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What Is Permanent Eyebrow Makeup?

By Madeleine A.
Updated May 21, 2024
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Permanent eyebrow makeup is a cosmetic tattoo that is used to reproduce the look of natural eyebrows, or enhance the appearance of existing eyebrows. Permanent eyebrow makeup is typically created by tattoo artists, nurses, cosmetologists and even physicians. The procedure of applying permanent makeup is done using a tattoo needle, and although considered safe, adverse reactions may occur.

Getting permanent eyebrows may appeal to people who have alopecia, a medical condition that causes hair loss to the entire body. It's also appealing to chemotherapy patients or people who have naturally sparse eyebrows. Although a tattoo gun can be used for applying permanent eyebrow makeup, a tattoo needle may be more appropriate for applying eyebrow makeup, which calls for precise and delicate artistry.

Adverse reactions to the procedure may include local irritation such as swelling, pain, and redness, and risk of infection. In addition, the area may scab and minimal bruising may occur. Although the risk of infection is low, if the procedure is done under less-than-sterile conditions, infection can still occur. Signs of infection may include severe swelling, wound drainage, and fever. If an infection occurs, oral or topical antibiotics may be necessary to avoid complications, such as permanent scarring.

One disadvantage of permanent makeup of any kind is that it is a permanent procedure. If an individual decides that she no longer wants the makeup on, she will need to have it removed via laser surgery, which can be costly and painful. Also, if the technician is not skilled enough, or if a mistake is made during the procedure, the results can be devastating to the recipient.

An advantage of having permanent eyebrow makeup applied is that the person will always have eyebrows without the hassle of using pencils or other cosmetics to obtain perfect eyebrows. In addition, having the procedure done can greatly improve the self-esteem of people who do not have natural eyebrows of their own as a result of disease, genetics, or medical treatments.

It is very important to choose an experienced practitioner who is skilled in permanent eyebrow makeup. The untrained technician may inadvertently apply the eyebrow makeup in a way that makes the person look perpetually surprised. In addition, if a botched look needs to be removed with a laser, permanent damage to the hair follicles may result, causing the permanent loss of existing eyebrows.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By fBoyle — On Jun 13, 2014

Those who are not willing to get an eyebrow tattoo that will last forever, there are semi-permanent options out there that last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. For example, there is eyebrow embroidery which is done using henna.

The only issue with semi-permanent tattoos is that the tattoo has to be redone periodically. But at least this way, if something goes wrong, it's not permanent.

By ZipLine — On Jun 13, 2014

@stoneMason-- I had permanent eyebrow makeup done a few weeks ago and mine look great. They look natural, and they are light brown so I don't have a harsh appearance. Tattoos are a risk, but I think they turn out fine most of the time.

By stoneMason — On Jun 12, 2014

Another major disadvantage of permanent eyebrow makeup is that it usually looks unnatural. The color is applied as a block to the skin, but natural eyebrows do not look like that. Moreover, the color sometimes turns out darker than one expects and can create a rather harsh appearance.

My sister had permanent eyebrow makeup done when her eyebrows stopped growing after years of over-plucking. But they turned out too dark and uniform. She is not very happy with them but there isn't much she can do about it now.

If anyone here is planning to get permanent eyebrow tattoo, make sure you are working with a tattoo artist who has a lot of experience with this. And check the artist's work before undergoing the procedure.

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