Frequently Asked Questions
Simply put, Permanent Makeup is cosmetic tattooing. During a procedure, usually one hour or less, an artist or technician deposits pigmentation beneath the surface of your skin on the dermis layer. This is done to create your desired look in the tattooed area.It is also known as permanent cosmetics. In the medical community the exact same process is referred to in more clinical sounding terms as Micropigmentation. Most procedures are done on women, but some men opt for it, too. The ages of those who choose this solution range from 18 to those well into senior-citizen status. (The oldest woman to have a permanent makeup procedure by Sally was 97.)
Permanent makeup is different than traditional body art tattoos which are usually designed to stand out, generate attention, or make some sort of statement. The best applications are undetectable. It is meant to provide subtle support of a person’s natural features. As a result, procedures should be done in a manner which blends with a person’s skin tones. Most experienced professionals will advise against trying to match hair colors or using unnatural colors which do not blend with skin tones.
As for the “permanent” label, this process is again different than traditional body art tattooing. Pigments and not inks are used in permanent makeup. Thus, they do not last for a lifetime. Occasional touch ups every few years may be considered depending on a variety of factors, including personal preferences, darkness of facial features, amount of exposure to the sun, and the quality of the procedure performed.
In 1986, while attending a hair show, I attended a presentation by a well-known doctor who believed permanent makeup was the next big thing in the beauty industry.
I decided to take this doctor’s permanent makeup training course, then I went to California and took another course taught a different doctor. When I returned to Arizona, I had even more professional training and supervision from Richard Wohl, M.D., a friend who was a prominent plastic surgeon in Arizona.
Dr. Wohl helped me perfect my technique and gave me the guidance and encouragement I needed to go forward. By 1988, I was doing permanent makeup on a full-time basis. I quickly found that permanent makeup was my passion, so I sold my successful beauty salon in Scottsdale and started my new career as a permanent makeup artist.
The benefits appeal to a wide variety of people, mainly women, but to a few men, also. Permanent makeup is for anybody who buys makeup or who doesn’t like the time and effort required to apply, re-apply, and remove it every day at multiple points in the day. If you are someone looking for an easier way to a consistently beautiful appearance which looks natural in enhancing the contours of your face, then you would be a good candidate. Basically, you will be giving yourself a great way to look good 24/7 and save time. Also, this is a perfect solution for anybody who has allergies to ingredients in topical makeup, has vision problems, or difficulties with their motor skills. It’s very difficult to apply eyeliner, eyebrows, and lipstick if you have tremors or shaky hands, or you just can’t see close up. Permanent makeup will make your life easier.
Permanent Makeup is incredibly popular today. There are many real benefits, and they are long-lasting. This cosmetic solution offers tremendous value when you compare it to anything and everything else in personal beauty.You get started by realizing this is an industry which does not offer you the same consistent experience like walking into McDonald’s, Target, Macy’s, or Walgreens, where you know exactly what you’re going to get and what kind of experience you’re going to have.Remember you have but one face. Do you want to trust putting it in the hands of just anyone because they are conveniently located or the price is right? Bad permanent makeup can make a mess of your appearance, self-image, and attitude about life. It can cost you far more than the cost of the procedure. The pain of overcoming such a common mistake is physical, emotional, and financial.
Not all permanent makeup artists are equal. Not all are properly trained. Anyone can call herself or himself certified, an artist, or a professional. The proof is in their performance, and you wear the results on your face.
It’s very important you do your research. I recommend the internet because there is a ton of information on the subject. It’s right at your fingertips. You can look and read any time you want. You can look at websites, YouTube videos, and before/after photos for the quality of an artist’s work. You can learn about their knowledge and skills by the quality of their online content. You can see reviews and testimonials posted by other users.
Also, ask people whose opinions you value and trust for recommendations or referrals of permanent makeup professionals. Ask your doctor, your hairdresser, or someone whose permanent makeup you like.
I highly recommend seeing one or more artists or technicians for a consultation. It’s one of my most valuable recommendations, and one of my favorite things to do in my job.
