Frequently Asked Questions 

Lips-Eyeliner-EyebrowsLink to Photos
Q. What does it cost?
A. Permanent makeup is not inexpensive, but it can be priceless.  It has been estimated that the savings in daily makeup is about $400 per year, and in time that you may save 380 hours per year. Most people don't have permanent makeup to save money; they do it for convenience and to know that they always look their best.  If you compare other non-surgical procedures such as Botox or wrinkle filler it gives you a good idea of the value of permanent makeup. For about the same cost as some Botox or filler, which may last only 3-4 months, you will get permanent makeup that lasts for years and saves you time every day.

Q. How long does a procedure take?
A. Usually, each procedure appointment is one to two hours.  The majority of the time is spent in selecting the appropriate color for your skin, and in measuring and artistically drawing on the planned procedure prior to actually implanting the color. Adequate time is allowed for topical anesthetic to make you completely comfortable. You will also be given thorough aftercare instructions for optimum healing and outcome. 

Q. Can I have eyeliner and lips and eyebrows all done at once?
A. Yes, a full-face procedure will take 3-5 hours. In fact, one advantage is that your aftercare for all the areas is all done at once. 

Q. Is it the same as a tattoo?
A. It is a form of tattoo, although different techniques and pigments are used. The equipment for the facial permanent makeup is also different than that used in traditional body art.  The true definition of a tattoo is pigment being implanted in the dermal layer of the skin. 

Q. What is micropigmentation?
A. This is the name of the process used to implant color in permanent makeup. Permanent makeup permanent cosmetics, micropigmentation and intradermal micropigmentation are all words used within the industry to describe cosmetic tattooing.

Q. Is the procedure safe?
A. Many technicians will sterilize the expensive needles, casings, and tubings used during the procedure in order to re-use those parts.  We use a very state-of-the art digital computerized machine. The parts that actually touch the client and the needles that penetrate the skin are all pre-sterile from the manufacturer and we use medical grade needles. There is no physical way for the needles or casings to transmit air-born or blood-born diseases or bacteria within the system.  All other aspects of the procedure are done to OSHA standards – the same standards of sterility, cleanliness and patient protection used in any clinical medical setting. 

Q Are there other health concerns?
A.  People with a history of cold sores need to pre-medicate with an anti-viral drug (Zoviraz, Valtrex, or Acyclovir) prior to a lip coloring procedure. People with active Glaucoma that requires eye drops to treat cannot have eyeliner due to the pressure sensitivity in the eye. Any active skin condition such as exema, psoriasis, or cystic acne in the area must have clear skin in the area being addressed at the time of the procedure.  People taking blood thinners cannot have permanent makeup.  Prospective clients with any other chronic medical condition (metabolic) being treated by a physician should have an OK from your doctor. 

Q.  Does it hurt?
A.  A topical anesthesia is used as needed to help numb the areas to be treated.  This helps to alleviate any minor discomfort you may experience during the procedure. Every person has a different pain threshold and level of tolerance. We will customize the anesthetic process for each individual using a variety of topical anesthetics designed specifically for the sensitive facial areas. There are circumstances that may exacerbate discomfort, such as being on or near your menstrual period, under a lot of stress, recent head/sinus cold etc. 

Q.  How will I look immediately after the procedure? 
A.  You may experience minor swelling and redness on procedure day. You may resume normal activities immediately except that you will be advised to wear no makeup on the treated area for about one week. There is some minor redness, healing and peeling during the first week.

Q. When will I see the final result?
A. At first the pigment will appear too dark. There is a natural exfoliation process that takes place after healing for 5-7 days and the dark residual pigment is then lost, leaving a soft natural color behind.  The final result is not absolute until 4 weeks. Skin tone, exfoliation, settling of the color into the dermis all contribute to the final outcome at about 4 weeks. Usually the eyebrows and eyeliner are basically healed and true to tone and depth of color after 7-10 days.  The lips go through a different type of process and often appear too light after the initial “peeling” in the first 3-5 days. The color intensity becomes more visible after 3-4 weeks. A review of the procedures will take place 4-6 weeks after to check for perfection. Often minor touch ups are needed at that time.

Q. Is it really permanent? How long does it last?
A. Some people may need the color darkened within one to three years after the procedure.  This typically starts at only about $100, since it is merely a re-coloring of any areas that have lost color intensity.  

Q. What factors affect how long the color lasts?
A. The skill of the technician, the quality of the pigments used, the individual's skin type, how dark the original color is, sun exposure, and use of exfoliating skin-care products.

Q. I am nervous about the fact that it is permanent. How can I know what to expect before I have it done?
A. We use makeup pencils to draw it on in advance for your approval. Then we are always cautious to keep on the side of light and natural, for we can always add more color later during your follow-up visit.

Q. Can permanent makeup be removed?
A. Yes. There are special removal techniques using a salt-based removal product for small corrections or complete removal.  Some laser tattoo removal processes work for permanent makeup as well, but often are not the best choice due to proximity to the eye etc. We have had great success with removal of undesirable makeup done by other practitioners using our salt-water technique, which is very safe and causes very little trauma to the skin.  

Q. My lips have no color, and I want daily natural color without appearing to be made up. Can this be done?
A.  Yes, this can be achieved. We custom blend all of our lip colors to the individual’s preferences. People of color with very dark natural lip tone are not good candidates for the lip procedure.

Q. Can I have lip liner only, and leave the lips natural?
A. This is not stylistically recommended. It is recommended that the lip liner be gently blended into the lip tissue just inside the borders of the lip line. That way you achieve definition and color in the lip border, can add fullness and create a perfect shape, but it doesn’t look like just a ring of color around the lips. This is a specific technique and looks best when using a natural color that mimics the interior color of your natural lip tone. 

Q. What is eyelash enhancement?
A. For a more natural, less dramatic effect than is achieved with the eyeliner, eyelash enhancement can be done as the color is implanted only at the base of the lash line, creating definition and framing of the eyes, without looking like “eyeliner”. 

Q. I have no or little eyebrow hair.  Can eyebrow be made to look natural, and not "drawn on".
A. Yes! Using highly specialized techniques we can replicate the look of natural individual hairs.  The effect looks like your own eyebrows, not like someone drew your eyebrows on with a magic marker. 

Q. I am planning a cosmetic facial procedure. Should I wait until after that for my permanent makeup?
A. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.  It depends on the cosmetic procedure you are undergoing. For example, we prefer to do lip color first before getting filler to augment the lips. We can create the perfect lip line for the doctor to follow later. It is advised if planning any cosmetic procedure within 4 weeks of permanent makeup that you have a personal consultation to determine the order in which you should get your procedures done. 

Debbie Miller, CPCP
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