What is permanent makeup? Everything You Need to Know

You might have heard of the term permanent eyeliner before. You might know someone in your close friend group or family who has undergone a permanent cosmetic procedure in the last few years. Not having to apply makeup every day is one factor that attracts patients the most to these types of methods. Despite its popularity, however, many need to learn how the process of permanent makeup works and its modern applications in cosmetic medicine today.

What is permanent makeup?

Permanent makeup, also known as cosmetic tattooing, micropigmentation, or dermagraphics, is a cosmetic procedure that involves tattooing the skin with small amounts of pigment on the dermal layer. This process is significantly shallower than a conventional tattoo and has become increasingly popular in recent years. This procedure can be used for eye-lining and enhancing other areas of the body like your lips, eyelids, and eyebrows, but it has other significant medical uses too.

We’ll discuss everything you need to know about permanent makeup below. 


How does permanent makeup work?

When you schedule a consultation with a qualified, experienced expert, they will ask about your desired results. They will assess your skin type and current medical conditions to ensure you are a candidate for a cosmetic tattoo. They will provide information about the procedure and the type of pigment used before the session begins.

Before using devices like a traditional tattoo coil machine, a pen, or a rotary machine, a technician will apply a numbing cream on your skin and use a specialized pigment made from mineral and organic material. The needle attached to the machine (or a hand-held device in some instances) will make minor abrasions on your skin to insert the pigment into your dermal layer. Although the procedure is very similar to a regular body tattoo, the needle doesn’t pierce as deep as it does during a conventional tattoo appointment. This results in a more natural-looking, subtle enhancement that mimics the appearance of makeup.

Is Permanent Makeup Really Permanent?

In short, not exactly. Despite the name, the tattoos are semi-permanent. While micro pigmentation definitely lasts longer than regular cosmetics, the average lifespan of this product is from 1 to 3 years. Periodic touch-ups can make the superficial tattoo last longer, but your skin will eventually metabolize the pigment, and the ink will fade.


Who Benefits From Permanent Makeup?

Permanent makeup has become popular in people who have lost eyebrow or eyelash hair because of old age and other diseases like genetic disorders and alopecia. It’s advantageous in patients undergoing chemotherapy, those who suffer from hypopigmentation disorders like vitiligo, or those who want to disguise scars. It is also especially valuable to people who can’t wear traditional cosmetics due to allergies and skin sensitivities. 

Cosmetic tattooing also benefits the vision challenged who can’t apply their cosmetics and others with dexterity-related conditions like Arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. Busy people who don’t have time to use and refresh their makeup throughout the day and evening can also benefit from this practice. 

Aside from its aesthetic purposes, micropigmentation has more serious medical applications, like improving the appearance of a nipple after breast reconstruction.


How many sessions are needed?

We recommend getting a touch-up every 6-12 months, but it’s always wise to speak to your local cosmetic center about the number of sessions required for the best results.

How long does it last?

The procedure typically takes between 1-3 hours, depending on the amount of work and detail required to complete the job. 


Is it a Safe Procedure?

The risks are the same as getting any regular tattoo. Make sure not to choose unsanitary and untrustworthy clinics that might make you vulnerable to infections. Permanent cosmetics should be completely safe if proper sterilization and disinfection guidelines are met. It is unadvised for people who are nursing, pregnant, have diabetes, or have other serious diseases that affect their immune system to undergo permanent cosmetic tattoo procedures.

What are the Risks?

Risk of infection, allergic reactions, bleeding, crusting, swelling, loss of eyelashes, and other eye injuries are always present but not common. Swelling and redness 24 hours post-procedure is expected, and it can take up to a week for the tattoo to heal.

Is it Painful?

It can be. The technician will do everything possible to make the process as painless as possible by applying a numbing agent to your skin. If you are particularly susceptible to pain, make sure to speak up, so your cosmetic technician can apply more numbing cream to your skin.


Advantages of Permanent Makeup

Getting a permanent makeup procedure done might involve patience and sacrifice, but the benefits greatly outweigh the effort.

  • You will save time, eliminating the need for daily makeup application and saving time for your busy schedule. 
  • It’s convenient, especially for people with vision or dexterity issues, making it challenging to apply makeup. 
  • It’s natural-looking. The shallower depth results in a more natural-looking, subtle enhancement that mimics the appearance of makeup.
  • It lasts a long time in comparison to regular makeup. The pigment used can last several years, depending on your skin type, lifestyle, and aftercare.
  • It’s cost-effective in the long run, especially for people who would otherwise spend money on regular makeup applications and touch-ups.
  • It will give you a confidence boost! It can be used to conceal scarring or other skin imperfections, boosting confidence and self-esteem.


Like any other cosmetic procedure of this caliber, it’s essential to be rigorous with your aftercare. Expect slight swelling, itching, and redness in the first 48 hours. Your brows will lose a little color in the days following the procedure. That is normal.

  • If your doctor appoints you with any ointment or cream, apply it per their instructions.
  • Do not touch or scratch your eyebrows; it can increase the risk of infection.
  • Avoid tanning, overexposure to the sun, swimming in pools, and intense exercise for at least five days after getting your tattoo.
  • Keep the area clean and follow your doctor’s instructions about wound disinfection to avoid further side effects.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if the swelling doesn’t recede, you experience too much pain, or you develop a fever.


Permanent Cosmetics are a Solution For Many! 

Whether you’re looking to avoid putting on makeup every morning, have trouble applying it yourself, or suffer from any diseases that impede you from using them, you can find the proper procedure for you! Committing to permanent cosmetics might seem dangerous, but as long as appropriate hygiene measures are applied, this procedure is perfectly safe. Follow the correct aftercare and keep in touch with your doctor to find the right solution for you.

Book Our Permanent Makeup Service Today!

If you’re in Aurora, Colorado, and are looking for permanent lip liner, eyeliner, or tinted eyebrows, Zap Laser Center is the solution you’ve been looking for. Book our services today with just one click!

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