I invite you to take advantage of a consultation. There is no-risk and no obligation. You simply come in and tell me what you think you want. Let me make recommendations and also show you with topical makeup how you will look if you go forward with the procedure. In less than 30 minutes you can literally see and hear for yourself if it’s really what you want to have done, and if I’m the right professional for you.
You can even have your permanent makeup done the same day as you have a consultation. I will never do your procedure without showing you first. Simply tell me at the time of scheduling your consultation that you might want to do the procedure the same day, and I will leave time open for you.
NOTE: If a permanent makeup technician can’t show you what you will look like using topical makeup, you probably do not want to assume the risks they can somehow do it using cosmetic tattooing.
Permanent makeup does not hurt. I say this from a few different perspectives. As a longtime professional who performs procedures 5 1/2 days a week, I can tell you honestly I can sometimes go an entire month without a single client complaining about pain or discomfort.As someone who has had permanent makeup herself, I can tell you it doesn’t hurt.
As someone who knows everyone’s levels of fear and threshold for pain are different, I make your comfort an integral part of the service I provide.
Getting permanent makeup doesn’t hurt but the described feelings of the experience vary from person to person. Five different people can have five different sensations during their procedure. Here are some examples:
“I made it a whole lot worse in my head than it turned out to be.” “Oh, it tickles!” “It feels a little scratchy, like you’re using a pencil that’s not sharp enough.” “I didn’t really feel a thing.” “I can’t believe I actually fell asleep.”
For permanent eyeliner and permanent eyebrows, most people say having the procedure done felt like a scratching or tickling sensation. Usually, you don’t feel much if anything at all. With permanent eyeliner, it is fairly common for you to want to rub an eye after the procedure. Pain is generally not an issue for most women.
For permanent lip color, I take extra measures for your comfort. I always have a registered nurse with me to do what is, in essence, a superficial dental block. This way, you will feel absolutely nothing while we give you the luscious looking lips you’ve always wanted.
Regarding cosmetic tattooing of areolas, if you have undergone a mastectomy you may have very little sensation. However, in my opinion, you have already been through more than enough. I will use a lidocaine topical anesthetic as a numbing agent for you just in case you do have feeling.
I perform procedures for eyebrows, eyeliner and full lip color or permanent lip makeup. I also do cosmetic camouflage; mainly through nipple areola tattooing and facelift scars. All of the permanent makeup procedures I do are fun, and every person I meet is different, so my work is never boring. I never get tired of my job because it is so exciting to me. It’s still like opening a Christmas package every time I do a procedure for someone and then give them the mirror when it is finished. They see their new look for the first time and go, “Wow!”
The eyebrows are important. They attract attention to your eyes. They help to frame your face. While there’s the popular saying, about wearing your heart on your sleeve, it’s the eyebrows which change your appearance and really define the expression of all your emotions from happy, sad, or anger. Permanent Eyebrows are a quick and easy way to give yourself a mini-makeover or new look. Since they are such a noticeable representation of you and your appearance, you want to have them done in a way where the level of quality matches the level of importance to you.If your eyebrows look fake or misplaced, it will often create a negative reflection on you. Natural-looking tattooed eyebrows will generate positive responses to you and your appearance. They will also be so much easier to maintain, and will give you back time every day with newfound freedom from applying, checking, and worrying about embarrassing smudges, smears, and run offs.
Take advantage of my consultations. It could the best 20 minutes to give you confidence and clarity in the process. When you come in, I will listen to what you want and make recommendations from there. I will show you with topical makeup exactly how your enhanced eyebrows will look for you.
The color is harmonized to your skin, not the color of your hair, the color of the month, etc. You always want to have a very natural-looking eyebrow. I don’t believe in putting any black or gray in your eyebrows.
