Permanent Make-Up - Basics
Permanent Make-Up - Basics
Tracey Simpson (Director, Natural Enhancement Permanent Cosmetics) gives expert video advice on: Is there anyone who should not undergo a permanent make-up procedure?; Are there any side effects?; Will people notice the difference? and more...
What is permanent make-up?
Permanent make-up is the process of infusing hypo-allergenic pigments into the dermal layer of the skin where they create a shadow of color that mimics the appearance of make-up. That can be a dramatic look if you want a full make-up look, or it can be a very subtle enhancement. Also known as medical micropigmentation, it can be used to improve the appearance of some medical conditions. For example, eyebrows in alopecia, or trichotillomania where the hair is habitually pulled out of the eyebrow or to repigment vitiligo. It is also used to camouflage scars, and we even use it to reconstruct the appearance of the areola and nipple after a masectomy.
Who would benefit from permanent make-up?
Men and women of all ages will benefit from permanent make-up - our youngest client was 18 and our oldest client was 87. Anybody who wants to improve their appearance or wants to look younger is going to benefit from this procedure. People with busy lifestyles, like young professionals who haven't got the time to keep applying their make-up, have got to look good all the time. Busy moms who haven't got time to keep stopping, they've got to put their kids first. People with sensitivities to conventional make-up can benefit from this procedure, and people with watery eyes or contact lens sensitivities can also use this procedure to great benefit. It's also used for certain medical conditions. For instance, those who suffer with alopecia, who've lost their eyebrows and their eyelashes, it's of great benefit to them. If people have suffered with vitiligo, we can repigment the hypopigmented skin, which gives a lot of confidence. And if someone has suffered with breast cancer, for instance, and have a mastectomy, they may not feel that they want to have further surgery to reconstruct the nipple and areola, so this is a great alternative for them and looks totally natural.
Is there anyone who should not undergo a permanent make-up procedure?
Those that we would consider unsuitable for permanent make-up would be anybody under the age of eighteen. Also, pregnant women and nursing mothers, due to the absorption of anesthetics, we wouldn't advise that this category would have permanent make-up. People who are dependent on insulin or are suffering with diabetes, due to the healing process it would take a lot longer, so we would not recommend it. There is also certain auto-immune conditions that would not be suitable candidates for having permanent make-up. We would possibly get a doctor's clearance in this case. Whatever the medical condition, we would also look at this in depth in the pre-procedure consultation, and the practitioner who would act accordingly.
Does it hurt?
Basically, the procedure feels similar to having your eyebrows tweezed, and we use a top line antiseptic prior to the infusion process to minimize discomfort.
Are there any side effects?
There shouldn't be any long term side effects from having a permanent makeup procedure. The short term side effects however, will be that there's going to be some mild redness and swelling after the procedure and that's going to last for approximately fourty-eight hours. There's going to be some crusting as well, where there is just a mild scalping as the skin is healing and that will take between four to ten days to heal depending on the procedure site. The other thing that you're going to notice is that the color is much darker than you want it to be initially and with an eyebrow procedure that could take ten days to lighten. With the eyes, five days to lighten. With the lips, three to four days to lighten. The other side effect is with lip procedures - they can stimulate the cold sore virus to errupt. That's only if you've suffered with cold sores previously and what we do to stop this from happening is we advise you to use an anti-herpitic medication during the healing process. But if you've never suffered with a cold sore prior to having the procedure, then the cold sores will not errupt.
Will people notice the difference?
People will definitely notice the difference. If you want a discrete enhancement, the difference is going to be subtle, but if you want a make-up look then obviously the difference will be more apparent.
Can I choose which colours are used?
Most certainly you can choose which colors are used. The practitioner will give her professional advice to you, but at the end of the day you are the decision maker and we work together as a team to decide which are the most suitable colours for your personal look.
How long does it take?
Generally, a procedure will take approximately one hour and a half, and one month later you would return and we would schedule a 45-minute session that just allows us to perfect it for you.
Can I still wear conventional make-up?
Most definitely. Once the procedure has healed, you can apply conventional make-up on top of your permanent make-up enhancement, so it gives you the opportunity to change your look if you wish.
How long will it last?
Permanent makeup will last possibly for a number of years. It's really dependent on many variables, but the most significant one is the colors that you use. For instance, on a pale eyebrow you're going to use a blond, and that's going to fade a lot faster than a black eyeliner.
How is it done?
This is done using a hand applicator that is gently tapped across the skin. The needles implant fine dots of color that gradually build up into a blush of color.
What do I need to do before my appointment?
