Posts Tagged 'permanent makeup'

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.

semi-permanent or permanent makeup

Lip color should  not be considered semi-permanent

Lip color should not be considered semi-permanent

How can I get semi-permanent makeup?

I routinely get questions about semi-permanent makeup. Women like the idea as it sounds less committed. But there are some illusions here.  Let’s explore them.

Definition of a tattoo:

Pigment implanted into the skin creates a tattoo. The needle goes through the epidermis (the part of the skin we see) into the dermis which is underneath it. As it heals, any pigment in the epidermis exfoliates off.  The pigment in the dermis stays there. The color can fade but the molecule remains.

Semi-permanent makeup

Some countries feel that because the color does fade with exposure to UV it doesn’t last a lifetime.  Since it fades they classify it as semi-permanent.  In the USA the thought is a little different.  Think of hair color for a minute.  A rinse is a temporary color that washes out with the next shampoo or two.  Semi-permanent color fades out over several weeks or a couple of months. Permanent hair color has to grow out.  This situation doesn’t exist for a cosmetic tattoo.

Cosmetic tattoos stay in the skin

Once it is in the dermal tissue, the molecule of color stays there.  Pigment molecules were identified via biopsy in tattoos where they color is gone. The color will eventually fade and need re-enhancement. How quickly it fades depends on the volume of color implanted. With microblading, the technician only makes a single stroke of color application. This means there will be significant fade in just a few months.  Other techniques reinforce the color stroke making it last much longer. A solid fill power brow can last for years with good sun protection.

Microblading only works for eyebrow hair strokes.  Never eyeliner or lip color due to scarring.  The only way to get less color in lips would be to apply less. But without reinforcement, the color has a higher risk of fading unevenly.

Can’t I just let it fade away?

Absolutely. Without re-enhancement the color will continue to fade.  But it doesn’t always fade evenly.  It may fade with lighter and darker areas. This isn’t technician error, it’s rather caused by the physical structure of the epidermal-dermal junction with thicker and thinner areas. To keep your work looking fresh and color-true, a re-enhancement every two to five years is best.  Lipcolor may be longer.

With a cosmetic or any other tattoo, it’s always best to approach it as permanent. Avoid fad styles and go with a more conservative, classical approach. Something that will enhance your natural looks and make you feel good about yourself for years to come.