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What is an Eyeliner Tattoo?

An eyeliner tattoo, also known as permanent eyeliner, is a cosmetic procedure that defines the eyes by applying pigment along the lash line, creating the appearance of eyeliner. This long-lasting solution can enhance your natural beauty and save time in your daily routine. Curious about the process and if it's right for you? Let's delve deeper into the world of cosmetic tattoos.
B. Miller
B. Miller

An eyeliner tattoo is a type of permanent makeup applied around the eyes to give the look of eyeliner and a thicker lash line. Similar to any other tattoo, an eyeliner tattoo is injected with a tattoo needle into the skin surrounding the eyes. There are both benefits and downsides to this type of cosmetic procedure, which is becoming quite popular among those who do not wish to apply makeup every day, or who have lost their eyelashes for a medical reason.

When applied correctly, an eyeliner tattoo can give a natural, darkened line around the eyes. This can make the eyes look more defined, as well as making one potentially look younger. Cosmetic eyeliner tattoos are available in a number of different shades; dark brown and black are the most common and tend to look most natural, but other, dark jewel-toned colors may be used as well. For instance, some people choose dark green or navy blue eyeliner in order to make the eyes look brighter, or to bring out the eye color.

An eyeliner tattoo is a type of permanent makeup or cosmetic tattoo.
An eyeliner tattoo is a type of permanent makeup or cosmetic tattoo.

There are few regulations regarding cosmetic tattooing, even an eyeliner tattoo. The tattoo may be applied by a licensed tattoo artist, by a cosmetologist with permanent makeup training, or by a physician. It is important to do thorough research ahead of time regarding the tattoo artist's experience; also ask to see photos of finished results on other clients, as well as information regarding the cleanliness and sterilization procedures in the office.

When applied correctly, an eyeliner tattoo can give a natural, darkened line around the eyes.
When applied correctly, an eyeliner tattoo can give a natural, darkened line around the eyes.

Keep in mind the potential complications of an eyeliner tattoo. Of course, some pain should be expected from receiving the tattoo. With any injury to the skin, infection is also possible, so it is important to follow all the follow-up instructions to the letter after the procedure. Ask a doctor or other professional for any other potential risks or side effects. In addition, it is likely that the tattoo will fade and need to be touched up within a few years or even a few months.

Any cosmetic tattoo artist has the potential to make a mistake when applying an eyeliner tattoo. This could mean that the line is made too thick or too thin, or that the line is not straight and looks unnatural. Fixing a mistake on an eyeliner tattoo will require laser removal, which is quite expensive and painful. Keep all of these issues in mind when deciding whether to have any cosmetic tattoo procedures; these procedures also exist for permanent eyebrow and lip color as well.

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Discussion Comments


I really need some help. I had my eyeliner tattooed on today. Somehow, she touched my cheek with the needle and I now have a tattooed spot on my cheek. She used a needle to pick some of the color off and wants me to come back in a week to have more picked off. I absolutely don't know if I should go back to her, or see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for laser removal. I think she should have insurance to cover the removal. I just don't know what to do now. It looks like a blackish green scab on my face, but is smooth.


I just had my eyeliner tattoo done a week ago and I love it. I am not happy with the thinness of it, especially because it fades after the first few days, and I wasn't sure it was thick enough to begin with. However, my tech told me that she wouldn't do it as thick as I wanted the first time around, because it would be too much too fast.

I have an appointment next Friday to get my brows done, and she will be thickening and lengthening the liner then too. I have read in most places that it takes at least two applications to get it to the desired look anyway, because of the skin's reaction, healing time, etc. As far as the pain goes, I have seven other tattoos (not on my face), and this was comparable in pain, if not worse, despite the numbing! Maybe it's just the thought of having a needle that close to your eye.


I had my first application of eyeliner tattoo about four weeks ago. The professional first placed the ink in between the eyelashes. That was really quite unpleasant because it felt as though somebody was rubbing sand into my eyes. Last week, I went for my second treatment.

My first tattoo did not really seem very pronounced to me. It was just a very natural as though my eyelashes were thicker on the top. The second application was a thicker line. It was placed a little over the eyelashes and it did not hurt at all because of the location.

It is really nice not to have to worry about putting on eyeliner in the morning. I have short eyelashes and the extra color helps define the eyes.


I suppose that tattoo makeup is fine if you settle on neutral colors or those that will go with everything. As far as eyeliner goes, if I got the tattoo, I would definitely go with black. Anything else would have the potential of clashing with my clothes or my lipstick and eyeshadow.

Sometimes, I like to wear a turquoise eyeliner. However, I only use it when I am applying blue eyeshadow and wearing something in that color family. I wouldn't want to get a turquoise eyeliner tattoo, because if I wanted to wear purple eyeshadow, it might look funny.

I wonder if people who get jewel toned eyeliner tattoos have issues with their wardrobe and other makeup. I do have friends who wear the same shade of eyeshadow and lipstick every day, regardless of what clothes they wear, so I suppose some people just don't care.


I know a lady whose face is one big permanent makeup tattoo. She has lipstick, lipliner, eyeshadow, and eyeliner tattoos, and to me, it all looks a bit fake.

The lipliner just seems exaggerated. It matches the lipstick, but the line is just so sharp that it looks as if it has been drawn on with a fine-tipped permanent marker.

I always thought that her face looked a bit strange, and when she went swimming with me and my coworkers, her makeup didn't come off. She got out of the pool, rubbed the towel across her face, and her lipstick didn't even smudge. That's when she revealed her secret to us.


@turquoise – Swelling and scabs are two good reasons not to get an eyeliner tattoo. That is one of the most sensitive areas of the body, and to purposely put myself in pain by messing with it just seems wrong to me.

