Q. How do I know what shape and color to get my eyebrows or eyeliner?
A. Following the natural shape of your original eyebrows is the best way to go. If you draw them on yourself, they can be marked and filled. If you have no eyebrows, one can be shaped for you. A pigment color matching your natural eyebrow hair should be used. With eyeliner, it is always a personal choice for color and shape. Whatever a client decides on is what is applied. They are the one who has to look in the mirror every day.
Permanent cosmetics can be applied using various methods. There are two methods of application that I utilize. One of them is the hand method. This is done with a stylus that has tiny needles in the end. The stylus is dipped in pigment and, as the skin is pulled taut, the pigment is implanted by tapping gently on the area to be treated.
As a personal choice, and based on client feedback, eyeliner is the only procedure I perform with the stylus. Because of the sensitivity and skin texture of the eye area, I have found it to be very effective, while less intimidating than a machine. And my clients agree. For some, the vibration and noise so close to their eyes causes fear and anxiety. There is no need to be deprived of the satisfaction and convenience of having permanent eyeliner when it can be applied using the hand method.
The other method I use is an electric pen, which I use for all other procedures. Eyebrows, lip color, lip liner, scar camouflage, beauty marks, and areola repigmentation are all areas where the electric pen implants pigment smoothly and efficiently. Basically, it is the same effect after healing, but there is a slight vibration felt in the area being treated, along with a low humming sound of the motor.
When starting a procedure, a topical numbing cream is applied to the specific area. After about 15 minutes, the topical cream is wiped away and the application of pigment begins. During the procedure, a lidocaine gel is used to maintain the numbness and to provide comfort. Upon completion, healing ointment is applied and cool, wet cotton pads and ice are placed on the area to aid in
comfort and to reduce any swelling that may occur. Included for the client are post-treatment instructions and healing ointment. All procedures include a free touch-up to allow for color or size adjustment after healing. Also during the healing process, dots of pigment may be lost and it is normal for this to happen. Some clients use their free touch-up to fill in any areas where pigment did not implant.
All supplies used in a procedure are completely sanitized and disposable. For client safety, nothing is used twice. The procedure area is also sanitized between client visits. Your health and safety are my priorities and we will discuss any health issues, as well as any questions or concerns you may have, before we begin.
Q. What are permanent cosmetics?
A. Permanent cosmetics are cosmetics that won't wash off. Pigment is implanted, or tattooed, into the skin and the treated area heals with the color in place. It is also known as micropigmentation, cosmetic tattooing, or intradermal pigmentation.
Q. Other than makeup, are there other benefits to having a cosmetic procedure done?
A. Yes! Permanent cosmetics procedures can be beneficial in many ways. Paramedical procedures are done to camouflage scars and vitilago, while areola repigmentation can replace loss of color for patients who have had problems with healing after breast surgery. Cancer patients who lose eyebrows during chemotherapy can have them applied, giving them comfort and self-confidence after such a traumatic experience. Hair loss due to alopecia may also require color replacement for eyebrows. Cleft lip surgery can leave a disfigured upper lip that can be beautifully shaped by adding a little color. As you can see, there are many valuable uses for permanent cosmetic procedures.
Q. What is the appeal to having a permanent cosmetics procedure done?
A. As we age, we lose pigmentation in our skin that can cause us to look
"washed out". Eyebrows and eyelashes become lighter and thinner. Lips become smaller, losing fullness and color. In replacing the natural color loss with pigment, it not only enhances your features, but it also gives the impression of a more youthful appearance. It is one way to fight the aging process.
Q. Are there any risks involved?
A. Yes, there are risks involved. Any time you break the skin, there is always the risk of infection. However, since using only pre-sterilized and disposable supplies, the risk of infection is very low. Also, some clients are concerned with having an allergic reaction to the pigments because they are so allergic to OTC (over-the-counter) cosmetics. The pigments are hypo-allergenic and many clients have found that having permanent procedures done is their solution to wearing cosmetics. A patch test is available for those who have severe allergies or anyone concerned with an allergic reaction.
