What is permanent makeup?

Permanent makeup, also known as micro pigmentation or derma pigmentation, is a technique which consists of permanent pigmentation of the dermis. It has been in existence for a number of years. It’s often used for eyebrows, lining the eye or lip contour, but many corrective techniques are available, such as eye shadow, lightening under-eye dark circles, camouflaging scars etc.

Who is it for?

For all those who :

  • have asymmetrical facial features like lips or eyebrows,
  • have no eyebrows to speak of,
  • wish to save time applying makeup,
  • are allergic or have an intolerance to makeup,
  • practice sport,
  • have little or no dexterity, a handicap, or shaky hands, etc.

Go for natural colours to get a timeless look and stay away from really intense colours that can harden your features. You can always add makeup to intensify the look if you’re going to a party for example.

How long does it last?

Unlike a tattoo, permanent makeup doesn’t last a lifetime; touch-ups are required after 2 to 7 years because the pigments used are not the same.
Bear in mind the following points;

  • the pigment will last longer on a thick skin than on a thin skin,
  • sun exposure reduces the life of the pigment,
  • a dry skin absorbs the pigments better than an oily skin,
  • dark colours such as black last longer
  • the deeper the pigment is applied, the longer it will last.

Does it hurt?

Another major difference with tattooing is that micro pigmentation is applied using a local anesthetic in reputable salons so you avoid intense pain. The worst that can happen is that you’ll feel some discomfort. Obviously, it all depends on your skin’s sensitivity.

How many sessions are necessary?

In general, two sessions, at an interval of 4 to 6 weeks, are necessary for best results.

Side effects

In certain cases, there may be some swelling, but it will disappear fairly quickly. You have to apply a soothing ointment. You could also feel a little pain after the procedure but it doesn’t last and it’s usually tolerable. There is sometimes an allergic reaction but this is rare if the pigments used are approved products. Some skin types don’t tolerate permanent makeup such as those with keloids or a scarring problem. An experienced, honest technician will tell you whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. One week after the treatment, the colour may become darker. Don’t worry; it will grow paler within a month.

Choosing the right salon

You’re dealing with your face now and as it’s the most exposed part of your body, take the time to make a good choice concerning your micro pigmentation technician. Ask about the following:

  • her experience,
  • her qualifications (recognised beauty school),
  • ask to see photos,
  • find out if the equipment used is up-to-date,
  • if the pigments used are government-approved,
  • if she uses a local anesthetic,
  • If she uses single-use needles,
  • If she has professional liability insurance, etc.

Beware of low prices. Never, ever go to a tattoo parlour for your permanent makeup and nor should you use the same kind of equipment or ink. In an ideal world, you should be looking for an experienced dermatological nurse who’s also a beautician and makeup artist!

Prices and procedure time

On average, a session lasts an hour and costs from 300$CA to 1000$CA.

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