Semi-Permanent Makeup: Answering Your Biggest Questions

My semi-permanent makeup journey

Amy x

This week we’re talking all about a cosmetic treatment I first had just under a decade ago - Semi permanent makeup. I had both my brows and eyeliner done and each time I mention it on Instagram, my inbox is filled with questions about it.

So, whether you’re considering having treatment or are just curious as to whether or not I’d do it again, here's all your questions, answered...

What is semi-permanent makeup?

Semi-permanent makeup uses a tattooing technique to create long-lasting facial enhancements. The pigments used are designed to gradually fade over time and typically last 1-3 years, depending on factors such as your skin type and sun exposure.

It's popular with people like me, who are looking to save time on their daily makeup routine and for those with conditions that can cause makeup application to be more challenging, such as alopecia or scarring.

Why did you have it done?

There were a number of reasons really. Firstly, I had worked with a lady who was effortlessly chic and she had taken the plunge. She’d leave work looking as fabulous as the moment she walked in, whereas my makeup would be all over the shop!

This is because I have SUPER oily eyelids which meant my beloved eyeliner never stayed in place. It either disappeared by lunchtime or slowly migrated down my face 🙈

At the time, semi permanent makeup was bang on trend, as were bushy brows. So as soon as I graduated, I booked myself an appointment.

Where did you have it done?

Unfortunately the salon I went to no longer exists, but I can share exactly what to look for when considering treatment. Firstly it’s essential that the therapist is fully qualified. So if their certificates aren’t on display, you’re more than welcome to ask to see them.

It’s also essential that the environment is clean and hygienic and that the brand they work with is reputable. Every salon will advise a consultation first as you’ll need to be patch tested. I’d advise you use this opportunity to ask all your questions and make sure you read their reviews too.

What happens during the treatment?

Firstly, you and the therapist will have a thorough conversation about the look you’re trying to achieve.

Then, they will colour match you, measure your face and draw the brows or eyeliner onto your skin with a makeup pencil. This ensures everything is perfectly symmetrical and that you’re 100% happy with the look.

A numbing cream will then be applied to make the process more comfortable, before a tattoo-type tool is used to work the pigments into your skin.

Does it hurt?

You can 100% feel it but for me, it was totally bearable. My therapist reapplied the numbing cream throughout to make things easier and I personally found my brows more comfortable than my eyeliner.

What is the recovery like?

I was advised not to get the areas wet for 7 days and to apply Vaseline every couple of hours to keep the skin protected. I was also told not use my skincare products over the areas for the first week too. So you’d need to be very careful with your 5 Minute Kit.

A few days after treatment, the pigment starts to look far darker than it did originally, but that’s just your skin healing. Once any scabs have gently fallen away (you must not pick!), the beautiful result will be left underneath. Any little gaps that need filling in will be adjusted during your 6 week follow-up appointment.

Would you have it done again?

I have to say, I absolutely would! Although looking back, my brows were a touch too dark initially, they’ve faded beautifully. My eyeliner is now a charcoal grey colour rather than completely black and I love the softer look too.

They recommend top-ups every 12-18 months and my last treatment was almost 8 years ago now 🙈 My skin holds the pigment really well, but perhaps in the new year, I might just have things freshened up.

 I’ll share the journey with you, if and when I get it booked and if you have any questions at all, I’m only a message away 🥰

Amy x

Amy is a qualified skin expert and founder of BASE. When she’s not writing about skincare, you’ll find her applying it, developing it or daydreaming about it instead!