Will My Permanent Makeup Last Forever?

Permanent makeup is a form of cosmetic tattooing that involves applying pigmented color (ink) to your skin so that it looks like you always have makeup on. This type of makeup is especially beneficial, if you have a medical condition like alopecia or vitiligo. However, it is also valuable for women, who do not have a health condition, but simply want to shave time off of their daily routine by not having to apply and re-apply their makeup.

The pigment used in permanent makeup is FDA-approved for facial tattooing, therefore it has been deemed safe – with a trained esthetician (skin specialist), makeup technician, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon. If you are wondering if your permanent makeup will last forever – the answer is yes and no. In actuality, the term, “permanent makeup” can be misleading. In one sense, the pigment used in permanent makeup will remain, in some form, on your skin; however, it will fade over time, so you will need to have it re-touched every few years.


You can receive permanent makeup on the lining of your lips and eyes, eyebrows, lips, hairline (scalp), scars and birth marks, and eyelashes. It is important to note that regardless of the procedure, you will probably experience some level of discomfort during and following the procedure. In fact, your lips and eyes consist of thinner skin, therefore they tend to be the most painful areas during permanent makeup procedures. Although the length of the procedure varies, depending on the location, in most cases, it is completed within 3 hours. Moreover, the cost of permanent makeup also varies depending on the location, but costs tend to range from $400.00 and $1,000.00, per tattoo. If the procedure is especially complex, the cost can range from $100.00 to $300.00, per hour.


It is important to remember that permanent makeup is not termed “permanent” because it will never “go away,” rather it called “permanent” because you cannot wash it away with soap and water. The pigment is injected into the deeper layers of your skin, therefore the pigment will remain “intact” until your skin stretches (i.e. weight gain or weight loss), and/or the pigment fades from sun exposure. If you want to maintain your permanent makeup, you will need to schedule periodic follow-ups to “refresh” your look.

Moreover, certain colors are more likely to fade quicker than others. Lighter colors like: tan, light brown, white, pink, yellow, and white tend to fade at a faster rate than darker colors like: black, navy blue, and red. It is important to consult with a skin and/or makeup specialist on the colors that will look best on you, and the expected length of those colors. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, or live in a sunny environment, you will probably need your makeup re-touched more often than someone who stays in the house more, or lives in a cloudier, darker environment.


It is important to note that permanent dyes can react differently on various skin tones, conditions and types, so make sure that it is the right choice for you before you make a life-long commitment to permanent makeup. In addition, if you start to experience a fever, breathing difficulties, a red, tender or itchy skin rash, and/or skin inflammation, following the procedure, contact your physician immediately.


Skarnulis, L. (2014). How safe is permanent makeup? WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/beauty/makeup/how-safe-permanent-makeup

The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. (2014). Permanent makeup FAQ. Retrieved from http://www.spcp.org/thinking-of-getting-a-cosmetic-tattoo/permanent-makeup-faq/








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