Permanent Makeup Tattoos
(aka “Cosmetic Tattoos”)
For clients who love tattoos, are lazy as hell, and wish they looked the same every day of their lives, the advent of permanent make-up was like manna from the heavens. Inexplicably, the fad has not died out, and people are still interested in this technique. This type of ink, also known as cosmetic tattoos, typically falls into three categories:
1. Permanent eyebrows. The client has to have her (we could say, “or him,” but who are we kidding here? It’s a woman.) eyebrows off, then you get to ink her new eyebrows in. Making them look realistic will be a real challenge, and will require some special skill with your tattoo machine.
2. Permanent eyeliner. This is incredibly delicate work, and if you haven’t done this before, you’re probably better off sending her to a specialist; if you have, but it’s been a while, bone up on the procedure, because this is a money maker. The good news (for you) is that she’ll have to come in for touch-up work every few years.
3. Permanent lipstick. This is more straightforward, but getting the right needle depth can be tricky.
Tips For When Someone Asks for Permanent Makeup Tattoos:
1. Make sure she’s 100 percent positive she wants it. There are a lot of downsides for the customer, whether it’s shifting fashions, shifting personalities, or simply the requisite muscle control she’ll have to exert.
2. Make sure that you want to do it. Let’s be honest: this probably isn’t what you signed up for when you became a tattoo artist, and if you’re not committed to it, don’t waste your time—send her to a specialist instead.
3. Get on the same page with the customer in terms of exactly what she wants. Neither of you wants any surprises, so do however many sketches you need to in order to make sure that you’re both 100 percent on the same exact page. While the actual tattooing might not take long, the lead-up to it can—and probably should—take a while.
4. Strongly suggest a neutral lip color for her. No matter what she’s telling herself now, she won’t want fire engine red lips for the rest of her life, and with a neutral color, she can always tart the color up to her liking. Yes, it might defeat the purpose a bit, but her neutral colored lip tattoo should still cover at least 40 percent of her time.
5. Make sure she knows that she’ll need regular touch-ups. Due to the amount of sun exposure her tattoos will get, they’ll fade faster than tattoos in other locations, and will likely require more frequent touch-ups than other tattoos.
Special Supplies for Cosmetic Tattoos
You’ll need to use a numbing agent for the area you’re tattooing in order to ensure that she stays still, as well as anti-coagulation gel to limit the bleeding—after all, with work this delicate, you need to see exactly what you’re doing.