Permanent Cosmetics

Permanent Cosmetics or Permanent Makeup is a cosmetic technique that applies tattoos as a means of producing designs that resemble makeup, to the skin, face, lips, and eyelids. It is also used to produce artificial eyebrows and to disguise scars and white spots in the skin.

Although the most common name used is Permanent Cosmetics, don’t be mislead when reading other names including dermapigmentation, micropigmentation, and cosmetic tattooing.  It’s all the same product. 

In the United States, the inks used in Permanent Cosmetics and the pigments in these inks are subject to FDA or similar agency regulation.  These are the same standards used for nonpermanent cosmetics and color additives.

Immediate Results:

Permanent Cosmetic results in enhanced features of the face. Definition is most visible to the eyebrows, eyes and lips due to the usage of colors available. Noticeable results vary depending upon the design, color value and amount of pigment applied.

At first, Permanent Cosmetic results may look harsh. This is due to color remaining in the outermost, epidermal layers of skin. However, the initial color softens during the healing process, which typically results within a few days.

Long Term Results:

The best possible color outcomes will perform for many years.  Then again, just as all good things must come to an end; the color, over time, will fade.  The reasoning for this is due to the amount of pigment remaining in the dermis. The fading may be influenced by several factors. These can be environmental, procedural and/or individual factors such as those listed below:

  • Sun exposure
    • Individual influences, including lifestyles, that find a person in the sun regularly such as with gardening or swimming.
  • The original amount of pigment deposit at the dermal level
    • Very natural looking applications are likely to require a touch-up before more dramatic ones.
  • Skin tones


As with tattoos, Permanent Cosmetics can be difficult to remove. Common techniques used are laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, and surgical removal.  Adding a new pigment, which counteracts the tattoo color and attempts to emulate normal skin color, is considered a poor choice by professionals. Keep in mind, removal is more painful and laborious than the tattooing itself.  So make sure the color you choose is one you will want for a very, long time.


Use the searchable database to find a Permanent Cosmetics expert near you.

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