What Exactly Is Permanent Makeup?

What Exactly Is Permanent Makeup?

Permanent makeup, also known as cosmetic tattooing, micropigmentation or dermapigmentation, is a type of cosmetic procedure that involves implanting pigment into the dermis layer of the skin to create a long-lasting cosmetic effect.

While called "permanent," permanent makeup gradually fades over time. The exact lifespan depends on various factors. Eyebrow microblading typically lasts 1-3 years, eyeliner tattoos 2-5 years, and lip blushing 1-5 years. Oily skin, sun exposure, aftercare routine, and pigment quality all influence how long your permanent makeup lasts. Despite the fading, you can enjoy the benefits for several years with occasional touch-up appointments to refresh the look.

The main goal of permanent makeup is to enhance your natural features and simplify your beauty routine. It deposits pigment under the skin, mimicking the look of makeup like eyeliner, fuller eyebrows, or even lip colour. This creates a defined, polished look that lasts for several years, saving you time applying makeup every day.

Advantages of Permanent Makeup

Ditch the makeup bag! Imagine waking up with perfectly shaped eyebrows, flawless eyeliner, and beautiful lip colour – all without lifting a finger. Permanent makeup makes this a reality. With a single (or sometimes extra sittings are required based on multiple factors) procedure, you can achieve a polished look that lasts for years, eliminating the need for daily makeup application.

But permanent makeup goes beyond convenience. It enhances your natural features, just like traditional makeup. Want bigger eyes or fuller lips? Permanent makeup can do that. Plus, it offers a confidence boost – you'll always look put-together, whether you're hitting the beach or the gym.

The benefits extend beyond aesthetics too. People with conditions like alopecia can find solutions in permanent makeup techniques like microblading, allowing them to achieve natural-looking, beautiful eyebrows. Micropigmentation treatments can also help conceal scars, camouflage vitiligo, and even restore the breast areola after a mastectomy. So, permanent makeup isn't just about beauty; it's about empowerment and self-confidence.

How Is Permanent Makeup Applied?

You're absolutely right! Permanent makeup artistry requires a variety of specialized tools to achieve the desired results. Techniques like microblading rely on a delicate hand and a manual microblading pen with tiny needles that deposit pigment into the skin.  For other procedures, permanent makeup artists might use specialized pens or even advanced tattoo machines that offer more precise control and pigment delivery. This ensures the perfect tool is matched to each treatment for the best outcome.

Does Permanent Makeup Cause Pain?

Permanent makeup might cause some temporary discomfort, but it shouldn't be a major concern. Most artists use a topical numbing cream beforehand to significantly reduce any pain during the procedure. The feeling is often described as a slight scratching or the sensation of getting your eyebrows tweezed, rather than a traditional tattoo. Pain tolerance varies from person to person, so what feels like a breeze to one person might be a little more uncomfortable for another.  If you have any anxieties about discomfort,  talk openly with your artist beforehand. They can address your concerns and ensure a comfortable experience using numbing techniques.

Is Permanent Makeup Safe?

Permanent makeup can be safe, yes! But with a caveat: it depends on choosing the right technician and following proper aftercare.

Here's why:

Trusted Technician: In the hands of a qualified and experienced professional who prioritizes hygiene and uses high-quality pigments, permanent makeup is generally safe.

Minimizing Risks: By doing your research and choosing a reputable technician with a proven track record, you can significantly reduce the chance of infection, allergic reaction, or scarring.

Who Should Avoid Permanent Makeup?

While generally safe, certain individuals should abstain from permanent makeup to avert potential complications. This includes individuals under 18, pregnant or breastfeeding women, and those with specific medical conditions such as bleeding disorders, viral infections, undergoing chemotherapy, or recent Botox injections or fillers.

What Is the Cost of Permanent Makeup?

The cost of permanent makeup in Canada can vary depending on a few factors, including:

The specific procedure: Eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips are the most common areas for permanent makeup, and each can have a different price range.

The technician's experience and qualifications: More experienced technicians may charge more for their services.

The location of the clinic: Prices may be higher in major cities compared to smaller towns.

That being said, here's a general idea of what you can expect to pay:

Eyebrows: $400 - $800

Eyeliner: $400 - $700

Lips: $450 - $550

It's important to note that some clinics may offer a touch-up session included in the initial price, while others may charge extra for it. Be sure to ask about all fees before you commit to a procedure.

Can Permanent Makeup Be Removed?

Yes, permanent makeup can be removed, although it's not quite as simple as getting it applied. There are a few different methods available, each with its own pros and cons:

Laser removal: This is the most common and effective method. It uses laser light to break down the pigment colours in your skin. It typically takes multiple sessions to completely remove the makeup, and the number of sessions will depend on factors like ink density, skin type, and the colour of the pigment.

Saline removal: This method involves implanting a saline removal solution into the skin with a needle. The solution helps to draw out the pigment. It's generally less expensive than laser removal, but it may also be less effective and take more sessions.

Glycolic acid removal: This is a newer method that uses a solution of glycolic acid to remove the pigment. It's still being studied, but it may be a good option for people with sensitive skin who cannot tolerate laser removal.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about permanent makeup removal:

  • It can be expensive.
  • It can take time to see results.
  • There is a risk of scarring, although this is relatively rare.

If you are considering having your permanent makeup removed, it is important to consult with a qualified professional to discuss the best option for you.

Where Can I Get Permanent Makeup?

Selecting a reputable permanent makeup artist is crucial. Recommendations and thorough research on local salons, including before-and-after photos and client reviews, aid in making an informed decision.

Is Permanent Makeup a Viable Career?

Permanent makeup presents lucrative opportunities in the beauty industry. Although not require extensive education, becoming a proficient permanent makeup artist demands dedication, practice, and continuous learning.


In summary, permanent makeup offers a convenient and confidence-boosting solution for enhancing natural features with long-lasting results. While some temporary discomfort may occur during the procedure, benefits outweigh concerns, especially when administered by experienced professionals prioritizing safety. However, not everyone may be suitable for permanent makeup, and careful consideration is necessary. For those interested in a career in permanent makeup, it presents promising opportunities in the beauty industry, requiring dedication and ongoing education. Overall, thorough research and consultation with reputable professionals are essential for a positive experience in the realm of permanent makeup.