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Permanent Cosmetics
Permanent Cosmetics

Permanent Cosmetics Jokes are made about the amount of time women spend applying makeup. For some, this is a lengthy, natural part of their daily lives. Then, some find applying cosmetics to be bothersome and too time consuming. But others have physical conditions that make applying makeup difficult (i.e. allergies, cataracts, severe arthritis, etc.). Plus, cosmetics cost money and only last temporarily. Permanent cosmetics (micropigmentation) provide a way to save time and help women gain the appearance they desire. With micropigmentation, there’s no need to spend time and money on makeup routines that only provide temporary results.

Permanent cosmetics can help enhance appearance, and can also correct certain conditions. For those with little or no eyebrow hair, this procedure can provide more natural-looking results. Permanent cosmetics can also help cover up unsightly scars, and do not wash away, smudge, or fade in a few hours. The results can last for years.

With the increasing popularity of various cosmetic surgery procedures, including permanent cosmetics, it is important that the prospective patient research and understand different issues like what the procedure can and cannot treat, inherent risks, costs, and other factors. Keep in mind, cosmetic surgery is just that – a surgical procedure whose results cannot simply be erased. While the information contained in this website will provide you with a good introduction to permanent cosmetics, when considering this or any other cosmetic procedure, we recommend that you consult a qualified provider with significant experience. Some important elements you should understand regarding this procedure include the following:

Who would best Represent an Ideal Candidate for Permanent Cosmetics?

There are various reasons why women, (even some men) would choose to receive permanent cosmetics. The more common include:
  • Improving the appearance of thin or no eyebrows.
  • Improving the appearance of thin lips.
  • Correcting an uneven hairline.
  • Gaining a boost in self-esteem.
  • Feeling more confident.
  • Providing a solution for those allergic to makeup.
  • Saving time and money on makeup.


Where do I begin?

Those considering permanent cosmetics should first find a qualified cosmetic surgeon or makeup specialist to perform the procedure. has created an easy and effective way for patients to find a cosmetic surgeon online. For more information please

This is an important step to the procedure. During consultations, the doctor or specialist can learn more about their patients and vice versa. This visit gives them a chance to evaluate the patient’s skin tone, texture and complexion. As a result, the doctor or specialist can determine the proper pigment to best match the patient’s natural colors. These visits also allow the specialists to inform the patient of the benefits, precautions, risks, methods used and other important information.

Consultation visits also give patients the opportunity to talk about their goals and expectations for permanent cosmetics and to ask any other questions. It is important that patients are well-informed about the procedure before making a decision.

Types of Permanent Cosmetics

Here are some of the more common types of permanent cosmetics:

Eyebrow – this can benefit those with little, or no eyebrows. Permanent eyebrows can also help open up the eyes and change the frame of one’s face.

Eyelashes/Eyeliner – this provides a more natural look of fuller lashes. Permanent eyeliner can also help reshape the eye.

Lip color – adding permanent cosmetics can create more definition to the lip line. It can also help camouflage any lip scarring.

Note: Permanent cosmetics can also be used during breast reconstruction when recreating an areola.

How are Permanent Cosmetics applied?

Getting permanent cosmetics is similar to getting a tattoo. Patients are given topical anesthetic to numb the skin and, after the anesthetic takes effect, the specialist can begin. The procedure usually takes about one to two hours.

The doctor or makeup specialist uses a hollow, vibrating needle to introduce the pigment into the middle layer of skin (dermis). A droplet of the pigment is then released into the skin. The color used will look dark and shiny, while the surrounding areas will appear swollen and red. Patients can go home shortly after treatment.

A follow-up treatment may be needed to adjust the shape, color, and density of the permanent cosmetic.

Where is the procedure usually performed?

Permanent cosmetics / micropigmentation are usually performed in an office setting. However permanent cosmetic services are also seen offered at cosmetology centers, tattoo salons and beauty salons.

When looking for a place to receive permanent cosmetics, make sure the specialist who performs the procedure has extensive experience in applying the cosmetics and that the specialist has your best interests in mind. Be sure and check the setting where the procedure is performed for cleanliness and professionalism.

How Much Pain is Associated with Micropigmentation?

Most patients feel a mild discomfort. Topical, or local anesthetic is used to numb the patient and minimize pain. Most patients feel a slight stinging sensation, but no actual pain.

What is the road to recovery like?

After receiving permanent cosmetics, the treated area might be swollen and tender. Most patients are usually able to return to work the next day. While recovering, patients must follow the post-op instructions, which may include placing ice and ointment over the treated area. This may also include avoiding sunlight. Following these instructions can ensure better results and reduce the possibility of complications.

What Are the Risks and Limitations of Permanent Cosmetics?

All forms of cosmetic surgery carry some degree of risk. With permanent cosmetics, infection is the biggest possible risk. The other known risk is adverse reactions to the pigment used.

A limitation to permanent cosmetics is that they are not as permanent as one may expect. Sure, they are designed to be “permanent” just like tattoos, they do not wash away, smudge or fade quickly. However, permanent cosmetics, like tattoos, can fade over time. Follow-up treatments may be needed in a few years to maintain the results.

What Are The Typical Costs Associated With Permanent Cosmetics?

The costs for receiving permanent cosmetics can range anywhere from $350 to $600. These fees can vary depending on the procedure used. Fees within various regions may vary depending on whether the doctor’s practice is in an urban, suburban or rural area. This fee only covers the physician’s costs, and does not include other miscellaneous costs. A comprehensive cost figure may be obtained while consulting with the physician. Make sure this figure includes any and all associated costs. Unfortunately, most medical insurance providers do not cover cosmetic surgery procedures. However, most surgeons do offer multiple financing options.


Ten Questions Patients Receiving Permanent Cosmetics Should Ask Their Practitioner

To better educate the patient about permanent cosmetics, as well as assist in formulating realistic expectations, it is recommended that the patient look at before and after photographs, speak with previous patients, (you are always welcome to ask your doctor for referrals to previous patients and where to contact them) and get answers to the following questions:
  1. Are the desired results I described realistic?
  2. Where is the permanent cosmetics procedure performed and how long will it take?
  3. How many visits will I need to gain satisfactory results?
  4. What kind of anesthesia will the specialist use during the treatment?
  5. How much do permanent cosmetics cost and do any other elements factor into that cost?
  6. What is the surgeon’s level of experience in applying permanent cosmetics?
  7. What percentage of patients experience complications with the permanent cosmetics?
  8. What is the specialist’s policy in regards to correcting or repeating the procedure if the permanent cosmetics do not meet agreed upon goals?
  9. What should I expect, post-operatively, in terms of soreness, scaring, activity level and so on?
  10. Have you ever had your malpractice insurance coverage denied, revoked or suspended?
Don’t limit yourself to these questions. If there is something you do not understand about permanent cosmetics, do not hesitate asking the doctor questions.

In addition, it is important that permanent cosmetics patients relay to their surgeon information regarding any allergies and serious medical conditions they may have. Furthermore, patients should inform the surgeon about any medications they are taking.

This site provides information about plastic/cosmetic surgery and is designed to help users make decisions regarding their own treatment options. But medical information is not the same as medical advice--the application of medical treatment to a person's specific circumstances. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a qualified medical practitioner if you want professional assurance that our information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

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