- Famous Tattooed People
- What is a GOOD tattoo?
- Deciding on a design
- My kid wants a tattoo
- Finding an artist
- Finding a shop
- In Preparation
- Surrender to the moment
- The process of tattooing
- Permanent Cosmetics
- The school of tattoo
- Glossary of terms
Permanent cosmetics are when a person has make-up tattooed onto their faces. Commonly, permanent cosmetics are eyeliner, lip liner, and eyebrows. It can be a big help to elderly women who can’t see their faces too closely to apply their make-up, because of poor close up eyesight. Less commonly permanent cosmetics are used to re-pigment an area of skin that has lost its pigmentation, such as a scarred area or nipple reconstruction after a mastectomy. Generally the surgeon can reproduce the look of the nipple and the pigment of the area is where permanent cosmetics come in.
If you are seeking to have permanent cosmetics done, please do very thorough homework. Not all cosmetologists are unﬁt to do this. Not all technicians are bad. I am telling you the following so that you will go about this process with open eyes.
This is a controversial area for us tattoo artists. Permanent cosmetics are tattoos on your face. Say it anyway you like, but that’s the fact. In California, where I work, the laws have just been changed to be encompassing permanent cosmetics in the tattoo laws.
The tattooing of the face is called “permanent cosmetics” because these technicians know that if you tell a little old lady you are going to be doing permanent cosmetics she will be more comfortable with the idea than she would if you told her that you were going to tattoo eyebrows on her face.
Most of the cosmetologists out there performing permanent cosmetics are not and have never been tattoo artists. Generally they go to a three-day training seminar. At these seminars permanent cosmetics are demonstrated and they practice on one another, and then are set loose on the general public. They may have been doing permanent cosmetics for years and have acquired more experience. I know tattoo artists that have been working on the skin on the rest of the body for 10 years and have incredible experience with different skin types that will not tattoo faces.
The companies that put on these seminars tell these technicians outright lies. For example, I was speaking to a woman who performs permanent cosmetics, and she informed me that the company that she does business with sold a product that removes mistakes. I asked for the information so that I could purchase this product and try it for myself. I immediately suspected monkey business because I have never heard of such a product. I went to their web site, spent $75.00 for a 2oz bottle of ‘exfoliating gel’ and a ‘how to’ video. The video was completely horrifying. It is full of close up shots of ‘technicians’ doing things to the skin on people’s faces, that I wouldn’t even think of doing on an armpit. The miracle gels ingredient list was; witch hazel, Glycolic polymer (an agent that keeps it in gel form), castor oil, methol glycol (an agent that keeps it from growing mold) and aloe cellose. So basically witch hazel, castor oil, and aloe. None of which has miracle tattoo removal properties. The reason it worked to a certain degree on the video was because the technicians were digging out the misplaced ink. I know that skin is resilient, I’ve worked with it for many years, but I would be curious to see the healed results of what I can only imagine as scarring.
I would not patronize a permanent cosmetic technician. I would not let a person with 3 days of questionable experience tattoo the bottom of my feet, let alone my face. I would see a reputable tattoo artist who has experience tattooing the rest of the body, and who has experience tattooing faces.