Let’s face it: applying eyeliner can be hard. It can be time consuming. Trying to get the perfect shade, the perfect shape – even trying to attempt a winged eyeliner – it can be frustrating. Luckily, there’s a solution that many people have sought out already: permanent makeup eyeliner.

Not having to worry about taking the time to do your eyeliner and being able to trust it’ll look the same every day sounds great, right? For many it is, but for those who are curious about permanent makeup eyeliner, it’s great to know more about it.

What is permanent makeup eyeliner? Permanent makeup eyeliner is the application of micro-pigments into the skin of the eye to recreate the effect of day to day eyeliner.

Research is important, especially when it has to do with a service that involves your body. That’s why we’ve done all the research about permanent eyeliner for you – from how it’s applied, to the different types of permanent eyeliner, to what to consider if you’re thinking about getting it.

Permanent Makeup Eyeliner

Overall, permanent eyeliner is permanent makeup that is applied on and around the eyes to recreate the look of normal eyeliner. However, there’s a lot to know about permanent eyeliner, especially if you’re considering getting it done. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of permanent eyeliner.

The Difference Between Permanent Makeup and Traditional Tattoos

You may hear permanent makeup being compared to normal tattoos quite often. Those comparisons aren’t necessarily wrong; permanent makeup and traditional tattoos have a lot in common. However, there are a few main differences between permanent makeup and traditional tattoos.

The pigments used in normal body tattoos are formulated differently than the pigments used in permanent makeup. Normal body tattoos also go much deeper into the skin than permanent makeup tends to. So, while you may think of permanent makeup and regular body tattoos as one in the same, think again: permanent makeup and traditional tattoos are different.

The Application of Permanent Makeup Eyeliner

Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions about permanent eyeliner is how it’s applied. Permanent makeup practitioners use hand tools, tattoo pens or machines to apply permanent eyeliner. Needles attached to the tools, pens or machines deposit colored micro-pigments into the top layer of the skin in a desired form to create the look of eyeliner.

Makeup practitioners typically also use topical anesthetics or numbing creams to help make the process more comfortable for those who are getting the procedure. Since needles repeatedly entering the skin can be painful, numbing creams help ease the pain of the procedure. Once the anesthetic or numbing cream sets in, the permanent makeup practitioner can get to work.

How Long it Takes to Apply

Permanent eyeliner can take anywhere from an hour and a half to three hours to apply, depending on the style. The numbing process is also included in this timeframe, as numbing creams tend to take about 30 minutes to take effect.

More natural and traditional permanent eyeliner has been said to only take about an hour to an hour and a half to apply, where specialties like thicker liner and wings may take two to three hours in total.

Different Permanent Eyeliner Styles

While each person may ask for her or his own style of permanent makeup eyeliner, there are two general styles:

  1. Tightline
  2. Eyeliner

The tightline style of permanent eyeliner is applied between the layers of lashes to darken the lash line. It typically produces more natural, thinner and more subtle results.

The eyeliner style of permanent eyeliner is applied above either lash line, creating a look that resembles liquid eyeliner. Its results are typically less natural, thicker, and less subtle.

Thinking About Getting Permanent Eyeliner? Things to Consider

While getting permanent eyeliner isn’t a very invasive procedure or service, it’s one whose effects will stay with you for a long while. It is called permanent makeup, after all. If you’re thinking about getting permanent eyeliner, here are some things you should consider.

Potential Precautions Before Getting it Done

There may be some precautions to take before committing to getting permanent eyeliner applied. These precautions can and will differ for everyone, but general precautions to consider are:

  • Make sure any prescriptions you’re taking won’t interfere with the procedure.
  • If you are on Accutane, seek medical advice before getting permanent eyeliner. You may have to stop taking it before getting any permanent makeup procedures.
  • If you’re pregnant or nursing, seek medical advice before getting permanent makeup eyeliner applied.
  • If you have diabetes, seek medical advice before getting permanent eyeliner.
  • Stop taking blood thinners like aspirin or fish oil for at least 3 days before getting a permanent makeup procedure to minimize the risk of any potential bleeding (although it’s not common)
  • Remove any eyelash extensions at least two days to a week before getting permanent eyeliner done.
  • Take out contacts before getting permanent eyeliner done.

Potential Risks

Like with most things, there are potential risks associated with getting permanent eyeliner. Potential risks of getting permanent eyeliner include dissatisfaction with the results, allergic reaction to pigment, and eye infection.

How Much it Costs

Permanent eyeliner costs will vary depending on who it’s being done by and what exactly is being done. Costs of permanent makeup eyeliner have been said to range anywhere from $400 to $1500. Usually, permanent eyeliner can cost around $300 to $400 for just upper eyeliner or just lower eyeliner; additionally, permanent eyeliner can cost around $600 to $1000 for both upper and lower eyeliner.

How Long it Takes to Heal

There isn’t really any downtime after getting permanent eyeliner applied, but there are some aftercare tips that need to be followed and will be discussed below. At first, the result of the permanent eyeliner may be shiny and dark – that’s normal.

It will take about three weeks for the color of the permanent eyeliner to fade to its normal, permanent shade.


Aftercare is important in any permanent makeup procedure, and permanent eyeliner is no exception. The following aftercare tips will need to be followed after the application of permanent eyeliner:

  • No wearing makeup (especially mascara) for at least three full days
  • Keep contacts out for at least a few days
  • Wait a few weeks to get lash extensions put back on if desired
  • Use cold compresses to treat any redness or swelling
  • Avoid direct sunlight and prolonged sunlight exposure if possible
  • Avoid touching the eyes for several days

Aftercare will ensure you get the best results from your permanent eyeliner and will also ensure your eyes stay well and healthy.

How Long it Lasts

While permanent eyeliner is considered permanent, it can (and tends to) fade within a certain time. Like previously mentioned, this is because the micro-pigments are not inserted as far into the skin as regular body tattoos, and also because the pigment differs.

Permanent eyeliner lasts at least a year, but will generally keep its color for three to five years. Contrary to some beliefs, this is actually a good thing – when permanent eyeliner fades, it will be easier to change or remove if you wish. Touch-ups may be needed if you wish to keep the same look of your permanent makeup eyeliner. The minimum time frame for touch-ups is generally six weeks (this may happen in the case of the look not coming out as desired), but you can speak with your permanent makeup practitioner to set up a touch-up time that works best for you and your wants. Sometimes, touch-ups aren’t needed for a few years.

Learn More

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