Concerns about Permanent Makeup

So far the best thing about 2018 is that it means 2017 is finally over. So let’s start off this new year with making sure we all remember to vote and addressing some persistent and commonly held misconceptions about permanent makeup (which, as a reminder, includes semi-permanent eyebrows, microblading, microfeathering, microstroking, 3D eyebrows, 6D eyebrows, eyebrow embroidery, etc.).

I need to plan to take time off for my recovery or “down time.” 

The time it takes for your skin to heal after a cosmetic tattoo procedure and more importantly, how you can expect to look during this period, will largely depend on a combination of your individual skin sensitivity, what and how much you’ve had done, and how much self-consciousness you have about it.

Some examples:

If your skin is particularly sensitive, you may experience more redness and swelling for example, or your recovery may take a little longer. If you just had a lip tattoo procedure amidst a stressful episode at work and haven’t been taking any antivirals but you carry the herpes simplex virus then you might wind up having a cold sore outbreak. If you opt for a heavier, dramatic-looking eyeliner you should expect your upper eyelids to be more tender and swollen for the first 24-48 hours immediately afterwards than if you opted for an eyelash enhancement. If the goal of your lip tattoo is to add maximum volume to thin lips then you should expect your lips to look extremely bee stung in addition to intensely colored for the first 24 hours than if the lip tattoo was to simply add color without additional volume or reduce an undesirable naturally dark lip line. Some people are very self-conscious about their appearance and are uncomfortable appearing in public unless they feel they look perfect. Others are don’t care so much about what anyone else might think. Either way, it may be comforting to realize that we are all usually too busy worrying about our own perceived imperfections that we are not paying that much attention to anybody else’s.

Eyeliner tattooing is the most painful out of all cosmetic tattoo procedures.

Surprisingly, for most of my clients the eyeliner tattoo tends to be the most comfortable procedure as compared with the eyebrows and lips. Because the skin of the eyelid is so thin, it also happens to numb quickly and deeply, providing very little sensation to experience much discomfort.

How much does this hurt? What if I can’t tolerate the pain?

Pain and discomfort are entirely subjective. What one person can tolerate comfortably another might not be able to tolerate at all. To put the discomfort of a cosmetic tattooing procedure into perspective, it is a mildly invasive procedure where we are working at a relatively superficial level in the skin, just below the epidermis. (Injectable fillers such as Botox, by contrast, is done with a much larger gauge needle that needs to penetrate well past all the layers of the skin and down into the muscle in order to cause the desired paralyzed effect.) Because of this only a topical anesthetic is usually necessary which still allows for some minor sensation. Keep in mind that women may feel a general increased sensitivity right before their periods. Anything that is usually taken for pain for menstrual cramps may be helpful to ease any discomfort from a cosmetic tattooing procedure. However if you are someone who is hypersensitive to any kind of physical discomfort, or if you are someone for whom anesthetics have no effect, you may want to stick with using conventional makeup.

Everything needs to be perfectly drawn on first because once the procedure is done there’s no going back. 

This is definitely not true. Any cosmetic tattoo will be a work in progress that requires at least one follow up visit. After the first visit we should expect a noticeable amount of color to exfoliate. While it is helpful to have a good foundation from the first visit, there is always room to make a myriad of adjustments such as with the shape, size, length, color (darker, lighter, warmer, ashier, etc.) – you name it. Future touch ups or color boosters will also take into account any additional adjustments that may be needed to make sure that your made up features continue to be a good fit for the rest of your face as it matures.

Are there any issues about cosmetic tattooing that you may have seen on the web or heard from the rumor mill that concerns you? Please let me know and I will be happy to address them.



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