What is Cosmetic Tattooing?

Cosmetic Tattooing, also called Semi-Permanent Makeup or Micropigmentation, is the process of implanting color pigment beneath the surface of the skin by using a tiny, sterile, disposable needle to produce the appearance of cosmetic makeup or to enhance the natural features of the face.


What is the difference between Cosmetic Tattooing and standard Body Tattooing?

The purpose of Cosmetic Tattooing is to enhance the natural features of a client. Cosmetic Tattooing is softer and more subtle – it is meant to be a natural-looking beauty enhancement. Body tattoos use ink while cosmetic tattoo procedures involve only iron-oxide based pigments. These pigments are designed to gently fade over time. Fading is desired as it allows the technician to make changes to color and shape over the years as client’s natural coloration and facial changes occur.


Does Cosmetic Tattooing hurt?

A highly-effective, topical anesthetic cream and gel are used for numbing before and during your procedure. Pain threshold levels vary from person to person and every effort is made to ensure you remain comfortable for the entirety of the procedure.


How long does Cosmetic Tattooing last?

The treatment is considered semi-permanent and will not wash off, however, it will fade over time and may need a touch-up every 1-2 years. Frequency of touch-ups depends on a number of factors including: the pigment color used (lighter colors fade faster), lifestyle (sun exposure), iron deficiency (your body absorbs iron-oxide as a supplement), and if any chemical peels come into   contact with treated areas. Please note that final results can not be guaranteed as each unique skin type will hold pigments differently and break down at different rates. I will re-evaluate how your skin has received the pigment at your touch-up appointment and make any changes necessary.


How many treatments are needed?

Two treatments are usually needed, about 4-6 weeks apart. Sometimes just one treatment is sufficient, but a touch-up appointment is recommended just in case. (And it's included in the cost!). With most procedures, the color looks dramatically lighter after the first week. Some clients prefer this, while others opt for a bolder look. At the second treatment, we will assess the color retention and make adjustments as necessary. Everyone heals differently and at different rates. If your cosmetic tattoo does not heal perfectly the first time, do not worry! We can always go darker and add more density at your next appointment.


What factors will affect my Cosmetic Tattoo?

Sun exposure: The sun fades the pigment faster so sun block should be used to prolong your enhancement.

The regeneration of skin cells: The longer the regeneration takes, the longer the pigment holds.

The speed at which the skin absorbs the pigment: The slower the absorption, the longer the pigment will hold.

The choice of color: Some colors fade quicker than others, e.g. a blonde color will fade quicker than a dark brown color.


What should I do before my procedure?

If you have an ideal shape and color in mind, bring a few reference photos with you to your appointment. If you regularly get your eyebrows shaped, waxed, threaded or tinted, please let me know. If there are any stray hairs that fall outside of our final shape, we can remove them. You may fill-in your eyebrows prior to your appointment, if you wish, so we can get a sense of what your daily makeup routine is like. If you plan to go on a vacation, it is recommended to plan your trip a minimum of 14 days after the procedure. We also request our clients avoid prescription blood thinners (if possible) for 24 hours prior to their appointment. This also includes Vitamin E, Aspirin and Alcohol.


How will I look immediately after? What is the healing process?

Your semi-permanent makeup will appear darker and bigger than expected for the first few days. This will gradually lighten during the complete healing process. There may be some redness immediately following the procedure but that usually fades within the first 30 minutes. We recommend a dry healing, which means NO ointment or lotion during the healing process. Brows will flake as they heal but that is completely normal.


What should I do after the procedure?

We will provide you with aftercare instructions following your procedure. It is highly beneficial to follow these instructions to ensure a comfortable healing process and to achieve the best results. DO NOT rub or pick the healing area as the color will peel off prematurely, and avoid extreme heat and contaminated bodies of water (such as saunas, jacuzzis, steam rooms, pools, lakes, humidity). 


How will my Cosmetic Tattoo look in the future?

During your appointment, we will analyze your skin's undertone to anticipate how pigment colors will fade in the future. We will also mix pigments to ensure color remains in the same tone. The majority of our clients' cosmetic tattoos stay true to color. There are some cases, however, where colors may fade to different tones according to the individual’s response to the pigments (like lifestyle and iron deficiencies). Many factors affect these changes. At your follow up appointment, we will re-analyze how your body has responded to the initial color.


What should I know about long term care?

A good sunscreen applied daily (AFTER healing!!!) on the tattooed area is needed to help keep color true. As with any tattoo, sun exposure will make the color fade faster. The pigment used is iron-oxide based. Your body absorbs it as a mineral, so the color will fade over time. You may need a touch-up every 1-2 years depending on each individual. The fading speed depends on your skin type, lifestyle, sun exposure, pigment color used, broken capillaries, iron deficiency, and if any chemical peels were done after cosmetic tattooing. 


Anything else I should know?

If you are planning a chemical peel, MRI or other medical procedure, please inform the technician that you have had an iron-oxide cosmetic tattoo. Careful application must be taken to avoid affecting the tattooed area. 
If you are planning to have laser treatments, tell your laser specialist to avoid the pigmented area. Laser may cause pigment to turn black. Any other questions may be addressed in an email.