Find out more or book a one to one video consultation

5 things you might not know about permanent makeup

Did you know that your skin type influences your PMU result? We answer some little known facts with help from industry expert Karen Betts

Is PMU semi-permanent or permanent?

We always use the term ‘permanent’ (PMU), because even though the intensity of the pigment fades over time, there will always be a residue of some kind in the skin. Some people use the term ‘semi-permanent’ because of the fade factor, but both are referring to the same thing.

Digital method vs microblading

Both are a form of tattooing – they implant pigment into the dermal layer of the skin (when done correctly). The only difference is the method of application: the digital machine works like a classic tattoo rotary machine, implanting pigment into the skin with a needle or formation of needles, while the microblade is a hand tool with no power.

This implants pigment into the skin more like the traditional hand-tap method before machines were invented! Hair strokes and shading can be performed with both on brows, eyes and lips. The choice depends on several factors including the skill of the technician; skin type; desired result; healing and medical health.

The importance of colour theory 

We use highly concentrated pure pigment – this is not tattoo ink. Inks have smaller molecules than pigment and have more potential to migrate (travel or blur) in the skin. Pigments are the safer option. They are not made from organic (living) materials, and are developed in controlled lab conditions for safety and consistency.

Although we have several shades of pigment for all treatment areas, the skin undertone and overtone must be taken into consideration as they will change the shade of the pigment once healed. It is important for your technician to have excellent colour theory knowledge to determine the healed outcome of the chosen pigment once implanted into the dermal layer of the skin.

Pigment will never look like makeup, as makeup sits on top of the skin, whereas pigment sits underneath several layers. The result is normally a slightly muted/ashier version of the pigment compared to when it was swatched on top of the skin. Remember, PMU is designed to look like an enhanced version of your own features, not a strong made-up effect. This way you choose to be more natural or add more makeup on-top for more glamorous occasions.

Do you have the right skin type?

Your technician must choose a method of application suitable for your skin type. Digital or blading; strokes or shading. Your skin type will affect the decision. For example, an oily skin will cause hair strokes to blur more than a normal skin, resulting in less definition overall. Sometimes a soft, shaded brow is a better option for this skin type.

A very mature or thin skin may not be suited to a microblading treatment due to its delicate texture. Soft machine strokes on a low speed may be a better option. Someone with dry skin may not retain the pigment easily at first and experience gaps or patches in the healed result.

Skin is unpredictable and varies from person to person and so a ‘retouch’ appointment (between 4-12 weeks after initial treatment)  is always recommended to assess the heal and address any issues.

The gift of renewed confidence

PMU is not just about cosmetics or vanity: my passion is to help those who have medical reasons for the treatment. Many of my clients suffer from hair loss of all kinds for many different reasons. A natural brow treatment or ‘invisible’ eyeliner can help to instil confidence back in someone who has been struggling with a changing appearance over time.

I perform areola pigmentation following breast surgery, creating a full 3D illusion just like the real thing. I have also worked with burns survivors who have lost features or definition, or who need scar re-pigmentation work.

Find a local practitioner