Imagine a world where your makeup is eternally ‘topped up’. No liner application with front cam, or brow carving in your teaspoon reflection; it’s here, folks, and it’s called semi-permanent makeup. The tattooing technique has come a long way since the 90s’ days of racoon eyes and thick-lined lips. Treatments are subtle, add definition, and don’t cost the earth. Brows, liner and lips, we’re filling you in (not too literally) on everything you need to know about semi-permanent makeup. They say nothing good lasts forever, and it’s kind of true, but three years of a carved-out brows without drawing ‘em on daily sounds mighty-fine to me.
By Rachel Spedding
If, like me, you’re a little brow obsessive (and on the never-ending quest for the perfect curvature), then you’re no-doubt familiar with microblading. The semi-permanent tattoo technique applies thin, hair-like strokes to the skin to shape (or create) your brows.
The pain is relative – it is a form of tattooing after all – but an appointment will only take around an hour (including mirror checks), so it’s worth flinching a little for the long-lasting effects. Your brows will stay put for up to three years – hallelujah – with only one top-up required, usually after one year. The process kicks off with a consultation, so from full brows to a little more definition, you’ll decide on the end result, and your technician will make it happen: the gift of great brows.
The concept of a needle near my eyelid is about as tempting as a caesar salad for christmas dinner, but, if it’s going to reduce my time spent getting ready in the morning, I can get on board. Semi-permanent eyeliner adds definition to your lash line, on top and the tightline (if you want to), with colour that can last up to five years, depending on factors like age and UV exposure.
Like microblading, it’s a form of tattooing, so yep, you’re going to feel it. Numbing cream helps, and is applied before the needle gets to work: the tattooing process takes around 30 minutes, per eye. No more panda eyes after forgetting to remove your feline flicks post work-bevs. Smudge-free, defined lashes, 24/7. Dreams.
While an overline of Mac’s Velvet Teddy is enough enhancing for some, semi-permanent liner on the lips still proves ever-popular. Designed to add definition (not create volume, FYI), semi-permanent lip liner will stay put on your pout for around 12-18 months, before all that sipping, munching and lippy application exfoliates the pigment out the skin. If i’ve learnt anything from my several attempts at wearing plumping gloss, it’s that lips are pretty sensitive (that burn), so a tattoo around your pout’s border is going to sting a little. Grin (once it's over) and bear it.
If you'd like to colour your lips, sans lipstick, ‘blushing’ is the new go-to. The process blends a custom hue and applies across the whole lip, with results lasting up to five years. That’s a lot of dollar saved on lost lipsticks (in the bag somewhere, right?).
4 Need to know
Before any needles get going, your technician will give you the details on the whole process – from the aesthetic, to the aftercare. The cost will vary between venues, but since we’re talking needle-to-the-face, do your research and hit up all the reviews. As for the ‘after’, you’ll experience various healing between treatments, from redness and scabs on the brows, to chapped lips (you’ll be advised to apply nourishing antiseptic cream twice a day, and stay clear of lipstick and spicy food for a week – darn it).