What Are Microblading & Micropigmentation? Permanent cosmetic makeup is cosmetic tattooing. The specialized techniques are often called “micropigmentation”, “micropigment implantation”, “microblading” or “dermagraphics”. The process deposits medical grade pigment into the upper layer of the dermis.  Pigments will fade after a period of years requiring periodic refresh to keep up the look.  Think of it as similar to permanent hair coloring but it never completely fades away.
Am I a Good Fit? Good candidates:
~Over age 18
~Have not received chemotherapy or radiation for at least 12 months
~Have not taken Accutane for at least 12 months
~Diabetics or others with slow wound healing issues must provide doctor’s written permission
~Are not taking prescription blood thinners
~Are not pregnant or lactating
~Do not have transmittable diseases – HIV or hepatitis
~Have not had facial injectables for at least 6 weeks
~Have not had any eye surgeries for at least 3 months
~Follow the before and aftercare instructions carefully
How Are Permanent Makeup Procedures Performed? Procedures are performed using various devices, including the traditional tattoo machine and the non-machine or hand device. The process includes a consultation, before and after photos, application of numbing agent, then pigment, and usually one follow up visit for retouch and evaluating the healed work.
Who Benefits From Permanent Makeup?
People who have the ability to heal properly from minor wounds can benefit from the liberating benefits of permanent cosmetics. Interest in this service spans the young to the more mature; those who desire a soft, natural enhancement to their appearance. It is especially valuable to people who can’t wear traditional cosmetics due to allergies and skin sensitivities; active people who want to look their best for sports activities such as swimming, hiking, biking, tennis, aerobics; and those who don’t want to worry about sweating off or reapplying cosmetics. Permanent cosmetics also benefits the vision challenged who have difficulty applying cosmetics; and others with dexterity related conditions  such as arthritis, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and people who don’t have time to spend refreshing makeup throughout the day.
Are Permanent Cosmetics Really Permanent? Permanent cosmetics are considered permanent because pigment is tattooed into the skin and cannot be washed off. However, as with any colorant (pigment) in general, fading will occur, requiring periodic maintenance or color refreshing. The scientific structure of pigment fades like tinted hair color; faded material on furniture that may be located near a window and subject to sun exposure; house paint that is exposed to the sun and other environmental elements.  This periodic maintenance requirement is a good opportunity to reevaluate color and design.  While the concept of permanent, without any change, may seem like a good idea, think about how your tastes have changed over the years.  From time to time likely you have made subtle or dramatic changes in your clothing preferences, your hair color and style, and if you wear makeup, those colors have changed as well. The fact that most people require refreshing is the time to work with your technician to reevaluate and determine if any changes are appropriate. Longevity varies from person to person depending on their life style (sun exposure), the color(s) used for the permanent cosmetic procedure, and are also may be affected by topical products applied to the skin such as retinol.
How Much Does Permanent Makeup Cost? The average cost per procedure varies but is usually between $400 – $800. Generally, a service costs less than Botox and lasts 4+ times longer!  Advanced work may be charged at $150 to $250 per hour.  Some procedures are referred to as para-medical procedures such as breast areola reconstruction. The cost of a procedure should not be the most important issue when consulting a potential permanent cosmetic professional. Most important is the training and skill of the person performing the procedure and the confidence of the client in that skill.
How Long Does Each Procedure Take? The initial procedure will generally take approximately 2 hours; there are records to establish; photographs to take; desired design and color to discuss; the procedure to perform; and aftercare requirements to discuss. Touch ups usually do not require the same amount of time.
Is It Painful? Most people experience very little discomfort. This will vary according to each individual’s pain threshold. There are different methods available to help with discomfort management, including various topical anesthetics that are developed for our industry. To put this in perspective, thousands of body art tattoos are performed annually, possibly millions.  As a rule, traditional tattoo professionals do not use any anesthetics for their tattoo procedures. Anesthetics for permanent cosmetics are more of a tattoo service luxury because of the nature of the tattoo location and the fact that permanent cosmetics falls into the beauty treatment category.  For delicate skin, pain management is important due to its increased sensitivity.
Is It Safe? If proper sterilization and disinfection guidelines are met, permanent cosmetics are completely safe. Professionals in the permanent cosmetic industry routinely attend Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classes to be well versed on safety principals. These guidelines include, but are not limited to: ~All needles should be new and sterile for each client. Unopened new and sterile needles should be opened in your presence.
~Disposable sterilized one-time use machine parts should be disposed of in a sharps container immediately after the procedure has been completed.
~Personal protection equipment such as disposable gloves should be new for each client and changed during the procedure when needed.
~The technician should be clean and neat.
~The room or treatment area should be in an area free from contaminants.
What If I Don’t Like It? Although the procedure is considered permanent, these procedures do have flexibility in changing color and shape to a limited extent, depending on the expertise of your technician. Colors will appear much darker immediately following the procedure but will soften and lighten during healing. Healing time is different for each individual and procedure. It’s very important to realize that often the new procedure represents something somewhat different; at times color where there was no color at all or very little.  It takes time to become acclimated to a new look (often this applies to eyebrows which were sparse and unnoticeable before the brow procedure). Eyeliner color is more evident due to the contrast to the skin color.  Procedures can take up to six weeks to reflect final color.

