Permanent makeup - also known as Semi-permanent makeup, or micropigmentation - is a form of cosmetic tattooing. These are all broad terms used to describe the application of long lasting brow, lip or eye makeup.
The process of applying permanent makeup uses a tattoo machine, needle cartridge and coloured pigments; the machine uses the needles to implant small amounts of pigment into one of the upper layers of the skin, called the dermis.
What happens at a Permanent Makeup appointment?
Before your treatment, you will be required to have a consultation with your Technician; this may be done over the phone, via video call or face-to-face. The purpose of your consultation is to assess whether or not you are suitable for permanent makeup. Unlike other forms of tattooing, permanent makeup is regulated as part of the beauty industry, and a good technician will go through your expectations from the treatment, as well as your medical history, to ensure the treatment is right for you.
After your consultation, you will need to do a sensitivity patch test - this may be done on the day at a face-to-face appointment, or may be sent to you by post, after a virtual consultation. The purpose of this is to ensure you do not suffer an allergic reaction to any of the products being used in your treatment. Allergic reactions are very rare in this industry due to the high quality of products being used.
Provided your patch test is successful, you will then attend two treatment appointments. Your initial treatment will involve choosing a suitable colour, mapping (or drawing a template) of the treatment shape, and then the treatment itself. Your initial appointment may take up to three hours, depending on what treatment you are having. During this time, topical anaesthetic will be applied to the area to ensure you are comfortable throughout the process.
After your initial appointment, you will be given a set of aftercare instructions and scheduled to return for a touch up appointment up to 12 weeks later. The purpose of the second appointment is to ensure your permanent makeup looks perfect and to make any minor tweaks that may be required.
Choosing a Technician
In recent years, permanent makeup has become increasingly popular and so it is important you are careful when choosing your technician. To help you make the right choice, you should see examples of their work - many artists use social media pages as a showcase, and it is important that you feel comfortable that they can achieve your desired look. You might also want to ask about the products they use and their training. It is also important to check they are licensed and insured to carry out the treatments they are offering.
Finally, permanent makeup treatments should never be offered as a mobile service. This is because the treatments involve breaking the skin and so carry the risk of infection if not done in a safe and sterile environment. Your technician should have both an individual and premises licence confirming that they have passed health and safety inspections carried out by the local council.