If the tattoo industry had an alter-ego, it would be the permanent cosmetic industry. Some people call it the more sophisticated and refined side of tattooing. Other people seem to be in a state of deep denial of the fact that it is a tattoo. Ladies who roll their eyes and shriek at the idea of artistic tattoos, the very same ones who perpetuated the sigma attached to them, are the jumping at the chance to finally define their faint eyebrows and pale lip lines. Dermapigmentation technicians used the same ink and the same equipment as artistic tattooist, but in a far more socially acceptable way.
Though there are documented cases of cosmetic tattooing taking place at the turn of last century, it’s only recently become more or less mainstream. Some ladies go
for the full face, eye shadow and all, but eyeliner, cheek color and lip liner are the most popular procedures.
The process starts with a consultation with a makeup artist who will help you decide the color palette that’s going to be permanently applied to your face. Obviously, this is perhaps the most important step. You wouldn’t want to wake up every day for the rest of your life with an unflattering shade of lipstick.
Once your colors are chosen, the technician will apply a topical anesthetic to the area. This will numb the skin, but you will still feel a stinging sensation. Most people feel the end result is worth the discomfort, or there would be women walking around with half finished faces.
After the tattoo is applied, you should treat the site just like a wound. An antibiotic ointment should be applied and the area should be covered as well as possible. Your technician should be able to recommend an ointment or cream that’s best for delicate facial skin. Even if your technician is well trained and runs a reputable and sterile operation, side effects and complications can occur. If you start running a fever, contact your doctor to rule out infection. A patch test should be done ahead of time to make certain you are not allergic to the ink.
Your new cosmetic tattoo is just as permanent as any artistic tattoo, but it will eventually fade to some extent. Eyeliner usually needs to be touched up every four to six years. Lip liner usually doesn’t last quite as long and may need to be reapplied ever two to for years. There are a couple of factors that cause the need for reapplication: pigments and your body’s natural skin cell renewing process.
Different color pigments fade at different rates, which may account for the fact that dark eyeliner lasts longer than lip color which tends to be rosier.
Cosmetic tattooing has a more practical side as well. It can be used to cover up scars after reconstructive surgery and make skin discolorations virtually disappear. Tattooing has successfully covered up facial scars and created facial features for people who lost theirs due to being burned or some other type of accident. It can also be used to create new aureolas and improve the appearance of a nipple after breast reconstruction. It’s a simple procedure that can make all the difference in the world to someone’s self esteem.
The best way to choose a reconstructive tattooist is with the help of your plastic surgeon. You’re doctor may be able to give you a mild anesthetic before your appointment. Unfortunately, the procedure is no covered by most insurance companies and the cost can be quite high, but you can’t put a price on felling like yourself again, especially after an accident or a life altering surgery that requires reconstruction.