I ask you to come in for your consultation and your procedure without wearing any eyeliner, mascara or eye shadow. If you wear contact lenses, you will need to remove them. If they’re soft contacts, you’ll be able to put them right back in as soon as we’re done. If they’re hard contact lenses, then you need to leave them out for about three to six hours. I will apply a topical paste on your eyelid just along your lash line. You will have your eyes closed and I just gently flip it up during the procedure. It’s a very simple and very quick procedure which really does not hurt. Some women say it just feels a little bit scratchy. Most describe it as feeling like it is tickly, and they want to rub their eyes.I have my own technique for doing all applications of permanent eyeliner. I do it along the lash line and underneath it, instead of the topical makeup look where the line is above the lash line. There is good reason why I have done it this way for so many years:I don’t like wrinkles. I don’t believe in helping or creating them, especially around the eyes.
I have consulted with some of the leading plastic surgeons to help me refine this technique. I’m a woman just like you. I’m one who is certainly as age conscious as you or probably anyone you know. I don’t want to see wrinkles or let them have their way with me or you.
I want to help you look better, feel better, not help your wrinkles and hurt your appearance and your feelings. The way I do permanent eyeliner is because of the fact that as we age, our eyelids tend to get more crêpe-like, more vulnerable to wrinkles. You certainly don’t want to look like you had an unsteady hand when you had your makeup applied.
Permanent Eyeliner should make your eye appear brighter and your lashes look longer and it will age gracefully with you.
Finally, here is a golden nugget most women want to know. Following your procedure, you can wear mascara again in 24 hours. However, you will need to use a new tube to minimize any risk of infection.
Lips are important to every woman who cares about her appearance. People always look at your mouth and when you don’t have lips or your lip line has faded, or your vermilion edges are gone, it makes your mouth look smaller and often makes you look older. Many women say this makes them feel older, too. Whereas, if your mouth is clearly defined, and you have a pretty lip color, it’s like your eyes, it pops for you. It improves your appearance and your confidence. Permanent lip makeup can do this for you.I have you bring a lipstick that you like to your appointment. I will then take your real lip color and formulate it. It is always recommended you pick a lipstick color which harmonizes with your skin. It should be a color you don’t mind waking up with every day. Remember, you will have flexibility as you can apply any topical makeup lipstick over your permanent lip color whenever you want.There is one important point you should remember about lips. Lips are tissue which is quite different than skin. As a result, lip tattoos won’t be as bright as traditional lipstick.As you know, your lips are very sensitive. Therefore, I have a registered nurse give you a superficial block so you are in total comfort with no pain when you have your lips permanently colored.
As for lip procedures in general, I always advise against doing only lip liner. It leaves you with a “ring around the mouth” look which I’m pretty sure you won’t find to be an attractive look to wake up to every day. On a regular basis, I have many women come to me after the fact wishing their previous technician or artist mentioned this to them before doing their lip liner procedure.
The real art in tattooing lips is getting a perfect line. What happens too often is a person gets an imperfect line which doesn’t blend with their lip color, and it leaves them unhappy and insecure over their unwanted “ring around the mouth.”
I have built my entire career of more than a quarter century on delivering undetectable permanent makeup. I believe wholeheartedly in it. My clients agree. I always recommend doing the full lips, the liner and blushing throughout. This provides an absolute match in lip color for you and it looks natural for you morning, noon, and night, saving you time, effort, and total freedom from worrying about “ring around the mouth.”
If you have fever blisters, you will need to get a prescription medication such as Valtrex to take prior to your lip procedure.
I approach this matter of cosmetic camouflage with the utmost compassion and sensitivity. Actually, I’ve undergone surgical procedures on my own breasts. While I don’t claim to know exactly what it means to you, I can at least share a pretty good understanding of it. That’s a great starting point for us to get your breasts looking more like you want. While it sounds cliché, it is also the truth… every case is different. The best thing you can do is let me provide you with a no-risk, no-obligation consultation, and look at the solution which is best for your breasts. If you are someone who has had a mastectomy, we can easily create the appearance of a whole new areola. I can do a 3-D effect where it blends in naturally. Sometimes the surgeon creates a nipple for the patient, but not always. In those situations, I do that, too, with blending of the right colors.
