Cosmetic Tattooing FAQs
Q1. What does the Cosmetic Tattooing process involve?
A1. The cosmetic tattoo procedure involves depositing pigment into the skin, using a small pen-style machine which rapidly inserts small quantities of the appropriate colour pigment progressively in the required area with the expertise of a competent and skilled professional. Treatments available are eyebrows (powder fill, hair stroke and partial/gap filling). The pigment remains in the skin indefinitely although the colour may fade due to ageing of the tattoo, health or environmental factors, eventually retouching may be required.
Q2. How long does it last?
*The pigment used – darker pigments i.e. black and very dark brown last a lot longer than lighter shades. A blonde to light brown microblade will usually need refreshing around 6-8 months (hence we normally will use a combination method for those wanting lighter coloured brows)
*The method used – microblade does not normally last quite as long as powderfill/machine method – the pigment is implanted in thin strokes with microblade, which are not able to be placed as deeply in the skin as machine cosmetic tattoo.
*The density of pigment – i.e. a treatment that has been reinforced with a second adjustment appointment will usually be longer lasting
*Environmental factors such as exposure to UV light. Tanning and not using sun protection will fade cosmetic tattoos faster, and those with oilier skin, the tattoo will not last as long as in someone with a dryer skin.
*After care – regularly tinting over the area, using glycolic acid based products or peels on the area, or regularly exfoliating over the brows can cause them to fade more quickly.
*Your health and overall individual physiology – some people retain pigment extremely well, others do not (however the adjustment appointment gives us an indicator of this and how much darker/how more more pigment needs to be implanted.
*Generally, the treatment is considered semi-permanent; though in many cases (especially eyeliner and very dark brows) you will always have some pigment remaining in the skin. A touch-up treatment is recommended every 8-18 months for microblade (finer more natural strokes), and 12-24 months for power fill cosmetic tattoo/machine tattoo.
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Q3. Who benefits from cosmetic tattoo?
*People who don’t want to spend their time applying makeup
*People who need to look good every day for work and are expected to maintain a certain level of grooming.
*People who enjoy sports, swimming and the beach.
*Those suffering alopecia and hair loss from medical treatment.
*Those who suffer bad eyesight who have trouble applying makeup.
*Those who just don’t like the ‘made-up’ look and want to look great in no time.
*Those who are always in a rush and feel that applying makeup is a luxury they just don’t have time for!
In short, just about everyone! 2 years ago, after deliberating the decision for years, I had my eyebrows cosmetically tattooed. It was the best thing I ever did for them – no more fiddling about in the mirror trying to get one just like the other – that frustrating feeling when you’re rushing to get out the door, but you know they aren’t perfect (or, you forget to draw one on in your rush!).
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Q4. What is the difference between powder-fill/solid brow and hair-strokes or feathering for eyebrow tattoo?
A4. Powder-fill gives a more defined, solid appearance, and is usually a longer-lasting option, whereas hair stroke, as the name suggests, involves cosmetic tattooing on tiny lines/strokes in a design that gives the appearance of hair. Hair-strokes alone, with no background, do require more re-touching than other methods. A good, longer lasting option can be a combination of these, where a lighter powder-fill will be done at the first appointment, then hair-strokes over the top, to give texture and a realistic, hair like appearance. We can discuss these options and what would give you the best result and your consultation.
Q5. How long does the procedure take?
A5. Normally around 90 mins – 2 hours, depending on the treatment you are having. Often, for eyebrows, the longest part of the appointment can be the consultation and actually drawing on the brow shape – I will always spend time getting them as symmetrical and as close to perfect as possible, with your approval before any cosmetic tattooing begins. The actual tattooing rarely takes longer than 45-60 minutes. When you make your appointment, we will discuss the time needed and make sure there is plenty of time for you to ask questions and for us to discuss the look you are after.
