Permanent Cosmetics FAQ

Permanent Cosmetics FAQs

What are permanent cosmetics?

Permanent cosmetics, or cosmetic tattooing is implanting pigment into the upper dermal layer of the skin. Any pigment in the epidermis (surface layers) exfoliates off during healing. Permanent eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip colors are 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. The 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
  • cosmetic tattooing.

The last three are the most common terms.

You may have heard these marketing buzz words:

  • 3-d brows
  • microblading brows
  • hairstroke brows
  • ombre brows

Permanent cosmetics are not medical procedures.

Is permanent cosmetics 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 or to work outside a licensed facility.
The technician’s license and the facility license must be posted in public view. Look for them and assure they are current.  We are inspected by the state and must also post this report.
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.  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. We will start from there to select the shade and tones that will be the most flattering for you. We want it to look good now and in the future. As a professional makeup artist I am happy to guide and council so you get the most flattering brows/liner/lips.
Your lifestyle, personal tastes and your facial bone structure all are our guides.
Often at the consultation I will draw on brows to give you an idea of what it could look like.  Makeup tools like a pencil, felt tip pen or powder don’t offer the precision of hairstrokes achievable with tattooing.
Designing ensures you brows best suited to your facial structure.  We will not proceed with the procedure unless we both approve the design.

What if  eyebrow styles change?

Classical shapes are always in style. We’ll design your brow shape based on your own preferences and my professional suggestions. We’ll go for a look that won’t go out of style.  You are welcome to bring your pencil or pictures. Wear your brow makeup when you come in to see me.  I’ll listen to what you really want. Then use my makeup artistry skills to help create your most beautiful, flattering brows. My goal is eyebrows 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. It provides wonderful eye definition.

 Thin, medium and classical top and bottom eyeliners are very popular methods of decorating the eye area. We want to enhance your eyes. But an overly dramatic eye can be aging as we develop fine lines in and under the lower lashes.

We avoid working in the tear duct area, on the wetline or beyond the last lash.  Work in these areas can lead to medical issues or migrate.  We avoid “wings” as they tend to droop with age. A nice wedge holds up much better.

The key is to keep it simple. One can always add to an existing permanent design for more drama for those special occasions.

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.  Topical cosmetics may contain talc, perfumes or other ingredients that can be irritating.
Contact lens wearers especially enjoy not having to worry about makeup irritating their lenses. Have seasonal allergies? Let’s do the procedure when 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. Part of it is the nature of skin. Each skin that I see is different. I have to respect your skin and let it tell me when it is time to stop for the day.
It’s a combination of the area we are working on and your individual skin. Your skin will tell me when it has taken all the pigment it can absorb in one visit.
I do fine details, enhancing color depth, or tweaking the design after the initial healing is complete. Healed skin lets me see just where you might need another stroke.
A follow up visit is always scheduled. I find it is better to work conservatively and add more as needed.  I can always add color but removing pigment is always complex.

If it’s permanent, why are color re-enhancements needed?

All color fades. All tattoos fade over time.  Ultra violet rays, flourescent lighting all fade color.  Health conditions, medication, hormonal changes can affect tattoo longevity. Skin treatments like IPL, and some skin products can accelerate fading.
At some point in time after your initial procedure, you will want to refresh the color.  Usually clients return between two to five years for a color re-enhancement. The time element is totally unique to each individual.
Sometimes clients don’t come in for a re-enhancement for 5-10 years.  At this point the fade may be enough that we will be starting over rather than re-enhancing.  Adjustments to shape, like thickening may not heal evenly in a single visit. This means we need to treat it as a new, not a re-enhancement service.

Are these procedures safe?

Yes, permanent makeup is a safe process if conducted by a trained artist. We must follow 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. As a CPCP certified technician also required to maintain certification status.

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. Used needles go directly in a Sharps container.  Needles and procedure accessories used are disposable single-use items. I clean and disinfect my work area after every procedure.

I use the latest most effective long-lasting antimicrobial technology to protect my clients and myself. Each client takes home products and instructions to care for their new tattoo.  It is your responsibility to take care of the tattoo wound.

Will I be uncomfortable during the procedure?

Each person’s response to this will vary. Each client’s response to tattooing is different.  We have excellent topical over the counter anesthetics. They help keep discomfort to a minimum.

How soon before I can resume normal activities?

Most people can resume normal activities the same day. I recommend clients return home and just take it easy. Many say it feels good to apply ice packs to the procedure area.
  • Brows have very little swelling.
  • Eyeliner will generally swell like you’ve had a bad cry and resolves just as quickly.
  • Lips swell the most.  Swelling goes down about 50% per day.
We recommend no aerobics for 72 hours just to help kick start the healing process.  Please avoid 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.
  • It’s not how old you are, its how you will heal well.
  • Do you need to take an antibiotic prior to general dental cleaning? You will need to take it before any tattooing procedure.
  • Insulin dependent diabetic, or don’t heal well?  Please consult with your physician for clearance.
  • Undergoing chemotherapy? I will need clearance from your doctor.
  • Any surgery in the last few months? We will chat to make sure now is a good time.
  • History of fever blisters or cold sores and want lip tattooing?  You will need to contact your physician. It is important you be on an anti-viral medication to prevent the occurrence of a breakout.  The risk of a breakout is extremely high.  We want to protect you and have a beautiful outcome.
  • I do not offer services to women who are pregnant or nursing. Your health and safety is my primary concern.
  • Some medical conditions require physician clearance this is a safe procedure for you. We’ll talk in the consultation.
  • Having Botox or fillers? Either have the permanent cosmetic application first, or wait 10 days to 2 weeks after injections.

 Are there any suggestions for scheduling permanent cosmetic procedures?

New tattoos are darker, bolder and more intense than they heal.  If you have a special event such as vacation or an important social gathering coming up, give yourself time. In some cases you may want to wait until after the event to have the tattoo.
Due to the swelling of lip tattoos, schedule when you have a couple of days off before returning to work.
How clean is your work environment?  We can chat about this when scheduling.
Most procedures do not produce much swelling.  I recommend clients return home  or where they keep the area in a clean environment.