I don't even wear eyeliner that often. I wear it maybe once a week or less. I have large eyes, and eyeliner tends to make them appear even larger, so I try to downplay them a bit.

I think that if I did want to wear eyeliner every day, I would find the time to apply the temporary kind myself. Tattoos are scary, and the thought of having one around my eye is even scarier.


My niece has an eyeliner tattoo, and the cosmetic tattoo artist kept using the term “micropigmentation” instead of just “eyeliner tattoo” while talking to her about the procedure. I suppose it is easier to sound professional when you use scientific words and don't refer to what you do as simply tattooing.

She had to avoid the sun for a week after getting the tattoo, and this was hard for her, because she got the tattoo in summer and she was a total beach dweller. She spent nearly every day by the sea, and she had to confine her beach visits to after sunset and before sunrise.

She also had to stay out of the pool for a week or so. She needed to take every precaution to make sure that her tattoo healed nicely and would last as long as possible.


I have often wondered how painful it would be to get an eyeliner tattoo. I can understand why people would be nervous working this close to the eye. I have applied eyeliner for years, and it only takes a minute or so to get it right.

Even though I understand the benefits of an eyeliner tattoo, I will probably just keeping applying the eyeliner myself.

I am more interested in tattoo eyebrows. The older I get, the more challenging it gets to keep my eyebrows shaped and colored right. If I was going to invest in any kind of permanent makeup right now, I would think about getting my eyebrows done.

How much does a cosmetic procedure like this usually cost? Does it cost about the same as getting other tattoos, or is it more expensive?


I had a friend who got an eyeliner tattoo and it didn't come out like she expected. She didn't get any infection, but the lines were not even. The liner on one eye was thicker than the other eye.

She was expecting the lines to fade somewhat after awhile, but the uneven lines really bother her, and I know I would be really upset about it.

She had this done with a tattoo artist because it was cheaper and I think she is regretting her decision now. If she wants to correct this, she would have to go through laser surgery. Not only would this be expensive, but also more painful than getting the tattoos.

If she does go ahead with the laser surgery, she will make sure the person doing it is well qualified and a professional. I think we will begin to see more tattoo makeup all the time, but I also think it is important to make sure the person you are using is experienced with this type of work.


I am also interested in some permanent makeup, but an eyeliner tattoo kind of scares me. I have had laser surgery done on my eyes to correct my vision and said I wouldn't have any more eye surgery done after that.

I just wouldn't want to take any chances on something going wrong, or getting a bad infection. If I were to go with a permanent makeup tattoo right now, I think I would go with lip color.

Having a little bit of color on my lips is more important to me than eyeliner, and I would love to have this color on my lips no matter what. I am constantly applying some kind of lip balm or gloss that has some color in it.

I don't think I would be nearly as nervous with them working on my lips as I would around my eyes.


I have been interested in getting an eyeliner tattoo for awhile now, but have not really done much research on it yet. Of all the permanent cosmetics procedures that are available, an eyeliner tattoo is the one I am most interested in.

I have worn eyeliner since I was a teenager and first began wearing makeup. If I had to choose between eye shadow or eyeliner, I would go with eyeliner every time.

To think that I didn't have to apply this everyday and I would have the look of an eyeliner all the time, sounds like a great idea to me. Even if I had to have it touched up every so often, it would still be better than applying it every single day.


@fBoyle, @simrin-- I think that some customers are also at fault because they don't follow the after-care directions.

My sister also got an eyeliner tattoo last year. She was told that it's normal for her eyeliner too look really heavy at first but it would fade into a lighter line after a week. She also had some swelling and scabs for the first couple of days which is expected. Even though the technician told her specifically not to pick at the scabs, she did and ended up messing the pigment. She had to go back for a second appointment to fix the line.

It's not right to ignore the follow-up directions for the eyeliner tattoo and then blame the technician when something goes wrong.

@fBoyle-- Permanent eye liner tattoos are painful but that's why they do use a local anesthesia to numb the area before they start tattooing. Since the line is drawn right above and below the water line, I didn't have any irritation due to the procedure or the tattoo. However, I can't emphasize enough how important it is to do research and find a technician who is experienced and has good reviews on their work. I did research for several months before deciding on my technician.

Inexperienced technicians can make mistakes. Although they will rarely harm the eye, they can slip and make a mess of the eyeliner. And since this eyeliner stays for months and months, it's definitely something you will regret.

It's not right to assume that all dermatologists will deliver what they claim. Because some of them have their assistant technicians do the tattoos, so it's a must to always ask and speak with the person that will actually do your tattoo. Never get the tattoo before seeing pictures of that person's work beforehand. And feel free to stop and warn them if you feel pain during the tattooing. That's what I did and thankfully, I have no regrets! My tattoo came out just as I wanted.


I have had eyebrow tattooing done before and I was pleased with the results. It made my eyebrows look defined and it was great that I didn't have to redo my brows every single day.

I don't think I would get an eyeliner tattoo though. I didn't have any pain with my eyebrow tattoo and I don't think eyeliner tattoo will be very painful either. But considering how close the line will be to the eye, I would be scared of an accident. A small mistake can easily cost someone their eye! And since the skin of the eyelids is so thin and sensitive, I don't think the eyes will react so well to the tattoo.

If anyone has had an eyeliner tattoo done and doesn't agree with me, please share your experiences. This is just my opinion of eyeliner tattoo.

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    • An eyeliner tattoo is a type of permanent makeup or cosmetic tattoo.
      By: BlueSkyImages
      An eyeliner tattoo is a type of permanent makeup or cosmetic tattoo.
    • When applied correctly, an eyeliner tattoo can give a natural, darkened line around the eyes.
      By: Eireann
      When applied correctly, an eyeliner tattoo can give a natural, darkened line around the eyes.