Be patient.  After the procedure has healed, and you are able to make an informed decision about the healed version of the procedure, the only reason you should not like your permanent cosmetics is if you chose a technician who did not work with you on design and color. How could this happen? If you cannot communicate with your technician, it is possible your desires will not be realized.

If your technician recognizes your requests, but does not take your desires for color or design into account, you should not proceed with the procedure.

Don’t request eyebrow color based on tinted hair color.  That is subject to change and it may affect how you then feel about the color of your permanent cosmetic eyebrows.  Eyebrow color should be selected based on skin undertone and the natural color of your hair.

Most well-trained technicians will not perform a procedure if the design or color requested by the client is not reasonable.  If your requests are turned down by one or more technicians, re-think what you are asking for.

Permanent cosmetics are not easily removed.  Make good decisions up front. You can enjoy the liberation permanent cosmetics provides when you do your research and choose a qualified professional.
Which Technician Should I Choose? Choose a technician carefully by considering training, experience, compliance with state and local laws, and the technician’s before and after portfolio. It is important to remember that the shape and proper placement of the procedure is as important as the right color. Professionals have studied color theory and skin undertones.  Unskilled people who have not pursued the required education generally do not have the knowledge required to translate pigment color to skin to achieve good color outcome. The preferred look is obtained during the course of consultation, initial procedure and follow-up appointment(s). Interaction between the client and the technician is of utmost importance.
Are There Any Side Effects? While eyebrows may show little after effect, eyeliner and lips may show slight to moderate swelling.  This is very dependent upon the amount of work performed.  A lip liner will show less effects of the procedure than a full lip fill.  Also, some people swell more than others. During the procedure there may be some minor bleeding.  This again, is client specific.  Many people take blood thinners so some slight bleeding would be expected.  Others show little or no signs of bleeding.  Bruising is rare but a person on blood thinners has more of a possibility of bruising.  Eyebrows rarely produce bruising; minor bruising during eyeliner procedures is possible.  This also applies to lip procedures especially if the client is more mature.  Bruising is typically minor and subsides in a few days. There is usually some tenderness for a few days. And the color will be much darker than you may expect for the first 14 days. Other less often reported side effects are difficult to determine due to the individuality of each person’s biological system.  This is why professional permanent cosmetic technicians require a client history profile be filled out to assess different factors that may contribute to your experience after the tattooing procedure has been completed.
Do The Pigments Pose Allergy Problems? People can develop an allergy to anything, however, pigment allergies are rare. Some doctors recommend that people with environmental allergies or allergies to conventional makeup have permanent cosmetic procedures because they can replace cosmetic products that people are sensitive to.  While allergic reactions to any type of tattooing pigments on the body or on the face through permanent cosmetics may occur at any point in time, they are extremely rare.  Ask your technician if their pigments meet their local jurisdictional requirements.
Is There Any Possibility For Medical Problems? The possibility that you would have any problems or reactions from these procedures is almost non-existent with today’s health standards. Post procedure instructions, if followed carefully, will greatly reduce any risk. Medical problems associated with permanent cosmetics are often linked to poor attention to the required aftercare process by the client. Choose a time for procedures when you feel confident you can follow the simple, but very important after care instructions.
What’s A Retouch And Do I Need One? Often the tattooed color is not perfect after the initial procedure heals. Permanent cosmetic procedures are a process and at least one followup to the initial procedure may be needed. It is recommended that any touch-ups are performed at least six weeks after the original procedure. The minimum retouch time for lips is longer as lips have a different healing agenda than other parts of the face. The time frames vary depending on the health and age of the client, but a good guideline is to expect 6 – 8 weeks for your retouch.
Can I Still Have An MRI Scan? Numerous studies have shown that even for people who have large body tattoos, there is little to no potential for irritation resulting from an MRI.  In rare instances where discomfort resulted, it was localized and very temporary.  It is prudent to advise your MRI technician that you have permanent cosmetics.
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