WHAT IS IT AND HOW IS IT DONE?
Permanent Makeup and Microblading are both a method of tattooing but with different final result. In any case it is a method of implanting pigment into the upper reticular layer of the skin. (About the width of a dime) It is a tattoo. It is achieved by tapping pigment into the skin with hand needles, or injecting pigment rapidly with a rotary or digital (power) device.
Microblading is a relatively new trend in permanent cosmetics that has been extremely popular in Malaysia and Indonesia for the last several years. It is permament makeup done with hand needles, but they are smaller and the technique is slightly different. Very fine needles are soldered into a single piece, which resembles a blade. This is then dipped into pigment and lightly, carefully, sliced into the skin to create what looks like individual eyebrow hairs that typically follow a pattern. It is sometimes referred to as 3-D brows. By itself it does not last as long (6 months to a year, depending on skin type) and not everyone is a candidate for it, depending on skin type and texture. So it’s always better to have some shading accompany the hairstrokes.
Machine done permanent makeup can create soft dimensional shapes through traditional tattoo shading and large mag needles. For example, an areola restoration is not just about implanting color in a circle. It is about illusion and three dimensional shading. If you want a fuller lower lip, there are traditional tattoo techniques that lend well to this situation as opposed to simply coloring something in. So depending on what it is you are trying to achieve there are several options available.
Gia will advise you on technique, design and color selection for your individual face either during a consultation (if desired) or during the appointment itself. There will be a follow up appointment (at no charge) for detail work, to evaluate the healed design and make any changes or additions as necessary. If a second follow up is required there may be a partial touch up fee in some cases.
WHO GETS PERMANENT MAKEUP?
You must be a minimum of 18 and if you are over 80 you must have the ability to heal properly from minor wounds. It is especially helpful for those who can’t wear traditional cosmetics due to allergies and skin sensitivities; active people who want to look their best for sports activities; those with limited talent or confidence in applying their own makeup. It also benefits the vision challenged who have difficulty seeing what they are doing; and others with dexterity related conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke survivors, cancer survivors and busy people who don’t have time to spend applying and refreshing makeup throughout the day and evening.
WHAT TYPES OF PERMANENT MAKEUP CAN BE DONE?
Permanent Cosmetic procedures can be subtle and natural or dramatic depending on what look you are going for. Options include:
- Eyeliner, top and bottom
- Lip Liner, full lip color and water color blending
- Scar Camouflage, Beauty Marks, Hair imitation, Lash enhancement and Areola repigmentation
NOTE: Some of these procedures use more advanced techniques (para-medical techniques) and thus require an experienced technician with advanced training. Please don’t go to a tattoo shop for these.
IS IT REALLY PERMANENT?
Yes and no. It is considered “permanent” because it is implanted into the skin and it cannot be washed off. However, fading does occur, requiring a touch up every 12 to 18 months. As with any pigment, it breaks down over time. Typically when that happens it fades to a slightly lighter and smaller version of what you had. If you never touch it again then after several years it will usually fade to an off color, especially on olive skin, as the iron oxides break down, revealing the base tone in each pigment and mix with the existing melanin in the skin. This is easily corrected and takes less time than it would to color your hair. Longevity varies from person to person depending on skin type, life style (sun exposure), the color(s) used for the permanent cosmetic procedure, the quality of the pigments and any topical products applied to the skin. You will need to maintain your permanent makeup and it is a commitment you must be prepared for. But the touch up is a perfect time to reevalute your color and design preferences. Trends change. Your hair color changes. You may want to change your look and that can certainly be done as long as the initial work is not done with some sort of stencil or in a very dark color (or a traditional tattooing device). Gia will never use a stencil and will custom mix your pigment formula according to your skin tone and eye color.
