• Katie Smith-Mohamed

Permanent Makeup: No or low Maintenance?

Well most people believe that if you get a permanent makeup treatment, as in a cosmetic tattoo, you get the permanent brows, permanent eyeliner or permanent lip colour of your dreams and you wake up and go. In other words, no need for even a smidge of cosmetics. All permanent makeup artists want that, and strive for that on your behalf, because we want to deliver the permanent makeup service you paid for. However, it is important to recognize a few things about the low to no maintenance factor of permanent makeup.


1. Good permanent makeup artists strive for natural and complementary. We don't like to do crazy stuff because we know trends change, gravity (aging) sets in, colours change or fade over time, and we want to see you look like the best, natural you.


2. Considering #1, if you go out for New Year's Eve, your permanent makeup treatment may not be quite dramatic enough for the event, so adding cosmetics will be necessary in such circumstances.


3. Some permanent makeup treatments fade (lip colour most specifically) to a beautiful, natural hue. A bright lipstick colour rarely is the final result, and if it were, it would be cause for concern! Again, styles and preferences change...and you want the ability to change if you want to, right?


4. A permanent makeup treatment, when done well, is intended to fade evenly and naturally over time, because of exposure to sun, UV rays, pollution, free radicals, skin regimens, lifestyle choices, etc. As the permanent makeup treatment fades, until you come for a colour boost, you may need to augment your treatment with a little bit of cosmetics.


5. While all permanent makeup artists want 100 percent of your colour to remain in your skin once your treatment is complete, there are some clients whose skin will not tolerate the treatment or hold as much colour as we want. In that situation in particular, this is where permanent makeup is a low maintenance treatment. Let's assume you have no brows, have a hard time drawing them in such a way that they suit you, have shaky hands, or have really poor eyesight. There are times, rare though they may be, that all that can be achieved with a permanent makeup treatment (most particularly brows) is a shape or outline. As your artist, I most certainly want more and will work hard to get you the colour you want. However, it is vitally important to recognize that there are occasions this may not happen. If you have a beautiful brow outline that you can trace and shade, then at least you are spared the task of having to strategically map your brows each morning!!!


6. Bold bold bold often means over saturation. Think of your skin as a cup. When it is full, it will hold nothing more. The same is true of your skin. No good artist wants to oversaturate skin because the final look isn't soft and natural---and the long term result may require a colour correction. If you request a super bold permanent makeup treatment it is likely you will experience problems down the road, such as: Discolouration, oversaturation and the not-so-fun experience of lightening or removal.


7. The measure of an artist is their healed work. Some skin types lend themselves to some discolouration in the long term and a good artist will advise you. I try to post client selfies of their healed work to share with potential clients what to expect. However, this differs from client to client. Some predictions can be made rather precisely with extensive knowledge and experience. Others cannot.


At the end of the day, low maintenance, no maintenance is far better than the daily struggle of applying cosmetics when you can't see well, your hands don't do what they're told, or you have zero time in the morning. Moreover, most women have a really hard time achieving the right shape for them.


That's my job.


Just as with hair colouring or styling, skin rejuvenation or anti aging treatments, skin cream regimens and the like, entering into a commitment to permanent makeup means upkeep. We are legally obliged to use the term permanent because pigment particles do remain in the skin forever, even though they dissipate and fade. To that end, even skin rejuvenation treatments are considered permanent when you obtain good results. What cannot be controlled is the aging process. Hair colour would be permanent too, if hair didn't grow!!


Therefore, in a cost benefit analysis, what is it that you value most about keeping yourself looking as naturally beautiful as you can? A set of brows takes 5 to 8 years off a mature woman's appearance....look at my photos and see for yourself!! An eyeliner treatment will be with you for many years, as will lips.


Permanent makeup....your new anti-aging superpower? Every 2 to 3 years, compared to 2 to 3 times a year for Botox, 4 to 6 weeks for hair colour and/or cut, 4 weeks for lash extensions, etc. etc. Low to no maintenance....seems a bit like a no brainer to me!!!


Katie Mohamed, PMU

Dermal Enhancements




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