Frequently Asked Questions
First five are statements released by The Society of Permanent Makeup Professionals.
With the sudden popularity and media attention to the term microblading, many are led to believe microblading is not a tattoo process. Permanent cosmetics, micropigmentation, dermal implantation, microblading/microstroking, eyebrow embroidery, and long-time/long-lasting makeup, are all different names for the same procedure – cosmetic tattooing.
Any time color is placed into the skin with any device, it is a tattoo process as defined by many well- informed regulators, the medical community, and dictionary sources. Denying this process is a tattoo can be problematic for those who would, for religious or other personal reasons, normally refuse to have a tattoo.
Microblading is performed with a grouping or configuration of needles affixed to a handle to manually create lines that resemble eyebrow hairs. Manual methods of tattooing have been used through the ages, and the tools have gone through changes over time from pre-historic sharpened stones to the hand tool devices currently being used.
An actual scalpel or cutting-type blade should not be used under any circumstances as these are considered medical devices and cannot legitimately be used for this process. Any hand tool device (i.e, both handle and attached needles) used for microblading should be pre-sterilized and fully disposable.
Some are promoting microblading or eyebrow embroidery as a semi-permanent process; and that the color only reaches the epidermal (outer) layer of the skin. A careful review of basic skin anatomy and physiology would reveal this is not true. By definition and tattoo industry standards, color is tattooed/implanted into the dermis of the skin.
If pigment particles do not reach the dermis, they will disappear during the healing phase of the skin, during normal regeneration of cells at the epidermal level. Pigments do fade in the skin over time, but that does not make the process semi-permanent. It is impossible to predict how much pigment will fade away and how long it will take to do so with any measure of consistency or reliability.
No; if someone is new to the industry and does not already have a minimum of 100 hours of training in permanent cosmetics, they need to have a similar amount of training in microblading, even if it is for just that one type of procedure. There are many areas of study when learning these techniques, which include facial morphology and bone structure, brow shaping and design, color analysis, color theory, proper handling of equipment, prevention of cross-contamination, as well as practice work and the opportunity to observe procedures before actually performing them under supervision.
Anyone interested in pursuing training in cosmetic tattooing, including microblading, should first check with state and county regulating agencies. This would also include verifying the qualifications of any trainer, in addition to checking with regulatory agencies for trainer compliance with local health, safety, or permit requirements if the trainer is traveling from another state or country to offer training.
Topical anaesthetics are used to minimize any discomfort that you may feel.
We actually have clients fall asleep while getting their Brows done using our Softap technique of applying colour. Many clients say that it’s similar to have their Eyebrows plucked.
The microblading technique is the latest technique for creating very fine hair strokes on the eyebrows. This method can cause more sensitivity and it’s not appropriate for all skins types. Softap is definitely the more gentle form of cosmetic tattooing.
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Permanent Makeup, like Permanent Hair Dye can and will fade.
You will need a minimum of two applications in the establishment stage.
You should expect to do colour refresh yearly. In some cases 6 monthly. Alopecia clients and clients with little or no hair generally require the six monthly touch ups.
Colour Touch ups will vary from client to client depending on the skins ability to hold and retain pigment and the amount colour applied to their skin. (the finer the line the faster it will appear to fade)
The darker the colour used and the more colour you put into the skin the longer it will appear to last.
The lighter the shade the faster it fades.
The following medical conditions require special consideration, and need to be discussed before scheduling a micropigmentation procedure. Anything that affects the bodies ability heal.
- We do not recommend this procedure for any person who is currently being treated or medicated for an illness that compromises the immune system or body healing process.
- Diabetes. Healing could be compromised, higher risk of infection.
- Glaucoma. Increased intraocular pressure combined with pressure placed on the eye to apply eyeliner could be damaging.
- Bleeding disorders. Blood disorders that affect clotting such as haemophilia, sickle cell anaemia, platelet disorders.
- Mitral Valve Prolapse. Artificial heart Valves, Artificial Joints. Any condition that requires prophylactic antibiotics before dental or other procedures will need to take them before Micropigmentation also.
- Herpes Simplex. People who get fever blisters / cold sores may experience an outbreak after lip procedures. Antiviral prescription should be taken.
- Pregnancy or Breast Feeding, then the procedure should be postponed.
- Keloid or Hypertrophic Scaring. Persons with tendencies for this type of scaring have that risk with tattooing also.
- Use of certain Medications. Accutane / Retin-A, topical steroids can make the skin fragile. Anticoagulants (blood thinners), long-term use of aspirin, ibuprofen, and some herbs reduce clotting time resulting in increased bleeding and bruising.
- Heart conditions. High blood pressure. Poor general health.
The above list of conditions serves as a guideline only and each client must be assessed individually prior to treatment.
Many clients return to work the same day
The hand tool method of applying colour to the skin is very gentle and you shouldn’t expect any significant swelling or bruising. Eyes will feel a little puffy like you’ve been crying for the first 24 hours, but surprisingly they don’t appear noticeably puffy. The skin will feel a little itchy over the next few days as the skin heals back to normal over the next 3-5 days.
Permanent makeup will appear more intense immediately after the procedure. The excess pigment is shed off over the next couple of days and colours will continue to soften over the next couple of months. It is possible for you to have Eyeline and Browline treatments and return to work the next day. Lips take longer to settle down initially.
You should not have a procedure immediately prior to departing for a holiday in consideration of the following:
- You will not look your best in the first few days following treatment.
- You may not be able to avoid sun, salt water, chlorine, hot spas, saunas or strenuous activity.
- If you have a question or problem it would be best to be near your micropigmentation technician and local doctor.
No Alcohol or caffeinated products 24 hours before treatment and no aspirin or blood thinning medications five days prior.
