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Microblading, Tattoos and Permanent Makeup

Microblading, Tattoos and Permanent Makeup

Brows in the hairstroke style

Brows in the hair stroke style

A recent magazine article opened with this phrase… “Microblading, tattoos and permanent makeup are more popular than ever.” This reflects a new trend I see happening. Re-naming things to gain market share. And actually… it’s just history repeating itself.
 
A tattoo, by definition, is implanting pigment into the skin in a way it doesn’t exfoliate off as the skin heals. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s still a tattoo. Even skin coloration dots used for radiation are a tattoo.
 
Other names you will hear are:
· embroidery,
· micropigmentation,
· dermal pigmentation,
· feather stroking,
· hair strokes,
· scalp micropigmentation,
· hombre brows,
· 3D brows,
· 3D areola coloration,
· cosmetic tattooing,
· permanent cosmetics/ permanent makeup
· microblading.
 

Why all the names…

healed

Blended stroke brows

The techniques vary slightly but they are all forms of tattooing used to create the look of makeup. To learn one technique, or perform one technique, limits the ability to meet diverse needs. Think of it this way… one size never fits all.
 
So why did people coin all these different terms? Marketing. Even just 20 years ago tattooing wasn’t mainstream. “Nice” people didn’t get a tattoo. So they came up with alternative terms to step away from being associated with tattooing.
 
All that has changed. Now 40% of millennials, 30% of gen-xers, and 13% of the boomers have at least one tattoo. Many have more. The stigma of a tattoo is gone. Alternative terms are used for marketing or to describe a “style” of eyebrow work.
 

The key difference among tattooing is its purpose, where it’s placed and the type of pigments used.

Artistic tattoos…

Artistic tattooing is decorative in purpose. It’s placed anywhere on the body. That said, most experienced tattooists don’t like to work below the wrist, below the ankle or on the head. They call those areas “trash skin” because they don’t take the color well and it tends to blur quickly.
 
Their pigments are classical in formula using a full range of colors. They tend to be bright, clear and are formulated to replicate the tones found in nature. Colors will fade over time with exposure to UV. Carbon Blacks can blur and spread into wider lines.
 

Permanent Makeup…

With permanent makeup, the work is on the face or after cancer on the breast. Its purpose is to create a makeup look or replace missing color. Pigments are formulated to meet this purpose.

Long-lasting power brows

Long-lasting power brows

They use an iron-oxide black formula to minimize the risk of migration over time. The pigments are creating the look of makeup. They are blends, not color-wheel tones.

Work on the face, it gets regular UV exposure. Traditionally, color re-enhancement is 2-5 years. Microblading techniques for the eyebrows put in less color. They will need re-enhancement every 8-12 months.
 
Whether you are seeking microblading, tattoos or permanent makeup there is something more important than the name associated with a style of work. That’s the amount of training and experience of the person performing the service.
 
Traditional tattooists may spend a year, or several, learning their craft. Unfortunately for the consumer, this isn’t true with permanent cosmetics.
 

Considering microblading, tattoos, and permanent makeup? Do your research…

microblade tattoo permanent cosmetics

Brows in the hair stroke style

In most states, the only regulation on tattooing is the minimum age of the client. Some have regulations regarding infection control. But only a very few states have regulations regarding technician education requirements. In most states, it’s legal for someone to offer permanent cosmetics with little to no training.
 
If you’re a consumer… do your research. Find someone who has had more one or two days of training and can offer you the style of work you are hoping to achieve. Explore your options and feel comfortable with your choice. If you are searching for a technician, visit the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) website. They provide a list of technician members who meet national standards. https://www.spcp.org/thinking-of-getting-a-cosmetic-tattoo/find-a-technician/.
 
If you’re a technician or wanting to learn this art, invest the time and money to develop your skills. Look for a program that at least meets the SPCP training standards. They recommend all programs, even those teaching only one technique to be at least 100 hours. https://www.spcp.org/information-for-technicians/spcp-guidelines/.
Your reputation and your client’s face are in your hands.

Tattooing Freckles… don’t do it

Tattooing Freckles – don’t go there!

Every once in awhile I get a call about tattooing freckles. It seems there is a technician out there who is promoting this. They are probably pretty new to the industry and need guidance from an experienced mentor.  Sometimes in our rush to make clients happy, we make poor decisions that can lead to long term issues.

Your face is constantly exposed to UVA rays even wearing SPF. This causes pigment – especially brown colors to fade. Even if your technician can initially get a close color to the freckles you have, it won’t hold. The only way to protect the color would be to wear a bag over your head… a look most of us wouldn’t consider. 

Won’t it fade if I don’t like it?

So you say, well let’s try it and it’s okay if it fades off. Tattoos take years or even decades to completely fade away. Once done, you are stuck with it. Attempts at removal can leave you with pale or even white spots on your skin. This is due to the destruction of melanocytes in the process of the removal.
Also, keep in mind freckles are sun damage. They might be cute on a kid, but they age the adult. They also increase your risks of them becoming an unsightly skin lesion.If tattooed, they may make it more difficult for a physician to identify a possible cancer.

Use cosmetics to create or darken freckles

There are some nice semi-permanent – last all day, makeup pens that you can much more safely use to darken freckles if you like that look. Go with one of these to prevent your self a problem down the road.

All About Brows: Microblading, Hair Stroke, The Blend, Powder Fill, Shaded

Each client has their own unique vision of what eyebrows should look like.  Selecting an eyebrow style or technique must be matched to the individual client, their goals, their needs.  I never do a “cookie cutter” approach.  There is no one right or best style except the one that is best for  YOU!

