Frequently Asked Questions – Permanent Cosmetics and Eyelash Extensions

What is permanent cosmetics?

Permanent Cosmetics is cosmetic tattooing. Colored pigment is implanted into the upper layer of the dermis. It may be referred to as “micro pigmentation”, “derma graphics,” “permanent make-up,” or even “extended wear cosmetics.” – whichever the term, it is still tattooing.

How are permanent cosmetic procedures done?

Permanent cosmetics procedures are performed using various methods, including the traditional tattoo or coil machines, the pen or rotary machine and the non-machine or hand method. I prefer the manual hand application method for a softer, more natural result.

Are permanent cosmetics really permanent?

Permanent cosmetic procedures are considered permanent because the color is implanted into the skin and cannot be washed off. However, as with any tattoo, fading does occur, requiring periodic maintenance, color refreshing or color boosting. Just like hair color, furniture that may be located near a window, or even house paint, pigment implanted in the skin will fade with time.

I love the thought of never applying make-up again!  Wow!  Really?

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Permanent Cosmetics covers eyeliner, eyebrows and lip color.  Not foundation, blush, eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss.  In addition, at Lasting Looks, we believe in a conservative approach.  Do you really want to look like “a night on the town” first thing in the morning?  Permanent Cosmetics can give you a soft, everyday look – or a bit more.  Add eyelash extensions, foundation and maybe blush and you are set.  Special occasion?  Add some enhancing eyeshadow for a smudgy eye pop.  Never apply makeup again?  Sorry.  False claim.

What is involved with a procedure?

The initial procedure will generally take approximately 2 to 3 hours. The process includes an initial consultation to select color and to complete a brief medical history. Before and after photos are taken to help both the client and technician maintain the client’s natural features. Topical anesthetics are applied and the pigment application is completed. Each procedure includes a follow up visit for adjusting the shape and color or density of the pigment.  At Lasting Looks, this follow up procedure is included in the pricing.

Is it painful?

Topical anesthetics are used before and during the procedure. Most people find the experience surprisingly comfortable. This may vary according to each individual’s pain threshold and the skills of the technician performing the service.

What if I don’t like it?

Although the procedure is considered permanent, these procedures do have flexibility in changing color and shape to some extent, depending on the expertise of your technician. Colors will appear darker immediately following the procedure, but will soften and lighten during the healing process. The healing time is different for each individual and procedure.  Depending on the color selected, care of the area and skin genetics, and your personal preference, you’ll want to have a color boost in 2 to 5 years.

My lips are very thin.  Can I have them enlarged by tattooing above and below my natural lip?

As we age, our lips thin.  I hear everyday from women that want the larger, fuller lips of youth.  Many of the fillers used in a plastic surgeon’s office are great for this.  Results typically last 9 months to 1 year.  However, it is highly recommended that tattooing of the lips does NOT extend beyond the lip vermillion border.  Lips can be shaped – with good artistry – to appear fuller while staying within the boundries.  If the tattooing goes beyond the border the pigment will heal 2 different colors – one color on the lips and another color on the skin around the lips.  The result – a sloppy mess that looks like you didn’t know how to apply your lipstick!  This is an extreme faux pas in permanent cosmetics!  Do not have this done.

And… lip color first, then filler.  This way the lip color will be in the right place all the time – with or without the filler – as the filler will expand and contract the lip area as applications are repeated.

Is it safe?

If proper sterilization and sanitary guidelines are met, permanent cosmetics should be completely safe. The most important things to look for when selecting a technician and shop:

  • All needles should be new and sterile for each client. With the hand method, Lasting Looks uses only individually, pre-packaged needles from the manufacturer.
  • All tools are disposed of immediately.
  • Gloves should be new for each client and changed during the procedure when needed.
  • The technician should be clean and neat and knowledgeable of environmental safety requirements.
  • Clean sheets or table paper should be used for each client.
  • The room or treatment area should be in an area free from other contaminants, such as hair or wax.

Always go for a consultation.  Be sure you are comfortable with your technician and the place of business.  Ask questions.  Get references.

Should I wear make-up to the studio?

Yes.  Wear your conventional makeup to the studio for your consultation. This will allow your artist to see how you normally wear your make-up, discuss how this does or does not meet your esthetic needs and what can be done to get you the look you are after.

What are Eyelash Extensions?

At Lasting Looks, we offer INDIVIDUAL EYELASH EXTENSIONS.  Each extension is applied to your natural lash one at a time.  This is very different than false eyelashes or flares that are applied in a quick 15 minute appointment.

I have heard of 3D, Extreme Lash, Novalash and Shavasana.  Are any of these done at Lasting Looks?

3D, Extreme Lash, Novalash and Shavasana are brand names.  These companies are very good at marketing their products to estheticians assuring them that their product is the best.  Lashes are lashes.  We all have our tips and tricks that improve on our skills.  But is just that – a skill.  It is the technicians’ skill and artistic ability that matter – not the brand name of the lashes.  Do you go to your hair stylist because of the brand of scissors she uses or the school she attended?  No.  You go to her because she knows hair and she has the skill and artistic ability to give you great style.

Will the Eyelash Extensions damage my natural lashes?

When applied correctly, your natural lash will continue its usual growth pattern, fall out naturally (with the extension) and a new hair replaces it.  Our natural lashes “turn over” every 6-8 weeks.  We don’t notice it as much because our lashes are very fine.  Typically, we lose 3-4 lashes per day.  This is more noticeable when an extension is attached.  Talk to your lash extensionist.  She should see no signs of damage to your lashes.

What are the extensions made of?

Lash Extensions are perfectly polished polyester points.  They are manufactured in different lengths, widths and curl to provide a wide range of possibilities.  There are also specialty lashes available called “Minks.”  While not made of minx hair, they are softer, blacker and glossier.  Minks are usually priced higher as the lashes are more expensive to provide.

What if I don’t like them?  Can I remove the extensions?

Lash Extensions should be removed by a professional.  Pulling or tugging on the lashes can damage your natural lash.  You may end up pulling out your natural lash instead of removing the extension.  Depending on the circumstances, a fee may be charged for this.

Could I have an allergic reaction to the extensions?

Generally, all of us deal with some kind of skin sensitivity.  So applying lash extensions may have a reaction.  The adhesive used should be a medical-grade product purchased from a reputable company in the United States.  Ask.  Reactions are usually mild – redness and itchiness in the lashline.  Symptoms may occur immediately or 2-3 days later.  In our experience, approximately 1-2% of clients feel a slight reaction that can be deemed allergic.  However, a more severe reaction occurs upon poor application.  The glue should NEVER touch the skin.  If the lash is glued to the skin, the hair follicle is blocked and your natural lash cannot grow out naturally.  As the hair tries to push through, and cannot, you can develop folliculitis in the lashline.  This may occur also if the poor application has multiple natural lashes glued together.  They start tugging on each other as they are generally growing at separate rates.  Again, a redness and itching will occur at the lashline.  Advanced, perfected application is a must.

Have more questions?

Call today to schedule a free consultation.  At Lasting Looks, we perform unique procedures that require skill, knowledge and experience.  We have it.  Please come see us.  We’d love to share the Lasting Looks experience with you!