Your makeup should look soft and natural. You can always add to your eyeliner or darken your brows with a pencil for added drama. Remember that this is a tattoo, it is on your face. You will wear it to the gym, hiking, camping, swimming, etc. Bear this in mind when considering a desired color. Heavy black lines around the eyes may not be particularly flattering when you are 80. It may also have an effect on whether or not you are a candidate for certain types of cosmetic surgery down the road. Large, angular “microblade” eyebrows may be popular on Pinterest and Instagram right now but one day you may regret that choice. Your makeup should enhance your face, not dominate it. Think style, not fashion. Coco Chanel once said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress. Dress impeccably and they notice the woman.” The same can be said of makeup. So while Gia is happy to accommodate all kinds of requests, it is always advisable to keep it soft and she will help you make the best choice for your face based on years of experience in design and color theory.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The average cost per procedure varies but usually averages between $300-$800. Advanced para-medical work like scar revision, cleft palette and areola repigmentation may be charged at $150 to $250 per hour. The cost of the procedure should not be the most important issue when considering any body modification service. Most important is the training and skill of the person performing the procedure and the confidence of the client in that skill. You can get eyebrows done in Mexico for $40. But you may also get hepatitis C and what looks like sharpie pen on your face. Neither of those conditions are worth the risk.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
The initial procedure will generally take approximately 2 hours. In addition to the procedure itself, you will fill out a consent form, discuss color choices and facial mapping, take before and after pictures and discuss aftercare. Follow ups and touch ups typically only take an hour or less.
DOES IT HURT?
Most people experience some discomfort, particularly with eyeliner. This will vary according to each person and each type of procedure. Topical anesthetics are used to minimize any discomfort but the very first touch of the needle is the worst, it gets easier from there. A tetracaine/lidocaine blend is used on intact skin before the procedure and during the consent process. Then throughout the procedure a 4% lidocaine gel is applied over the broken skin to achieve a deeper anesthetizing effect. Most people report that the gel works within 10 seconds or less and makes all the difference in their comfort level. Very seldom do people actually bleed. Occasional pinpoints of blood may surface but that’s about it.
IS IT SAFE?
If proper sterilization and disinfection guidelines are met, permanent makeup is completely safe. Licensed Professionals routinely review Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updates and as well as any changes in the State Board regulations. Recertification every other year in Bloodborn Pathogens is also required to maintain licensure in most states. As for MRI scans, it is completely safe. The FDA banned the use of heavy metals in tattoo pigments back in the 60s. Numerous studies have shown that even for people who have large body tattoos there is little to no potential for irritation resulting from an MRI.
IMPORTANT Things To Look For:
- All Needles should be new and sterile for each client. Unopened, new and sterile needles should be opened in your presence.
- There should be a sharps container present for the safe dispoal of used needles. The room should have smooth walls, no carpet, and access to running water.
- Personal protection equipment such as disposable single gloves should be new for each client and changed during the procedure when needed.
- The technician should be clean and neat.
- The room or treatment area should be in an area free from other contaminants. Tattooing and permanent cosmetic procedures should never be conducted at trade shows or in salons where nail dust, aerosols or other chemicals are immediately present.
WHAT IF I DON’T LIKE IT?
Although the procedure is considered permanent, there is some flexibility in changing color or shape to an extent. Colors will appear darker immediately after due to oxidation but will soften and lighten during the healing process, often as much as 40%. The healing time is different for each individual. In most cases you will develop light scabbing on the 4th day. After that sloughs off your makeup will look smaller and softer. Remember that initially you have color on as well as in the skin. That color, when exposed to oxygen “oxidizes” much in the same way a sliced apple left on the counter will darken after 10 minutes. Once it heals, there is a veil of skin between the pigment and what the eye can see, creating an oxygen barrier and muting the overall effect. This makes it appear lighter. When the swelling has subsided the entire area will look smaller because the skin isn’t as stretched. Be patient. This is why you have a follow up appointment scheduled. After it has healed completely, you are better able to make an informed decision about the color and design. 9 times out of 10 people want to add more color or thickness to more closely resemble when it’s “freshly done.” The only reason you should not like your permanent makeup is if there was a communication failure on design and color. Things to consider:
- If you want something very specific but can’t quite communicate with Gia, it is possible your desires will not be realized. In that case, bring pictures of what you want or even something similar. Also, if you feel very strongly about a certain result, then bring pictures of what you don’t want. Just to enhance communication.
- If you can’t agree on color and design, it’s best to not go through with it. If you want black lipliner and Gia says you should do pink then don’t do something you don’t want to do out of impulse.
- Don’t request eyebrow color based on your tinted hair color. That is subject to change and it may affect how you then feel about the color of your permanent eyebrows. Eyebrow color should be selected based on your skin undertone and the color of your eyebrow hair (if any) or eyelash hair.