Pre Lashline procedures
- Eyelash perming or tinting should be done at least 48 hours prior to the procedure and not resumed until 2 weeks after. Before scheduling a Lash Line Enhancement with Micropigmentation. I encourage clients to have an eyelash tint, as the use of Mascara should be avoided after treatment to keep the skin clear of possible infection.
- Do not wear contact lenses during or immediately following the eyeliner procedure. Remember to bring your glasses. You may resume wearing your contact lenses as soon as your eyes return to their pre-procedure condition.
- Driving a motor vehicle immediately after having eyeliner is not desirable as your eyes will have antiseptic ointment around them that may potentially come in contact with your eye and blur your vision.
- Delicate or sensitive areas may redden or swell slightly to the extent that you have been crying, therefore it is advised not to make social plans for the same day.
- Clients who have used Lash Growth Serums in the past may not be good candidates for Eyeline Pigmentation.
Pre Browline procedures
Tweezing or waxing in this area should be done 48 hours prior to treatment. Removing hair around the area of pigmentation can leave the skin more sensitive. If you require specialist shaping please advise at the time of booking as we need to allow time for this in addition to the Micropigmentation.
Things you will need to consider before proceeding:
If you get fever blisters / cold sores you may experience an outbreak after procedures. Antiviral prescription should be taken. Prepare by using Zovirax ointment 3 or four days prior to procedure.
Lips that have been injected with fillers may not hold colour well. Restylane injected superficially near the lip edge has caused migration or feathering to occur along the lip line. Lips that have been injected with liquid silicone risk disruption of the capsular formation holding the micro droplets in place due to stretching and pressure applied for the permanent lip colour procedure. Loss of liquid injectable silicone may occur, and all risks associated with free silicon applied if this happens. Lip implants may become infected if the lips acquire an infection. The mouth is full of germs and saliva will contact all the open holes made by the tattooing.
Lips swell quite a bit for 3 or 4 days and take about a week to go down completely. Lips may ooze the first couple of days, peel for a week and chapped for two weeks. During the peeling process it may seem like there is not much colour in the lips. The lip colour starts showing more after a couple of weeks when the healing and sloughing off process has finished.
Always with any Micropigmentation procedure, the colour chosen plus your underlying skin tone is what will determine the final colour. Colour can be added to at a later date with warmer or cooler shades to balance according to your desired look.
A little pinking of the skin around the treated area can be expected immediately after treatment. This usually subsides within the hour. The time this takes to settle will depend on the sensitivity of the skin. Brows will look more obvious in the first few days until the skin has repaired over the pigment.
On the second or third days after treatment the skin begins to slough off some light fragments of the pigment as it repairs, and it may feel a bit itchy. Don’t scratch it.
You’ll need to apply the aftercare gel to keep the skin moist and protected while healing . Do this for 7-10 days.
Do not touch your eyebrows with your hands immediately after treatment.
Do not swim for 7 days or do vigorous exercise for at least 3 days.
Do not wear makeup on the treated area until completely healed.
Take care when cleansing your face for the first day. Do not ever use Retin-A or Alpha Hydroxy Acid cosmetics, as these products will remove the pigment colour from your eyebrows.
Do not expose to the sun, wear a sunscreen to protect your face.
Minor swelling and pinking of the skin on the lids immediately after treatment. The length of time this takes to settle varies from person to person. They usually settle down within 24 hours.
You can minimise puffiness on the eyelids when you get home by may placing cool damp cotton pads over your eyes. Take a few ice cubes from the freezer and place in a small bowl of water. Place a about 4 cotton rounds onto the ice soaking in the water. Then remove and squeeze off the excess water. Place the damp cotton pads onto the closed eyelids and lay down to rest for several minutes.
As the skin repairs you can expect some flaking off of the pigment during the healing process this will start the second to third day after treatment and be completed after five to six days. A small number of clients may experience crusting on the eyelids. Any skin abrasion may weep a little as it heals. Just gently wipe it with a damp cotton pad and reapply the aftercare gel. Brolene ointment may be used twice daily for the first couple of days.
Do not touch your eyelids with your hands immediately after treatment.
Do not swim for 7 days or do vigorous exercise for at least 3 days.
Do not use makeup near the eye area for 2 to 3 days. Take care when cleansing your face.
Pigment fading depends on the following:
- The skins ability to hold and retain pigment.
- The degree of flaking experienced during the healing process
- The natural fading rate of the particular pigments used
- The treated area will appear darker in colour when first treated, but approximately thirty to forty percent of the intensity will be lost during the healing process.
THE FOLLOW-UP APPOINTMENT IS AN IMPORTANT STEP IN THE WHOLE MICROPIGMENTATION PROCEDURE.
Patch testing is optional prior to treatment. If you are considering Lip micropigmentation then I always advise a patch testing.
The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals and the American Academy of Micropigmentation both set industry standards and neither body recommends patch testing as a way of clearly determining allergic reactions or colour changes in the skin. This is because although in the short term changes can take place, they may also take place much further down the track. Allergic reactions are extremely rare and none have been reported so far from the pigment manufacturers that I personally import from the USA.
Clients must bear in mind that there isn’t a pigment made yet, that the sun can’t fade. Colours will fade out over time and this gives you the option of adding to or changing the colour to suit your current needs.
The pigment should ideally be placed into the brow line area when considering a Brow treatment. Also a little spot in the hairline at the back of the head (like a freckle).
If the client has any sort of reaction immediately after patch testing a doctor can take a biopsy of the test patch in the hairline away from the face to determine if it is related to the pigment.
Please see this note from one of the prominent American pigment manufacturers (PDF format file)