Permanent Cosmetics 

What is it?

Permanent makeup is a cosmetic technique which employs tattoos (permanent pigmentation of the dermis) as a means of producing designs that resemble makeup, such as eyelining and other permanent enhancing colors to the skinof the facelips, and eyelids. It is also used to produce artificial eyebrows, particularly in people who have lost them as a consequence of old age, disease, such as alopecia totalischemotherapy, or a genetic disturbance, and to disguise scars and white spots in the skin such as in vitiligo. It is also used to restore or enhance the breast's areola, such as after breast surgery.

Most commonly called permanent cosmetics, other names include dermapigmentation, micropigmentation, and cosmetic tattooing, the latter being most appropriate since permanent makeup is applied under sterile conditions similar to that of a tattoo. In the United States the inks used in permanent makeup are subject to approval as cosmetics by the Food and Drug Administration. The pigments used in the inks are color additives, which are subject to pre-market approval under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, because of other competing public health priorities in the United States and a previous lack of evidence of safety problems specifically associated with these pigments, FDA traditionally has not exercised regulatory authority for color additives on the pigments used in tattoo inks.


The most obvious benefit to permanent makeup is waking up every day with your "face on." You can swim, exercise, shower and wake up still looking put together and ready to go. It can be ideal for the woman who is constantly on the go. Permanent makeup may be for you if:

  • You've lost hair due to chemotherapy, accidents, burns, or cosmetic surgery.

  • You have a difficult time applying makeup due to age or conditions, such as arthritis.

  • You have allergies to traditional makeup or have sensitive skin.


Permanent makeup it is a serious cosmetic procedure and must be performed by a licensed, trained professional. Don't forget to consider the risks or complications, including:

  • Infection. Unsterile equipment and needles can easily pass along infections such as hepatitis and staph bacteria. 

  • Granulomas. These are nodules that may form around material that the body perceives as foreign, including particles of tattoo pigment.

  • Scarring. If you are prone to developing scars, you may be at risk of keloid formation (these are scars that form beyond normal boundaries). 

  • Allergic reaction. Although rare, allergic reactions to the ink used in permanent makeup can be very serious, as it's difficult to fully remove all of the pigment. 

Although it may seem tempting to always have your face looking fresh and ready to go, consider that today's looks may seem dated in a few years.

There are many pros and cons to think about with any type of procedure, but just remember—when it comes to your eyes, they're irreplaceable! Consult your eye doctor before you get permanent makeup on your eyelids.