Beauty Eyes

To ink or not to ink? The Scoop on Permanent Makeup

Whenever I hear about permanent makeup, I always think about the book The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. In the novel, Mia Thermopolis’s terrifying grandmother, Queen Clarisse, had black eyeliner tattooed on her eyelids. Mia imagined how terrifying it must have been for her grandfather to wake up to that every day. I’ve never had a good association with permanent makeup since.

But rumor has it that many well-known stars have highlighted some of their best features with permanent makeup, from Megan Fox and her eyebrows to Angelina Jolie and the corner of her eyes.

For those not in the know, permanent cosmetics is a growing trend that uses tattoo ink to create a makeup-like look, often as eyeliner on the lids or adding pigment to the face or lips. It typically takes a few sessions to achieve the desired look. The FDA does not regulate this market, though it continues to observe and report on permanent makeup procedures.

So is permanent makeup really that bad? Are there some hidden benefits that Mia, and myself, have overlooked? Are the celebs in on the secret? Truth be told, there are some real positives to getting permanent makeup applied, but there are just as many negatives.


PRO: Never be afraid of rain and tears again.

If ther’s one irritating about eyeliner, it’s the emergence of “raccoon eyes” any time moisture dares to touch your face. With permanent eyeliner, you’ll be delightfully smudge free no matter what the elements (or the emotions) throw at you. For once, perfection actually is attainable”¦


CON: Time heals all wounds (literally).

“¦at least for a while. Nothing is forever, and permanent cosmetics are no exception, despite what the name implies. Sun exposure, for example, will fade the pigments, so unless you’re a hermit who never goes outdoors, you might need to get a touch up a few years down the road. Additionally, skin tone also affects the fading process.

According to MUT user arendish, “My grandmother did it because when she was younger she waxed her eyebrows into oblivion and they literally don’t grow anymore”¦. [I]t was years ago (probably 10), so they’ve faded, and she has to use a pencil anyway.”


PRO:  Hit the snooze button.

If you’re a slave to your beauty routine in the morning, consider how much time can be saved by skipping some of your usual steps. Maybe it’s not that much time, but it all adds up. Plus, think about the money you can start saving when you do’t need to buy another makeup product for your lids, brows, or lips!


CON: Have deep pigment, will travel.

If your tattoo artist goes too deep through your skin layers with pigment, the ink can migrate through your skin, creating a blurred look. The FDA warns consumers of this and cites dissatisfaction as one of the biggest problems with permanent makeup. Additionally, as your body ages, sagging and changes of the face contour can warp the tattoo.


PRO: No more jagged lines!

I’ll admit it: I ca’t apply eyeliner to save my life; maybe it was because I was never good at coloring in the lines at preschool. With permanent cosmetics, never worry about uneven application again! Whether it’s eyeliner, lip liner, or sparse eyebrows, permanent makeup can make you look like a cosmetics pro every day, even if it’s not exactly true. It can be your little secret!


CON: Trend-setter status revoked.

While subtle eyeliner or lip liner will always be in, getting permanent makeup applied might keep you from trying out the craziest new trends and fads. Or, on the flip side, what might look good now wo’t necessarily be stylish a few years from now. Cat eyes might be all the rage today, but think about how wacky you might look in 2013!

MUT user Adrienne cites this as one of the main reasons sh’ll never get permanent makeup. “The main thing I love about makeup is how much I can change it up and trying new products and playing with new looks.”


What do you think? Would you ever get it done? Do you know someone who has gotten permanent makeup applied? See what other MUT members think here!