Permanent makeup procedures are growing more and more popular due to some of their many perks like convenience and time saving. However, although they’re common, permanent makeup procedures shouldn’t be taken lightly; before committing to getting any permanent makeup procedures done, it’s smart to do some research. A great place to start researching permanent makeup is by taking a look at some of its pros and cons.

Ultimately, what are the pros and cons of permanent makeup? Pros of permanent makeup include convenience, time-saving, boosts of confidence, and solutions for those who may be allergic to regular makeup or those who have impairments. Cons of permanent makeup include difficult removal, fading, temporary discomfort, changing trends, and costs.

Below, I’ll break down all the pros and cons of permanent makeup, and let you know what else you should consider if you’re thinking about getting a permanent makeup procedure done.

Permanent Makeup Pros and Cons

While permanent makeup is a popular and advantageous procedure for many people, before committing to getting permanent makeup it’s important to know what exactly permanent makeup is, and what the pros and cons are.

What is Permanent Makeup?

Permanent makeup is essentially micro-pigments that are applied to the skin to recreate the looks of normal, day to day makeup. There are of course a few differences between day to day makeup and permanent makeup, though; permanent makeup is permanent, and it’s applied by small needles entering the top layer of the skin, similar to the process of getting a tattoo.

What Kind of Permanent Makeup Procedures are There?

Permanent makeup can essentially be applied anywhere, similar to body tattoos, but most commonly it’s applied to the face area, areolas, and scars. Permanent makeup can be applied to:

  • Lips
  • Eyebrows
  • Eyes (Eyeliner)
  • Eyelids
  • Cheeks
  • Areolas
  • Scars
  • Stretch Marks

When considering the pros and cons of permanent makeup, it’s helpful to keep in mind what permanent makeup actually is and what types of permanent makeup procedures there are.

The Pros of Permanent Makeup

Let’s take a look at some of the pros of permanent makeup. Spoiler alert: there are a lot! This type of cosmetic care surely hasn’t become so popular for no reason.

It’s Convenient

Perhaps one of the biggest perks of getting permanent makeup is the convenience it provides. We all love convenience – just take a look at the amount of drive-thrus we have for any given service and our ability to summon packages right to our doorsteps. With permanent makeup, there’s no reason to worry about making your makeup look just right – it already does. With minimal effort, you can be looking like your best self (if you feel like you don’t already)!

It Never Washes Off

So, as you probably gathered from its name, permanent makeup is permanent. It never washes off! With permanent makeup, long gone are the worries are your makeup coming off in inclement weather, at the pool or in water, and you won’t have to worry about scrubbing it off (because trust us, scrubbing it off won’t work).

It Saves Time

Ever woken up late and only had a few minutes to make yourself look presentable before having to rush out the door? Most of us have, but one big perk of having permanent makeup is that it’s a huge time saver. You may even be able to wake up and walk right out the door with time to spare if you so desire! When every minute counts, it may just help to have something like your eyeliner, eyebrows, lipstick or blush already on every day.

It Can be a Confidence Booster

Let’s be honest, just having makeup on that looks great is probably a confidence booster to most people. However, permanent makeup can go a step above that when it comes to boosting confidence. Anyone who has scars, blemishes or birthmarks that make them self-conscious could potentially overcome that with the application of permanent makeup. Repigmentation could be enough to make anyone’s spirits higher!

It Can Help Those Who Have Allergies to Regular Makeup

There are a lot of people out there who have allergies to regular, day-to-day makeup, which may lead to them not being able to enjoy some of the benefits makeup can provide. Luckily, permanent makeup may be a solution for those who are allergic to regular makeup. As long as those people don’t have any allergies to the pigments of the permanent makeup, they may be able to have an option to wear makeup without the side effects of allergies.

It Can Help Those Who Have Impairments Wear Makeup

Unfortunately, some people may have physical impairments or medical conditions that don’t allow them to have the vision or dexterity to apply makeup daily or often. Thanks to permanent makeup, they too may find a solution in permanent makeup. Since permanent makeup is done by someone else and doesn’t have to be reapplied daily or frequently, those with impairments could be able to wear makeup without wondering how they will do it.

