Semi-permanent make-up (also known as micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing) is a safe, medically-approved procedure where pharmaceutical grade pigments are implanted just below the skin’s surface.
Although the process is similar to tattooing, it is much more sophisticated. In recent years, techniques have been refined and the range of pigments have been expanded, to ensure that a natural, aesthetically pleasing look can be achieved.
It has two main applications:
Cosmetic; it can be used to enhance the eyebrows, lash and lip line to create volume, balance and definition.
Paramedical; these procedures have been developed to help those who’ve been disfigured through illness, trauma or from birth.
Am I suitable?
Cosmetic; ideal for those women who wish to have the enhanced effect 24/7 or who might be allergic to traditional make-up. Many women who over-plucked their eyebrows when they were younger can benefit from the hair-stroke stimulation.
Paramedical; there are a wide range of issues it can treat. During breast reduction surgery, for example, there may be damage to the areola, causing it to lose its natural shape and definition. Using a blend of pigments, the nipple can regain its natural shape.
Micropigmentation can also be used to camouflage scars and cleft lips, as well as the signs of conditions such as alopecia and vitiligo.
What do I have to do to prepare?
Do your research: the effects are going to last around two years on average so you have to like it. Recently, there has been a growth in clinics or practitioners offering this treatment, but this is a specialist skill. Check what training they have received and ask to see before and afters to ensure you are happy with their work.
What’s the treatment like?
A topical local anaesthetic is applied to numb the treatment area and then a cosmetic pencil is used to ‘draw’ the proposed enhancement. The pigments are delivered into the skin via a computer-controlled hand piece which holds a sterile, single-use needle cartridge.
What about after?
Immediately post procedure, the treated area may be slightly swollen, red or even bruised but this should fade very quickly.
The pigment will stay in the skin for about 18 months, gradually breaking down and fading. The longevity of the results depends on a number of factors, including your age, skin type and lifestyle.
Are there any risks or side effects?
Allergic reactions are rare and your practitioner might have carried out a skin sensitivity test prior to your treatment.
What will it cost me?
There is a wide range of costs for semi-permanent make-up, depending on the treatment area and the skill and experience of the practitioner. It can cost anything from £250 to £1,000 per treatment.