The Pros and Cons of Permanent Makeup

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permanent make upIt’s a daily process that never ends. Getting ready in the morning always seems to take more time than we’d like. Shortening the routine or simplifying the process may be an option, but it’s still a task that needs to get done. In hopes of making this routine easier, many are looking into permanent makeup. This procedure has seen an increasing amount of popularity in recent years. While this procedure offers many benefits it also has a number of drawbacks.



The Pros and Cons of Permanent Makeup



The Process

the process of permanent makeup

The procedures of permanent makeup started around the early 1900’s. However, these procedures didn’t enter into the cosmetic industry until the late 1970’s. During the 1980’s the process became more technologically advanced and saw and increase of participants.

Currently there are venues all over the country that perform micro-pigmentation, the procedure that is associated with delivering permanent makeup. Various cosmetologists, physicians, aestheticians, and nurses are trained to perform micro-pigmentation.

While the process of permanent cosmetics is slightly different, it very much resembles getting tattooed. Pigment is essentially inserted into the skin to add permanent color. The color or design of permanent makeup generally lasts for several years before they start to fade. However, many clients opt for a refresher periodically to enhance the appearance.


Common facial areas of micro-pigmentation:

Eyebrows: Adding color to create shapely eyebrows
Eyelids: Lining the upper and lower lids to make eyes stand out
Lips: Lining or fully tinting the lips


Even though these are the usual permanent makeup procedures performed, certain clients seek out micro-pigmentation to alter something unique to them. Some want permanent cosmetics to help cover a scar or a birthmark. Others want to change the color of their skin tone on their face or somewhere else on the body. For example, tinting a naturally pale face with pink pigment can create a healthier glow.


The amount of time micro-pigmentation takes depends on what the procedure is. While there is the main initial procedure, there are usually follow-up ones that take some time as well. The first actual procedure is the longest. It generally takes two to three hours since there are some pre and post duties to perform in addition to the micro-pigmentation itself. After the main procedure, one or two enhancements may be required. These refreshers are typically shorter in length.


The Advantages

advantages of permenant makeup

Saves Time

The main advantage of having permanent makeup is that it is a time-saver. Those who endure the permanent procedure get the benefit of being able to wake up in the morning and put their best face forward with less effort.


Stays put

Many choose the route of permanent cosmetics because it continually stays looking nice. Whereas regular cosmetics result in smudges and smears, permanent make up does not. With micro-pigmentation, the eyeliner looks just as good at 5pm as it did in the morning. Permanent make-up can be especially ideal to those who have oily skin since non-permanent makeup frequently cakes or appears smudged.

Likewise, permanent makeup is often appealing to those who live in humid climates. In these weather conditions it is even harder to get regular cosmetics to remain in place and look good all day long.


Less cosmetics to buy

With permanent make-up it means less cosmetics to have to purchase. While it may not necessarily be the less expensive route in the long run, it does mean fewer items to add to the beauty shopping cart. It also results a smaller amount of beauty products to store or pack when traveling.


A smooth, even look

Some are great at putting on their make-up, yet for others this is quite a challenge. This is especially true for those faced with certain disabilities. Others have shaky hands, which make it hard to create a smooth, madeup appearance. And then there are those of us that despite 20 years of practice, still cannot seem to master the task of evenly applying make-up. For the cosmetically challenged acquiring a long-lasting professional job is enticing.


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The Disadvantages

the disadvantages of permanent makeup

It’s permanent

It seems obvious that permanent make-up is….well, permanent. But it’s not a bad idea to dwell over this fact a bit before going under the needle. If you are someone who likes to change up the colors of your cosmetics, this procedure will is limiting to cosmetic creativity.

Also, if you don’t like the look of the permanent makeup a few days later you’re stuck. Granted, with the cosmetic technologies it might be possible to undo or change the color pigments. But this means another lengthy procedure to endure. Even after going through another micro-pigmentation you might be left unsatisfied with that result as well.


Pain – Part 1

The procedure of micro-pigmentation is not a comfortable one. After all, a tattoo is essentially being performed on your face. Just like most people wince with pain at some point during a tattooing, most people wince during the permanent cosmetic process. Everyone though does have a different pain threshold; those with a higher level typically fare better.



If you are pursuing permanent makeup to save money, it will probably not result in an overall savings. Unless of course, you completely use up an entire tube of a higher-end brand of a beauty product every single day.

The cost of micro-pigmentation varies depending on the skill level of the technician, along with the type of cosmetic procedure being done. Prices also differ slightly depending on the geographic location. Expect to pay between $400 and $800 for the main micro-pigmentation procedure. Color refreshers usually cost less; and advanced work generally runs $150 to $250 an hour.


The Sun Factor

If you are someone who loves to spend time outdoors under the sun, you may want to stick with regular, temporary cosmetics. With permanent makeup frequent exposure to the sun increases the rate of fading. Also, right after a procedure sun exposure can cause irritation to the skin of where the micro-pigmentation took place.


Also Read: How To Make Your Makeup Last In The Heat


A bad, permanent job

Just like we’ve all seen the occasional bad tattoo outcome, bad permanent makeup jobs happen as well. While the likelihood is relatively low, there have been cases where clients felt their permanent procedure made them look like a potential Star Wars character. More commonly, unhappy clients are left with lines that are uneven or are an unflattering color.

Since micro-pigmentation procedures are not easy to undo, think carefully before electing to do an additional procedure. You also may want to wait at least a month or so before making any final decisions. Colors typically appear very bold immediately following a permanent makeup procedure. It takes about six weeks for the colors to tone down and reflect the final shade.


Pain – Part II

Since micro-pigmentation is somewhat of an invasive process there is generally some recovery required. Some minor bleeding during or immediately after the procedure is fairly common. Mild to moderate swelling of the designated areas is also typical. Finally, most clients of permanent make-up procedures experience some soreness or tenderness of the area for a few days afterwards.

There are rare cases where the clients do not respond well to the procedures of micro-pigmentation. Some have allergic reactions to the pigments used in the coloring of the skin. Others experience more severe reactions afterwards. Bruising, blistering, and infections are all some of the problems that are possible. These issues can be reduced by following the after-care procedures outlined by the technician. It is also wise to disclose any history of health issues with the technician at the start.


The Decision

deciding on permanent makeup

Deciding to pursue micro-pigmentation is a pretty big decision. Seeking out a couple of cosmetic technicians, for the purpose of consulting, is beneficial. It also is a good idea to talk with those that have undergone permanent make-up procedures.

Or, if you have access to a variety of celebrities, you may want to consult with any of the following: Pamela Anderson, Dustin Hoffman, Madonna, Victoria Beckham, Nicholas Cage, and Michelle Obama. These celebrities are rumored to have undergone permanent cosmetic procedures. Even if you can’t arrange a meet-up with any of them, maybe just taking a good look at them will help you decide if permanent makeup is right for you.


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