A “cosmetic tattoo” accurately describes the popular service of tattooing the appearance of traditional cosmetic eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip color among other associated services such as scar camouflage and areola repigmentation.
What may further perplex readers who seek an absolute as an accepted identifiable term, or as a minimum, adds to the discussion of appropriate recognition of a cosmetic tattoo, is the variety of terms used to describe the service. Often used and seen in advertising, the media, licensed business names, legislation, and beauty service menus are descriptions such as permanent cosmetics (the most identifiable and popular,) permanent makeup, and a less often used term, but not to be omitted for the sake of comprehensiveness, micropigmentation.
To our knowledge there has not been a formal documented history of the progressive instigation and subsequently periodic change of terms as cosmetic tattoo services became mainstream in the beauty industry. Tattooing, historically often associated with body art tattooing decoration is centuries old, includes tattoo adornment on the bodies of millions of people, some historical figures, and used as tribe and demographic identification of many peoples of many countries.
It is believed the term cosmetic tattoo was originally intended to convey that the tattoo would be reasonably undetectable and intentionally be identified by an onlooker as traditional makeup (or cosmetics) that can be washed off. From the term cosmetic tattoo, somewhere along the way, those who offered services outside the traditional tattoo (body art) studio environment chose rather to identify with the very process the service reproduces – cosmetics or makeup. The term “permanent” is an obvious association with the permanency of tattooing pigment or ink into the dermal layer of the skin.
Whenever and however the name cosmetic tattoo evolved to other popular identifying terms, its popularity continues to grow in its appeal to woman and men from all walks of life and for as many reasons as one could imagine. The SPCP cautions all that seek the service to shun the term semi-permanent cosmetics (or makeup.) The client who would expect a cosmetic tattoo service that would serve for a short-term vacation or special event will be sorely disappointed. Whatever the term used, tattooing is tattooing and historically documented for centuries for its longevity.
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