Q. What is Permanent Makeup?
A. Also referred to as Permanent Cosmetics, Cosmetic Tattooing, or Intradermal Pigmentation. It is the process of safely implanting natural pigments into the dermal layer of skin for lasting color. Micropigmentation is a modern term for this treatment, which uses the same technology as tattoo. It is a specialty within tattoo that requires specific education, training and tools. Artistic and technical skill combined with extreme attention to detail determines the final look of the inserted pigment.
Permanent makeup is used for a variety of cosmetic enhancements, the more popular being, permanent eyebrows, eye liner, and lip liner/color. Other permanent makeup procedures include vitiligo, scar camouflage, areola restoration, hairline enhancement, and more. Permanent makeup has also been used to cover-up or improve the appearance of scarring, stretchmarks, birthmarks, freckles/age spots, and uneven skin discolorations.
Q. What is micropigmentation?
A. This is the name of the process used to implant color in permanent makeup. Permanent makeup permanent cosmetics, micropigmentation and intradermal micropigmentation are all words used within the industry to describe cosmetic tattooing.
Q. Is it the same as a tattoo?
A. It is a form of tattoo, although different techniques and pigments are used. The equipment for the facial permanent makeup is also different than that used in traditional body art. The true definition of a tattoo is pigment being implanted in the dermal layer of the skin.
Q. Are there other health concerns?
A. People with a history of cold sores need to pre-medicate with an anti-viral drug (Zoviraz, Valtrex, or Acyclovir) prior to a lip coloring procedure. People with active Glaucoma that requires eye drops to treat cannot have eyeliner due to the pressure sensitivity in the eye. Any active skin condition such as exema, psoriasis, or cystic acne in the area must have clear skin in the area being addressed at the time of the procedure. Depending on the amount, people taking blood thinners may or may not be best candidates for permanent makeup. Prospective clients with any other chronic medical condition (metabolic) being treated by a physician should have written authorization from your doctor. Similarly, even though there has not been any documented cases related to complication(s) from permanent makeup pigments, tattoo inks or topical anesthetics, we do require a written authorization from your primary care physician or OBGYN, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Q. Does it hurt?
A. A topical anesthesia is used as needed to help pre-numb and numb the areas to be treated. This helps to alleviate any minor discomfort you may experience during the procedure. On a scale of 1 to 10, our goal is to keep the pain threshold below '2'. However, every person has a different pain threshold and level of tolerance. We will customize the anesthetic process for each individual using a variety of topical anesthetics designed specifically for the sensitive facial areas. There are circumstances that may exacerbate discomfort, such as being on or near your menstrual period, under a lot of stress, recent head/sinus cold etc.
Q. How long does a procedure take?
A. Usually, each procedure appointment is approximately two hours. The majority of the time is spent in selecting the appropriate color for your skin, and in measuring and artistically drawing on the planned procedure prior to actually implanting the color. Adequate time is allowed for topical anesthetic to make you completely comfortable. You will also be given thorough aftercare instructions for optimum healing and outcome.
Q. Can I have eyeliner and lips and eyebrows all done at once?
A. Yes, a full-face procedure will take 3-5 hours. In fact, one advantage is that your aftercare for all the areas is all done at once.
Q. How does the healing take place? When will I see the final result?
A. Immediately after the procedure, the area treated will look much darker and much more defined than the final results. Be prepared for the color to be significantly lighter (even 30%-50% lighter depending on numerous factors) and the overall appearance much softer and more natural after the healing occurs. It will take time for this transition, based on how quickly the outer layer of your skin exfoliates. Usually the exfoliation (peeling, flaking) process occurs about 4 to 5 days and will be complete at about day 7. The dark residual pigment is then lost, leaving a soft natural color behind. At that point the contrast between the initial intense and dark color and the new softer and lighter color may be such that you may be very disappointed. Do not worry! It is expected and normal.
The final result is not absolute until 4 weeks. Skin tone, exfoliation, settling of the color into the dermis all contribute to the final outcome at about 4 weeks. Usually the eyebrows and eyeliner are basically healed and true to tone and depth of color after 7-10 days. The lips go through a different type of process and often appear too light after the initial “peeling” in the first 3-5 days. The color intensity becomes more visible after 3-5 weeks. A review of the procedures will take place in 4-6 weeks after to check for perfection. At times, minor touch-ups are needed for a nominal charge, unless a full second application is desired.
Q. What factors affect how long the color lasts?
A. The skill of the technician, the quality of the pigments used, the individual's skin type, how dark the original color is, sun exposure, use of exfoliating skin-care products, and lifestyle (e.g., swimmer).
Q. I am nervous about the fact that it is permanent. How can I know what to expect before I have it done?
A. We use makeup pencils to draw it on in advance for your approval. Then we are always cautious to keep on the side of light and natural, for we can always add more color later during your follow-up visit.