In most cases, it takes two applications. I tattoo the area the first time. Then you wait about 30 days and come back for the second application which is when we fine tune the color. We have more flexibility than you may realize here. For instance, if you want to see more of a beige tone to your areolas, we can do it. If you think more of a light pink tone looks better, we can do that, too. Whatever the natural color of your areolas was prior to your surgery is what we should have as our target.
You know, areola tattooing is so important because it represents the finished product for a patient after reconstructive surgery. I’ve learned that most women whom I’ve worked on feel like it’s given them a feeling of completion.
Having breast implants can also be an emotional journey. You don’t want to come so far and have areolas with no coloring. The women for whom I have done cosmetic tattooing of their areolas want their new breasts to look complete, to look as natural as possible. They’ve wanted to feel like the past was over.
If it is time for the new look and the new chapter in your life to begin, cosmetic tattooing of your areolas can be the bridge between the past and the future. I would be honored to help you get there.
First, let me say I’ve been blessed to work closely with and learn from some of the finest plastic surgeons in the world. You will find a number of them on my website under the Endorsements tab. These are doctors who do outstanding cosmetic surgery work that gets amazing results for their patients. They believe in micropigmentation being a valuable tool on their medical tool belts for helping their patients, and because these top-notch professionals build their reputation and their practice on precision and perfection, they are particularly sensitive to the level of quality done in permanent makeup. As Julio L. Garcia, M.D. in Nevada, so accurately states, “Bad permanent makeup makes good cosmetic surgery look bad.”As for facelift scars, I find permanent makeup to be a very successful solution in camouflaging them. One thing about scars, you know they are inevitable; if you’re going to have surgery, you’re going to have a scar. As to what extent, depends on the person and the procedure.
Some people barely scar after surgery, while other people will have a little bit more of a scar. In any case, cosmetic tattooing presents a great way of covering up a scar and making it look smooth. If you like to wear your hair up behind your ears, you can take colors and blend them in. Sometimes right in the front of your ear you might have a little fine scar which can also be covered up.
Some people are very self-conscious about being left with a facelift scar. Through permanent makeup following plastic surgery, the cosmetic tattooing can fix this problem for you or blend it in to harmonize with your skin to the point where the scar doesn’t stand, and you feel much better about your appearance.
No. It most definitely should not have any effect on plastic surgery procedures you have in the future. I work hand-in-hand with a number of the leading cosmetic surgeons across the United States. They will tell you the same thing. The key here is that the tattooing needs to be properly placed so you need to choose your artist wisely. Otherwise, you could be faced with a full process of visiting your plastic surgeon for laser treatments to have it removed.
I get this question often. I am answering it here not to sound negative but actually with a positive intention. I’m hoping to save you time in your research if you have your heart set on certain aspects of permanent cosmetics.
I do not do the following procedures: Permanent Eye Shadow: I have never done this procedure because I don’t believe in it. I feel like this procedure locks people into a look that could easily become dated. To me, it isn’t worth it since eye shadow for most people is very easy to put on topically.
Permanent Blush: To put it in simple and straightforward terms, I just feel like this is too big of a liability issue.
Permanent Beauty Marks: I just don’t feel good about them. Over the years, I have been asked to fix too many of them done by other artists or technicians after they wound up looking more like nasty blackheads than anything else. So, I don’t create beauty marks.
Dark Spots: I don’t tattoo dark spots. You can’t cover something that’s dark and make it light. You can cover a white scar but not a dark scar or a red scar.
I don’t do birth marks.
I don’t tattoo under eye concealer.
I don’t tattoo scalps.
Keep in mind this is not surgery. So you can eat or drink anything you want prior to your procedure.Really, all that is different is you just don’t wear any topical makeup on your face. You have clean eyes without contacts. You have a clean face. It is okay if you wear your moisturizer.You can drive yourself to and from any procedure. If you have a career, you can return to work right after we’re done or take off the rest of the day. It’s up to you.
