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Semi-Permanent Makeup - Yes or No?

Spending hours in the morning perfecting your brows, wiping off your eyeliner and starting again even though you meant to leave the house 10 minutes ago – semi-permanent makeup might be the answer to your daily makeup struggles.   

Semi-permanent makeup has gained popularity in more recent years, being offered alongside tattoos and piercings in studios by semi-permanent makeup experts. It can be used to enhance your eyebrows, lipstick, blush, eyeliner and even freckles/beauty marks. You can also get ‘concealer’ to cover your dark circles by applying a thin layer of pigment underneath the first layer of skin under your eyes – however this can be dangerous due to the thin layers of skin around your eyes. It is only carried out by a select few experienced skin care professionals and while it is not considered makeup, other forms of cosmetic tattoos have also been used to alter one’s hairline as well as create 3D effect nipples.  

Cosmetics tattoos like 3D effect nipples and eyebrows can help empower cancer survivors. Hannah Jolly from Ink and Glow has been doing cosmetic tattoos for a while but decided to offer nipple tattoos to cancer survivors for free. She has noticed the difference it makes in their lives: “Most women cry, so then I cry…They don’t realise how much it impacts on their confidence.” Eyebrow tattoos or microblading are considered semi-permanent makeup but can also have the same effect if their treatment meant the loss of their hair. Lauren, a semi-permanent make-up artist in Gateshead, has started a new campaign to get semi-permanent makeup offered on the NHS for cancer patients and sufferers of alopecia. She is currently offering semi-permanent eyebrow treatments for free to these types of customers. Another reason for microblading is if you over plucked your eyebrows years back when it was trendy to have thin eyebrows and the hair is struggling to grow back. Microblading can also give a more natural finish that make up products struggle to achieve.   

Semi-permanent makeup in general saves a lot of time when getting ready. You’d skip the eyeliner, the eyebrows, the lipstick…that does sound appealing. And just because you already have lipstick on doesn’t mean you can’t put another shade on top if you’re wanting to change things up for the night. 

Semi-permanent makeup allows more freedom for many. Those who might be allergic to certain types of topical makeup products might avoid using lipstick for example if a common ingredient in most lipsticks causes their lips to swell. People with physical conditions that limit the mobility in their hands could find doing eyeliner difficult but would absolutely love to rock an eyeliner look. Some might struggle to do their makeup after a stroke but long to feel like themselves again. Since semi-permanent makeup is done by another and lasts longer than daily makeup, it allows people to achieve the look they want without having to rely on others daily.   

However, there are some downsides to semi-permanent makeup. If during the process you change your mind on the colour or style, you can’t just wipe it off and start again. This means you should take your time choosing a shade or style you are drawn to. There are risks with any tattoo but these don’t last forever, they need to be refreshed to stay looking clean. The aftercare required for semi-permanent makeup might cause a temporary change in your daily habits since you are advised to not use makeup or skincare products on the affected areas. Brows and lashes need to be kept dry for at least 48 hours after the treatment – so no sad movies! Microblading will appear darker for the first week or so before settling so while it might not look like the colour from day 1, it might be more what you’re looking for in a week. All of these types of semi-permanent makeup treatments might cause swelling and discomfort.  

Aftercare Tips:


To avoid large patches of baldness on the eyebrow, we highly recommend that you leave the area as much as possible, meaning not to pick the scabs, get the area wet or apply makeup while healing. 


Apply a cold compress onto the eyes, such as a gel mask that can be placed into the fridge. This will help to reduce any swelling, redness or heat that cause discomfort and we advise that you clean the mask after every use.  


Avoid hot drinks for the first couple of days. recommend drinking through a straw, and where possible, try eating foods that require a knife and fork so that you are less likely to come into contact with your lips. not put on lip balm as many products have chemicals that dry out the lips, and it can also increase the chances of spreading bacteria.  


Avoid Sun Exposure. Do Not Pick, Peel or Scratch. Ease Swelling With A Cold Pack. Keep The Treatment Area Dry. Avoid Heavy Exercise. Sleep On A Clean Pillowcase. Avoid Cosmetic Products (both makeup and skincare products). Pin Back Your Hair. Limit Hot Showers and Baths.  

Remember to research your practitioner to make sure they are fully trained and that their customer reviews check out. The last thing you want is to get an infection – after all needles are involved during these procedures.  


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