It Can be Tailored to Your Preferences

Getting permanent makeup is all about you and for you. If you decide to get a permanent makeup procedure, you will get to tailor it to your preferences for your desired look(s). Of course, your permanent makeup practitioner will help offer advice and help make your permanent makeup look the best it can, but ultimately, you get to choose what you want and how you want it to look.

The Cons of Permanent Makeup

Like with any other cosmetic procedure, permanent makeup comes with its own set of cons. They may differ from person to person, but below are some of the cons to take into consideration when it comes to permanent makeup.

There Can Be Risks

There may be certain risks associated with getting permanent makeup. They can include:

  • Allergic reactions to pigment
  • Infection if not cared for properly
  • Scarring or keloid formation if you are prone to it

Permanent makeup is generally safe, and risks shouldn’t totally shy you away from getting a permanent makeup procedure you’ve always wanted. However, to keep permanent makeup as safe as possible, it’s important to be aware of potential risks and be prepared for them.

Removal Isn’t Easy

Permanent makeup is… drumroll… permanent. It’s very similar to normal body tattooing, and therefore removal isn’t impossible, but it isn’t always easy. Typically, permanent makeup is removed by laser, which can be painful, costly, and might not get you back to looking the same way you did before you got permanent makeup.

One of the biggest things to take into consideration before getting permanent makeup is the commitment; you’ll want to be sure to pick something you won’t change your mind on. Or, at the very least, you’ll want to be aware of what it takes to remove permanent makeup if you end up seeking that out.

Fading Can Happen

The pigments used in permanent makeup are different than pigments used in normal body tattooing. They contain different ingredients and are only applied to the upper layer of the skin, meaning they are more prone to fading.

Yes, we’ve made it a point several times that permanent makeup is permanent, and that is true – the pigments really do stay in your skin forever. However, the appearance of the pigment in permanent makeup can change and fade. In order to maintain the desired look or the original look, touch-ups and additional procedures may be required.

There Can be Temporary Discomfort

Most everyone knows that traditional tattooing can be painful. Since permanent makeup is similar to regular body tattoos, it can be painful or cause temporary discomfort too. The process of applying permanent makeup involves small needles entering and exiting the skin to deposit pigment, which can be irritating or painful.

Permanent makeup practitioners most always apply numbing cream to their clients before they begin the procedure, and may even apply numbing creams during and after the procedure as well to minimize discomfort or pain. That said, everyone’s pain tolerance is different, and permanent makeup can have temporary discomforts.

Results May be Undesired

It’s important to take into account that any permanent makeup procedures you get may not have the exact effects you envisioned. Results may be especially undesired when they are freshly finished, as the pigment will take a little time to fade to your desired shade, and the area it was applied to may be red or puffy.

Trends Can Change

Trends have always changed, and in today’s day and age trends are changing especially fast. While permanent makeup has been around for a long time and isn’t expected to go anywhere soon, The trends surrounding permanent makeup styles might. For example, it may be best to stay away from getting a procedure like winged permanent eyeliner; it’s pretty trendy right now, but that could change.

Since permanent makeup is hard to remove, it’s best to keep in mind that trends can change, and you may not be able to change your procedures along with them.

It Can be Expensive

The prices of permanent makeup vary widely depending on the place and procedure. However, permanent makeup procedures generally cost anywhere from $200 to $1000 per procedure, and costs may still fall outside of these ranges. It’s important not to “skimp out” and pay less for a permanent makeup procedure just because of the price; it’s a good idea to do your research and make sure you are paying for quality work.

Other Things to Consider About Permanent Makeup

Find a Good Permanent Makeup Practitioner

One of the largest parts of permanent makeup being safe and turning out in the desired ways is dependent on the permanent makeup practitioner who applies it. There are a lot of different people who may be trained and/or certified to apply permanent makeup, such as medical aestheticians, permanent makeup technicians, master estheticians, cosmetologic technicians, dermatologists, and doctors.

Regardless of the profession of who you want to apply your permanent makeup, it’s really important to find someone who is licensed, trained and/or certified, and has experience. You can research potential permanent makeup practitioners by asking them for their credentials, asking to see examples of previous work, and by scheduling consultations with them.

