The desire to have naturally defined eyebrows, fuller eyelashes, plump lips and a dewy complexion is common to many. But a dedicated morning and night skincare routine can sometimes yield minimal or less than desired results. Here’s when the allure of permanent makeup kicks in and is ‘oh-so-tempting’. But what exactly does permanent makeup entail, is it painful, and how big of a commitment is it?

TC46 spoke with renowned Cosmetologist and Permanent Makeup guru Dr Shagun Gupta to uncover the world of permanent makeup. Here, she talks about the styles of this art, what is scar camouflage, and some risk factors involved.

1. What is permanent makeup & is it different from permanent tattoo makeup?

I remember myself 15 years back getting my permanent eyebrows done at Harrods, a leading luxury department store in London, UK. The development of permanent cosmetics has grown tremendously and has become the latest innovation in the beauty, aesthetic and medical industries worldwide.

Permanent cosmetics is a process of applying micro insertions of pigment into the dermal layer of the skin by the use of a needle.

Permanent Cosmetics are also known as:

  • Micro-pigmentation 
  • Semi-permanent make-up
  • Intradermal cosmetics 
  • Cosmetic tattooing

So there is no difference between permanent cosmetic and permanent tattoo makeup; permanent cosmetics are another form of tattooing.

2. What is the history of permanent makeup & how did it arrive in India?

In most countries, people have been using some or the other method of tattooing their faces and various parts of their bodies. As far back as in the ancient Egyptian civilisation, mummies were found to be heavily decorated with various forms of tattoo art.

By the 1990’s permanent makeup finally became a respected and popular industry. In the beginning, most people did not want to say it was tattooing. Back then, it was called micro-pigmentation and derma graphics. Now it has become more and more popular and is known as permanent cosmetics, semipermanent makeup, micro pigmentation and permanent makeup. 

As I mentioned earlier, tattooing was always being used in some form or the other. Similarly in India, it existed as the permanent cosmetic method. It has entered the Indian beauty industry 8 to 10 years ago. But it was not popular and people were not aware of these techniques.

Since the last 5 years, it has gained recognition, acceptance and has witnessed growth.

3. What are the types & styles of permanent makeup?

There are many types of procedures in permanent makeup like micro-blading, eyebrow shading, powder brows, ombré brows, combo brows, feather brows and more.

  • Eyeliner, classic eyeliner, shading eyeliner and winged eyeliner
  • Lip restoration, lip liner, lip blush treatment
  • Scalp micro pigmentation, scar camouflage, areola micro-pigmentation and vitiligo micro-pigmentation
  • Hairline, beauty spots 

These and many more styles and procedures can be done by permanent cosmetics.

4. What is micro-blading, how does it work and who does it work best for?

Micro-blading is a procedure which uses a hand tool with a small blade attached to one end. The blade consists of 7-21 very fine needles in a row perfectly configured to mimic hairs. The pigment is deposited superficially in the upper region of the dermis. Micro-blading works wonders on the people who want very natural-looking brows. People who don’t have brows due to issues like alopecia can make use of this excellent option to get natural-looking eyebrows. Additionally, learn 5 simple techniques on how to darken eyebrows to get well-defined brow here.

5. What is lip blushing, what does the process entail and who should opt for it?

Lip blushing means injecting the desired pigment in the lips and giving a blush effect to the lips. The procedure is very time consuming and needs sessions according to the client’s original lip condition. Indian lips tend to be tanned and more on the darker side. So for that firstly, you need to work on a basic lighting procedure and then after that, to opt for your colour of choice.

Usually, pale lips are the easiest to work with. If the basic lip colour is dark bluish toned, then it needs to be worked upon and requires sessions to turn them into blushed lips.

6. How does permanent eyeliner work and how does it enhance your beauty? How long does permanent makeup last?

Permanent eyeliner is my favourite procedure. It just artistically enhances the eye with the designed eyeliner. It is done based on facial features to give an open and lifted look. Permanent makeup lasts upto 2 to 3 years depending upon how the client maintains it. 

7. Is scar camouflaging a part of permanent makeup? If yes, how does it work and for whom?

Scar camouflage is a form of permanent makeup but it falls in the medical micro-pigmentation category. For this need, you need to study medical micro-pigmentation and after that, one can commence the services.

8. What are some risk factors involved? Could you share some tips for those who are keen on trying it?

Permanent makeup is very safe if the specialist is highly knowledgeable about the theoretical, practical and artistic ability part. Mild discomfort exists while doing the permanent makeup so topical anaesthetics is a must.

I’m in the permanent makeup field for 6 years now and I see people love doing permanent makeup procedures. There are several clients enjoying and appreciating this art.

9. Freckle tattoos are all the rage nowadays, is it a trend in India? How does it work and what’s the process like?

Yes, freckle tattooing is very much in trend and it’s called freckling. But in India, it’s not yet popular. As a trend, it’s luxurious and expensive to carry this look for long. You need to be bold in your fashion choices to opt for it. 

Secondly, it really works wonders on people who already have freckles. They can enhance it and make it more beautiful. This treatment is popular in the USA and Europe. The pricing starts from 18k and the cost depends upon the size of the area. 

The process is similar to permanent makeup. It also needs topical anaesthetic. The focus is on the artistic side to create freckling according to the face to enhance your beauty. Those who have freckles, it makes them more visible and prettier.

10. What is blush permanent makeup and why can it be a tricky type?

Blush permanent-makeup is done to give a tint to the cheeks and make them rosy and pink. The goal is to create a natural blush on your cheeks. The same process, again, is similar to permanent makeup. But it can be tricky because how the skin takes pigment differs in different areas of the skin.  So on the cheeks, it gets very patchy and uneven. To conduct this treatment, one has to be highly qualified. Yes, we do it in our clinic but that is semipermanent cheek blush which doesn’t last long. So I recommend only semipermanent procedures that are little less-lasting ones but possess no risk.

Removing permanent makeup is more painful and time-consuming than doing it. My advice would be to conduct strong research and read in-depth about the treatment before doing it. It’s important to choose a highly-skilled specialist and a hygienic place to do such treatments.