Q. My lips have no color, and I want daily natural color without appearing to be made up. Can this be done?
A. Yes, this can be achieved. We custom blend all of our lip colors to the individual’s preferences. People of color with very dark natural lip tone are not good candidates for the lip procedure.
Q. Can I have lip liner only, and leave the lips natural?
A. This is not stylistically recommended. It is recommended that the lip liner be gently blended into the lip tissue just inside the borders of the lip line. That way you achieve definition and color in the lip border, can add fullness and create a perfect shape, but it doesn’t look like just a ring of color around the lips. This is a specific technique and looks best when using a natural color that mimics the interior color of your natural lip tone.
Q. What is eyelash enhancement?
A. Eyelash enhancement is a highly recommended add-on to eyeliner. Essentially, it refers to coloring the area in between lashes of the top eyelid, which is implanted just below the eyeliner at the base of the lash line. It compliments the eyeliner which often hides behind multiple layers of lashes, creates definition and framing of the eyes, and provides a subtle and a professional look with illusion of thicker and fuller lashes. Many clients don't need to use the mascara anymore.
Q. I have little to none eyebrow hair. Can eyebrow be made to look natural, and not "drawn on".
A. Yes! Using highly specialized techniques, we can replicate the look of natural individual hairs. The effect looks like your own eyebrows, not like someone drew your eyebrows on with a magic marker.
Q. I am planning a cosmetic facial procedure. Should I wait until after that for my permanent makeup?
A. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the cosmetic procedure you are undergoing. For example, we prefer to do lip color first before getting filler to augment the lips. We can create the perfect lip line to follow later. It is advised if planning any cosmetic procedure within 4 weeks of permanent makeup that you have a personal consultation to determine the order in which you should get your procedures done.
Q. What is a touch-up or follow-up? How many applications are needed?
A. Touch-up, also known as follow-up procedure that may be needed in 4-6 weeks after the initial procedure.
Although most clients are satisfied with just one application, a few may notice lack or loss of color after the healing. This happens due to different reasons including, but not limited to, individual body chemistry, swelling, bruising, bleeding, medications, etc. If a touch-up or follow-up is desired, it is scheduled approximately 4-6 weeks after the initial procedure, so that the area is healed properly, since it is merely a re-coloring of any areas that have lost color intensity. Even then, the procedure requires numbing the whole area again, and using a new set of needle, anesthetics and supplies.
Q. What is color boost or refresher? When is it required?
A. Color boost, also known as refresher, is simply boosting the color of existing color. A color boost is required, when you feel the need to use the pencil to add more color. It is advisable to have color boosts done when needed, ratherthan waiting too long which may result in a new procedure. Few clients may need the color darkened (color-boost/refresher) within one year after the procedure, while others enjoy their makeup for many more years before needing a refresher.
Q.Is the procedure safe?
A.We strive to provide the absolute best services and of course that also means we use the best tools! All of our tools are individually packaged, single use, and adhere to the highest standards of sterilization. We use state-of-the art machine. The parts that actually touch the client and the needles that penetrate the skin are all pre-sterile from the manufacturer and we use medical grade needles. There is no physical way for the needles or casings to transmit air-born or blood-born diseases or bacteria within the system. All other aspects of the procedure are done to OSHA standards – the same standards of sterility, cleanliness and patient protection used in any clinical medical setting.
Q. Why don't people who have body tattoos require a 'color boost'?
A. Actually, body tattoos do fade over time as well. However, they don't fade as quickly due to following reasons: Permanent makeup is on the face, not on body parts which are hidden under clothing and shielded from the sun. Face is exposed to other external elements including water and chemicals during face washing and makeup application/removal. Also the chemistry on the face works at an accelerated rate as compared to body parts which is sluggish is comparison. The technique used in permanent makeup on the face is much different than on body parts, it is more superficially implanted.
Q. Does permanent makeup work on all scars?
A. Scars are very tricky to anticipate. Test patches are done to determine how receptive the scar is to the color, and what the final color will be. A scar cannot just be correctly "colored" on the initial visit. Getting it right is a process that will take more than one visit. The only scars that can successfully be camouflaged are scars that are lighter than the surrounding skin tone. Scars that are raised or Keloids, dark red or purple scars and scars that are less than 9 months old cannot be treated. Some individual skin types are not good candidates for the scar camouflage process. A personalized consultation will determine if this process if indicated for your situation.
Q. Are you a licensed facility? Do you follow or do you have to meet any specific federal, state, or city guidelines?
A. Microblade by Cheng is a licensed permanent makeup tattooing studio. We are licensed by Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) under Texas Department of State Health Service. Texas Department of State Health Services Drugs and Medical Devices Group is responsible for the enforcement of Health and Safety Code, Chapter 146, Tattoo and Certain Body Piercing Studio Act. We must meet/exceed Minimum Standards within 25 TAC (Texas Administrative Code).