Facial Tattoos & Permanent Make-Up: How They’re Different…And How They’re Not.

Brows&Lashes{Today’s make-up free morning face,
featuring still-healing brows and cruelty-free mink lash extensions}

Yesterday I decided that I had reached new levels of hard-coredity and was ready to move forward with my very first facial tattoo. That is to say, I decided to take my dearly beloved cosmetologist up on her offer of Permanent Make-up. We started with my eyebrows {If you follow me on instagram, then apologies if you are one of the people I freaked out with my sometimes off-kilter sense of humor, when I shared my before and afters yesterday} with plans for upper & lower liner close behind.

e6cddffa90ba11e2bb3522000a1fb076_7The process began with Tess, the highly trained technician with whom I entrusted this borderline insanity, applying numbing cream to my eyebrows and surrounding area. Thus, the saran wrap on my forehead in the photo above. I mean, Hard. Core. (And although this is perhaps the most extreme treatment I’ve ever had Tess perform on me [she’s also my go-to for lash extensions, which you know I’m obsessed with] I can assure you I’ve had her run a gauntlet of cosmetic weirdness before allowing her to tattoo my face.)

TessThe adorable and talented Tess with her plethora of fancy diplomas.
{obviously, I was a little too amped to take a non-blurry picture.}

Tess showed me her tools, which were not the vibrating tattoo gun you might be imagining, but actually, as she explained, kind of like a smaller, modern, sterile-packaged, single-use version of what would be used in the traditional Tebori tattoo technique popularized in Japan.

Once I was sufficiently numb (not totally numb, mind you) and my brows had been given a quick once over and wax (BUT NO SHAVING – I TOTALLY STILL HAVE REAL EYEBROWS TOO) to make sure Tess had a good shape to follow, we were ready to rumble.

The worst part of the whole ordeal for me was the nose itch that comes with eyebrow mutilation (if you’ve ever been tweezed you know what I’m talking about) and the extreme amount of willpower it takes to not scrunch your eyebrows when something hurts you. Because what’s hurting you is that someone is tattooing over those very eyebrows and trust me when I say scrunching isn’t doing anybody any favors.

Honestly, on a pain scale of 1-10, I’d give this a four, max. A little more painful than a regular tattoo [in a fatty area, even though your forehead clearly is not a fatty area, but I’m just saying getting a regular tattoo on my hip was definitely more painful than this, while getting one on my back fat was not] because there’s no buzzing from the motor to numb the pricks, but not really any more painful than it might be to have your brows tweezed out one by one (which, to be clear, they were not — still have eyebrows, that was just an analogy for pain). Tess kept the numbing cream flowing so overall it was pretty darn bearable. There was hand-wringing and eye watering for sure, but I mostly kept up the chatter through the whole process, which — anyone who’s been through childbirth knows — means you aren’t really in that much pain.

Anyway, when all is said and done I will have natural-looking-yet-polished brows (I just made up that term) that require little to no maintenance ever. I’ll be able to follow the line when I tweeze, and if I mess it up it won’t matter because my brows are perma-filled. {Where by “perma” I mean “a maximum of five years” because that’s another difference between this and getting an actual tattoo on your face, these pigments are made up of yellows which degrade over time, and there’s even an antidote pigment that will obliterate the color if your Esthetician were to make a mistake, but I digress}. I went for a blond pigment, to match my natural hair color, rather than a red pigment to match my current hair color, because you know…permanent or not, five years is still a really long time.

ColorsDiff{above my pre-ink half-tinted eyebrow, on the left is the pigment
that was used, and on the right is the color that will appear while healing.
By next week my Tammy-Faye brows will have lightened to the color on the left.}

If I must, I can still tint my brows to match my hair color of the moment, but my new permanent makeup will prevent me from ever doing anything as absurd as THIS to myself ever again.

So far, I’m pretty psyched. I’ll share my healed photos with you guys sometime next week. I’m also holding out hope that I can convince Scott that permanent eye liner and a natural tint to my very pale lips are the final touches needed to complete my no-makeup required, roll out of bed to chase after toddler already looking human master plan. You say lazy, I say efficient. Tomato, tomaaaahto.

If you are in The 818 area and you want to visit Tess for some semi-permanent makeup of your own, you can find her at Skin Body Lounge, making beauty effortless for the overextended. Skin Body Lounge is my go to for so many things, airbrush tans, lashes, waxing, and now, apparently tattoos. The ladies of SBL run a ton of great deals on Lifebooker, too, so if you’re not signed up you’re gonna want to be.

Have you ever tried permanent makeup? Was it awesome? Do you think it’s extreme? And really, what would a beauty post like this be without a pinnable graphic?

UPDATE: DAY EIGHT POST APPLICATION HEALING PICTURES

permmakeupUPDATE: EIGHT DAY POST APPLICATION HEALING PICTURES

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