Then and Now: The Evolution of Cosmetic Tattoo Over the Years

Tattoo pen dipped in black ink

Like many beauty trends, cosmetic tattoos are having a comeback. But they look nothing like they did 20 years ago. The market is growing and seeking more convenient options every day, and this affects the beauty industry. People don’t want to spend five to ten minutes doing their make up, especially when filling in their sparse eyebrows.

Cosmetic Tattoos in the Past

The hot trend of semi-permanent makeup has evolved in a lot of ways from the past method of cosmetic tattooing. The eyebrows back then were tattooed a solid color that would last over 10 years. The ink used before was carbon-based or laden with titanium dioxide. The body broke down these chemicals, causing the tattoo to turn into tones of blue or green. The case is the same for tattooed lip liners.

Semi-permanent makeup, on the other hand, uses pigments that are compatible with the body’s composition. The technician, using a needle, applies the color to the skin, and the result is a completely natural-looking, perfectly-sculpted eyebrow instead of a solid block of color. Semi-permanent makeup fades slowly after 12 to 18 months, allowing the client to choose a different shape or color if ever he or she wants to redo the process.

Semi-Permanent Makeup Today

Preparing patient for microblading process

The process of semi-permanent makeup is still similar to tattooing, but the pigment does not penetrate as deeply into the skin. For eyebrows, the process is called microblading. The technician uses a small blade and draws fine lines that mimic the natural hair of the brows, making them look natural. Although microblading is the most popular semi-permanent method right now, there are other techniques as well.

  • Semi-permanent eyeliner – Specialists use a tattoo machine that gently inserts micro-droplets of pigment into the waterline and in between each lash, giving the appearance of thick, fluttery lashes.
  • Scalp micropigmentation (SMP) – Semi-permanent makeup isn’t only for women, it can also be beneficial for men who want to reduce the appearance of their bald spots. The SMP process is similar to microblading; technicians with proper SMP training use micro-needles to layer dots of pigment on the scalp, creating the illusion of hair.
  • Full-lip blushes – Trained specialists can give you natural lip blushes by using darker pigments on the edges of the lips and softer shades towards the middle. This process contours the lips, creating a natural pout.
  • Beauty spots – Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle wowed the world with her natural freckles. Since the royal wedding last year, there has been an increase in the number of women getting Markle-inspired faux freckle tattoos. Right after the procedure, the tattoos look like inflamed bee stings, but the swelling goes down and leaves cute freckle-like marks.

Today’s technology allowed cosmetic tattoos to be safer and more natural-looking. But there are still risks involved. There are still cases of semi-permanent makeup gone wrong among women, especially if the technician did not get proper training. So be sure to go only to specialists who have the skills and experience to perform the procedure. Also, be a hundred percent sure with your decision before getting your brows or lips done because, although the effect isn’t permanent, you may not like the result afterward.

Do your research. Think about your decision. And save yourself – your face and your wallet – from regrets.

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