Q6. Does it hurt
A6. It varies between person to person, most people experience a little discomfort during the first 5-10 minutes of the treatment, but once the area has been numbed effectively, feel very little. I myself have had my eyebrows cosmetically tattooed, and found it was like a light, annoying scratch for the first few minutes, after which I couldn’t feel much – it was a lot more bearable than I had thought! We advise you to purchase a small tube of numbing cream that can be purchased from a compounding pharmacy (I can supply details) and apply it thickly over the area for 1 HOUR PRIOR to treatment (eyebrows only). This controls any pain significantly.
Q7. Can it be removed if I change my mind?
A7. Technically, most cosmetic tattoos can be removed with specific laser treatments, however it can be quite difficult and many treatments are often needed. As such, I would go into the treatment with the view that it is permanent. If you are ambivalent and really unsure as to whether it’s something you would want in 2 or 3 years time, maybe take some more time to consider. Or, if you are committed to the idea but unsure of the look, go with something less dramatic and lighter – for examples, a thin top liner, or lighter brown hair stroke brows. Remember, it is quite simple for me to retouch a treatment and make it thicker or darker – but impossible to do the opposite. You can always go darker/more dramatic at your adjustment appointment!
Q8. Is it a safe procedure?
A8. Yes, very. The cosmetic tattoo machine is one of the most hygienic available, a small, pen-like device that uses completely disposable parts. All needles, tubes, chambers, caps, casings – anything that comes into contact with clients, are brand new and sealed prior to your treatment. Allergic reactions to the pigments are incredibly rare. The pigments brands used are trusted, long-established USA made brands that have been on the market for decades. The pigments contain iron oxide that is already present in the human body, so highly unlikely to cause a reaction. In regards to patch tests, this can be arranged and is recommended if you are concerned/are a highly allergic individual. However, – as an allergic reaction can sometimes show after 2 weeks, but sometimes 5-10 years later (this can be due to hormones/medications or simply unknown) a patch test can be rather ineffective. Most clients do not request a patch test.
Q9. How are beautiful eyebrows created?
A9. There are basic guiding principles for creating the perfect eyebrow – measurements involving the spacing and the relationship between space, angles of the face, and the nose and eyes as to where the brow should begin, end, and where it should arch. However, there is a great variance between difference faces and what brow suits each – there is no one ‘perfect brow’ for all. I will take some basic measurements of your face, look at symmetry (no one is perfectly symmetrical, not even supermodels!) and work out the best way to balance your face. I will usually ask you to come to the appointment with your brows drawn on exactly as you like them. I find this is a good place to start, as it shows me what you are used to, what your personal makeup style is, and your colour preferences. Sometimes some subtle changes are made to the shape and colour, if I think this could achieve a better result. I will always show you the drawn shape before I begin tattooing.
Q10. Why is it important to go to your 2nd/adjustment appointment?
A10. I feel that two appointments are necessary to create fantastic, long-lasting brows, particularly for the hair-stroke method that seems to be the most popular at the moment. In the first appointment, a shape is established, colour saturation occurs, or the first set of hair-stokes. The second appointment is to reinforce the pigment (fill any spots where colour did not take as well, or where hair-strokes faded, as they can do), often using a slightly darker colour, to give a more realistic, 3D appearance, and a second appointment is needed to make minor shape adjustments to complete the final look. Often however, it is not. You don’t have to come to you second appointment if you feel it’s unnecessary. However, I highly recommend it, particularly in the case of hair stroke brows. They will last longer if you come in a second time – and there is no additional charge for this. I want you to be walking around with the best set of brows that I can give you – and ones that last a reasonably good length of time!
Q11. I am pregnant/breastfeeding – can I have cosmetic tattoo done?
A11. No, it is not recommended.
Q12. What will I look like immediately after Eyebrow Cosmetic Tattoo?
A12. Eyebrows will immediately look more prominent, darker and more defined with a little bit of swelling and redness. Swelling and redness will subside within a few hours post tattooing. The colour will appear darker and stronger than the desired result; this will adjust over the healing time with up to 40% pigment loss experienced within the first 6 weeks.