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Why Does Permanent Makeup Hurt?

Why Does Permanent Makeup Hurt?

If you are a daily makeup wearer, like me, then there is a good chance that this process takes up a lot of your time each day. Though you may like to switch up your routine at times, there are certain parts of your makeup routine that would be much simpler if they were already done for you. With the rise in permanent makeup over the last ten years, you may be interested in learning more about what exactly goes into this process. 

Though there are a lot of questions that come to mind, perhaps the biggest question is why does permanent makeup hurt? For those who are unfamiliar, permanent makeup uses similar techniques to traditional tattooing. Technicians will use some form of needle to apply the pigment to your skin, varying in size and style based on the type of makeup you are receiving. As with all tattoos, this will lead to a small amount of pain during the procedure. 

As for the level of pain itself, this will vary greatly due to several factors that come into play during the procedure. Some things that affect the amount of pain you will feel during the permanent makeup process are your own tolerance to pain, the location of the makeup, and if any pain-reducing agents are used. Most technicians will apply some form of numbing medication or pain reducer to the skin before beginning the procedure. 

How to Reduce Pain During Permanent Makeup?

Many who have undergone permanent makeup procedures state that they are in less pain than they had initially expected from the procedure. However, there are some ways you can reduce the pain you experience and make the process more enjoyable. As mentioned, one way that many technicians do this is through pain medication. 

Due to the popularity of these procedures, there are now anesthetics designed just for permanent makeup use. Technicians often apply this medication using a Q-tip to the area that will later be tattooed. This medication will sit for a certain level of time until the area is numb. This is a great way to lower the pain level during the initial pass of the needle. 

After the initial needle pass, the skin is broken, and epinephrine can be used to further reduce pain and swelling. This is the biggest difference between traditional tattoos and permanent makeup as traditional tattoo artists will not offer pain medications. 

Types of Permanent Makeup Available:

Now that you know more about the pain behind permanent makeup, you are probably wondering exactly what you can have done. The possibilities for permanent makeup have grown significantly in recent years and new methods seem to be available every day. Some popular options are: 

  • Eyebrows – often referred to as microblading 
  • Eyeliner – available for both and top and bottom  
  • Lips – lipliner, complete lip color, and / or a blend of the two 
  • Others – scar camouflage, beauty marks, lash enhancements, skin pigmentation correction, etc. 

Which Permanent Makeup Hurts the Worst? 

As mentioned, the level of pain you experience during permanent makeup will differ based on your own pain threshold and the medications used. However, from experience, many find lip work to be the most painful. Though this procedure can be painful, it can also be one of the most beneficial. 

Often lip work can take longer to complete than eye liner but is similar in time frame to eyebrow work. The key difference is that the lips tend to be a more tender area than your eyebrows, causing pain. 

To reduce pain during lip work, you will want to work with a highly experienced technician and using a mouth guard can be very beneficial. This is also a procedure that benefits greatly from the use of epinephrine to help reduce swelling and bleeding. 

Benefits of Permanent Makeup 

So now you may be asking yourself why you should go through pain just for the sake of makeup? As mentioned, this can be a HUGE time saver for you each day. This can also save you money as you will no longer have to purchase these makeup products regularly. 

Another reason that this can be very beneficial is if you simply cannot do your makeup regularly due to your health. Individuals who suffer from vision challenges, arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and other dexterity conditions can benefit greatly. 

If you suffer from skin sensitivities that prevent you from using certain products or traditional cosmetics, you may want to look into permanent makeup for this reason. You may have no issues with the ink used during these procedures and can finally get the look you want. It is important to remember that with a quality technician, you can make your final makeup look as subtle or dramatic as you would like. 

Is Permanent Makeup Safe? 

Of course, you want to remain as safe as possible, especially since these procedures are done to your face. As with any form of tattooing or similar procedure, you should only go to a reputable location for this work. Professionals should do all things possible to keep you safe and these procedures are completely safe if you look for these very important things: 

  • Needles should be new and sterile for each client. Your needles should be opened in your presence. 
  • Your technician should use one-time use gloves, and these should be changed for each new client. You should also see a change of gloves as needed throughout the procedure. 
  • The location should appear clean and tidy, as well as, the technician should be professional and clean. 
  • The area should be cleaned upon procedure completion. Used needles should be disposed of in a “sharps” container immediately. 

How Long Does Permanent Makeup Last? 

This may not seem like the smartest question, but it is something that should be discussed. If you are familiar with tattoos, then you know that they can fade over time and lose some levels of pigmentation. This is also true for permanent makeup work. 

These procedures are considered permanent because they apply pigment into the upper reticular part of the dermal layer of the skin. Essentially, the ink is under the upper layers of skin, which means it cannot simply be washed off. 

Though this makeup will fade slightly over time, the level of fading and the longevity of the makeup will depend on your lifestyle. Those who are in the sun more often, used lighter shades of ink for the makeup, and use certain topical products can lessen the lifetime of the makeup. Most permanent makeup can be enhanced with a simple touchup which is often much quicker and less painful than the original procedure. 

Finding a Quality Technician 

This is clearly not a procedure you want to jump into having and you want to do further research before scheduling your appointment. Since these procedures are permanent and only small changes can be made to the final product, you want to find the best technician in your area. As mentioned, there are several safety factors to look for during your appointment, but you should also follow these steps when finding a technician: 

  1. Check for proper training, experience, and compliance with state and local laws first!
  2. Look at before and after pictures of their work (especially images of the procedures you want to have completed)
  3. Schedule a consultation to discuss colors, prices, procedure expectations, etc. 
  4. Tour the location and ask about the safety precautions used
  5. Ask about which medications are used during the procedure to reduce pain!
  6. Discuss later touchups and aftercare of the procedure for optimum results. 

By following these simple steps and finding a quality technician near you, you can get permanent makeup you love with little pain. This makeup can look beautiful for years to come and greatly lower your day to day stress. 

Learn More

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