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In the past few years, permanent makeup has made a huge comeback. More and more women and men…yes men, are opting for permanent makeup services. The most popular areas to have permanent makeup are the eyebrows. Let’s face it (no pun intended), when it comes to brows, most of us are lacking. Brows are the frame to our face, so perfect arches are key. When it comes to permanent makeup, there are MANY different names for this procedure. The most common is the obvious: permanent makeup, followed by cosmetic tattooing, micropigmentation, dermagraphics, microblading, eyebrow embroidery, the list goes on and on. This is very confusing to the consumer. So what is the definition of these terms and are they all the same type of procedure? Let me explain.

Permanent makeup is the process of implanting pigment into the dermal layer of the skin to create fuller looking brows and defined eyes and lips. Is it really permanent? Yes and no. Typically, most permanent makeup artists use pigment vs ink. Pigment has a thicker consistency than ink. Ink is more watery in texture and tends to have more staying power. Ink is most commonly used by body tattoo artists. Most pigments will last in the skin from 1-5 years. That range is so broad since everybody’s skin is different and the use of skin care products plays a role in how well the pigment holds. The pigment exfoliates out of the skin over time causing the pigment to lighten. Most permanent makeup artists recommend color refreshers every 12-18 months to keep the pigment looking fresh.

There are many different devices that can be used for permanent makeup. There are digital machines, coil machines and hand tools. When it comes to the terms of microblading and eyebrow embroidery, the hand tool is used to simulate hair strokes in the brow. The small blade makes a tiny cut in the skin in the design of a single brow hair and then pigment is placed over the skin so that the pigment absorbs into the skin. This process is done throughout the entire eyebrow. These methods often result in a much lighter and softer version of permanent makeup and typically only last about 12 months. It’s harder to achieve the hair stroke definition through this method however, it is a nice option for clients that are nervous at the thought of permanent makeup. I personally use a digital device when doing my procedures as I get a more defined hair stroke and the results last longer.

Permanent makeup is an art form. Choose your artist wisely, this is your face we are talking about. While it is technically not totally permanent, it can not be erased or removed without removal treatments. Have a consult with your chosen artist, see before and after photos and make sure it is performed in a clean and professional environment. Permanent makeup is a game changer in the beauty industry and in the right hands it can be utterly transformational. Especially for clients that are dealing with hair loss due to alopecia or chemotherapy. While brow and eyeliner procedures are a few of my favorite procedures to perform, nothing compares to giving a woman back an areola through cosmetic tattooing that she lost during breast reconstruction. These are just a few of the amazing services that can be offered with permanent makeup.