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Home Beauty & Style Permanent Eyeliner: The Complete Guide

Permanent Eyeliner: The Complete Guide

Permanent eyeliner is an excellent shortcut to recreating a look of alluring elegance.

People who are allergic to most brands of eye makeup will appreciate the perks of this procedure. You get to wake up with a perfect face.

But is permanent eyeliner worth all the hype it has been receiving lately? Let us take a look at what this cosmetic treatment is all about.

I got a tattoo of a tiny anchor on my inner wrist during my early twenties. A couple of years later, I found myself in the same predicament with a job and a young family in tow.

A friend had suggested getting my eyeliner tattooed to save up on the time I spend doing my makeup. I agreed, but I could ask myself if it would hurt the same as a traditional tattoo.

Come D-day, and the process took about an hour to complete. The pain level was far from what I anticipated. I put a little cream on my eyelid and remember stepping out of the clinical spa happier than I was before.

Women worldwide are constantly looking for shortcuts to shorten the amount of time spent in front of a mirror. Thus, the advent of permanent makeup.

Currently, permanent eyeliner is the most prevalent cosmetic enhancement. But what exactly is it? And is it worth all the hype?

Permanent Eyeliner: The Basics

The process entails the micro-implantation of colored pigments along the edge of the eyelid. It helps to enhance, contour, and emphasize eye features for aesthetic purposes.

It’s tattooing that uses thin, delicate passes to implant pigmentation into the epidermis basal layer. The result is a shaped eyeliner that stands out, enhancing the beauty of your eyes.

Nothing beats the frustration of trying to get the perfect eyeliner shape with a pencil. It might take you a while to get the lines straight. But it requires more effort trying to keep your eyeliner from smudging during the day.

Does it Hurt?

Although it does not hurt the same way a tattoo does, it is still a microdermal procedure. Thus, expect to experience a bit of pain. But unlike in the 80s, you can prevent any discomfort by using a numbing cream.

Consumer education site, WebMD, recommends a cream that contains Tetracaine and Lignocaine. You apply it on and around the area. It takes a couple of minutes to feel (or unfeel) the effects.

The effects of the numbing cream also alleviate discomfort felt after that.

Make sure you inquire if the spa offers the numbing cream as part of their package. If they do not, you may have to pay extra to buy from them.

Alternatively, they might request that you buy your own before visiting for treatment. Whichever you choose, ensure you go with an option that suits your budget.

If you have a substantially low tolerance to pain and doubt the effectiveness of the numbing cream, pop a few tabs of Tylenol beforehand. Swallow painkillers about half an hour before the actual procedure begins.

The Process

1st Treatment

According to Tonya M. Conrad, owner of Infinique Skin and Spa, getting permanent eyeliner takes two sessions.

When you arrive at the clinic for your first appointment, they take your photo. Then you engage in deep conversation with the makeup artist.

You will discuss your ideas about your desired look. At this juncture, you pick the shape and color you want to achieve.

The professional will provide recommendations and advice appropriately on what to expect. It is at this stage that they highlight all pros and cons, which helps you have realistic expectations.

It is during the first treatment session that the actual tattooing occurs. After you pick a design and shape, apply the numbing cream eye area. It takes anything between 10 and 30 minutes before the cream penetrates the skin, and numbness takes over.

The tattooing process itself will be over quickly. It takes a couple of minutes to complete both upper and lower eyelids. The tattoo artist may apply a few layers of more numbing cream during the process because the skin might be a bit tender.

Before you leave, you will discuss aftercare. What should you do and what not to do? Most treatment centers will give you a complementary post-op care kit as part of their package. You will also receive instructions and answers to your questions (should you have any).

2nd Treatment

It’s time for the second phase of treatment after about 4 – 6 weeks. I had my perfecting session at 5 weeks. This time around, I only spent half an hour at the spa.

The 2nd treatment as known as the ‘perfecting session, is where the artist corrects any existing imperfections.

During the appointment, they check the tattooed area to analyze the healing process. Remember that ‘before’ photo you took during your consultation? At this point, they can see how the pigment has settled.

If need be, they perform a few tweaks and adjustments to achieve the look you wish to achieve.


After about 18 months, your eyeliner may have indicated signs of fading. Some women get their touch-ups every year. It all depends on the type and texture of the skin.

Perks of Getting Permanent Eyeliner

Saves Time and Money

Most women buy makeup products monthly, which gets costly in the long run. Permanent eyeliner is a one-off solution that enables you to say goodbye to the makeup store.

You will save hundreds of dollars spent buying various eyeliner products.

Nonetheless, you avoid wasting valuable time seated in front of a mirror trying to get your eyeliner right. Get up and go wherever you want as your appearance will always in tiptop shape.

