As a busy mom I can testify that among the carpools, practices, games and goodness knows what else, finding the time to look “put together” can feel impossible. But what if you could take a few steps out of the process and still look amazing whether it’s 4am or 10pm? With the trend of permanent makeup popping up everywhere, I decided to do some Q&A about the pros and cons with Donna Harris; permanent make-up artist, esthetician, skin expert for and the owner of Oregon’s Grand SalonSpa.

SM: What are the benefits of permanent makeup?

DH: There are many benefits that people do not even consider.  Facial features fade as the years go by, giving away your age, this may make you look tired or run down.  We all know how much better we look with freshly applied make up.  This is a fantastic benefit of permanent makeup.  Permanent makeup is always there no matter what you are doing, where you are going or what meal you are eating. There are many benefits that people do not even consider.  Here is a list of what permanent make up can do for you.

  • Saves you time
  • Saves you money with less trips to the makeup counter
  • Makes your eyelashes look thicker
  • Enhances your own natural features
  • Makes lips look fuller
  • Makes lips more defined
  • Corrects uneven or narrow lips
  • Fills in brows where hairs were lost
  • Makes you look younger with a custom brow shape and color
  • Wake up every morning with perfect makeup
  • No smudging smearing or running of makeup
  • Makeup does not need to be reapplied throughout the day
  • Great for people who cannot see well to apply their makeup
  • Great for people who are allergic to makeup
  • Turn back the clock and look younger by defining your most looked at features.

SM: What’s the most common area to have it done? 

Eyebrows before permanent makeup

DH:Surprisingly in my practice, tattooed eyeliner and eyebrow procedures are almost even. I’ve noticed that about the age of 40 eyesight starts becoming a problem and applying eyeliner is more difficult.  Women try to leave on their reading glasses or use magnified mirrors to apply the tedious line.  Eyebrows are a different issue.  Brows start thinning out at the age of 40 and become less prominent when they are the frame for the eye and balance out all facial features.  A professionally looking eyebrow shape is difficult to apply day after day.  Lipliner and lipfill are a distant 3rd.  This is not surprising since it is more easily applied yourself but can be a nuisance as it is constantly fading and needs to be reapplied many times throughout the day.

Eyebrows after permanent makeup


SM: Does having permanent makeup hurt? 

DH: This is the question I am asked the most.  I am always happy to be able to say that most techs will use a numbing crème and will reapply as it wears off.  This is a great question for the tech you are interviewing

SM: Are there any risks to having permanent makeup?

DH: There are very few risks when you find a well seasoned technician. So, make sure to interview the technician being considered. Most technicians will offer a free consultation.  This will give you a chance to look at their portfolio and check to see if the facility is clean and neat.  Do they show you single packaged equipment with sterile markings on the bags?  Do they have certificates of continuing education?  All of these items are necessary for success in permanent makeup and they all cost money, a lot of money.  In the permanent makeup industry, you get what you pay for. Some technicians will even take the time to draw on a brow shape that they would recommend, which would give you the opportunity to see their skill level.

SM: What about errors? Since it’s a tattoo if there is an error, how do you fix it?

Again, if you have found an experienced tech this is not an issue.  Many technicians are also trained in tattoo removal and can handle issues quite easily.

SM: How long does permanent makeup last? 

DH: There are many factors in determining how long tattooed makeup will last.  Sun is the main offender and will lighten or can even change a color.  Different medications can change the metabolism of the body and fade a tattoo quicker.  Most eyeliner will last from 1 1/2 years to 4 years.  Eyebrows 3- 6 years and lips can last up to 8 years before needing refreshing.  It varies from person to person.

SM: Do you have to avoid sun exposure? 

DH: To  get the optimal amount of time out of your tattoo It is best to cover your tattoo with sunscreen.  I encourage wearing a hat and sunglasses.

Sian Bitner-Kearney