What is permanent cosmetic makeup?

Permanent cosmetic makeup is the art of implanting specially formulated pigment (color) into the second layer (dermis) of the skin with the use of specially designed instruments. Methods include the manual (aka soft tap), rotary pen, coil, and digital pen. An artist should be able to achieve equal results with any type of tool. Some tools are better suited for different types of body work. This should be left to the preference and discretion of the artist.  The permanent makeup application will brighten, define and enhance your facial features, save you time and give you the confidence of looking your best everyday. I love how it gives you a younger, brighter appearance!

Permanent makeup is also referred to as cosmetic tattooing, micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics, intradermal cosmetics and several other variations.

Is the procedure painful?

A lidocaine based topical anesthetic is used which makes the procedure more comfortable than anticipated. The pain is comparable to electrolysis or tweezing. Clients have been known to take ADVIL or a decongestant such as Theraflu, before the appointment for an extra internal benefit. (Does it hurt? I find it depends on who you ask. Everyone has a different opinion. I do the best I can to get the skin numb.)

How long does each procedure take?

The initial appointment for one procedure will be about 45 minutes to an hour. Add about 20 minutes more for each additional procedure. A follow-up appointment will be scheduled approximately four to six weeks later and this session will take approximately a half hour to 45 minutes. At this appointment, slight adjustments to the color, tone or shape will be made, if needed. This is included in the original fee.  (During my 20 years of permanent makeup experience, I have created and streamlined  a system which allows me to reduce the time of application, minimizing skin trauma and discomfort.)

What colors should I choose?

There is a right color for everyone. Your natural skin tone, hair color and eye color will be taken into consideration. The preferred goal is to create a soft, natural enhancement. If you desire the brows to be heavily colored, I can also do that for you. Colors are custom blended for your best result. (I will discuss your desired end result with you. But I prefer to choose the color pigment because I have the experience of seeing how the colors heal. As an artist I can mix the color specifically for your skin. We can always adjust it at the follow-up if needed.)

I have very sparse eyebrows and/or thin lips. Will they look natural?

Yes. Permanent makeup looks more natural than eyebrow pencil or lip liner pencil. A soft fill-in effect similar to brush-on-brow can be applied to the brows. This technique may also be referred to as feathering, shading and hair strokes can be added. Definition to the lip line can be achieved by matching your lip color or choosing a color that is slightly darker for more contrast. (Feel free to bring your makeup with you so I “get” the overall look you desire for yourself.)

Cold Sore Alert – LIP PROCEDURES!

It is NECESSARY to take an anti-viral medication such as Zovirax or Valtrex for 5 days, beginning 24 hours before a LIP procedure is performed to prevent an outbreak.

What about eyeliner?

When it comes to eyeliner there are many choices. At first I prefer to fill in the lash line to give the lashes a fuller look. After that,  the thickness is up to you. The thickness in the center or outer corners are most typical for the upper liner. Tails or no tails. It’s your choice. You can choose for the lower liner to go all across the lash line, three quarters, half, or one fourth of the lash line. Thicker on the outer corner and on the mucosal rim. It’s really up to you. Colors that seem to last the longest are black, charcoal, black brown and sometimes olive green. Purples, greens, teals and navy are also a possible selection. It is not unusual to have 20 to 40% fading after the first visit. An evaluation of the strength of color will be made at the follow-up and I may need to reformulate your color to get it to “show up” better. (I love how eyeliner brightens and adds sparkle to your eyes!  It was the first permanent makeup I had done in 1992. I love it and so will you! )     

What about corrective procedures?

I have performed an extensive amount of corrective work. Of course it is much harder to remove pigment once it has been applied incorrectly. I’ve seen the removal process take up to 7 visits. Prominent reasons are:  many layers of color, bad placement and to deep of implanting. I completely understand your frustration, so I try to figure out the best correction with the least amount of time involved. Each case is individual. (I prefer to charge per visit whether I am removing or adding color.  At this time it is $150 a session.)

What is skin needling?

Skin needling is a procedure that is applied to the wrinkle lines on the face to naturally plump them with your own bodies collagen. The lines around the mouth and eyes are the most popular. This technique can also be used to improve the appearance of acne scars and stretchmarks. It is done without implanting pigment into the skin. Other terms for this procedure is call Multi-tripannic Collagen Actuation (MCA) and dry needling.

Will I have to take time off work?

No. There is minimal swelling and redness. Any swelling is usually gone in 24 to 36 hours. Ice may be used to reduce the swelling if needed.  If you are having needling, the redness lasts for a few days. It looks like a cat scratch. You can put makeup over it after a few hours.
(See photos of just completed procedures)

Can I wear makeup after the procedure is done?

No mascara or lipstick should be worn after eyeliner and lip color procedures for at least 24 hours. Brows can be powered to look softer.

What is the healing time?

In the first week, the area where the color has been applied will appear darker and more pronounced than when it is healed. In approximately five to seven days you will experience a mild crusting and flaking of the treated area. Seventy to eighty percent of the color will remain. The follow-up procedure will be performed a minimum of four weeks later and the healing process will be repeated.

How long does permanent makeup last?

This procedure is considered permanent and does not wash off. Even though the application may be visible for ten years, it is normal to experience fading over time and a periodic color brightening touch-up may be needed from one to five years after the initial procedure. This is due to individual body chemistry and life style. There is a minimal fee for touch-ups. Don’t be confused with the “semi-permanent” kind of makeup. It still is a form of a tattoo and considered permanent, some pigment fades faster than others. (I have been using pigment from two companies for over 15 years and I am happy with the longevity and am happy to say, no one that I know of has had any adverse reactions.)

(my makeup applications are averaging 6 – 7 years between retouches, some clients have just come back after 12 years)

What about sterilization?

Only a single-use, sterile needle clusters are used. All other equipment is either discarded after use or sanitized. All guidelines are strictly followed in accordance with the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the Illinois Health Department.

What is the application process?

To begin the application, after analyzing and cleaning, a topical anesthetic will be applied to the skin. I will then use a makeup pencil and artistically design and draw a pleasing shape for the eyebrows or lip liner to be used as my pattern for the application. (I do not shave your eyebrows) Once you are satisfied with the shape and expression, the color will be selected. Pigments come in an assortment of shades and colors and may also be custom blended to match and compliment your natural hair and skin tones. Using the drawn on design as a guide, I will quickly mark your skin and apply another layer of topical. After approximately 5 minutes the skin will be ready to receive the pigment and it will be implanted into the skin by using a new, sterile and disposable needle cluster.

Each procedure takes approximately 45 – 60 minutes to complete using my streamlined system.

Care instructions:

For the following three days, an ointment (A & D or Vaseline only) must be applied to the area every morning and night.

Between the fourth and seventh day a light crust will form and fall off.

DO NOT PICK OR RUB THE SKIN where the pigment has been applied.

The healed color will be lighter and softer than what originally appeared.

A follow-up visit will be required in a minimum of four weeks.

At this visit another light layer of color is applied to the area. If needed, adjustments to the shape or color tone will be made at this time.

Due to various skin types and body chemistry, periodic touch-ups may be necessary anywhere from one to five years or longer.

These touch-ups will be performed for a nominal fee. If you still have some color, you won’t be charged full price.


I hope I have answered your questions! You can reach me at 888-461-4441 for more info or to schedule an appointment.

Click LOCATIONS  for the list of licensed facilities where I am taking appointments.