Permanent Makeup, Is it Worth the Risks?


The idea of permanent makeup is most definitely not a new one. Women…and some men, have been permanently drawing (some refer to it as ‘tattooing’) on their eyebrows, eyeliner and lip liner for years now and the concept has more recently become quite the phenomenon with the time saving, on-demand obsessed generation (guilty as charged). 

But…now that we’re also embracing all things ‘wellness’ and ‘au naturale’ there’s a slightly peculiar juxtaposition created when you throw permanent make-up into the mix.

We’ve heard many great stories together with many horror stories so we, at USPAAH, wanted to understand the potential consequences and decided to do some research to find out if this type of surgery is really worth the risk.


The benefits

The most obvious benefit of permanent makeup is that it can simply save you time. Those with busy schedules, long commutes and numerous commitments can save precious time out of their morning routine each day. You also never have to worry about your makeup smudging or fading, permanent makeup does what it says on the tin…it just won’t come off, not even after swimming, working out or showering.

But there are many reasons for someone to get permanent makeup beyond the timesaving benefits. People with physical disabilities or impaired motor skills, such as arthritis, Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, may want permanent makeup because it’s difficult for them to apply makeup themselves. With permanent makeup, they can continue to wear makeup without having to worry about whether they’ve applied it accurately. People with poor eyesight may invest in permanent makeup for the same reasons.


The risks

The actual correcting of permanent cosmetics can be more painful, more expensive and may take longer to heal than the original procedure itself. So what if you don’t like the way that it looks post-treatment? Correcting methods include saline removal, laser removal and correcting the mistake with more tattooing over the top of the mistake. Prices range from £350 to £550 for eyebrow micro-blading and for procedures such as permanent lip liner, prices can range from £200 to £600, including follow up visits for touch ups. If it goes wrong, the whole ordeal could end up costing you a small fortune!

Another more obvious downside is the pain. It is really misleading to call these treatments ‘tattoos’ as in reality, even though it is a form of tattooing, micro-blading is slightly different. The therapist dips a handheld tool into colour and makes a hair like incision on the brow bone, unlike a tattoo where a machine is used. This method makes the procedure a lot more painful than normal tattoos.

Semi-permanent brows

Is permanent makeup right for you?

It’s been said that permanent makeup needs ‘the eye of an artist and the hands of a surgeon’ so is it any wonder that these procedures can go wrong as it is rare to find both of these qualities in one therapist.

All in all, we can definitely see the benefits, especially for people that suffer with the type of medical condition that prevents them from being able to apply make-up on their own.

However, if your “need” is purely aesthetic, there are other less invasive treatments you should try first, before going under the knife so to speak. Why not go for semi-permanent makeup first, also known as micro-pigmentation? Eyebrows and eyeliners can be done in as little as 40 minutes, and results can last up to 18 months.

Whichever option you choose, make sure you get as much information as possible beforehand, and go to a top rated clinic with proven track record. To help with this task, we’ve pulled together the top 3 permanent make up clinics in London.  

Best permanent makeup clinics in London

Tracie Giles, Knightsbridge


Celebrity Permanent Makeup artist Tracie Giles heads up a small, select team of internationally acclaimed world-class technicians to deliver to you the absolute best that Permanent Makeup has to offer.

Annette Power, Harley Street


Annette Power has been established in the world renowned Harley Street for 17 years. Annette is an expert in the field of Permanent Makeup and Training.

Karen Betts, Harley Street


Industry leading Permanent Makeup Artist and Micro-blading Expert, performing eyebrow, eyeliner, and lip treatments alongside Medical Tattooing.

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