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Makeup tattooing, or permanent makeup, is a genius way to shave minutes of your makeup routine every morning with a perfect set of brows, lips, eyeliner or pretty much anything you want (even heart shaped nipples). Learn more with our guide.

Makeup tattooing has a bit of a bad reputation, which is a little unfair, because the techniques and the products used nowadays are miles away from the products used ten years ago when a permanent eyebrow tattoo would have left you with stick thin, very obvious and very strange looking lines somewhere above your eyes. Now, if you go to see a fully licensed aesthetician or go to a plastic surgeon's office, making sure that you're in the right hands, you're almost guaranteed a natural result. But what actually happens during makeup tattooing, and is it permanent? We figure it all out, right here.

What Is Permanent Makeup Tattooing?

Permanent makeup tattooing is a form of micropigmenation — we know, it was a surprise to us too. The actual procedure uses a tiny, tiny needle, incredibly thin, to place pigments of color underneath the surface of the skin, one by one. The needle moves at an incredibly fast speed, which is why it makes a buzzing sound as it deposits the color pigments. 
 
The most popular procedure is eyeliner, followed by eyebrows, then lip color. Some clinics also offer blusher and eyeshadow color, but there are mixed opinions on this by aestheticians, because if you change your mind about colors, you are stuck with it until it fades. Also, if you have an allergic reaction, you're stuck with it over a larger area of skin. 
 
If you decide on a cheek or eyeshadow tattoo, think about it very carefully and discuss it at length with your beautician before you make the decision.

What Happens During A Permanent Makeup Procedure?

Your skin will be cleaned, using a gentle cleanser, and local anaesthetic will be used to numb the areas of your skin getting tattooed so you won't feel a thing. Keep in mind that the skin being tattooed here is far more sensitive to "normal" tattoos — the very fragile skin close to your eyes, for example — and so it would be painful with no anaesthesia. The clinician will then use the needle to apply the color to the skin, and when finished, may apply a bandage or a light cream to the skin to protect your skin from infection. 
 
Keep in mind though that infection could result in your skin creating a scar around the pigment, which could result in rashes, bumps and lumps within the skin. Over large surface areas of skin, such as the cheek, the only way you'd be able to fix it would be via major reconstructive facial surgery, so it's really important that you that you take all of that into consideration, perhaps by getting smaller tattoos on your eyelids or brows first of all.

How Long Do Makeup Tattoos Last For?

Depending on the formula and where you get the tattoo, they can last for anywhere between a month and three months. They aren't actually permanent, despite what the name implies, so if you want a more permanent look, you'll have to get it reapplied which could work out to be relatively expensive. However, if you find yourself getting through a lot of eyeliner (like us!) you might save money!
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