Q. Is it painful?
A. It depends on who you ask. Keeping in mind that everyone's pain threshold is different, most clients say it isn't bad at all. There is some discomfort and topical anesthetics are used to keep pain to a minimum. Healing ointment and cool packs are relief aids that are applied as soon as your procedure is finished. Some clients do not require any post-treatment soothing. If there is any swelling, ice will help to relieve it. As always, it is vital that you read your post-treatment instructions. NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT USE ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT ON YOUR EYES!
Q. How long does it take to do a procedure?
A. It takes one and a half to two hours, with eyeliner taking the longest time.
Q. Are there any restrictions to having a procedure done?
A. There are some. If you plan to have a lip procedure done and carry the herpes virus, you are at a very high risk for a breakout of cold sores. Pre-medicating with your usual prescription before your appointment is recommended. If you wear contact lenses, they will have to be removed prior to having eyeliner done so be sure to bring your eyeglasses. You can resume wearing your contacts the following day. If you have had any type of eye or eyelid surgery, a 6 month healing period is necessary before getting eyeliner. In the state of Tennessee, there is a minimum age requirement of 18 years before a procedure can be legally performed.
Q. Why would someone of middle age or older want to get a procedure done?
A. A lot of middle aged and older clients wear glasses or have shaky
hands due to medical conditions. This usually prevents them from applying their cosmetics like they used to. The disappointment and frustration leads them to having permanent procedures done. Instead of depriving themselves of their makeup, they know this way they can still look their best.
Q. What colors are available?
A. Practically any color you want. Various shades of brown, black, red, and pink. There are also skin tone pigments, as well as blue and green. Colors can be custom mixed to your preference.
Q. Do you offer any type of medication to help me relax before a procedure?
A. NO. It is illegal, and possibly harmful, for a PC technician to "medicate" or "drug" a client before a procedure unless they are supervised by a doctor in a medical setting (i.e. clinic or office). Most clients know before they come in that they may experience some anxiety or nervousness. The best solution is to bring their prescribed medication from home and take it prior to their procedure. Technicians are also prohibited from providing any type of over-the-counter medications.
Q. Why does the applied color of my procedure look darker than the color I chose?
A. As the treated area heals, the color will soften and lighten. When the pigment is applied, it "oxidizes", which means it mixes with the oxygen in your blood causing it to appear darker. Also, the lidocaine gel gets into your bloodstream causing the area around the procedure to look white, mostly with lips and eyebrows. This contrast can also cause the pigment to appear darker. The natural skin color will return as the lidocaine wears off.
Q. What should I look for when choosing a permanent cosmetics technician?
A. The most important thing to look for is licensing and certification. There will always be someone who will do procedures without having the proper training, documentation and/or facility requirements. For your own safety and protection, check to see if your technician is licensed and inspected by the state. If they are working in a medical facility, they have to submit a letter from the doctor to the state health department declaring they are working under his/her supervision. Even tattoo artists working temporarily in an establishment are required to obtain a temporary license before they do any procedures, although many do not.
Q. Why are permanent cosmetics so expensive?
A. The cost of permanent cosmetics varies, depending on where you reside. If you comparison shop on the internet, you will see a range from around $200.00 up to $1500.00 for identical procedures. When you consider the money you will save by not having to purchase makeup, and also the time you invest every day in putting it on, it is well worth the cost. The supplies used for the procedures have to be taken into consideration, as well, and they are very costly for the technician. Classes, training, and financial investments for the technician are also a factor.
If you think about it, most clients are middle aged and older. When they weigh the pros and cons of saving time and money, the convenience of not having to apply makeup, and possibly having vision problems or medical conditions that interfere or frustrate them in their attempts to "put on their face", they usually consider permanent cosmetics as an investment. They appreciate being able to look as if they had applied their makeup themselves. All things considered, price is important, but not a top priority when getting a cosmetics procedure done. You don't always get what you pay for.
Kathy applies eyeliner to a client. Notice the blue object with the yellow tip on the right. That is the applicator used during this procedure.
Your comfort and safety are my priorities! Check out the FAQs below!
Q. Will permanent cosmetics last forever?
A. No. However, they will last for years. Unlike tattoo ink, which is derived from metal, permanent cosmetics pigments are formulated to last for years, but not forever. Fading can and will occur, with the sun being a major factor in how long your procedure looks "fresh". Tattoo ink will also not last forever.