Lorena Oberg Skincare

Is Permanent Makeup Really Permanent? A PMU Removal Expert’s POV

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Is permanent makeup really permanent\/

Are you thinking of having permanent makeup? It’s all the rage these days, promising to give you those flawless brows, luscious lips, and defined eyes that won’t smudge or smear, no matter what life throws your way. But here’s the million-pound question: Is permanent makeup really permanent?

What exactly is permanent makeup? Also known as micropigmentation, microblading or cosmetic tattooing, permanent makeup involves implanting pigment into the skin. It enhances features like eyebrows, eyelids, and lips. It’s like waking up with makeup already on – talk about a time-saver, right?

Well, it is. It truly is wonderful when people have it done with realistic expectations. The technician and the pigments being used will determine how your PMU ages. I call the this the Permanent Makeup Life Cycle. Think of it more as a long-term relationship – it requires commitment and a little TLC to keep it looking fresh.

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Here are some things for you to consider

Permanent Makeup Artists often claim that their work will fade in 1 to 3 years. I don’t agree with this. I have made an entire career from removing permanent makeup. It’s not unusual for people to come in for me to laser old permanent makeup off that they had done up to 20 years ago. From this, I think it’s fair to say that you should have Permanent Makeup done under the assumption that it’s PERMANENT. Whilst plenty of permanent makeup does fade to virtually nothing, this may not be the case for you. You should go into having the procedure with the assumption that it’s permanent.

The Permanent Makeup Life Cycle

This is process that you can expect to see if you decide to have PMU.

  1. When your permanent makeup/microblading is freshly done, it will look dark and harsh. You need to wait a month to see healed results.
  2. Your PMU looks soft and beautiful. It will remain this way for roughly 18 months.
  3. After 2 to 3 years, your the work will show visible signs of ageing. This is no different to a body tattoo that with time is no longer crisp and/or begins to look blurred
  4. At around year 3, the colour will begin to change. Depending on the Pigment Line used, your brows may show shades of pink or red. Details on the pigments in the market can be found here. It’s very important that you are aware of the pigment that is used on you because this will influence the next step.
  5. You now need to decide if you are looking to have the work topped up or removed. Top ups are part of the commitment you make to keeping the PMU fresh. However, you do have the right to want to get off the permanent makeup merry go round. In that case you come to someone like me for Permanent Makeup Removal.

How do you know if your PMU will fade or stay for ever?

You don’t, but here are some things that will influence the durability of micro pigmentation.

  1. The pigment used in permanent makeup is implanted into the dermal layer of the skin, which is deeper than where your regular makeup sits. This deeper placement helps the pigment stay put for longer, but it also means it’s subject to the natural processes of your skin. In short, if your PMU Artists is heavy handed, you will more than likely have permanent brows that will last for ever. An experienced light handed PMU artist will implant the pigment much more shallow where the skin will naturally exfoliate a lot of the pigment off over time.
  2. Your natural skin texture will also play a role. If you have oily skin, your pigment will have less staying power. A drier older skin will retain pigment, short term and long term a lot better.
  3. Your lifestyle will also play a role. Factors like sun exposure, skincare products, and your skin type can also influence the lifespan of your permanent makeup. Too much time in the sun can speed up the fading process, just like how your skin can get a bit crispy after a day at the beach. And certain skincare ingredients, like retinoids or exfoliating acids, can amp up the turnover of your skin cells.
  4. The Pigment used will also have a very real role in the longevity of the work. It will also have a role in how difficult it will be to remove should you choose to. Many of what I call New Generation Pigments are very difficult to remove with laser and non laser removal methods need to be used as well. This is disappointing because laser is very gentle on the skin when used correctly.

Do Different Permanent Makeup Areas Fade at Different Rates?

Lips- Lips PMU tend to be more permanent than other areas. This is because traditionally these permanent makeup pigments were Titanium Dioxide Based. This is the white pigment that needed to be added to make the pinks and reds (which are sheer in nature) stand out. Although lip PMU can be removed, it’s the most challenging and may need non laser as well as laser treatments to get it to shift.

permanent makeup removal turning brows yellow

Eyebrows – These is the area that fades most easily. However, I have made a career of removing very old brows that never faded. Tattoo Eyebrow Removal is easier than lips but the new pigments on the market are making things more challenging than before.

Eyeliner – I dare say that eyeliner rarely fades to nothing. My personal experience is that my top eyeliner completely faded and my bottom will never shift unless I have Eyeliner Tattoo Removal done, which I will not, because I like it. I see a lot of eyeliners for removal. This is not a nice process but it is quick and we do get wonderful results provided the eyeliner is black.

When do I know if my PMU is indeed PERMANENT

15 year old permanent makeup eyeliner removal

If your permanent makeup has not faded in 5 years, you have a permanent tattoo. Your PMU will not fade any more. At this point is when you need to begin making decisions. Such as, having brows topped up if they’re not overly saturated or look into removal. This is an important decision because if you end up wanting removal, it will be more difficult if we have fresh pigment to deal with as well.

Is Permanent Makeup worth having done?

Absolutely! Despite the uncertainty about it’s permanence, permanent makeup offers benefits for busy people. My eyeliner will never run again, that’s a big deal for me as I have sensitive eyes. Research reputable technicians, read reviews, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, it’s your face – you want to make sure you’re in good hands!

Make sure that you have permanent makeup knowing that it might be PERMANENT. That removal could potentially leave you with Flourecent Yellow Brows that are difficult to remove.

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