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FAQ's About Cosmetic Tattooing

What is Cosmetic Tattooing?

Cosmetic Tattooing, also called Cosmetic Tattooing or Micropigmentation, is the process of implanting color pigment beneath the surface of the skin by means of a tiny, sterile, disposable needle to produce the appearance of cosmetic makeup.

What is the Difference Between Cosmetic Tattooing and Body Tattooing?

The purpose of Cosmetic Tattooing procedures at Willow’s Wax Bar is to enhance our clients’ features, not necessarily create artwork that stands out (such as body tattoos). Cosmetic Tattooing is softer and more subtle – it is meant to be a natural looking beauty enhancement. Body tattoos use ink, Cosmetic Tattooing procedures involve only iron-oxide based pigments designed to gently fade over time. Fading is desired as it allows the technician to make changes to colour and shape over the years as client’s natural coloration and facial changes occur.

Does the Permanent Makeup Procedure Hurt?

A highly-effective, topical anesthetic cream and gel are used for numbing before and during your procedure. Pain threshold levels vary from person to person and every effort is made to ensure you remain comfortable for the entirety of the procedure.

What are the Pigments Made of?

BioTouch pigments come in a variety of colors specially formulated with iron oxide, an ingredient safe for the skin. We do not use pigments made from organic ingredients, such as vegetables as they have a high risk of carrying bacteria and causing allergic reactions. Because color is implanted just underneath the dermal layer of the skin, the resulting shade is soft and muted, unlike regular cosmetic makeup that sits on the surface of the skin.

What are the Most Common Procedures Requested?

The most common procedures performed are eyebrows, eyeliner, and color corrections/camouflage. The color and shape are designed to match and complement the client’s features and complexion.

Eyebrows can be completely reconstructed in the absence of hair, or a few ‘hair’ strokes may be added to give added fullness to sparse areas – choose either a soft pencil appearance or natural feathering result. Cosmetic Tattooing can enhance the natural features of the eyebrows with customized shaping. According to the shape of the person’s face and bone structure, Cosmetic Tattooing can replace eyebrows that have lost their fullness with age and hair loss, or add defining tones to existing brows.

An eyeliner procedure adds pigment close to the lash line for definition to the lashes and contours of the eye. From a natural, softer or smudged look, to a dramatic look, the thickness and color of the line are customized for each client. Following eye surgeries for medical reasons we are able to re-establish balance and correct scars in the eye area.

Yes! Many of our clients report that friends and family members did not know they have had a procedure, although they do wonder why they are looking younger. We use soft natural tones on the brows that complement each client and re-create hair strokes that give the illusion of real hair.

What Should I Expect at the First Appointment?

We provide a free consultation to all of our clients. You can arrange your consultation and procedure on separate days, or the same day.

During your consultation, the technician will discuss your expectations and the ideal shape and color you are looking to achieve. The technician will do a make-up design preview to give you an idea of how you will look after the procedure, as well as offer some alternative style suggestions.

How Long Does Cosmetic Tattooing Last?

The treatment is permanent and will not wash off. However, it will fade over time and may need a retouch every 1- 5 years. Frequency of touch-ups depends on a number of factors including: the pigment color used (lighter colors fade faster), lifestyle (sun exposure), iron deficiency (your body absorbs iron-oxide as a supplement), and if any chemical peels come into contact with treated areas.

Touch-ups are normal for Cosmetic Tattooing procedures, with each new procedure requiring 2 visits. The initial procedure followed by a free touch-up procedure within one year. Lips may require one additional appointment.

What Should I do Before my Procedure?

For eyeliner: Wear your regular glasses instead of your contact lenses. Do not wear mascara (especially water-proof mascara, because this is more difficult to remove, and doing so will cause the eyes to be more irritated and sensitive).

For eyebrows: If you have an ideal shape and color in mind, bring reference photos and eyebrow pencil or powder.

If you plan to go on a vacation, it is recommended to plan this trip a minimum 10 days after the procedure.

We also request our clients avoid prescription blood thinners (if possible) for 24 hours prior to their appointment. This also includes Vitamin E, Aspirin and Alcohol.

How Will I Look Immediately After? What is the Healing Process?

Your Cosmetic Tattooing will appear darker and bigger than expected for the first few days. This will gradually lighten over the course of a week.

Eyeliner: Expect that your eyes will be swollen for up to 3 days (like how you would look after crying). Some careful maintenance is required to make the swelling go down faster.

Eyebrows: Your eyebrows will appear thicker and much darker for up to 5 days post procedure until any scab peels off. The area may also be reddish and tender, so be gentle with your skin during the healing process and keep applying the aftercare product provided.

Lips: Your lips will look very intense as well as become swollen for 2-4 days, depending on the individual. Usually the scab will peel off after 4-6 days. During this time, the color will look quite pale, only the lip line will show a light color. Be patient at this time until the skin matures which will take about 1-2 months until you can see a more natural result.

What Should I do After the Procedure?

We provide very specific post-care instructions after your procedure. It is highly beneficial to follow these instructions to ensure a good healing process and to achieve the best results. The most essential aftercare is to keep the treated area moist, do not rub or pick as the color will peel off, and avoid extreme heat (like in saunas, Jacuzzis, steam rooms, places with hot humidity). For the lips, keep using the aftercare product provided to you (as a regular lip balm) to make the color last longer.

How Will my Cosmetic Tattooing Look in the Future?

We always analyze our client’s skin undertone to anticipate how pigment colors will fade in the future, and we mix special formulas to ensure color remains in the same tone. For the majority of our clients, their Cosmetic Tattooing stays in the ideal and true color. There are some cases however, which make colors fade to different tones according to the individual’s response to the pigments (like skin tone and iron deficiencies). Many factors affect these changes, in your follow up appointment we analyze how your body has responded to the initial color. Special formula alteration to correct the color and to prevent further color change is made at this time.

What Should I Know About Long Term Care?

A good sunscreen applied daily on tattooed area(s) is needed to help keep color true. Sun exposure will make the color fade faster.

Our pigment is iron-oxide based. Your body absorb it as mineral irons, so the color will fade over time. You may need a touch-up every 1- 5 years. The fading speed depends on your skin type, lifestyle, sun exposure, pigment color used, broken capillaries, iron deficiency, and if any chemical peels were done after Cosmetic Tattooing.

If you are planning a chemical peel, MRI or other medical procedure, please inform the technician that you have had an iron-oxide cosmetic tattoo. Careful application must be taken to avoid affecting the tattooed area.

If you are planning to have laser treatments, tell your laser specialist to avoid the pigmented area. Laser may cause pigment to turn black.

How do I Find the Right Cosmetic Tattooing Artist?

It is so important to have a skilled Cosmetic Tattooing Technician perform these procedures otherwise you may end up with a permanent mistake! The time and expense related with repairing poor quality work are simply not worth it.

  1. Find an experienced technician.
  2. Have a consultation first:
    • Is the place clean and safe?
    • Are the needles and accessories disposable?
    • Does the shape and design work have artistic taste?
  3. Look at non-decorated pictures of the technician’s work.
  4. Ask for references.