Types of Permanent Cosmetic Tattoos

Cosmetic tattoos can be done on eyebrows, lips, around the eyes, to camouflage general surgical scars, to complement plastic surgery procedures and add color to the areola of breasts where pigment may be lacking.

Cosmetic / Medical Uses for Permanent Tattoos

Permanent tattoos of a CORRECTIVE nature can help men and women:

  • affected by Alopecia areata / Alopecia totalis
  • those who have suffered hair loss after chemotherapy treatments
  • those who are visually impaired or can’t apply makeup on their own
  • individuals who have had cleft palate operations
  • those who wish to disguise certain facial scars
  • patients who require correction of areas that have lost pigmentation

Permanent cosmetics can enhance BEAUTY by:

  • defining or highlighting natural brows without pencils or powders
  • creating the appearance of fuller, thicker or darker eyebrows
  • darkening the lash line so eyelash hair appears darker / more pronounced
  • creating a permanent thin or thick outline to accent the eyes
  • eliminating the need for lip pencils and lipsticks
  • reducing fine lines around the mouth / diminishing lipstick bleeding
  • creating the illusion of plumpness / fullness to thin or aging lips

What’s the difference between artistic permanent tattoos and those that enhance eyebrows, eyes and lips for cosmetic / medical purposes?

While professional equipment, hygiene and tattooing expertise is similar for both artistic and cosmetic / medical / reconstructive tattoos, the techniques employed are specific to each area. Here’s a brief summary of methods / techniques used for cosmetic tattoos:

1. Cosmetic EYEBROW tattoo

The latest techniques, providing the most natural cosmetic tattoo eyebrows, can be used to create the illusion of hair on individuals affected by Alopecia areata / totalis. Two tattooing methods that offer excellent brow results include:

a. individual HAIRSTROKE or FEATHERING techniques used to create ultra fine individual hairs in the brow area. Because the resulting tattoos are not solid lines of pigment, but delicate strokes applied in the direction natural hair would grow, using custom blended colors to match skin and hair tones, women who suffer from partial or total hair loss can have eyebrows despite the absence of hair. The hairstroke technique can be done using defined strokes or another method as outlined below.

b. a POWDERY technique can be used to create a soft suggestion of hair as a base or an accent to brows with some natural hair. Although it’s not recommended to use a powdery technique to fill-in an outlined brow shape when no hair exists, the powdery technique can provide a 3 dimensional effect when used as below / between individual defined strokes. The powdery eyebrow tattoo method can be used on brows with sparse growth or where gaps require filling to blend with existing hair.

Note: when getting a cosmetic eyebrow tattoo, it’s important to select a specialist who’s experienced in feathering or hairstroke techniques so you don’t end up with a sharp brow outline filled with solid pigment. Not all techniques are equal. The type of needle used will affect the outcome. See examples of hair strokes using different NEEDLES in the following video, courtesy of Natural Look La Jolla, where micropigmentation expert Jeanee Lusby demonstrates using a 5-sloped and a 3-liner needle.

Eyebrows – 2 different kinds of hairstrokes:

2. Cosmetic LIP tattoo

A lip liner tattoo is only one of the permanent cosmetic micropigmentation procedures that can enhance lips. A lip liner tattoo on it’s own isn’t the single best option to define and color the area. A better solution is to have a cosmetic lip tattoo liner around the vermilion border to reduce fine lines, accentuate the cupid’s bow, extend or enhance the appearance of fullness and correct symmetry and/or hide small scars while also blending the color to offer a less pronounced difference between the outline and the natural lip tone. Lip tattoo experts offer these combinations:

a. lip LINER and BLENDING – this provides definition, symmetry correction, diminishing of fine lines as well as a gradual blending the pigment into the lip area.

b. lip LINER tattoo, BLENDING and FULL LIP pigmentation – this is the ultimate lip tattooing package that provides overall coloring as well as definition and shape correction. Techniques, whereby colors are blended to offer the appearance of more fullness, can also provide a natural-looking subtle color gradient.

Watch Debbie, from The Beauty Spot in Queensland, Australia, as she demonstrates techniques for defining, plumping and blending a cosmetic lip tattoo.

