Permanent Cosmetics FAQ

Cosmetic Tattooing FAQs

What are permanent cosmetics?
Permanent cosmetics is a method of implanting pigment or ink through the epidermis layer of the skin into the upper dermal layer of the skin to create a desired illusion of shape and color. Permanent eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip colors are three of the most popular permanent cosmetic procedures.
I see permanent cosmetics referred to differently. Is there a real name for it?
Technicians use all sorts of different names to try and set themselves apart from their competition. T he implanting of pigment or ink in the skin is tattooing by definition.  You may also hear/see it called permanent makeup, micropigmentation,  dermapigmentation, permanent cosmetics, permanent makeup or cosmetic tattooing. The later three are the most common terms used when the artist is being up front about the service that they are offering. There are also marketing buzz words that are used: 3-d brows, microblading brows, hairstroke brows. Permanent cosmetics are not medical procedures.
Is this a licensed profession in the state of Oregon?
Yes!  Oregon has licensed cosmetic tattooing and artistic tattooing since 1994.  It is a felony to tattoo in Oregon without a license.  Your technician’s Oregon license as well as their facility license must be posted in public view. Look for it and assure it is current.  Oregon law does not allow any work on minors under the age of 18 even with parental consent. The only exception is for medical tattooing but this requires a physician’s prescription and has strict guidelines.
I’m concerned about letting anyone else design my makeup, especially if it is permanent. What if I don’t like the design or color after the procedure?
At Esthetics & Permanent Cosmetics NW you are in involved with the important decisions concerning design and color. I invite you to bring the colors you have been using and we will start from there to select the shade and tones that will be the most flattering for you now and mature nicely with you. As a professional makeup artist I am happy to guide and council you to get the most flattering brows/liner/lip design for you, your lifestyle and your facial morphology.  Often at the consultation I will draw on brows to give you an idea of what it could look like but the makeup tools that we have don’t offer the precision of hairstroke design available with the tattoo device. Design work is very important to ensure the design that you  approve is the best suited to your facial features and skin tone.  We will not proceed with the procedure unless you approve the design.
What if  eyebrow styles change?
Classical shapes always stay in style. Your eyebrow shape will be based on your own preferences in combination with my suggestions for a look that will remain in style and will not be affected by cosmetic surgery or the natural aging process. You are welcome to bring your favorite color, pictures and wear your brow makeup when you come in to see me.  I’ll listen to what you really want to have and use my makeup artistry skills to help create your most beautiful, flattering brows that you will love and enjoy for years to come.
What if eyeliner goes out of style
Thick, dark and sooty lashes have always been in style and a symbol of attractiveness.  There are several variations within eyeliner styles that may best reflect your personal preferences.
Eyelash enhancement procedure focus on your natural lash-line to create a fuller, more beautiful and natural look. This technique is also very popular for men with light colored or sparse eyelashes. It provides wonderful eye definition.

 Thin, medium and wide top and bottom eyeliners are also very popular methods of decorating the eye area to project the illusion of larger and more dramatic eyes. But an overly dramatic eye can be aging as we develop fine lines in and under the lower lashes.

The key is to keep it simple. One can always add to an existing permanent design for more drama for those special occasions. The clients who enjoy their cosmetic tattooing to the fullest are those who choose a conservative approach in design and color.

