Considering Permanent Cosmetics?

Considering Permanent Cosmetics?

The field of Permanent Cosmetics (Cosmetic Tattooing) is rapidly expanding in popularity. Women all over the country are discovering the benefits of having Permanent Eyeliner, Eyebrows, or Lip Color. What could be better than to wake up in the morning not feeling the need to dash to the bathroom and apply makeup before you see anyone? Think of the time and personal stress you could eliminate.

The benefits of Permanent Cosmetics are being discovered by people from all walks of life. Permanent Cosmetics NW clients include professional women, athletes, those with poor eyesight or unsteady hands, those with sensitivities to traditional cosmetics and those whose work precludes wearing makeup. Properly applied Permanent Cosmetics are so natural your neighbor will never know you are wearing them unless you choose to reveal your secret. We hope you will as most new clients come from referrals of happy customers.

Once you make the decision to have Permanent Cosmetics applied you have the important task of finding a qualified technician to do the work on you. While we hope you will visit us, we realize that distance may prevent this. So here are some guidelines to this critical decision.

Locate a qualified technician in the same manner you would find a new doctor or dentist. The State of Oregon in licensed and regulated but there are no national uniform regulations in the country. Because of this it is important you learn as much as possible about the industry so you can determine who is a qualified professional in this field. Remember you are altering your appearance permanently so make your decision carefully.

It is important you visit the facility where the work will be done. The Center for Disease Control requires physical cleanliness and a sanitary working environment. Does the location you are visiting meet this outward criteria? Is the work being done in a private room where other contaminants, such as acrylic nail dust, hair particles, sprays or water borne molds cannot circulate in the air? Is there lots of adequate light? Good light availability will greatly enhance your procedure outcome. Natural light is the best.

Is the technician clean and neat? Do they use new gloves for every client and are they readily available in case they need to change gloves during the procedure? Do they use clean protective coverings on your chair/bed? Are the technician's nails clean and short? Most importantly, do they use new sterile needles and equipment with each client?

Ask about the technician's background. How long have they been in the industry and how many procedures have they done? Ask to see all certificates of training and continuing education. Are they prominently displayed on the wall or in a readily available book for your viewing? Since this field is rapidly evolving, continuing education is a must. For someone relatively new to the industry, ask how many hours of training they had. While a two-day course used to be standard now this is severely frowned upon. Even a 100 hour course is barely adequate to get a technician operational. If the technician you are considering is new, ask about what other training or background they may have to assure you are going to get quality work done. A background in makeup artistry, esthetics, cosmetology, nursing or Electrology may enhance their skill level. To make it more complicated, not all trainings are equal. Did the technician take an SPCP Approved Course? This is your only assurance that minimal standards have been met both in content and by the trainer. Oregon's requirements are the highest in the nation with at least 360 hours of training and 50 completed procedures. You should still select your technician carefully as there are differences in style, technique and natural skills just as with any other profession.

brows2-small.jpgLook at the technician's portfolio and inquire if this is their own work. Does their work match your personal style as to how intense the finished work is, how wide the eye liner. Are you seeking a natural brow hair-stroke eyebrow or a penciled on look?

If you desire to have your lips colored permanently, find a technician who is experienced in this procedure. Avoid choosing just lip outlining. Anytime you do not have lipstick on it will appear that you have a ring around your mouth. Most people who have this done are less than pleased with the result. Instead choose a natural lip color and have your technician enhance the lip outline to make it clearly defined.

Lip work is more advanced than eyeliner and eyebrows and should only be entered into after consultation with the technician and a review of their picture portfolio. Because of the inherent problems with cheek blush and eyeshadow, we avoid these services and do not recommend them. Properly done you cannot tell they have been applied. Improperly done and you may look like a clown or worse. If you normally wear foundation, this will hide the cheek blush. If you are desiring blush because you spend a lot of time outdoors, the sun will quickly fade your investment. Laser or IPL services can have a very negative impact on cheek blush and may prevent anti-aging treatments from being performed.

The same cautionary approach should be used toward any camouflage work. Persons with less than three years experience should not be doing camouflage procedures. Discuss in depth with your technician that camouflage is the best course of action for you. It may be great for small facial surgery scars but not to resolve large area problems. Only you and your experienced technician will be able to decide if this is right for you.

A specialty form of camouflage tattooing is the re-coloration of nipples on the bust post-mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Cosmetic tattooing the areola can create a natural look that helps complete the feeling of being healed, especially if you want to minimize attention to your medical condition in a shower room or anywhere else you may be disrobed.  Judy has numerous physicians not only locally but statewide that refer clients to her for this sensitive procedure.

As you do your research into this industry, bear in mind permanent cosmetics are tattooing and must be thought of as lifelong. Like any other tattoo, pigments will fade and may need re-enhancement. How soon this may be needed will depend on many factors including your lifestyle, medications and the technique  employed. It is important you be comfortable with your technician before you start. For a few hours you will have a special relationship with your technician. You must be confident the technician will give you a look you will be comfortable wearing for many years. Please visit our sister website: for before and after photos and more information on these services.

Judith Culp, CIDESCO Diplomat and Certified Permanent Cosmetic Professional (CPCP) with over 20 years tattooing experience.