In terms of managing your time, you can be safe if you allot an hour for a procedure. Doing multiple procedures saves you time. You can figure on around two hours if you’re doing a full face consisting of eyebrow tattoos, permanent eyeliner, and full lip color.
Permanent Eyebrows: This procedure involves the most healing. It’s up to a week. For the first four days, your eyebrows are going to look a little bit darker. It should look like you used a pencil. And then usually on Day 4, they get scaly and it comes off. It’s not anything drastic where you need to take time off from work. But it does help to know what you can expect. I’ll remind you at the time of your procedure.It’s also important to know you should not pick at your new eyebrows. Believe me, I can tell if you did. It is only about a week from start to finish on the healing process.
Permanent Eyeliner: With this procedure there is virtually no downtime whatsoever for a healing process. Yes, you can wear mascara again in 24 hours. However, you must use a new tube in order to prevent infection. The only real limitation is you just can’t apply any additional makeup on your eyes for three days following your procedure.
Permanent Lip Color: Some technicians or artists don’t go to the extent I do to make sure you are comfortable during your procedure. But if it doesn’t have to hurt, why should it? After your procedure, it will be very similar to having chapped lips. Around the 4th day, your lips will usually peel around the edges. You are easily able to soothe them and cover it up wearing your favorite lip gloss or lip balm. It is nothing serious. You’ll be smiling over the look of your new lips right away.
There really is no right or wrong answer to this question. It comes down to a matter of this being a personal decision based on your personal preferences and circumstances. It is a more convenient, time-saving option for you to get a Full Face Treatment in one sitting because you’re driving to and from once, you’re numbed and in the chair one time, you walk out having all three procedures done at once, and you go through the quick healing processes all at the same time. Then you just come back for your second application three weeks later and you’re finished. Doing your eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips together delivers facial symmetry. All of the natural contours of your face have been enhanced at the same time. All of the primary features of your facial appearance are in balance.
Many women describe doing one procedure as feeling like a mini-makeover. Doing all three at once feels even better.
Quite a few women will come in wanting to do permanent eyeliner and permanent eyebrows together. Then, after those two procedures, they love how that looks so much they decide they don’t want to wait to do their lips.
Over the years, it’s been a little more than one out of three women who do the full face treatment of permanent makeup at once.
Permanent Eyeliner and Permanent Lip Color have the greatest longevity. You are probably looking at wanting a re-touch approximately 5 to 7 years after your initial procedure. Again, it depends on the variables listed above.
As for Permanent Eyebrows, it’s often around 2 to 4 years when more fair-skinned people think about having a re-touch. As above, your results may vary depending on the factors previously mentioned.
Permanent Lip Color, once again, if you do them light and natural-looking you’re going to maybe consider touching them up 3 to 5 years. If you happen to do your lips a bit of a darker color there’s a good chance you could last about five years without a re-touch. I just re-touched my permanent lip color this spring. It had been six years since the previous re-touch.
This is a fair question. While I have done this line of work since the year Lady Gaga was born, I did not have anything to do with naming this technique. The “permanent” label is both good and bad. It works in that this is not cosmetics you can wash off at the end of the day like topical makeup. Where it doesn’t work is that often when people see or hear the word “permanent” it implies forever. The reality is permanent makeup is cosmetic tattooing falls somewhere in between. It lasts longer and wears much better than topical makeup. You don’t put it on and take it off. Permanent makeup uses lighter blended colors than body art tattoos in order to keep it looking natural. This is why it eventually fades. You don’t “need” a re-touch; however, if you like how your appearance and how it makes you look better, and saves you time and effort, you will likely get them done occasionally. You set the calendar based on how often. If you aren’t sure, check with your service provider and she or he can help you determine when you might have a re-touch based on a variety or external factors affecting you.
