As some of you saw on FB today, I revealed that I underwent a permanent makeup “procedure” today. I have had a couple different experiences in this area so I figure I might as well pass along what I know!
Yes, it is basically a tatoo on your face. Yes, they do use needles to inject pigment into your skin. Yes, it is
painful uncomfortable… but not as bad as you may think, depending on what area you choose. No, it is not necessarily “permanent”. (You’ll see why below).
I’ll begin with my first experience from early 2006 (pre-Tim days). This was when I decided to utilize the art of permanent makeup to fix (what I felt to be) a flaw in my smile. That fact that my upper lip seems to disappear when I smile. I felt that lip liner was the way to go but after consulting with the experts, I decided on Full Lip Color.
Luckily, being the lower-than-amateur makeup artist I am, I did have a color lip liner I loved and it was this that I took in to match as a full color. Picking a color can be a little tricky because what you see is darker than what will turn out when it comes through your skin. There is a little bit of faith that goes into it.
Seeing as most permanent makeup artists are only esthetician, they cannot inject a numbing solution into your skin. SO, you only get the topical kind. The esthetician that completed my lip color was not very good at tolerating pain so she was very liberal with the topical cream. She would tap me a few times with the needle, then stop to add more, even though I felt fine. The good thing is that after they start opening your skin with the needle, it is much easier for the numbing cream to penetrate and enter your bloodstream.
I felt that my lip procedure when very well and I was not beside myself with pain. I felt lucky, and also a little proud to say that my first and only “tatoo” was on my lips! I’m so tough 😛
To me, the roughest part of this area is the healing. It is EXTREMELY important to keep the area moist and not peel the skin if and when it does flake. This will remove pigment before it is able to set in the skin. During this stage, the lips are also VERY bright in color and somewhat swollen. It is not attractive. I have pictures of my post lip portrait but I can’t bear to show them right now! HA!
Due to the detailed care involved in the healing phase and the fact that I immediately had to go back to work marketing for the National Guard, I don’t feel I gave my lips the attention they needed. I believe this is why the color is barely noticeable today. I even noticed in some recent pictures how my upper lip is disappearing again. Although, my esthetician today said she could see some of the pigment when looking close.
OK! Now moving on to my latest permanent makeup venture – Top and Bottom Eye Liner!
Along with my obsession with Craigslist, I have also become somewhat addicted to Groupon and Living Social, two sites that offer daily coupons on various goods, services and restaurants. I have purchased many in the past year and was ecstatic to see a permanent makeup coupon pop up! I had been waiting for that day!
The only option was the eye liner, which was fine with me. Along with getting my lips done again, I had also be interested in the eye liner. I love how my eyes look with it but do not like putting it on, especially the lids. And seeing as I’m still a lower-than-amateur makeup artist with little to no skill, I am all about getting help and not having to think about it again for a long time!
I tried to schedule my appointment for a few days ago but seeing as my family was getting photos taken while my brother was in town, I was advised to wait. My brother and sister-in-love boarded their plane today and I headed to my appointment!
I was a little nervous about this procedure, less for the pain aspect and more for the visual. Since I do not wear eye makeup on a daily basis, I didn’t want something that would stand out too much. Thin lines, with maybe a little shape. After picking a dark brown color, it took the esthetician and I a long time to come up with a shape for my eye lids. It was a little frustrating but the lady was very patient. She understands it is important to get it right!
Now on to the actual procedure that involves REAL needles on your EYES!! Ok, read that sentence again knowing it has TWO exclamation points after it and you will know what my eyes though about this procedure! It is very difficult to keep your eye lids from moving when they are being poked with needles, I’m just saying. I kept telling the ladies, as they asked, it wasn’t so much the pain as how awkward it felt. She had quickly shown me the tools but I didn’t look at them took closely. I didn’t really want to know what was happening up there as I lay on the chair, pushing my head back into the cushion when felt what seemed like several needles piercing me at the same time. When they were just on the surface you would think, “Oh, not too bad,” then they would break the skin and it was shocking.
Granted, they did continue to add the numbing cream as they went back and forth from eye to eye but I didn’t notice much of a difference. One of my eyes quivered more than the other but they both watered a good deal. They asked if I was crying and I replied no, thinking, “Who’s eyes WOULDN’T water when you are sticking needles into their eyelids!”
After getting to a 90% solution on my lids, they took a break to add more numbing cream and cold compresses to my eyes, as they had begun to swell. I used this time to relax, knowing that I still had lower lids to make it through but also that these would go much faster.
When it came time to finish, the esthetician rotated and I had another lady. I had been hearing good things about her. I felt that she did a better job at holding my eyes in place to minimize the movement that I barely had control over. She put the finishing touches on my top lids and moved to the bottoms. The question I had (but didn’t want to ask) was how she worked through my lower lashes without ruining them? Oh well, some thing best to left for the experts.
The bottom lids did move much faster and that made me happy. Still a very uncomfortable experience but do-able. I want to make sure I emphasis that about all of this – it is uncomfortable but do-able; especially if you have good control over your eyes! The whole process took me about 2.5 hours but a large portion at the beginning was shaping the top lids. They said for both lids it takes about 2 hours.
OH, I do have to mention the part that was most painful – when some of the numbing solution got in my eyes. This hurt A LOT but was quickly stifled by some eye drops. Unfortunately, this happened a couple of times. NOT fun.
When I was all done, I just wanted to continue laying there with my eyes closed (BTW, so grateful to not have to leave them open during any parts of this!) Unfortunately, I had to utilize the facilities and that got me out of the chair sooner than I preferred.
We snapped some after photos and I was able to look at my color and shape. So far, I think it is going to turn out well. Right now, my eyes are still a little swollen and the color is very dark, as it will lighten during the healing process. The biggest part to remember about the healing process is keeping the area moist at all times. They sent me home with some ointments and a little of do’s and don’ts. See their link below if you want the low down from the peps who did my procedure. Again, I will spare you the after shots!
So here’s hoping to a quick recovery (seeing as I go to work tomorrow), and that I won’t have to go back for any touch-ups!