What is a Cosmetic Tattoo?

Cosmetic tattoo brow, powder brow by Bare Beauty Ink

Cosmetic tattooing & its many names

First let’s just clear up some buzzwords:

Cosmetic tattoos, permanent makeup and semi-permanent makeup are actually all synonymous.

They all refer to the technique of implanting pigment in order to replicate the look of a naturally perfect brow, or makeup technique…with little to no daily effort. That means you get to wake up, wash your face, go to sleep, sweat on the beach and your permanent makeup stays put. Dreamy, right?

It seems odd that the terms semi-permanent makeup and permanent makeup are in fact the same. Plainly put, semi-permanent makeup refers to the fact that in comparison to a traditional tattoo, the goal is for your cosmetic tattoo to purposely fade with time. Its intention is built into the design of the pigment formulas and implantation techniques. The term “permanent makeup” refers to the fact that, cosmetic tattoos are more “permanent” than traditional makeup as you can’t just sweat or swipe it off.

Why do you need a cosmetic tattoo?

Cosmetic tattoos are genius. You get to exist with the accents that you wish you had naturally. Not only can they create a long term result for replicating makeup like your daily brow products, eyeliner or lip tint, but they also serve as a natural correctional tool. Cosmetic brow tattoos can replicate the look of realistic brows in cases like scarring or hair loss/ alopecia. In lips, they serve as a colour corrector for missing lip pigment, or lips that present grey/ blue or ashy. Overall, cosmetic tattoos are a vital tool to create balance. They invite colours and shapes that bring life and bring symmetry to the face.

What type of cosmetic tattoo do you need?

You will find an endless amount of media promoting an array of techniques. Within each placement such as the brow there are many styles that we can replicate in order to give you your dream brow. To cut through the marketing and empower you as the consumer it begins with deciding the following in order:

  1. Placement (eyebrows, lips, freckles, eyeliner etc.)
  2. Your visual end goal
  3. Technique (This will be decided between you and your artist)

At Bare Beauty Ink, within brows alone, your artist is multi-certified in both manual microblading + advanced machine work. Our primary mission are based around good healed results. In order to achieve this, your health, skin profile and lifestyle information is used to select the technique that is right for your goal look. So don’t get lost in the buzzwords like, “nano-blading,” which is microblading by the way…or Ombre brows which is the same as saying a powder brow. All of this is explained, and chosen in tandem with you at your cosmetic tattoo appointment. Your main takeaway is, get clear on visualizing your desired end goal, but in regards to the technique, don’t fret. Your artist will guide you to the right answer. It is a fact that cosmetic tattoo techniques are not one size fits all. At Bare Beauty Ink, we have all methods under our belt in order to give you the best advice possible.

How long do they last?

The average lifetime of a cosmetic tattoo is roughly 1-3 years. As mentioned before, pigments that are used for this treatment are specifically built with this intention. Why wouldn’t we want pigments to last a lifetime? It’s because we want flexibility. Once the pigment is healed within your skin, your body’s immune system is continuously trying to break it down. Having a pigment that gradually fades overtime makes for a more flattering exit of pigment and it invites room for us artist’s to manipulate shape and shade. It is also for this reason that we are very mindful of depth.

Factors that determine the lifespan of your cosmetic tattoo:
  • Age
  • Skin type
  • Lifestyle
  • UV/ Sun Exposure (can be combatted with SPF)
  • Aftercare
  • Skincare products
  • Your body and its unique immune system
  • How dark or light your pigment is (blonde vs. brown-black)
  • Types of pigments implanted into the skin
  • Chosen technique, eg. Microblading or Power Brow (or any other method)

You as the wearer, have a lot of control in keeping the life of your tattoo. During your consult appointment you will discuss the finished style. In response, your artist will advise you based on your skin profile, what would give you the best results for the type of longevity that you’re looking for. What if you’re gun-shy and only want it to last for a short amount of time? That’s a real feeling! And, I as your artist can definitely counsel and adjust for your results. At the end of the day, you and your artist are also working in tandem with your body. Each person takes and keeps pigment very differently. You, your artist, and your body have equal stock into the final result. The main takeaway is to observe, have faith in the process, and be empowered with information. Your artist is there with you every step of the way, including years to come.

When is the right time to book a cosmetic tattoo?

To wisely select a time to book your cosmetic tattoo, take a look at the required cosmetic tattoo pre-care and aftercare instructions. Universally, you can keep these in mind:

  • Refrain from excessive sweating for 1 week
  • Must refrain from alcohol for 24 hours and no caffeine on the day of your treatment
  • Must not be on blood thinners for 24 hours prior to your treatment (only under your physician’s approval)
  • No full water submersion for 2 weeks including the use of hot-tubs, pools and baths
  • No hot or dry saunas for 3 weeks as it promotes exfoliation and disrupts the new skin growth
  • No UV or direct sun exposure for 2 weeks. New skin is prone to burning and UV dramatically fades fresh pigment. Keep this in mind for hot holidays.
  • No trauma or sunburn can be on the location prior to the treatment
  • A minimum of 4 weeks after your last botox / filler appointment
  • No chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser or any other intense treatments 4 weeks before treatment
  • Waiting 1 year after your completion of Accutane
  • Waiting 1 year after your completion of chemotherapy / radiation.

I hope that this guide has empowered you with information and has excited you into the realm of cosmetic tattooing. The immense freedom it gives your beauty routine is unparalleled. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m always happy to help.

Your artist,