Permanent Make Up To Do or Not To Do??

Over the years, while teaching make up in workshops and conducting individual make up lessons for clients, I have seen some really bad examples of permanent make up. You know what I am talking about The blue stained solid lines; eyebrows that are uneven, too low, too high, or even the permanently surprised looking eyebrows; or the bright jaggedly lined lips in the wrong undertone for the skin; Because of this I have always been intrigued, but sceptical, about the idea of permanent make up. And my advice up until now has been: Don’t do it!

However, I recently decided that the only way to really be able to advise my clients about this process is to try it myself, so I could share with my clients, my experience and what I learned from the process. So I tried it, and here is what I learned:

Choose your technician through a referral
A friend of mine had her eyebrows and lips done about eight years ago, and they looked wonderful. So I decided to go to the same studio and technician that she went to. I am so glad I did.(And those of you living in Metro Vancouver can email me if you would like a referral.)

Go for natural not fad or fashion
Get the technician to spend time with you before beginning the process to determine your ideal eyebrow and/or lip shape that will flatter your features, face shape and bone structure. This will look more natural and you will be more likely to like your new features 20 years from now.

Don’t go black
Even if your hair colour may be naturally black, it can be too harsh for permanent eyebrow or eyeliner make up. The other thing to consider is that blue is the undertone of black in most dyes. The colour will eventually start to fade over time and the last thing you want to end up with is blue eyebrows. If you feel you need to go black for a natural look, discuss this with your technician before hand to determine your best strategy.

Go easy on the colour
A good technician will offer an opportunity for a complimentary touch up later, if needed. The colour of the tattooed make up will be darker when it first applied and then fade slightly over the next few of months into its permanent colour. Even if you would normally wear a darker eyebrow colour, eye liner, or brighter lip pencil, it is better to go slightly more muted and lighter on the first application. After seeing the final results you can go a bit more extreme in colour if you still desire. However, as we age our features tend to soften and, permanent make up should flatter your features at every age.

Since the most beautiful make up is natural looking make up, the most important thing to remember about this process is to do your homework. Think through carefully what you desire for an outcome. Not just now, but 20 years from now; then find a technician who has the experience and testimonials to back up their skills, and will partner with you in the process. If you are still unsure about your best colours or best shapes, an image consultant or make up artist can guide you in your decision for great results.

My experience yes, it’s permanent, but I am so glad I did it!

Kimberly Law AICI, CIP

Association of Image Consultants International (AICI)

aiciimageconsulatant aicicip

Founding Director of

Institute of Image Training & Testing International (IITTI)


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