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Permanent Makeup - FAQs

Technician Talk and Permanent Makeup FAQ's

A: Most cosmetic pigments, or micropigments, are made from a dry, powdery and insoluble substance that is usually pulverized. When suspended in a liquid vehicle, the substance becomes a paint, or type of ink. BioTouch pigments come in a variety of colors specially formulated with iron oxide, an ingredient safe for the skin; pigments made from organic ingredients, such as vegetables, have a high risk of carrying bacteria and causing allergic reactions. Because the color is implanted just underneath the dermis layer of the skin, the resulting shade is soft and muted. The most common procedures for which permanent cosmetics are used are eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip liner.

A: The duration of permanent or semi-permanent makeup depends on the depth of needle penetration during the procedure. Skin type and after-care are determining factors in achieving lasting results. Clients need to follow all instructions carefully so that their makeup color can last several years. Touch-ups are recommended every few years as necessary.

A: The art of tattooing has been practiced for centuries. Pigments used on the face are made of iron oxide and carbon based ingredients. These compounds are naturally present in the human body. Strict sanitation and sterilization procedures are enforced to reduce the possibility of infection or contamination, but the client also has the responsibility of keeping the treated area clean while it’s healing. Clients should also advise their doctor immediately if they plan to undergo any other procedures, such as laser treatments, Botox, dermabrasion, peels, etc.

A: As with any procedure where topical ointments or anesthetics are used, risks may occur if the patient is allergic to certain ingredients containing ‘caine’ such as lidocaine. Most clients however, would know if there has been any previous reaction during routine dental work. Other risks may have to do with the technician’s level of expertise or experience. A fanning or bleeding of color may occur if the technician does not know how to hold the machine or needle properly. A client consultation and medical history form is obtained first, to discuss any known allergies or questions ahead of time. It’s also a good time for the technician to explain the process in general, and to secure a signed release before performing any patch tests prior to the procedure.


Clients should always inform their doctor if they have or plan to get cosmetic tattoos. With their doctor’s advice, you can determine what kind of precautions to take or what protection is needed for the client. Sometimes laser treatments turn pigment to a dark or black color. Collagen and pigments do not mix well either, so make sure clients ask a dermatologist or physician to explain the possibility of reactions to Botox or collagen. The client may have to undergo those types of procedures before getting any permanent makeup done.

Reports have appeared of people having undergone an MRI and experiencing a burning pain in the area where permanent cosmetics were implanted. The iron oxides in the pigment react to the magnetic fields and radio waves used in an MRI, causing this pain. As reported on The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals website, Dr. Frank Shellock of Towering Images claimed that no permanent damages have resulted in clients who had MRIs with permanent makeup on because "the iron particles in the pigment are too microscopic to react as true metal pieces." Clients should inform their doctors of any permanent makeup they have prior to taking an MRI.

A: Some clients may experience some swelling depending on their skin's sensitivity. However, most applications look great immediately after the procedure! We have a state-of-the-art anti-pain protocol in which we use a highly effective analgesic ointment. We also offer BioGel, BioCare, eye drops and other anti-inflammatory products.

A: Some fading will occur, which is normal. Technicians should deposit pigment deep enough to prevent color from scabbing, but diligent after-care will also lock in color. Makeup applied by technicians who strive to perfect their skills will result in better color retention and fewer touch-ups. However, periodic touch-ups are good for a technician’s business!

A: Clients will have only temporary restrictions. Right after the procedure, clients must avoid steamy areas, such as spas or hot tubs, as well as contact with chlorine. They must not rub, pick, or apply additional cosmetics to the treated area until it is completely healed. The normal recovery time is 5 to 10 days.

A: Technicians are required to successfully complete a series of courses that include training on color theory and sanitization. Another standard requirement is experience in hands-on clinics. A technician who seeks legitimate training should choose an accredited, post-secondary school with credentialed instructors.

A: Infections usually occur in skin that has a tendency to break out easily, or in the treated skin of a client who did not follow the after-care instructions. If a client knows their skin is sensitive or blisters easily, they must receive preparatory treatment well ahead of time. The client should start prescribed medication or preventative care a few days before the procedure. If an infection or outbreak occurs afterward, have the client contact their doctor for a prescription or for information on available over-the-counter products. Clients should immediately take care of any irritations or infections to promote faster healing, which will also protect the color.

A: You can "feel" it in your touch and pressure. It takes some practice, but eventually you will know right away. Practice, Practice, Practice!

A: Proper training and experience is the best guarantee of success. Until your techniques are perfected, ALWAYS follow your guidelines, and work slowly and precisely. Let the client’s skin tell you when it's had enough! Don’t overdo it. If you see the skin swell and bruise, STOP! They will appreciate a rescheduled touch-up instead of damaged skin.

A: All teachers favor different methods than others. In the end, however, you will develop your own.

A: Prices for hairstyling range from £30 to £65 on average. However, the price of just one procedure for eyes, lips or brows can start at £300! Permanent makeup is profitable and increasingly popular. Every professional in the beauty industry should consider adding permanent makeup to their full-service salon or spa.

A: Neither really matter, but take the client's preferences into consideration. Most importantly, always draw the tattoo on the skin first, so the client can agree on its color and shape. Technicians can proceed confidently with this as their guideline.

A: NO! If anything, go slower! Make sure you have proper penetration, not just speed. If you work too fast, very little color will remain once you wipe the color away. What happens then? You have to do it all over again! This means more trauma to the skin, and more aggravation for the client. Do it right the first time even if it means being more careful. Your customer will appreciate it.

A: Clients think the "uplift" they get from the top eyeliner is enough. A lot of times it isn’t. A soft bottom liner will further enhance the eyes.

A: Use your best judgment. You should make the client happy, but you should also avoid trends that consist of too thick, too long, droopy, or over-arched eyebrows. Remember, your reputation depends on the work other people see!

A: Be sure to aim the needle toward the center of the procedure area. For example, when tattooing lips, hold the machine so the needle points toward the center of the lip area without angling it toward any other part of the face.


aramedical procedures are reserved for advanced technicians who have passed a paramedical course. Clients undergoing reconstructive procedures after serious injury, scarring, cancer, or burns, can receive permanent makeup on the areas to be restored. Since these areas may be delicate, a technician needs advanced training in camouflage and correction, as well as working relationships with doctors or other medical personnel.

Improving your techniques, knowledge, and education in this area will enable you to offer this beneficial service to those who have lost hope in any chance of regaining some of their appearance back. It can be a very fulfilling and rewarding career!

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