Cosmetic tattooing, aka permanent makeup for eyebrows, lips and eyelids, is becoming popular in the land Down Under despite medical professionals who oppose the practice.
The practice of tattooing eyeliner, lipstick and lip liner onto the face has been common in Brazil for at least twenty years, but it’s only recently that so-called cosmetic tattooing has made mach of a mark in Australia.
Unlike a traditional tattoo, with its brightly colored inks and vivid images, cosmetic tattooing involves the subtle enhancement of the appearance of the eyebrows, eyes and lips.
The muted palette of a cosmetic tattoo is produced by impregnating the skin’s second layer –- the dermis– with colored pigments, instead of scribing the skin’s third layer as is done when creating a traditional tattoo.
Patients generally meet with a cosmetic tattooist for a consultation prior to the procedure to map out the look of the tattoos. Eyebrow enhancement is the most common procedure, followed by eye and lip line and full lip color procedures.
Recovery can take a few days to two-weeks, after which color and shape adjustments are made. Although cosmetic tattooing is actually only semi-permanent, the results can last several years before a touch-up is required.
Despite its growing popularity in Australia and elsewhere, some medical professionals decry the procedure, claiming that cosmetic tattooing damages the patient’s body image rather than improving it. However, those who create cosmetic tattoos stress that no treatment is considered complete until all parties involved are happy with the results.