Permanent Cosmetics

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Permanent makeup (also called cosmetic tattooing, micropigmentation, or dermapigmentation) can be used to enhance facial features or to correct skin pigmentation problems. This form of tattooing is an increasingly popular alternative to conventional makeup. People who have rushed schedules, allergies to makeup products, skin disorders, poor eyesight, or poor hand-eye coordination, may find this procedure to be a great help. Over 100,000 people have had some permanent makeup procedure performed, including such celebrities as Dolly Parton, Raquel Welch, and Elizabeth Taylor.

If you are considering permanent makeup, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you consult a facial surgeon who is board certified or has completed a residency program that includes instruction in this procedure.


*The average cost per each Permanet Cosmetic procedure varies between $400 and $800. Advanced work may be charged at $150 to $250 per hour.

*Technically, permanent cosmetics procedures are considered permanent and cannot be washed off. However, as with any tattoo, it requires periodic maintenance.

Permanent Cosmetic procedures are considerate minimally invasive.





  1. What are some of the most common benefits of this procedure?
  2. How are the treatments performed?
  3. How is permanent makeup applied?
  4. How long do the treatments take?
  5. Where are the treatments performed?
  6. How much pain is there?
  7. What can I expect afterward?
  8. Ideal candidate:
  9. Risks:
  10. Other important information:


What are some of the most common benefits of permanent cosmetics?

Permanent makeup can be used to enhance certain facial features, or to give scar tissue a more natural appearance. Some of the most common permanent makeup procedures include: permanent eyeliner, permanent eyebrow definition, lip liner, and lip color. The fuller and more defined eyebrows and lips that result from this procedure can completely change an individual's appearance – and can create a more youthful, put-together look. It can also save time for those who want a new look without having to reapply makeup daily. And it can be a big help to people who are allergic to cosmetics, suffer from skin disorders, or for other reasons cannot apply makeup.

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How are the treatments performed?

During the initial consultation, you and your doctor will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. He/she will explain the different options available to you, the procedure itself, as well as its risks and limitations. He/she may review your medical history. He/she will also explain the kind of anesthesia used (if any), the facility where the procedure will be performed, and costs. Be sure to ask all the questions that you have about the procedure. Ask to see photos of the doctor's recent patients, before and after the procedure. Also ask for, and follow up on, patient references. Learning everything you can about your options, risks and benefits is the key to making an informed decision. See "Questions to Ask Your Doctor" below.

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How is permanent makeup applied?

Permanent makeup is made from vegetable products that are injected into a deep layer of the skin. Fine needles are used to inject the pigment. These needles may be attached to a coil machine (the machine used for most tattoos) or a rotary machine. The needle is dipped in pigment and then injected to insert the pigment into the skin. As the needle penetrates the skin, a small amount of bleeding may occur. At the end of the procedure, the skin is washed and an antiseptic cream may be applied.

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How long do the treatments take?

The length of the procedure depends on the area being treated and the particular technique used. Generally, it takes about an hour.

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Where are the treatments performed?

Permanent makeup treatments are most often performed in the doctor's office or an outpatient surgical facility.

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How much pain is there?

A topical numbing agent may be applied or an anesthetic injection may be used to numb the area. Most people experience some discomfort during the procedure. Discomfort may be less if the area treated is not close to underlying bone structure.

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What can I expect afterward?

The treated area is usually sensitive and swollen for the first couple of days following the procedure. A scab will form and naturally fall away as the skin heals over the next seven to 10 days. During this time, the skin must be kept clean to avoid infection, and the doctor may recommend that an antibiotic cream be applied to the area. During the healing process, it is important to avoid sunlight because the sun may have a lightening effect on pigment in the treated area.

Around four to six weeks after the initial procedure, a follow-up visit is scheduled to make any needed changes to the pigmentation, and to perfect the results. The color of the makeup may fade and need to be touched up at a later date.

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Ideal candidate:

In general, the best candidates for permanent makeup are:

  • In good physical health
  • Psychologically stable
  • Accepting of any limitations as discussed with surgeon
  • Realistic in their expectations for the outcome
  • Unhappy with conventional makeup because of allergies to cosmetics, skin disorders, lack of time, or for other reasons.

The above is only a partial list of the criteria that your surgeon will consider in determining whether or not this procedure is appropriate for you. Be sure to ask your surgeon if he / she considers you an ideal candidate for permanent makeup.

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Permanent Makeup Risks:

Allergic reactions to permanent makeup are extremely rare. It is also important to follow all of your doctor's instructions, before and after the procedure. Keeping the skin clean is an important step to avoiding infection.

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Other important information:

If you are unhappy with the results, it may be difficult but possible to remove the makeup with dermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing.

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The information on this web site is only intended as an introduction to this procedure and should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor as a guarantee of the result. The best method of determining your options is to consult qualified surgeons who are able to answer specific questions related to your situation.

*Disclaimer: Source: The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) - Most surgeons offer convenient payments plans for this procedure. Cost does not include anesthesia, operating room facility, hospital stay, and other related expenses. Costs may also vary depending on location.

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