The 411 On Permanent Makeup

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Wouldn’t it be nice to order “pre-done” makeup? Have a little makeup artist fairy visit you while you sleep, so you arise freshly painted? No more sleepy-fumbling for the eyeliner or spilling over your gy-normous cup of makeup pencils as you rush out the door. Yes, Virginia, you can wake up to a face that’s already made up and look younger in the process…with permanent makeup.

People of all ages — from 19 to 89 — are flocking to get permanent makeup “tattooed” onto their faces. Not just the ladies, either.

And, if you haven’t heard: It’s not “clown-makeup.” It looks natural!

I recently spoke with Dr. Laura Reed, owner of Artistic Cosmetic Solutions in Garden Grove, CA who’s nationally certified, and who’s performed thousands of permanent eye liner and eyebrow procedures. Talk about a prolific painter!  That’s 10 times the national average of procedures in terms of volume!

She tells me that convenience is a major factor for getting permanent makeup. But it’s not just the time-challenged who get this service. Here are some others who are strong candidates for permanent makeup:

Cancer Patients — Permanent makeup can be a life-changing service for people diagnosed with cancer who are ready to go through chemo and who know they will lose their eyebrows in the process.

Then there’s:

Heavy Lifters — Active people who work out a lot and don’t want to deal with makeup smudges.

Mister Magoos — People who have a hard time seeing where to put the makeup.

Miss Slicks — Women with oily skin who have to keep reapplying eyebrow pencil.

Frequent Flyers — Heavy travelers who want to look refreshed on the red-eye.

Suzie Shakey Shakes — Any gal who is losing her motor skills and can’t seem to apply her own makeup any longer.

So, as a person who knows that our cells are constantly turning over and renewing, is permanent makeup really permanent?  

Dr. Reed explains that permanent makeup is both permanent and semi-permanent:

“It is permanent from the standpoint of placement, i.e., an eyebrow design.  

”In terms of color, it’s semi permanent. Although the pigment is implanted in the middle layer of skin, cells do turn over and the pigment will fade. The color fading will be faster or slower depending on if you smoke, are always in the sun or are taking any medications.”

So permanent makeup essentially is extended-wear makeup. You’ll need to refresh every few years, but in the meantime, it’s wash and go, baby!

Is Permanent Makeup Ink Safe?

Well, the colors they use in permanent cosmetic tattooing are not inks or dyes — technically, they are sterile pigments and they are regulated by the FDA. They are actually safer than real tattoo ink cuz they have larger molecules and the equipment used is more gentle than that jackhammer coil machine you see at your local biker tat shop. A topical anesthetic is used before application.

Is it dangerous to have permanent makeup applied to eyes for eyeliner or lashes?

Well, it’s tricky — so you want someone who knows their stuff …stuff about proper sanitization and ocular health. (Dr. Reed is one of a rare 10% of permanent makeup technicians who have a healthcare background as well.)

You can get permanent eye liner and also eyelash face enhancement, which is implanting pigment on the roots of eye lashes to make the eyes look bigger and lashes fuller in an extremely natural and subtle way.  You can even get a scar tatted  to match the color of surrounding skin to help hide it.

This doc says she has lots of celebrity clients too — but she’ll never tell — something about not wanting to be passed over for a role if the public knew they had cosmetic tattoos. Guess we will just have to guess who!

With permanent makeup, Poof! No more messy makeup!

~Pitching Those Pencils,

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The Anti-Aging Analyst

By | 2017-05-19T02:38:27+00:00 May 1st, 2011|permanent makeup, skin|1 Comment

About the Author:

Eliza is an anti-aging journalist, coach and skincare/wellness consultant who has written hundreds of articles on anti-aging products and procedures, beauty and skincare. She writes regularly for The Los Angeles Examiner, and has been published in Hawaii's Inspiration Journal, and Hawaii Wellness Magazine, and quoted in various beauty blogs and newsletters including New You Magazine and more. A former Chicago reporter and analyst by nature, Eliza created Eliza's Anti-Aging Arsenal ( a blog for people over 40, where she shares anti-aging tips, tricks and tools, vents a lot, and is known as "The Anti-Aging Authority With Attitude." Connect with Eliza at

One Comment

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