Permanent Pretty. The Art of Tattoo Makeup and Micro-pigmentation.


You know those nights when you’re just too tired, too tipsy, or too “something else“, to take off your makeup before you go to bed? Well, imagine never having to worry about waking up with smudgy raccoon eyes again. Imagine your lipstick stuck on your smoocher instead of your sheets.  Imagine ditching your overflowing collection of brow pencils and stencils. Over the past few months I’ve watched three of my city-chic coworkers save tons of money and time by opting for perennial pretty with permanent makeup. Hmmm… maybe they are on to something.

Permanent makeup, also called micro-pigmentation, is actually tattooed the same way as any other tatt. For brows, you can have the shape drawn on first and then decide on the coloring that would best work with your skin and hair . The aesthetician will make tiny hair-like lines that blend right in to your skin and any brow hairs that you already have. The girls I know who’ve had this done say that you will need a second appointment to perfect the shading, but after that, you’re all set. They also warned to NEVER use black ink which apparently fades and turns blue over time.

Eyeliner can be applied in any style you like and often leads to fuller looking lashes as well. Waterproof, sweatproof, and smearless, this is popular with sporty stylistas and trendy travelers alike. And can you imagine fuller, fadeless lips? No awkward cheek staining kisses or gauche glob up glasses- ooh la la!

If you do decide that permanent is the way to go, here are a few pieces of advice. Be sure they open the packages in front of you so you know that the equipment is sterile. Be sure the facility you choose is clean and well maintained , and that they take time to answer all of your questions. Just like any tatoo, it is permanent, so you definitely want to go to a reputable artist, who is fully qualified and takes pride in their work. Also, if you ever consider having any kind of laser treatments after you go permanent, be sure to tell your plastic surgeon.  Lasers can sometimes turn the pigment black, and it can’t be reversed so be careful.

Interested?  Check out Uptown Girl (, West 56th Street, NYC) or Amy Kernahan Studio (, East 68th Street, NYC)

I’m not sure permanent makeup would curb my spending at Sephora, but it is definitely an intriguing idea. A less complicated morning routine would give me a little more time to sleep, snog, or blog!

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Photo Credit: iStockphoto

NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.


Filed under Beauty, Makeup

2 responses to “Permanent Pretty. The Art of Tattoo Makeup and Micro-pigmentation.

  1. Brandel L

    What a great informative piece! Ironically I actually had my eyebrows done several months ago at Uptown Girl! I had met with a total of 3 people before deciding on Barb at Uptown. Unlike the other 2 Barb had told me during the initial consultation that she likes to have her clients come back to “go over” a second time (as your article states) to ensure the color has penetrated fully and is spread evenly ~ apparently it is hard to predict during the healing stage and a reputable artist should inform you of this and also offer this complimentary which Barb did. I absolutely LOVE my brows and have gotten so many compliments on the shape alone. Another important criteria to look for (assessing proper shape for your face) and Barb spent time with me during our consultation to draw in a few different shapes so we could analyze together the most flattering for my face. A couple more things I learned was that it is important to apply sunscreen over the tattooed areas during the summer months when the sun is stronger to help preserve the color . Also, every 3-5 years (on average) one should come back for a touch-up or “color refresher” on the tattoo as over time the color does tend to fade. I’m now thinking about getting eyeliner on my upper lids but can’t seem to decide on what shade to go with. Does anyone have any suggestions from personal experience? Also, is it better to go with a thicker line or thinner?

    • MAS

      Hi Brandel! Those are all great points to keep in mind if you’re thinking about permanent makeup. I’m very glad you mentioned the fact that you took plenty of time during your consultation to look at difference shapes. That’s so SO important when it comes to permanent treatments like this. If your aesthetician tries to rush you through the process, or won’t let you try some stencils, look for someone else. Remember, the most attractive brow shape is the one that has a gentle arch with it’s highest point somewhere between your pupil and the outside corner of your eye. Brow shapes that don’t follow this rule never look right.

      Also great points about the need for “color refreshers”, and about keeping your new tatts out of the sun! Another very important thing that women tend to forget is that if they ever consider having laser skin resurfacing they need to tell their dermatologist or plastic surgeon that they have permanent makeup. Some pigments can turn black immediately when exposed to laser light, and this change tends to be permanent as well. After having tatts for a while, it’s easy to forget that you have them, especially when you’re a little nervous before the laser. Don’t forget to tell your doctor!

      Thanks for reading and writing 🙂 If there’s anything you want to hear about on FFL, feel free to let us know.

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