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Permanent Cosmetics - Pros and Cons


My brother used to call me Leonardo Di Vinci with the make-up because there's such a dramatic difference in the before and after. The curse of blond eyebrows and eyelashes. Permanent make-up could have saved me a lot of time and effort. Not to mention I'd have looked better at the beach and pool parties.

What are they?

Permanent cosmetics are basically tattoos applied in designs that replicate make-up on eyebrows, eyeliner and lips. I wouldn't go to a tattoo parlor, however. Not that those guys aren't artists, but this is your eyes and lips we're talking about, and it is permanent, so I would seek out a professional trained specifically in this area.

Is it safe?

According to Wikipedia, in the U.S., color additives used in ink are subject to FDA approval. I'm not saying that's a fail safe, but I guess it's comforting. Adverse effects (also compliments of Wikipedia) can include migration (color bleeds over to other areas), allergies to the pigment, scars, skin cracking, peeling, blistering and local infection. These aren't for sure, just saying they could happen.

What can I expect?

Depending on the look you're going for, results can be dramatic or more natural. It's a matter of design, color value and the amount of pigment used. At first the results may look darker, but will soften within a few days as it heals. Long-term, the colors can last for many years, or may begin to fade over time. Environment, the procedure itself and the individual are all factors for how lasting the results will be. Sun exposure can also fade the color, which is kind of a bummer, because one of the main reasons I'd want to do it would be to look good pool side. Skin tones are also a factor.

Common complaints

Too dark, wrong color, uneven and too big are complaints people have had about the procedure. A skilled professional can adjust color and evenness, but a design that's too large is a problem. Expensive pigment lightening or removal may be the only solution. So if this sounds like something you'd be interested in, it might not be the time to bargain shop.

One more thing to consider, make-up styles change, so don't go too extreme when dealing with permanent cosmetics. However, my sister is a tri-athlete and she had it done, and even after a long, hard race that includes swimming, biking, and running, she looks great crossing that finish line!


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