What if I have allergies, will it still work for me?
Many people love permanent cosmetics because it replaces the topical makeup they may be sensitive to because of allergies to talc or perfumes or other ingredients in topical makeup. Contact lens wearers especially enjoy not having to worry about makeup becoming lodged under their lenses. The key to success for those with irritated eyes as a symptom of their allergies is to do the procedure when the allergies are under control.
I have heard that this is a two or more step process. Why is that necessary
A multi-step process is necessary for several reasons. One reason is due to the condition of the skin. Each skin that I see is different. Some skins are thicker and healthier and more pigment can be implanted in one session. Others are thinner and require less implantation in one session to maintain the integrity of healthy skin in the area. Your individual skin will tell me when it has taken all the pigment it can absorb in one visit.
In addition, fine details, increased color depth, or design adjustments are easily made after the initial healing is complete. A follow up visit is always scheduled if only to meet and take a final photograph, and agree that no further work is necessary. I find it is better to work conservatively and add more as needed.  You can always add color but removing tattoo color is never easy and always with issues.
If this is permanent, why are color re-enhancements needed?
The major issues affecting the pristine appearance of your procedure is exposure to the sun, changing health conditions, medication, hormonal changes, certain skin treatments like IPL, and the affects of skin products. At some point in time after your initial procedure, you will want to refresh the color. All color fades. If you put a red blouse out in the sun for a long period, it will eventually fade to pink. The sun, products used on the face to encourage accelerated skin cell renewal, and affects of medications and health conditions all affect the pristine appearance of permanent cosmetics over time. Usually clients return between two to five years for a color re-enhancement. The time element is totally unique to each individual.
Are these procedures considered safe?
Yes, permanent makeup is a safe process if conducted by a trained artist that follows the proper sanitation and sterilization principles set forth by OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Oregon requires technicians to stay up on their classes in Bloodborne Pathogens and as a CPCP technician it is part of those requirements also.

To ensure client safety, I use only pre-sterilized manufacturer sealed single use needles. I never open these until you are in my chair ready for the procedure. All used needles are placed directly in a Sharps container after the procedure has been completed – needles are never reused. All procedure accessories used are disposable single-use items. After each procedure the area is cleaned, disinfected and prepared for the next client. I use the latest most effective long-lasting antimicrobial technology to protect my clients and myself.Each client is give appropriate home care products and instructions to use after the treatment.  It is your responsibility to take care of this fresh wound properly.

Will I be uncomfortable during the procedure?
Each person’s response to this question will vary, as each client’s threshold to discomfort is different. This industry has benefited greatly from today’s advanced technologies. We have excellent topical anesthetics, which normally reduces discomfort to a minimum.
How soon before I can resume normal activities?
Usually the same day if you wish, although it is always recommended that clients return home and take it easy. Many times it feels comforting to apply ice packs to the  procedure area.  Normally procedures produce very little swelling and/or long lasting irritation to the surrounding skin. As a result, you may resume normal activities, as long as they do not have an adverse affect on the healing process such as excessive sun exposure, swimming, or exposure to a dirty environment. You will be provided with detailed aftercare instructions at the completion of your permanent makeup session.
Are there any restrictions or requirements of those seeking permanent cosmetic services?
You must be 18 years of age. You will also need to answer health related questions and complete a consent form.. The prime concern is that you will heal well after the procedure. Those who have any condition that requires them to take an antibiotic prior to general dental cleaning or who is an insulin dependent diabetic will be asked to consult with their physician before proceeding. Anyone who has a history of fever blisters or cold sores and requests lip tattooing are required to contact their physician for an anti-viral medication to help prevent the occurrence of a breakout. Any trauma or extreme sun exposure on the lip tissue can result in an outbreak. I do not offer services to women who are pregnant or nursing. Your health and safety is my primary concern.  If I have a question or concern about a medical condition, I will refer your to your physician to get clearance that this is a safe procedure for you.
It is recommended that if you are having Botox or fillers, have the permanent cosmetic application first or wait 10 days to 2 weeks to have the tattooing done.
Are there any suggestions for scheduling permanent cosmetic procedures?
Because of the “fresh” appearance of a new cosmetic tattoo, it is suggested they are scheduled at a time two to three weeks before a special event such as vacation or an important social gathering. Also, due to the swelling properties of a full lip color tattoo, many people who work outside the home schedule this particular procedure when they have a couple of days off before they return to work. Other procedures do not produce concerning swelling, however it is generally recommended that a client return home immediately after the tattoo process to keep the area clean and to rest.