During consultations with me, some women make jokes about changing their hair color as often as they change shoes. They wonder how this affects their choices with permanent makeup. It is important to remember it is always best to settle on color which harmonizes with your natural skin tones. Trying to chase your changing hair color will only get you into trouble and turn your natural-looking enhanced appearance into a look which looks like something is wrong or out of balance rather than supporting and showcasing your beauty. The way I apply permanent makeup will not ever make you feel locked into a look. Because you have undetectable permanent makeup that looks natural day or night, you will enjoy great flexibility with your appearance. Wearing topical makeup is still an option or a choice whenever you want. But really, isn’t it nice to know it will no longer be a time stealing necessity every single day?
Both methods, if performed properly by a skilled and experienced permanent makeup professional, can deliver the positive results you want. Both involve the same technique of depositing pigment into the dermis layer of your skin. The manual method means that the technician or artist provides all of the power behind the pen which is used to apply your permanent makeup. The machine method offers a more automated process and there are a number of options on the market from which to choose. They range from traditional tattoo guns to newer, lightweight digital machines.
Over the past 25 years, I’ve tried out many types of permanent makeup technologies. I’ve stayed on top of the latest developments in an effort to give my clients the best experience they can possibly have. I owe it to my clients and myself as an artist to provide excellent artistic skills, service and natural-looking long-lasting results.
As a result, I only use digital machines that are easily adjustable, quiet, ergonomic and offer plenty of options to deliver a more delicate and comfortable experience.
The benefit for me is seeing your reaction when you hold up a mirror and you see your enhanced natural beauty for the first time.
Yes and yes. This is a sore subject for me. It angers me.
I could surely write a book venting on this subject. Please allow me to be blunt. Permanent makeup wouldn’t be so popular if it didn’t offer value and benefits. It does. But it isn’t automatic.
You must know that you must choose wisely where you get it done. My business and reputation as an experienced professional are fairly well established. I don’t need to put down the competition in order to get clients. I am lucky and honored to get referrals from doctors. I am always touched by all of the referrals I receive from clients who have happily told others about what good I have done for them. It’s also very nice to get notes from people around the world expressing thanks for all of the information here on this website.
The truth is, I have seen thousands of examples of success in action. By this, I mean excellent undetectable permanent makeup done by true professionals and worn by women of all backgrounds who love how much better they look, how much more confidence they feel in their appearance, and how much of an easier lifestyle they enjoy.
Unfortunately, it is also the whole truth and nothing but the truth that I seem to have more women than ever come to me to fix bad permanent work done by poorly skilled technicians. I didn’t use the term “artist” or “professional” here intentionally because some of the work I see is not that of an artist, nor is it that of a professional.
If you think smears, smudges, or run-offs of your topical makeup is embarrassing, that’s a drop in the ocean of tears you’ll want to cry when it comes to getting a bad tattoo job.
The problem runs more than skin deep. I have women come to me with the confidence in their appearance gone. They hide the damage as best as they can and now makeup takes them more than ever instead of less. Many of these women say they feel more like hiding when they hoped they would be feeling more like shining. So they actually go out in public less as a result of it.
Permanent makeup is not designed to be a self-imposed prison. It is supposed to help you enjoy more freedom from time and effort spent looking great!
Bad permanent makeup is often pretty bad. By this, I mean you have to have it either lasered off or surgically removed. I see an average of 12 to 14 people a month that I refer to a laser clinic and sometimes it’s so bad I have to refer them to a plastic surgeon. It makes my heart ache because it is my chosen trade and there is simply no room or excuse for shoddy work.
I have had a good run for more than 25 years in permanent makeup. There’s not a day goes by when I don’t feel blessed and grateful for it. I take my career very seriously, and work as hard as ever to help others. Because of this, I have the courage and passion to speak out about bad permanent makeup. Hopefully, it prevents people from experiencing this problem.
- Do your homework on permanent makeup artists.
- Have a consultation before having a procedure.
- Don’t let anyone tattoo you who can’t first show you with topical makeup exactly how you will look.
- Trust your intuition and make a decision you can live with every day.
I absolutely love permanent makeup… and want you to feel the same way!