Decide What Area(s) You’d Like Permanent Makeup In

With so many different permanent makeup procedures, it’s important to figure out which one(s) you would like to get and how you would like them. Like mentioned earlier, there are some main areas permanent makeup can be applied, and some common procedures:

  • Eyebrows (Microblading)
  • Eyeliner
  • Eyeshadow
  • Freckles
  • Blush
  • Lipstick
  • Lip Liner
  • Areola Pigmentation
  • Scar/Stretch Mark Pigmentation

Once you’ve decided what area(s) you’d like to have permanent makeup applied, you’ll also want to consider what style(s) you would like, what colors and shading you would like, and how much of it you would like. You can discuss your ideas with your permanent makeup artist to come up with the best procedure for yourself.

Consider the Costs of Different Procedures

We discussed that permanent makeup can get pricey, and that much is true. So, if you’re considering getting any permanent makeup procedure(s), it’s helpful to know some pricing guidelines. That way, you know what procedure(s) you’ll be able to afford, or you’ll know about how much you need to save up.

Some general examples and prices of popular procedures are:

  • Eyeliner: Around $300 to $400 for just upper or just lower eyeliner; about $600 to $1000 for both upper and lower eyeliner
  • Eyebrows (Microblading): $350 to $800
  • Eyeshadow: $250 to $600
  • Full Lip Color (with Liner): $600 to $800
  • Areola Restoration: $500 to $1000
  • Scar “Camouflage:” $300 to $500

These prices are just examples and baselines, as prices of permanent makeup will vary greatly depending on where it is done and what is being done. It’s important to get quotes on the cost of any permanent makeup procedures before committing to them.

Consider the Healing Process and Aftercare

Like normal body tattoos, permanent makeup procedures have a healing process and need some aftercare. Permanent makeup procedures usually don’t have any downtime, and you can generally get right back to normal life right after.

As for a healing timeline of permanent makeup, for the first week or so, acute healing will take place. Acute healing consists of swelling, some light bruising, and sensitivity. The area may also start to itch. In most cases, after about two to three weeks, permanent makeup should be completely healed.

To properly take care of your permanent makeup after it’s done, you’ll want to make sure to absolutely not pick, scratch or peel anything on or near your permanent makeup. Also avoid scrubbing the area, especially in or after the shower. It is also a good general rule to avoid water directly on the area for a few weeks – so try to keep the area somewhat clean in the shower, and try to avoid submerging the area in water.

If you’ve gotten a permanent makeup procedure on the face, you’ll generally need to avoid wearing makeup for at least 72 hours after the procedure. If you had a procedure done around your eyes, you’ll need to avoid wearing contacts for a few days as well. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure to remove any eyelash extensions or strip lashes and keep them off for 72 hours to a week.

The aftercare of permanent makeup on the lips amounts to quite a few things to avoid; you’ll want to avoid drinking without a straw, eating overly spicy and salty foods, and drinking alcohol during the healing process. If you are prone to cold sores, you may also need to speak with your doctor to get an antiviral medication to ensure you don’t develop any cold sores during the healing process.

It may also be a good idea to stay out of the sun for prolonged periods of time if you can to avoid any irritation or sunburns. If your permanent makeup is red or swollen, cold compresses may help alleviate the symptoms.

Your permanent makeup practitioner will have specific and more in-depth aftercare instructions and information about the healing process of whatever procedure you decide to get. Remember, it’s important to adhere to any aftercare information for best results!

Remember Upkeep May be Needed

We discussed previously that due to its pigment, permanent makeup can fade. Permanent makeup can last a year or more than several years, but after that point, in order to keep the desired look(s), upkeep and touch-ups may be needed.

With eyebrow permanent makeup or microblading, it is especially common to get touch-ups after the initial procedure. Touch-ups typically cost money, but it is common that they don’t cost as much as the initial procedure. Everyone holds pigment differently, and therefore some people may need to get touch-ups less frequently than others. Some people choose not to get touch-ups at all, and leave their permanent makeup as-is. It is dependent on personal preference unless otherwise instructed by a permanent makeup professional.

Learn More

If you are interested, here is a link to the Makeup section on Amazon.