Permanent Makeup

Latest update: February 26, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jennifer Trent MD, FAAD


Permanent makeup involves embedding ink or pigment into the skin to mimic the look of cosmetic products, like eyebrow pencils, eyeliner, or lipstick. The process is similar to getting a tattoo. The ink is placed under the skin, creating a semi-permanent makeup look for clients who want to shorten their makeup routine. It is also used to cover up the appearance of scars. It is essential to make an appointment with an experienced professional who can create the look you want.

The process begins with a consultation to discuss your desired look. Clients need to avoid sun exposure, shaving, and smoking before the procedure. The treatment area is usually numbed before the pigment application. The process is completed with a handheld device similar to the traditional tattoo coil machine.

There are many different types of permanent makeup, depending on the patient's desired look.

Microblading is a popular treatment that can create semi-permanently filled-in eyebrows. The aesthetician will first sketch out the requested shape of the brows. Then they fill in the outline with hair-like strokes to mimic individual hairs. The treatment will require two appointments to achieve the best results.

Permanent eyeliner can create a distinct contour tattooed on the lash line. The pigment can usually last up to 3-5 years before it starts to fade.

Permanent lip liners will inject pigment around the outline of your lips to create a defined lip line with the color of your choice. Permanent lip color, also known as lip blushing, shades the lip itself to create a permanent shade. Practitioners will apply a numbing cream before using needles of varying sizes to create a natural-looking effect. The color will look darker at first, but it will fade to a more neutral tone. Lip blushing requires one touch-up and can last up to 2 years.

Scar camouflage can deposit pigment into scars to lighten and fade them. These scars have to be lighter than the skin color to tattoo over them. This technique does not work on brown, purple, or red scars. It can take 2-3 sessions.

After permanent makeup sessions, it is normal for the area to be swollen and tender for five days. Patients can use ice packs and keep their heads elevated to reduce swelling. It is crucial to keep the area clean and avoid picking the scabs to prevent infection and scarring. Clients should avoid using retinol skincare products on the site as it fades the ink faster.

If patients are unhappy with their results, laser treatments and chemical peels can help fade the tattoos.

The procedure has some rare risks. These can include infections, pigment migration, allergic reactions, scarring, reactivation of herpes, bleeding, and keloids.
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
2 weeks

Microblading Process step by step

Laura, from Brow House Beauty, takes us through the Microblading process step by step. Laura shows us the client's eyebrows and talks about the effect that she is going to try and achieve using this technique. The camera focuses on the eyebrows for the whole treatment and the procedure is shown in its entirety.

I Got A Lip Blush Tattoo For The First Time | Macro Beauty | Refinery29

Refinery29 follows Annarose Kern as she gets a Lip Blush Tattoo for the first time. She explains that she is getting the procedure done to enhance her natural lip color. She tells us about her previous experience with permanent makeup and talks about the advances that have been made. Annarose goes to Fiction L.A. to meet Nora Grace and have the procedure done. Nora Grace details the advantages of permanent makeup and explains how she gets the right shade for the client. The video shows her journey and Nora Grace talks us through the procedure.