contact with animals for 5-10 days after the procedure.
- Before bathing, gently apply a light coat of ointment. Gently remove any excess water after bathing and re-apply the ointment.
- Do not rub or traumatize the procedure area while it is healing. You may use a warm compress to remove any crusting tissue.
- Touch up visits should be scheduled between 4-6 weeks post procedure. Permanent Makeup procedures are a two-step process, results are not determined until a touch up application is completed.
- If you experience any itching, swelling, blistering, red streaks going from the procedure site toward the heart, elevated temperature, or purulent drainage from the procedure or any other complications, post procedure, call your technician and your Doctor immediately. You may be allergic to the aftercare product you are using.
Failure to follow these instructions may result in pigment color loss!
All permanent makeup procedures are a two-step process. We suggest a yearly “colour refresher” to maintain you colour integrity.