Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is permanent makeup?
A. Permanent makeup also referred to as micro-pigmentation, derma-pigmentation, or derma-cosmetics is a non-surgical procedure that uses the process of implanting pigments into the dermis (lower layer of skin) to enhance the natural color and beauty that can fade with time.
Q. What are pigments? Which color should I choose?
A. The pigments are naturally occurring iron oxides that are in minerals. The pigments used resemble a fine powder, which is mixed with a wetting agent (glycerin, distilled water and/or alcohol) to allow the pigment to be placed into the skin. The pigments should not contain any fragrances, or other ingredients. Allergy tests are performed upon request by injecting a tiny bit of pigment into the hairline. Customized Beauty uses only the best pigments and supplies with all of our treatments. Colors are selected to match your skin tones, hair color, and makeup preferences.
Q. Is it really permanent? How long will it last?
A. These procedures are considered permanent since the pigments are intradermal and can’t be washed off. Just like hair color, it is common for the color (pigments) to fade with time and sun exposure. The treatment may be re-enhanced in touch-up visits . Touch ups may be desired every nine months to three years or more depending on how you want the color to look. Many factors such as sun, frequent exfoliation, retinol products, and skin condition can influence the durability of the treatment.
Q. Is it painful?
A. The sensation can differ from client to client. Some clients report a tingling or pinching sensation while others may experience slightly more discomfort similar to waxing or tweezing hairs. The client’s sensitivity is greatly reduced with topical anesthetics before and throughout the treatment. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the most comfortable, most clients say that their comfort level is about a 4-6 and say the benefits far out way the minor soreness. “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” Pierre Auguste Renoir
Q. Is it expensive or economical?
A. It depends on how much your time is worth. If you were to spend just three minutes a day applying makeup, that equals over 18 hours per year. After three years that equals about 55 hours and over a five year period that's 92.5 hours. The majority of women spend much more time than three minutes a day on their makeup and the cost is much less to what women spend on hair coloring and maintenance over a year.
Q. How long does a procedure take?
A. Usually, each procedure appointment takes two hours. We will spend most of the time on the planned procedure consultation that includes selecting the appropriate color for your skin, measuring, and shaping/sketching prior to actually implanting the color. You will also have adequate time for topical anesthetic to make you completely comfortable. Afterwards You will be given thorough aftercare instructions for optimum healing and outcome.
Q. Can I have more than one procedure done on the same day?
A. Yes, many clients want to have two procedures on the same day for the convenience. Another advantage is that your aftercare for both the areas can be done at once. It will take about three and a half hours.
Q. Will I need to take any time off from work or my normal daily activities?
A. For most people the answer is no. Since delicate skin or sensitive areas may swell slightly or redden, some clients feel it best not to make major social plans for a few days following any procedure. Be prepared for the color intensity of our procedure to be significantly sharper, brighter or darker than what is expected for the final outcome. It takes time for this transition, based on how quickly the outer layer of your skin exfoliates to reveal the softer color that will remain. For best results, swimming or vigorous exercise should be avoided for a few days.
Q. Is it safe?
A. Yes, if your technician/artist is following proper guidelines. It is your responsibility to do your homework and ask questions. At Customized Beauty, we follow the same strict standard as doctors and hospitals, this includes all the products used in our procedures are sterile and disposable or properly sterilized. The possibilities of any allergies or reactions from these procedures are extremely rare with today’s health standards, but it is important to find the right technician for many of these reasons. Remember even a minor scratch can get an infection if the wound does not get proper care, so following all aftercare instructions is equally important. An aftercare kit will be provide for each client which includes your ointment and instructions.
Q. What sanitation measures are taken?
A. Most places will only tell you about how they use new needles. Of course all of the needles (application probes)are one time use only, but at Customized Beauty we go the extra mile with sterilization using all one-time-only (disposable) supplies for each client. Every measure is taken to ensure that the technician is working under hygienic conditions in a sanitized and more importantly sterilized area, in accordance with the strict standards of Center for Disease Control and State Health Regulations.
Q. Are there other health concerns?
A. People with a history of cold sores need to pre-medicate with an anti-viral drug (Zoviraz, Valtrex, or Acyclovir) prior to a lip coloring procedure. People with active Glaucoma that requires eye drops to treat cannot have eyeliner due to the pressure sensitivity in the eye. Any active skin condition such as exema, psoriasis, or cystic acne in the area must have clear skin in the area being addressed at the time of the procedure. People taking blood thinners cannot have permanent makeup. Prospective clients with any other chronic medical condition (metabolic) being treated by a physician should have an OK from your doctor.
