What Exactly Is Permanent Makeup and How Does It Work
If you’ve heard the term permanent makeup (PMU), you might have researched to learn more about it, which in return may have also created a lot more questions as well.
Permanent makeup – also known as cosmetic tattooing – is a service that provides the look of eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip color in a tattooed format. It is done with a tattoo machine by a licensed tattooist; typically, one who specializes in cosmetic tattoos. While traditional tattoo artists specialize in a variety of tattoos on the arms, legs, back, etc… a permanent makeup artist primarily specializes in the face, and in some cases, does nipple and areola tattoos as well.
A PMU artist takes a look at your facial features, skin tone, and any contraindications that might impact your healed results when working with you. They will typically do some sort of consultation prior to your service, whether it be prior to the appointment or just before. There are typically three main steps to having PMU done:
- The pre-draw/mapping out the area
- The tattoo itself
Your artist will talk to you about what you are looking for before doing anything. This discussion will include questions around your lifestyle (if you’re in the sun a lot for example), the products you use on your face, as well as your skin type. Then, she will map out the area being tattooed with a pen or pencil. The PMU artist will then have you take a look to approve the drawing and determine if any adjustments need to be made.
Once you approve the drawing, your artist will apply a topical numbing cream so that you are comfortable during the tattoo service. This is one thing that is often different than body artists, as most body artists do not numb the area prior to tattooing it. The face can be more sensitive; therefore, most PMU artists numb the area beforehand, as well as use a secondary numbing while working on the area.
Once you are numb, the artist will start the permanent makeup procedure. There are a couple of different modalities to do this, but the most popular method is done with a tattoo machine. Your artist will likely do what she calls “passes” for your eyebrows, eyeliner and lips. “Passes” is simply just how many times the artist goes over the area to ensure good saturation. It typically takes 2-4 passes depending on the artist and your skin type. The best way to imagine this would be if you were coloring in a coloring book. You might do one pass of color with a crayon, but then decide to do more if you want the area you are coloring to look darker.
Permanent makeup is a wonderful solution for women who are tired of filling in their eyebrows or eyeliner everyday, and for those who would like a subtle lip color or more of a defined lip if their lip line has faded over the years.
Hope & Olive offers free permanent makeup services to qualified recipients. Those who have dealt with life-altering circumstance such as (but not limited to) cancer, human trafficking, Trichotillomania, or burn trauma, so that survivors can do something different for themselves after all the appointments and treatments.