Semi-permanent makeup can be the solution to so many of our beauty worries, from filling out an ageing lip line to restoring the natural look of breasts after cancer surgery. As a means of enhancing a youthful appearance semi-permanent make-up is often a great alternative to fillers and Botox and is used for a wide range of treatments such as lip enhancement, eyebrow tattoos and scar coverage.
Well filled out eyebrows and a perfectly drawn eye-liner can take years off of the face and semi-permanent makeup doesn't carry the risks associated with invasive cosmetic surgery. If nothing else, semi-permanent makeup is a great time saving device – you'll never need to worry about popping to the toilet to reapply your lipstick or eyeliner because you know you'll always have a perfectly fresh face.
What can be achieved with semi-permanent makeup?
When people think of permanent makeup they think of harsh tattooed on makeup lines which remain indelibly on the skin, turning an unnatural color and looking increasing misplaced as the skin ages. However modern techniques can create a look far from this unflattering image, inherited from the 80's when the treatment first became popular.
Today's techniques can achieve fine light lines of color which can be subtly layered to create natural results indistinguishable from regular makeup. This can create great looking effects with popular techniques such as eyebrow tattoos and lip enhancement. Most semi-permanent makeup these days lasts for the amount of time that that client desires so they don't have to worry about it looking odd as the skin ages.
Most treatments start with a consultation and color analysis to discover what the best makeup look for each individual is. Pharmaceutical grade pigments will then be custom mixed to suit their coloring. An airbrush type gun is used to add pigments to the top layer of the skin (the dermal layer) and often a numbing cream will be applied to the area before this happens. For the first couple of days the pigment may appear darker than it will eventually look. The surrounding area may also be slightly red but scabbing is infrequent. A retouch might be scheduled for a few weeks later to achieve a perfect result.
Popular semi-permanent makeup solutions
For really natural looking brows, soft thin hair lines can be achieved using multiple colors to create a beautiful full looking brow. This is a great option for those who have lost all their hair through alopecia or those who suffer from bald patches from over enthusiastic plucking. This technique can enhance the natural shape of the brow and add length where the tails of the brow are missing. Fuller eyebrows create a more youthful appearance and makeup techniques can be used to raise the eyebrows slightly creating a more uplifted look.
An eyebrow tattoo block technique is also available where one color is applied to create a flat shape. This might be preferred by some alopecia sufferers who are more comfortable with the block shape they are used to drawing on themselves. Blocks can be softened with lighter application and adding a few hair strokes, this can create a natural but strong looking color great for those who suffer from light color brows or older clients.
It's so hard to maintain a smoky eye look that lasts. Black pencil sitting in the creases below the eyes can completely ruin a makeup look making the eyes look tired and old. However a completely smudge proof eyeliner has yet to be invented. Liquid eyeliners offer a more long lasting solution but create a very strong black line and the application is very difficult for makeup mortals to master.
Semi-permanent eyeliner can be applied to varying degrees, whether that's a thin light line to bring out eyes framed by pale eyelashes, or a hassle free bold tattooed make up impact effect. Different techniques can be used to achieve the look of full lashes such as dotting between the lashes for a more subtle effect or stronger lines above the lash which can be layered to achieve the desired intensity or thickened at the end to give the eye an almond shape.
Semi-permanent lip liner and lip color can be used to completely transform the look and shape of the lips or just to give a subtle lift in color for more natural lip enhancement. It can remedy uneven lip shape and enhance the volume of one or both of the lips to create a more balanced full lip. Lips that have lost their shape and some of their volume and color as they've aged may benefit from this procedure and it's a good lip enhancement alternative to lip fillers.
Techniques include retracing the natural lip line to give the individual back their original shapely lips. This can be done in a very natural way by fading the line into the center of the lips. Color can also be added to the center to create a natural tint – clear lip gloss can then be added for a glamour makeup look.
Reconstructive breast surgery can result in very natural looking breasts, however many people worry about the appearance of their areola and the nipple after surgery. Semi-permanent make up is often considered the best long term solution for this problem. Pigments can be used to create a natural looking nipple and areola as well as covering up any post-operative scarring giving those who have undertaken breast surgery their confidence back.
Semi-permanent makeup is becoming a popular way of transforming burns, scars and postoperative scars. It often achieves excellent results when used to camouflage scars that are a different color from the natural skin color and can be useful in restructuring the texture of the skin to give a more natural look.
How long do effects last?
Generally, semi-permanent or tattooed makeup lasts at least several months. Many patients see great results for two years and can have color top-ups to maintain the look for as long as they wish.
Does it hurt?
Having semi-permanent or tattooed makeup applied is not as painful as having a regular tattoo; some people have described the sensation as similar to having their eyebrows plucked. Some salons will use local anesthetic to numb the area.
- Shading/Ombre Eyebrows $200+
- 3D Hair Stroke Eyebrows $400+
- Microblading Eyebrows $400+
- Upper eyeliner $200+
- Upper eyeliner with Wink $250+
- Under eyeliner $200+
- Upper and under eyeliner $400+
- Upper and under eyeliner with Wink $450+
- Lip Outline $250+
- Full Lip $500+
- Corrective Color $150+
- Removal Tattoo $150+
- Areola $800+
- Vitiligo Camouflage $250+