No Runs, No Smears, No Fuss

Women from all walks of life are choosing to share something in common with all those glamorous Hollywood celebrities like Raquel Welch, Dolly Parton and Wynonna Judd. No, it’s not their bodies, great photogenic looks, marvelous voices or financial success, they may already have those things. What they share with these, and many other celebrities is Permanent Cosmetics. Whether you call it Cosmetic Tattooing, Dermapigmentaton, Microimplantation, Micropigmentation, Permanent Makeup, or Permanent Cosmetics, it is a way to get up feeling good about how you look and to make your life easier.

Kathryn, an energetic woman in her sixties, has had to draw on her eyebrows every morning for over thirty years. “As I’ve gotten older, this task has become increasingly more difficult. My eyesight has changed. Doing close-up work without the aid of glasses has become an exercise in frustration. “Some mornings they, [her brows], go on pretty well, but most of the time its a fight. I end up with one higher, wider or longer. I can never seem to get them to match. Sometimes I end up spending thirty minutes trying to get my eyebrows on. Then a few hours later, if I accidentally rub my hand against my brow, the color is gone and I’m running around with half an eyebrow.” Now, with her brow color permanently applied, she spends her time out enjoying life instead of in the bathroom getting stressed and frustrated.

Lu, is a woman doing what has been traditionally a man’s job. Telephone installation has lots of assets but it does have its drawbacks. “You can’t keep makeup on climbing up and down telephone poles in all weather or crawling around under people’s houses. You’re hot, sweaty and grimy in the summer. In the winter you can’t keep your face dry and out of the rain. Makeup gets smeared, gets in your eyes and looks a mess. I also show horses and anyone who does that will tell you a barn is a tough place to stay looking good. “With permanent makeup, it doesn’t matter where my work takes me or how hot it gets in the show ring. My eyeliner stays put, doesn’t bother my contacts and can’t possibly run or smear.”

Diane, a bubbly woman in her thirties, suffers from Alopecia, a disorder that has caused her to lose her hair. For years she has had no hair anywhere on her body. Diane has a great attitude about the situation. She jokes, “It does have its positive side… I haven’t had to shave my legs in seven years.” Although she is totally comfortable with herself, she did carefully pencil on her brows and much of the time wore false eyelashes. It was a slow tedious procedure with no natural hair to offer guidelines. Now, with permanently applied brows and eyeliner she feels freed from one of the most frustrating side effects of her disorder.

Suzie had a very special reason for wanting to have her lips tattooed. When she was thirteen she was bitten by a dog. This terrifying event left white, slightly raised scars on her upper lip and above the lip on both sides. At eighteen Suzie wanted a plastic surgeon to help her hide the scars but her mother couldn’t pay for such an expensive procedure. So Suzie worked and saved enough money to pay to have Permanent Cosmetics applied to her lip. With persistence and patience on the part of both Suzie and her technician they were able to get the scar to blend in perfectly with the rest of her lips. Once the lips were attractively colored the scars above the lip line were not obvious at all. Suzie was so pleased and delighted, as was her mother. In fact mom made an appointment and went in and had her lips done too.

Joe, an African American, was a 6’ tall corrections officer with a problem. His doctor had just informed him that he should wear lipstick to correct it. Joe, has a condition called “vitiligo”. This is a condition where the body becomes allergic to its own melanin. In Joe’s case, it meant that his lips had lightened to a chalky white color. Not only are they prone to sunburn easily, but they attracted unwanted attention to his otherwise dark mahogany complexion. As Joe tersely informed me, lipstick was not an option. Luckily, there was an answer – permanent lip color. With his doctor’s assistance, Joe’s lips were anesthetized and tattooed with several layers of dark brown color, over a period of time creating a rich, realistic lip color. The use of a sunscreen is necessary to keep his color deep and unaffected by the sun’s rays. Joe has back his decidedly masculine smile, and his wife gets to keep her lipstick!

Birthmarks are never an easy thing to deal with, especially if they are on the face. Susan was born with a moleskin birthmark covering most of her forehead. The doctors expertly removed the discolored area and grafted healthy tissue from another donor site on her body when she was only two. Everybody was thrilled. When Susan became eleven, a friend asked her why she only had one eyebrow. She didn’t know, but realized that she looked different and was the object of unwanted curiosity among other children. Her plastic surgeon was consulted and with great sadness informed her that there was nothing medically they could do due to the scarring along her brow bone. But he recommended cosmetic tattooing to create a brow which could match her existing real brow. After an hour in the technician’s chair, Susan looked like all her friends. Because of her doctor’s encouragement, she didn’t have to go through her teenage years with a feature that made her standout in an unwanted manner. As she grows and matures, corrections can be made to update her simulated brow into a more adult shape. In the meantime, Susan can now concentrate on being a kid who looks “just like everybody else”, a critically important issue to a young teenager.

Mary is getting married. And while she is happy, she is nervous. At 72, she never thought this would happen again. It has been a tough ten years. First her husband died, then she contracted breast cancer and endured chemotherapy, a mastectomy and reconstruction. She could wear regular clothing again but was not fully restored to her pre-cancer state.

Happy to be alive, Mary never thought she would ever want to look “like God made her” again in this lifetime. But that was before she met John her 75 year old beau.

She sheepishly inquired at her physician’s office as to whether or not there was something they could do to recreate pink areole and nipples. The answer was an enthusiastic “yes”. They were tattooed back on and looked so lifelike it was hard to believe they weren’t the real thing. Now Mary can concentrate on the wonderful occasion looking and feeling like her old self, her life restored on many different levels.

Does the cosmetic industry feel threatened by women getting Permanent Makeup done? I doubt it. Women are still women and enjoy playing with makeup colors. They also like to occasionally change or be more dramatic. But for those with allergies, disabilities, scars, or too many time demands in their lives, Permanent Cosmetic Makeup offers freedom and alternatives.

So, if you want to join the growing group of celebrities, and the rest of us, who don’t want to be slaves to makeup any longer, but still get up every morning looking great do your research, find a qualified technician and check out Permanent Cosmetics. If Permanent Makeup is something you might consider, care must be made in the selection of a technician. Only twenty-two states have any form of tattoo regulation and in many of them the only regulation is the setting of a minimum age for getting a tattoo without parental consent.

One of the best resources for identifying qualified individuals who do permanent makeup procedures, is through the non-profit professional organization, the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. They exist to promote ethics and education for the industry and awareness for the public.

By Judy Culp