Sometimes eyebrows suffer from fads. Skinny little lines or big fat brows that nearly meet in the middle of the nose.  Neither is a great choice for permanent cosmetics.  Yes, permanent makeup fades, but it takes a long time, years to completely go away. In the mean time you are stuck.  Changing brows once they are in place is very difficult. The end result will be better, but not as good as it could have been if done right the first time.

Your face, your bones dictate the best brow shape and placement for you.  If we don’t respect the bones, the brows don’t age as well.  You want them to look fabulous today, next month and years from now. I always take before and after photos so we can see you in your current makeup, without makeup, and the finished result.  I measure and mark, with your input. We design them together.

Brows should always be measured and marked – not done freehand.  You get a much better outcome. Why? Because everyone’s face is asymmetrical.  We want to give the illusion of them looking more alike but respecting the bones.  Together we evaluate your goals, your skin and come up with a plan to get your look.

Microblading is a current marketing style.  It is individual hair strokes which has been done for over 20 years.  The key difference is it is done with what they call a blade. But is is not really a blade. It is a manual tool with a single row of needles.  The skin is stretched taunt and the blade drawn across the skin in a slicing action. Done too superficially, it fades away in 4-6 weeks. Done too deeply, it can scar. Each hair is applied in a single stroke, not reinforced.  The finished look is individual hairs with skin showing through between. Because the strokes are not reinforced this technique requires at least annual re-enhancement.

Hair strokes: This technique can be done with a manual, or motor driven device. It uses a single row of needles like microblading. Hair strokes are implanted one at a time. Some may be reinforced for better hold. For a natural look strokes may be done in different directions. This technique needs re-enhancement every 18-24 months.

The Blend: This technique is done either with a manual or motor driven device. Needle choices are slightly broader.  Hair strokes are implanted and then portions of the brow, where hair naturally grows more dense are reinforced so the end effect is natural looking, with some hair strokes showing and some blended. Typically re-enhancement is 2-3 years.

Powder fill: If you are used to seeing yourself wearing pencil filled brows, this may be the look you really want. While the pigment is still implanted in hair strokes, they are closer together. Healed, the finished look is you in well designed, makeup. Skin does not show between the strokes. Some clients think they want the hair strokes, but don’t like the “holes” between them where skin shows through.  Re-enhancement varies from 2-5 years depending on many factors.

Shaded: This can be done with any of the other techniques.  It uses multiple shades of color to create highlighting along the top of the brow and shading along the bottom to give it more three dimensional feel.

Want to know more about your very best brows?  Call today: 541-344-7789.

Can Medications Really Affect My Esthetic or Permanent Cosmetic Service?

This is a common question clients often ask and the one word answer is Yes, medications can affect even the most simple skin care services.  Many medications have effects on the body aside from the reason they are being taken.  This is easily demonstrated – just listen to one of the many television commercials for prescription medications.  The list of possible side effects is rather staggering.  Of course not every person has these side effects but they can happen. Be sure to let your esthetician or permanent makeup artist know about all prescription and non-prescription drugs, supplements, topically applied products, eye drops, etcetera.  The more they know about what you use, the better an outcome they can help you achieve.  Do NOT stop taking your medications. Depending on the problem there are often workarounds. If your medication is a contraindication to doing the desired service your technician will probably recommend you talk to your doctor. Or they may request you confirm with your physician that having this procedure is safe for you. Your health and safety is our number one concern.

Cholesterol and blood pressure medications while not blood thinners, work to make the blood platelets not stick together. In permanent cosmetics this often means there may be more chance of a blood droplet coming to the surface. The down side is this molecule is bigger than the tattoo pigment molecule and can wash some of them away.  This leads to more color loss than would experienced on a client not on these medications.

Clients on thyroid medications often need permanent cosmetic procedures re-enhanced a little more frequently.  We have noticed that for whatever reason their color fades a little more quickly.

Blood thinning medications can also cause issues with permanent cosmetic procedures. You may be referred to get clearance from your physician.

Diabetic clients who are insulin dependent often do not heal as well and may be at a heightened risk for infection. They may need clearance from their physician for permanent cosmetic services, waxing or other more aggressive skin care treatments.

Use of retinoids (Vitamin A) or acids like Glycolic, Lactic or blends work to thin the dead skin of the epidermis. This means that a service like waxing, microdermabrasion or other exfoliating therapy increases the risk of skin irritation or even creating a wound.  Be sure to discuss use of any of these products, prescription or over the counter with your technician.

Restasis is a new concern as it has been observed that those who use it have increased sensitivity of the eyelid to the point that a permanent cosmetic eyeliner procedure is not well tolerated. Your technician may want you to discontinue use for 30 days before doing the tattoo procedure.  Do not restart use of the restasis for at least two weeks after your technician has determined it is completed. (Wait until all follow up work is finalized.)

Patients on chemotherapy drugs have a compromised immune system and may not heal well.  All of these drugs need your doctor’s written permission that this procedure is safe for you.

Botox and injectables are extremely popular today.  Any skin care or permanent cosmetic procedure is fine before having botox or injectables.  If you have had either a neurotoxin or filler injectable wait at least 2 weeks before having a facial massage, other skin care treatment, waxing, or permanent cosmetic.  The manipulation of the skin has a small potential for affecting the outcome and lasting of your injection site.  For a lip coloration procedure the best timing is before any fillers are injected. This has been clinically observed to produce the best most predictable outcome.

Herbs and supplements can also have an impact on the skin.  Some can cause blood thinning or skin thinning.  Be sure to provide your technician with a complete list of everything that you take so that we can avoid unexpected complications and make sure you have the safest procedure with the most positive outcome.

Esthetics NW

Permanent Cosmetics NW
81 Centennial Loop, Suite 3
Eugene, OR 97401

A division of Culp Enterprises, Inc.
Call to Schedule an appointment
Phone: (541) 344-7789

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