Defines the Eyes

When properly applied, eyeliner has the potential to define your eyes. Whether one opts for an upper eyelid and bottom lashes combo, or only either one of the two,s entirely dependent on your personality and lifestyle.

For instance, if you work in an environment that discourages wearing makeup. Permanent eyeliner is an excellent way to create a subtle impression.

The right color and style can lift your eyes in a way that compliments your natural beauty and brings out the spark in your eyes. During the planning phase, you pick from a broad range of pigments.

Experts advise you to stick to black color if you always do black eyeliner. But you can still try other subtle choices like brown. If you want to step out of your cocoon, there is a wide variety of popping colors to choose from, ranging from hues of blue, green, violet, and even pearl.

Healthier Alternative

You are likely to encounter counterfeit beauty products.

There are a couple of manufacturers whose makeup fails to meet the required medical regulations. You may get an infection from eyeliner made from sub-standard materials.

Permanent eyeliner utilizes the latest technology and techniques. The color pigments are medically certified as safe for use on humans.

People who develop allergies to certain components in store-bought eyeliners can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Thanks to permanent eyeliner, they no longer have to keep the plain Jane look. They can still be beautiful without worrying about their health.

Why Did My Permanent Eyeliner Fade?

You may find it paradoxical that the cosmetic procedure is not permanent as advertised. It ought to be rightfully referred to as semi-permanent, which makes more sense.

Once done, permanent eyeliner can last up to two years. You may begin to notice changes characterized by the lightning of lines after about a year. Most people will visit a beauty clinic for a touch-up session after 12 – 18 months.

Everyone’s skin is unique. Thus how long your permanent eyeliner lasts depends on your skin’s composition. People benefit differently from this procedure.

Several variables influence how long the permanent eyeliner lasts. They include:

Your skin color, texture, and type

  • The pigment used
  • The thickness of the lines
  • How aggressively your immune system metabolizes the pigment
  • Improper aftercare techniques
  • Length of exposure to the sun
  • Skin procedures like BOTOX
  • Over-the-counter creams and lotions for skin lightening, exfoliation, and tone correction

Styles You Can Try

Opt for timeless eyeliner designs and shapes. Cosmetic trends are dynamic; they keep changing. Avoid looking like a time traveler five years down the line all because you went with a style that was trending back then.

Some patterns, like the winged upper eyelid, are too intricate to change after a short while. One would have to wait until it fades off before attempting to try another perhaps subtle design.

Can Anyone Get Permanent Eyeliner?

Anyone can get permanent eyeliner. It is not an invasive procedure and is safe. The ideal candidate is anyone who considers eyeliner a significant boost to their appearance.

Also, people who have allergic reactions to makeup.  A person who is unable to draw lines, or engage in activities like sports.

But, a few people do not meet the basic criteria and should refrain from getting permanent eyeliner. Take say:

  • Pregnant and nursing women
  • Anyone with a disease like diabetes is susceptible to infection
  • Someone on medication that affects retention of the pigment
  • Young people and children

The best way to determine whether you make a good candidate is to consult with an expert. Ensure you visit a professional who has adequate experience in the field.

They should provide you with the necessary guidance to help you make informed choices.

Cost of Permanent Eyeliner

Different permanent makeup clinics will have varying prices for their permanent eyeliner services. The cost of permanent eyeliner depends on the specific procedure you want.

For instance, an eyeliner upper can set you back $400, while both an upper and lower eyeliner will cost you double.

Word of Caution

Even though the art of applying permanent eyeliner has been around for ages, it does not or show that every spa is a good choice.

Dr. Charles S.  Zwerling, an ophthalmologist and chair of the AAM (American Academy of Micropigmentation), asserts that the market is relatively unregulated in most states, and ‘anyone can set up shop.’

You must research to find a provider with the best services. Referrals go a long way in pointing you towards the right decision. A spa is only as good as its reputation.

Thus, check customer reviews and testimonials to see what people are saying about their services.

Apart from this, there are a few things you need to observe (or must avoid) before your permanent eyeliner treatment. You’re allowed to take a non-aspirin pain reliever like Tylenol 30 minutes before the procedure. But,  steer clear of Ibuprofen and aspirin-based painkillers.

You should avoid drinking any alcohol at least 24 hours prior. On visiting day, there is no need to wear contact lenses or eye makeup.

Lastly, observe all directives given to you about aftercare. Your new permanent tattoo requires a few days to go through the healing cycle. This guarantees magnificent results as the pigment sets completely.

Take Away

Maintain that fresh face looks all day long whether you perform in sports or go for a dip in the pool. Permanent eyeliner will intensify your eyes’ color, making them seem brighter.

If you dream of waking up with a beat face, consider signing up for a permanent eyeliner session.

The permanent makeup clinic will guide you on the process of getting a flattering eyeliner!



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