Lip line and Blend:

3. EYELINER cosmetic tattoo

The newest eye defining cosmetic tattoo procedures can create a soft, smoky effect instead of just a solid line. Many professional micropigmentation technicians have pioneered {and even trademarked} their own variations to offer:

a. soft pearly liners
b. permanent and semi-permanent blended colors
c. smudged pigments for sexy smoky eyes
d. color washed effects for less dramatic looks
e. subtle enhancements in the upper and lower lash lines

In the UK, the term semi permanent makeup is the norm, although it offers the same longevity as “permanent makeup” in the United States. With that in mind, watch the following video presentation by Debra Robson-Lawrence {semi-permanent makeup expert providing specialized makeup services on Harley Street in London} who demonstrates her semi-permanent eyeliner color selection, techniques and equipment.

Semi-permanent eyeliner with Debra Robson-Lawrence:

4. AREOLA tattooing

The techniques used for areola tattooing include blending colors to create the illusion of a three dimensional nipple. Highlights, shadows and careful pigment choices will help to accent natural skin tones and provide realistic results.

Areola pigmentation is a service that may be covered by healthcare insurance for women who’ve undergone a mastectomy and require this final restorative procedure.

Dr Linda Dixon, president of the American Academy of Micropigmentation, has created the following detailed demonstration of the procedures / techniques involved in areola tattooing. She explains that cancer survivors can receive areola tattooing free of charge through certified professionals connected with the Academy.

If you’re seeking advice regarding breast pigmentation, watch the video, and go to www.micropigmentation.org for more information.

Breast Tattooing Cancer Patient by Dr Linda Dixon MD:

5. Tattooed permanent cosmetics that CAMOUFLAGE scars

Camouflage tattoos are used to disguise scars in the eyebrow area, on the lips, around the mouth or on other areas, including facelift scars in the hairline, behind the ears, etc. Using permanent tattoos to camouflage scars is a specialized field that requires using precise flesh-tone pigments and techniques to improve skin texture and not merely cover flaws by adding pigments.

Watch another video courtesy of micropigmentation expert Linda Dixon who provides an in-depth look at a facelift scar camouflage procedure.

Facelift Scar Camouflage by Dr. Linda Dixon:

Specialized cosmetic tattoos, designed to conceal scars left by accidents, general and/or plastic surgery operations and correct uneven skin pigmentation conditions like Viltiligo, may be referred to as Paramedical Micropigmentation.

Note: Raised scars, such as keloids, can’t usually benefit from having a camouflage cosmetic tattoo procedure.

Need help finding a permanent makeup expert, certified micropigmentation technician, plastic surgeon or hair transplant specialist in your area?

Use Eyebrow Tattoo’s Professional Directory to quickly find plastic surgeons, micropigmentation specialists, hair restoration and eyebrow transplant experts, as well as clinics, salons and qualified individuals in medical, cosmetic and beauty related fields. The directory includes professionals in the United States {listed by state}, in the UK, Australia, and other international regions.

Are you looking for information on specific cosmetic tattooing procedures?

Needing help deciding on an eyebrow shape or pigment color?

Want advice on tattoo aftercare?

Are you trying to decide if a permanent makeup procedure is right for you?

Consult posts that deal with specific micropigmentation related topics such as:

1. Tattoos for Eyebrows:

2. Permanent Makeup:

3. Lip Liner Tattoo Procedures:

4. Eyeliner Tattoos:

5. Cosmetic Tattoo Removal:

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About the editor

Nena Argent, editorial director of EbT magazine since 2009, oversees online editorial content in English and Spanish. She joined EbT after ten years as an investigative journalist in Asia where she researched oriental health, nutrition and beauty treatments. Now based in Europe, she reports on the latest beauty trends, health issues, high-tech medical advancements and state-of-the-art cosmetic procedures from around the world.

Permanent Makeup / Cosmetic Surgery / Health / Beauty / Nutrition / Weight Loss / Diet Pills / Supplements / Hair Removal / Skin Care / Tattoo Removal / Eyebrow Tattoo / Permanent Eyeliner / Cosmetic Lip Tattoo / Eyelash Extensions / Cellulite Removal / Makeup Tips / Permanent Makeup Directory / Cosmetic Surgery Directory / Hair Restoration Surgeons Directory / Tanning Lotion / Natural Remedies / Low Calorie Foods / Acne Cream / Hair Transplant / Eyebrow Implants / Breast Implants / Liposuction, Liposculpture / Vaser Lipo / Tummy Tuck / Laser Hair Removal / Laser Tattoo Removal / Cosmetic Surgery Prices / Permanent Makeup Schools / Micropigmentation / Permanent Makeup Supplies / Permanent Makeup Equipment / Beauty Product Reviews

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The info in this site doesn't replace consulting with a dermatologist, micropigmentation expert, plastic surgeon or nutritionist prior to undergoing a dietary change or a cosmetic/surgical procedure.