- Conversely, most well-trained artists will not perform a procedure if the design and/or color requested by the client is unreasonable. If your requests are turned down by one or more artists, re-think what you are asking for. (think black lipliner)
- Permanent cosmetics are not easily removed. Make good decisions up front. Do your research and choose a qualified professional that you work well with and you will love your new makeup.
WHAT DO I EXPECT AFTER AND HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF IT?
Aftercare Instructions for your Permanent Makeup:
What to expect
•You should expect to feel sore for at least two to three hours after the procedure.
•If you had your lips or eyes done, you should expect some puffiness, which is worse the next morning but it will subside after you get up and move around.
•Remember the color is going to be very dark for the first few days until it starts healing. Pigment reacts with the air. But the true color, when healed, will be about 40% lighter. Trust me, trust the process.
•Expect to have some flaking on Day 4. (keep applying vaseline). Do not scratch or pick.
What not to expect
•You should not expect it to be perfect after only one session. Permanent makeup is a process and requires typically 2 sessions for final results. Overworking the skin in the initial appointment can result in scarring or skin trauma, which then mobilizes the immune response and rejects pigment. The skin will only hold so much at a time.
•The term “permanent makeup” is a misnomer. It is not permanent but rather semi permanent. It will require follow up to the initial appointment and touch ups approximately every year for brows, every few years for lips and eyeliner, depending on how dark you want it to be. Microbladed 3-D or hairstroke brows only last 6 months to a year. It is recommended that you have a combination shaded or powder-fill technique for longevity.
•A common misconception after having a lip procedure performed is that you will always have a wet, glossy look. This procedure is only for adding color to the lips. It will not simulate lipstick or lip gloss.
Treatment & Precautions
•If at any time you experience severe itching, swelling, burning, redness or irritation within days or a week of the procedure contact me immediately so we can determine the cause and if any medical treatment is necessary.
•You must keep the area moist at all times until completely healed. Use vaseline provided. This will help keep peeling to a minimum and maintain your color and comfort through the healing process.
•Use a clean Q-tip, from a covered container to apply vaseline then throw it out. Do not reuse the same Qtip. Do not use a Qtip that was sitting on your counter, in an open decorative jar, or in your makeup bag as it may be contaminated. Staph lurks everywhere and the last place you want it is in your face or eyes!!
•Do not use any harsh face cleansers or over the counter healing creams, ointments, sprays or gels. This may cause irritation and burning and could possibly lead to infection. Your face and eyes are the most sensitive areas of the body and may not react the same as another area you used your favorite healing product on.
•Remember that this is an open wound and should be treated as one.
•Do not go swimming until completely healed. The bacteria in the water may cause infection.
•Stay out of the sun and tanning booths, this will not only irritate the wound but fade your color tremendously.
•If you had a lip procedure done, stay away from spicy foods and things with salt
•Do not use Mascara or eyelash growth serums or any other product on freshly done eyes due to the bacteria living in your brush. This also applies to lips. (no lipstick or liner until healed .)
•Keep your hands away from the area. Don’t scratch, rub, pick, or touch. Your hands and fingernails carry many germs.
•If you see the area starting to peel, do not help it along. Doing so will pull color out. No picky!
•Keep your face away from animals for the first 4 days as hair and pet dander may cause infection. (especially while sleeping)
Note: When the surface of your skin is healed you may continue your usual makeup routine. Please know that underneath the skin may not be completely healed and you will not be eligible for a touch up until three weeks. You may stop using vaseline after the 5th day unless it still feels dry or tight, in which case periodic application is still advised.
Consultations are free but an appointment is required. Permanent makeup cannot be booked online. Please call for an appointment.
*Note: If you already have existing permanent makeup by someone else and require a touch up you may be charged as a new client if it requires correction. A color refresh is a touch up.
Eyebrows: $350 – $400
Eyeliner Top AND Bottom: $400 (No cat eye or butterfly edges)
Eyeliner Top OR Bottom: $300
Lipliner / Watercolor Blend: $350 – $400
Touch Ups: $150+ (color refresh, not correction)
Color Removal and Correction $400 initial session and $150 per follow up session until it is complete.
Paramedical work $150 per hour
Visit our facebook page for before and after pictures facebook.com/indulgencemontrose