Q. What method of implantation do you use?
A. Permanent cosmetics can be performed by any one of the following devices; the coil machine, the rotary, the digital, and the manual method (tap method). All four devices can produce nice result and one device does not hurt any more or less than the other. April is trained in all methods of applying permanent cosmetics and has all three types of machines in her office. However, it is not the device; rather it is the technician/artist behind the machine that makes the difference. The device should be an extension of the technicians’ hand
Q. What technician's credentials should I look for?
A. Licensing credentials will vary from locality to locality based on mandates (or the lack of) set forth by law. Because New York, as well as many other states, does not require any technical skill license it is advisable to select your technician carefully. New York City requires each 'tattoo' technician to pass a health licensing test. In addition to state and local requirements, the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) offers a professionally developed and administered examination to technicians who have satisfactorily completed their fundamental training and who are eligible to be SPCP members. The credentials of CPCP (Certified Permanent Cosmetic Professional) are used after the names of technicians who have successfully passed this advanced examination. Other credentials would include a current Certificate of completion for OSHA's Blood-borne pathogens training, and continued education classes. For the person considering permanent cosmetic procedures, know this; a certificate on the wall does not mean ‘certified’. Anyone with a printer can produce a certificate. Since permanent cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular many have chosen to offer this service, however; this is a very specialized practice. Rather than choosing your techician on the basis of cost or convenience; look for experience, skill, and the aforementioned real credentials.
Q. Can I change or remove the permanent cosmetics?
A. Small shape and color adjustments can be made. Permanent Cosmetics can be removed with lasers and other methods of removal with limited success, however it is not easy nor without possible complications. This is why my approach is conservative with a natural look. Starting with a light application, then adding more or darker color at the follow-up visit.
Q. What if I get full lip color and want to change the color or shade?
A. If you want to change your lip shade for the day simply put lipstick over it. Most lipsticks act like a “cover stick”, so you can even put a lighter shade (opaque) over your darker permanent color. If you want to permanently change your permanent full lip color that may be possible as well, depending on the color and condition of your lips. However because it is permanent, many women choose to have a more natural look and dress it up with traditional makeup for a more dramatic evening look.
Q. What do you really think of permanent makeup?
A. I love it! I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. I have my eyebrows, eyeliner and full lips enhanced with derma-pigmentation/permanent makeup. Personally I think there are numerous examples of terrible permanent make-up work done by improperly trained “non-artists” that sometimes give the industry a bad reputation. I prefer doing natural looking permanent make-up that perfects and boosts your own features, so that others notice you not your make-up. For many people, permanent makeup is a middle ground between no makeup and “full face going out at night” makeup and for others it is a simplified way of life.
Q. How did you get started in skincare and permanent makeup?
A. In college I went through a period of time with hormonal cystic acne and personally felt the embarrassment associated with these scaring pimples. On a quest to find something to treat my constant break-outs I realized there was a need for “treatment based, real results skincare” with a personal touch. Skincare became my passion! After taking the basic classes to get my esthetic license, I continued with advanced dermatology studies to be the best I could be. Along the way I discovered the art of derma-pigmentation (permanent makeup) and set out to study with the top professionals in the industry. After being in this industry for over a decade, I can say that what I enjoy most is the happiness that I bring to people. It’s a feel good, win-win situation!
Q. What is your best skincare advice for having healthy, glowing skin?
A. The easiest way to have healthy skin is to protect the skin. Many dermatologists will tell you that sunscreen is the most important product to use on your skin. If you already use sunscreen (at least SPF 30 everyday) then I highly recommend using a serum with a blend of antioxidants in the morning under your sunscreen based make-up, alternating a high concentration of Vitamin C with a low dose of retinol (Vitamin A) every night, and non-abrasive exfoliating product at least once a week.
Q. But I’ve heard that spending time in the sun is good for our bodies, besides I look better with a tan (or my pimples clear up). Is that true?
A. It is true that our bodies need Vitamin D, but we get enough from our diet and some limited daily exposure to the sun. The sun’s rays are (ultra-violet) radiation and cause major damage to our skin that is beyond beauty. When I was in my teens and 20’s I would spend hours in the sun with baby oil on my skin to get a tan and now I’m trying to reverse the damage I did to my skin. One of my favorite body treatments is sunless tanner. I get a better bronzing glow, it’s easy, and risk free.
Q. How can I get rid of these breakouts?
A. Proper cleansing is the first step to clear skin. Your skincare system should consist of using a gentle (non-scrub) exfoliant like a salicylic based treatment product on a daily basis and an oil-free moisturizer. A clay based spot treatment can dry up raised inflamed pustules/pimples when needed. There are so many products on the market that when combined are too irritating for your skin, so don’t overdo it. Most importantly do not pick at your face, this only makes it worse with bacteria and possible scarring. To minimize redness dab Visine on a small cotton ball and then lightly pat the area with concealer. If you have constant breakout/acne the best solution is to schedule a professional facial with Customized Beauty to get your skin on the right track.