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Permanent Make-Up: Would You Do It?

By HERWriter Guide
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Cosmetics related image Photo: Getty Images

Permanent makeup, as we know it, has been around for about three decades. Now a mainstream service, both women and men are paying to have their eyes and lips permanently lined, their lips and eyelids permanently colored and eyebrows tattooed in. The reasons are varied – some have lost their facial hair to alopecia and want eyebrows permanently placed so that they no longer have to worry about drawing them in every day. Some are too infirm to apply their own make-up. Others do it simply for beauty – to wake up feeling ready for the day and heading out the door with already painted lips and eyes. For many, it’s a dream come true. But for others, these procedures can lead to infections, pain and permanent scarring or disfigurements.

What most qualified permanent make-up artists complain about is the lack of regulation in the business and the fact that anyone can do this, from fancy offices or basement studios with products (machinery and ink) purchased over the internet where ingredients aren’t necessarily monitored. When unqualified make-up artists apply these inks, along with machines purchased online, their clients risk very serious infections like HIV, hepatitis or staph, with generally no recourse other than to see a qualified medical doctor for treatment and on to a qualified cosmetic surgeon to correct damage done by make-up artists with little or no experience or expertise. The cost of this can be enormous. Allergies are also a great risk. Some artists double dip into ink used for a variety of clients or re-use needles, drastically increasing the risk of infections.

Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are now looking for mandatory minimum hours of training (much like aestheticians who require up to 2,000 hours of training, as opposed to no required hours for permanent make-up artists) and certification. Stories of burned eyes and mouths, blisters that can take up to a year to heal and serious and sometimes deadly infections and allergies are being reported more frequently because the services are used more frequently, with some clients ending up in hospitals.

Bottom line: like any cosmetic procedures, we often get what we pay for. Insisting on a qualified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon may be the difference between loving the products and its effect on self-esteem - or infections or permanent disfigurement. Know where the machinery and inks are coming from and make sure both are regulated. And make sure that if something goes wrong, you have some recourse to fix any problems that may arise.

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Would you consider permanent make-up? Have you had it done? Tell us your story!

Add a Comment2 Comments

Permanent cosmetics are indeed beneficial for almost anyone if they are performed by a certified permanent cosmetics professional. I always recommend clients to do their research and choose their artist carefully.
You can find certified professionals by looking under find a technician at the international nonprofit organization called the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. Their website is www.spcp.org

February 28, 2011 - 2:19pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have had my eyebrows done and am more than happy with having made this decision to do so. I am one of those people that seemingly has little hair for eyebrows and is naturally light in color. Having had my eyebrows done has saved me a lot of time and money as well as frustration as to having them done properly. I had it done by one that is properly trained and extremely hygienic in her work as a permanent makeup artist. I would say that if anyone wants this done and has access to a true permanent makeup artist, do it. I am more than pleased with the results (and best of all, most people do not even know I have had it done, it is that natural looking.)

February 28, 2011 - 12:57pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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