We know that choosing a permanent makeup treatment is a big decision and industry terms can be overwhelming, so here’s a breakdown of a few industry terms you may come across whilst doing your research, which will help shed light on what everything actually means.
First things first...
Is it Semi-Permanent Makeup, Permanent Makeup or Makeup Tattooing?
All of these basically mean the same thing! For the sake of this blog, we’ll refer to it as permanent makeup (PMU). PMU is the application of a pigment to the skin, to enhance the natural beauty of eyes, eyebrows or lips. The whole idea is to replicate makeup, without the hassle of applying it every morning or having to retouch throughout the day. Just think how great it would be to avoid spending precious time every day pencilling in your eyebrows, and then worrying about them fading in hot weather or the rain.
Cosmetic tattooing is often referred to as ‘semi-permanent’ because results will fade over time as the pigment breaks down in the skin. At Karen Betts Professional, we refer to cosmetic tattooing as being ‘permanent’ because (for most people) it will never completely disappear.
Dermapigmentation and Micropigmentation
These two terms can sound scarier than they actually are! The word ‘derma’ literally means the skin. ‘Micro’ of course just means small! The pigmentation part means simply changing the colour of natural tissue (the skin). Altogether, it means that pigments are put into your skin to change the colour or appearance.
Pigments have been referenced a few times, but what are they? Many people often mistake permanent makeup pigments to be like tattoo ink. However, you must remember that it’s not the same thing! Tattoo pigments or inks are designed to be truly permanent and fade in a different manner. Permanent makeup pigments are specially designed to work with your skin tones so that the results are as natural as possible. Pigments like the Karen Betts range; K.B Pro have been developed and tested to make sure that they are long-lasting and suitable for makeup treatments. If your permanent makeup artist is using tattoo pigments, you should stop them and ask some questions. Sometimes they are suitable for a jet-black eyeliner, but for the most part, it’s not the best idea.
The majority of permanent cosmetics salons you visit will be using a specially designed cosmetic tattoo machine. These machines are not like your average tattoo machine, they work at a much lower frequency and the sensation is often described as an electric toothbrush being held against your skin. The handheld device that artists use looks almost like a pen, with small needles of varying sizes attached, which achieve different patterns for different treatments.
Some of the PMU artists you visit may use ‘microblading’ as their preferred technique. This is a manual technique of PMU, which is perfect for creating super-fine hair strokes. Here’s a fun fact for you - in China where microblading originated from, this technique is described as ‘Eyebrow Embroidery!’ A specially designed tiny blade is used to create bespoke brows, ideal for anyone who wants to fill in natural hairs. Don’t let the word ‘blade’ scare you; it’s so small you won't notice it!
Eyebrow and eyeliner tattooing are so much more common these days that you’ve probably heard of the treatment or even tried it yourself. But have you heard of the different techniques, styles and other areas you can get tattooed?
This technique is often more popular with younger clients as it replicates the sought after ‘HD Brows’ look. The powder brow technique replicates the effect of makeup, so you can throw out your eyebrow kit and have permanently perfect brows.
Men haven’t taken on board the permanent makeup trend as quickly. However guyliner is becoming more and more popular. A thin line around the eyes (see Lash Enhancement) can subtly open up the eyes. Permanent makeup is for everyone!
A Latino Flick or Winged Eyeliner is a popular eyeliner technique. This involves extending the eyeliner so you have the classic flick at the corners of your eyes. Depending on how you like your makeup it can be as small and subtle or large as you like! Just think of the time you’ll save on a morning trying to get those flicks even.
Many people who visit a salon or clinic don’t get their full lip tattooed and opt for a liner or lip blush. A lip blush is used to define the natural lip line, bringing the colour towards the centre of the lips where it blends with your natural colour.
3D Hairstroke Brows
This is one of the most popular techniques and treatments at Karen Betts Professional. By using specially developed techniques, ultra-realistic hair strokes can be created to fill in over-plucked brows, to restore brows lost due to hair loss or simply neaten them up.
A lash enhancement is actually one of the most popular eye treatments. This is not meant to be eyeliner, but is there to give natural definition to your eyes, without the full eyeliner look. This treatment is a subtle line that runs through the lash line whereas eyeliner goes onto the lid.
Permanent makeup really does transform lives. For example, many artists are specially trained to work on skin which has been burnt or is scarred. It can almost be like tattooing confidence onto a person! Here are a few conditions/ treatments which use permanent medical tattooing to help restore appearances;
Using light and dark shading techniques, a realistic looking areola and nipple can be created for clients who may have gone through breast cancer, and want to restore the area to its natural look without surgery.
Hair Loss Treatments
Conditions such as Alopecia, Trichotillomania (a condition where the person compulsively pulls hairs from areas like the brows or eyes) and even age can play a factor in hair loss. Medical tattooing treatments can help to restore all sorts of lost hair, even on the scalp! Life like hairs can be added and a lash enhancement can help to bring back definition where eyebrows and eyelash hairs have been lost.
A semi-permanent makeup treatment can help redefine and restore the natural shape of the lip.
Considering getting your permanent makeup removed or changed? There are ways you can do this AND get the results you want.
ColourLift is a product in the Karen Betts K.B Pro pigments range which can be used to lift some colour and make corrections. However, depending on how deep the pigment is or how much needs to be removed, it may be that laser treatment is the best option.
Laser treatments are best for those who want to entirely remove the treatment they’ve had done. For example, if you’ve had a makeup treatment with normal tattoo pigments it’s more than likely you’ll need it to be lasered before a permanent makeup artist can work on the area! It’s extremely important to ensure you pick a qualified and reputable permanent cosmetics artist from the very start. If a treatment goes wrong, it may be that it can’t be corrected, and laser treatment could be a costly and painful way to correct a mistake.
Of course, there are many more techniques, tools and treatments beyond this post.
The world of permanent cosmetics is constantly evolving. If you ever have any questions about permanent cosmetics; feel free to ask the friendly team at Karen Betts Professional for some advice.