For the most part, tattoos have largely been used as a means to creatively express oneself. There’s nothing quite like a permanent testament to your individuality written in ink to indicate uniqueness, aesthetic sensibilities, tastes and personal interests. Many times tattoos are overt displays of who we are and we sport them proudly and loudly. But let’s not forget that the tattooing process can be also be used to produce subtle cosmetic results that address functionality as much as form. We’re talking about using ink as permanent makeup.
These days, the procedure is gaining in popularity and is readily available in many salons. The process is frequently used to produce results that resemble makeup; most commonly eyeliner, lip color and eyebrow color. These enhancements, usually referred to as permanent makeup, can be applied for straightforward cosmetic use, or to recreate features like artificial eyebrows for people who have experienced hair loss as a result of chemotherapy, alopecia or old age. These cosmetic tattoos have also been used to successfully disguise scars and white spots that occur as a result of vitiligo (skin depigmentation) and can be used after breast reconstruction surgery to recreate the aureola.
The success of results can vary from treatment to treatment and person to person. The amount of pigment can alter the effect, as can an individual’s skin tone. Good results can last for several years, but some procedures may fade as time passes due to environmental factors like regular sun exposure. The amount of pigment that is left at the dermal level plays a part in how well the effect of the tattoo lasts, as does the color. Applications that aim to replicate a very natural look may require an earlier touch-up than those with a more pronounced color or design. The process is the same as conventional tattooing, a permanent one, so there is some debate about whether it is accurate to call these procedures permanent if the results may fade or need freshening up from time to time.
Before deciding on a procedure, it is advisable to spend some time visiting salons and scheduling consultations with therapists. It is important to feel confident with the salon and check that it meets the appropriate regulations set by local health authorities. Approval for carrying out a general range of beauty services is not the same as having permission to perform cosmetic tattoos, so make sure to ask to see relevant certificates if necessary. If possible, seek testimonials from previous clients and ask around for recommendations. The results will last for a significant time, so take the extra effort and make sure you’re confident with your salon before moving forward.
(above image courtesy of LoboStudios via Flickr)
Check out some of Lisa McGrath's permanent makeup work on Tattoo.com : http://www.tattoo.com/naturally-gorgeous-llc