Before you come for your permanent makeup procedure, we ask that one month prior that you don't have any medical grade peels. We also ask that you don't use Retin-A one month prior to the procedure and also that you don't use alpha-hydroxy acids two weeks prior to the procedure. This is because all these agents sensitize the skin and are going to prolong the healing process. We also ask that you don't tint the eyebrow hairs if you are going to have an eyebrow procedure, so that we can see the natural color of the hair and we can match the color up to your natural hair. Again, for eyeliner procedures we ask that you don't tint the eyelashes two weeks before the procedure, so we can see what the natural hair growth is and we can choose the color that is going to be most suitable for you. We also ask that you don't have any hair removal procedures such as waxing, electrolysis, or laser close to the procedure site, becasue the skin is sensitized and it's going to affect the healing process. What we do ask you to do is to wear your makeup when you come for your procedure, and that is going to help us understand what your expectations are, and it will help us get the look that you want.
What type of permanent make-up is anti-ageing?
To reduce the signs of age permanent make-up can be used to enhance the brows, the eyes and the lips. For the more mature client we would go for a more subtle enhancement. Basically, with the more mature client less is best, and taking away from that Jackie Stallone look. As you become older your natural pigments do fade. Just as the hair, the colour, the brows, the eyes and the lips fade, and permanent make-up can be used to put that back so you don't have that washed out kind of look. When we do that, that redefines the features and it gives definition to the brows, the eyes and of course the lips. We can also use it as a non-surgical lift, like a brow-lift effect by lifting the arch of the brow and the tail of the brow. It will open the eye right up and give the look of a brow-lift. For the lips, as you become older, the contour becomes less defined and we use permanent make-up to redefine the contour. We can also use, with careful placement of the pigments, we can also create a lift effect for the mouth, to stop the corners of the mouth drooping and also give fullness back as well.
What after care will my skin need?
After a permanent makeup procedure we provide you with a healing balm, and that promotes the healing process and also keeps the area well-moisturized. We ask generally that you keep the area clean and you keep it away from water. If you've had a lip procedure, we ask you, when you are brushing your teeth, to use vaseline, or if you have a shower, to wash your hair and to use vaseline over the area, and that prevents the area from becoming wet. We also ask that you don't wear any makeup over the procedure site for four days, and that's to prevent infection. We also ask that you don't take sauna, or jacuzzi, or go swimming for two weeks while the area is healing, so that it doesn't affect the healing process. We ask that you avoid sun exposure for two weeks, and that you avoid beauty treatments and tanning applications for one week. We need you not to touch the area, because we don't want you to get any infection. For lip procedures, there's unfortunately no kissing for five days, and we ask you to drink through a straw for twenty-four hours.
What if I don't like it?
If you're in the situation where you wanted to remove your permanent make-up, you've got two options. You can either let it fade, as the pigments will fade naturally over time, or just as you would have a tattoo removed, we can use lasers to remove the pigments from the skin.
Can I remove permanent make-up?
If you found yourself in the situation where you wanted to have your permanent make-up removed, you've got two options. You could either let it fade naturally as the pigments do fade, and generally that takes approximately 2 years. Or, just like a natural tattoo removal, we can use lasers and that will remove the pigments from the skin.
Will sun exposure affect it?
Sun exposure will affect the lifespan of your permanent makeup procedure. Regular sun exposure will cause it to fade faster.
I have sensitive skin, can I still have permanent make-up?
Yes, you absolutely can. In fact, those people who have got allergies to conventional make-up, it's a great alternative for them. Generally, if someone had a sensitive skin, the practioner would alter the treatment plan and possibly add an extra visit, so that the application time is less.
Can I have it done in the privacy of my own home?
We wouldn't recommend that you receive a permanent makeup procedure in the privacy of your own home. We have to meet very stringent hygiene standards and a domestic environment would not meet those standards.
As I age will the make-up still look good?
Unlike a conventional tattoo, permanent make-up is designed to fade and so you're never really going to come up against that because as the skin starts to move or to sag, the procedure will have faded out.
Can I get the area wet?
During the healing process we ask that you don't get the area wet. For things like washing your hair and washing your face, or brushing your teeth, we ask you to apply a thin layer of Vaseline, just to protect it from the water.
Is permanent make up similar to tattooing?
Permanent makeup is similar to tattooing in the process, but the pigments are designed to fade and therefore it doesn't have the permanency of a regular tattoo.
How soon could I return to work?
You can return to work the next day as long as you're not in the forefront of the public eye. The reason that we say this is because you cannot put makeup over the area during the healing process. There's going to be some redness, a little bit of swelling immediately after the procedure, but we will get you to put ice on that to take that down. It's going to look like you're wearing a heavy makeup, so yes you could go back to work the next day.