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Woman Getting Permanent Makeup Applied to Lips

Are you considering permanent makeup? Or maybe you’re just curious to learn about what exactly it means. The KeyGlam team took a deep dive into the world of permanent makeup — sometimes referred to as micro-pigmentation — to help bring some clarity to what’s involved and how it can be used to enhance your look over the long term. Check out our permanent makeup informational guide below.

The Basics of Permanent Makeup

Beauty enthusiasts can choose from a wide variety of permanent makeup treatments these days, but the most common types involve the same basic process — a highly skilled clinician will use a specialized pen to embed pigment (think of it like tiny specks of ink) under the surface of the skin to achieve long-term results that mimic everyday makeup. Some of the most popular forms of permanent makeup include:

Permanent Eyeliner

Permanent eyeliner offers the chance to help keep your eyes looking fierce and flawless 24/7 without the need to sit in front of the mirror with a steady hand. Permanent eyeliner can help your eyes look like you carefully penciled them to perfection, even after hopping out of the shower or the pool. During a permanent eyeliner appointment, your clinician will carefully apply a dark shade of pigment (typically either brown or black) around the edge of your eye to mimic the appearance of an eyeliner pencil.

Permanent Eyebrows

Permanent eyebrows, or microblading, involves using a specialized tattooing pen with very fine pointed tips to apply tiny amounts of dark pigment under your skin, typically in very thin streaks to mimic the appearance of natural eyebrow hairs. The technique can help you achieve fuller looking and better defined eyebrows day in and day out.

Permanent Lipstick and Lip Liner

Permanent lipstick involves using pigment to enhance or enrich the color of your lips, while permanent lip liner involves using a darker shade of pigment to better define the outline of your lips. The two techniques are often used in tandem together to achieve the most natural looking and long lasting results, though you shouldn’t expect to go for ruby red or more dramatic shades.

The 3 Main Benefits of Permanent Makeup

  1. Look Like You Just Applied Makeup All Day Long
    • Smudge-proof
    • Water-proof
    • Doesn’t Rub Off At Night
  2. Save Money
    • Makeup
    • Makeup Removal Products
    • Eyebrow Extensions
  3. Cover-Up Any Blemishes
    • Got A Lip Scar? Well You Can Color In That Part Of Your Lips To Match The Rest Of The Lip
    • Or Sparse Brows? Fill In Your Eyebrow Line Seamlessly With Microblading.

How Long Does Permanent Makeup Last?

Although the pigment used in permanent eyeliner is considered “permanent,” most people typically go for touch-ups every three to five years to maintain the best looking results. You should keep in mind that there are several semi-permanent alternatives available for the options we reviewed above, so we recommend trying those first if you’re unsure about committing to permanent makeup.

Potential Risks of Permanent Makeup?

Since the results can last for a lifetime, the biggest risk of permanent makeup is ending up with results that you don’t love. Fortunately, it’s possible to fix many problems through touch-up appointments, but you should understand that the process of completely removing the pigment used in most permanent makeup procedures can be costly and extremely time consuming.

In terms of downsides, the most common complaint is pain from the actual procedure, since areas around the eyes and lips can be extremely sensitive for some people. Infections are also possible, and this risk is greater with permanent makeup procedures that are performed around the eye. 

It’s extremely important to choose a highly skilled clinician when it comes to all forms of permanent makeup because the best, most natural looking results require a huge amount of finesse and artistry.

Share Your Experience with Permanent Cosmetics

Have you received permanent eyebrows or another form of permanent makeup? We’d love to hear from you, since your insights can help our readers better understand whether permanent makeup is right for them. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Passionate writer and internet sleuth willing to scour the internet to separate fact from fiction. Natural and eco-friendly enthusiast who believes sustainability makes for a better business and product. At-home beauty experimenter and master of the DIY arts.