What is micropigmentation?
Micropigmentation also known as permanent make-up, semi-permanent make-up and cosmetic tattooing. It is a cosmetic procedure that aims to provide a long lasting make-up. The difference between these terms is in technological details of the procedure not in the steps of the procedure nor the end result. During the procedure pigments are implanted in the level of epidermis – dermis and after stabilization period of about a month can stay in place for indefinite amount of time. Results may vary depending on the area treated, body characteristics, method of application and pigments used. Results are visible from few month (rare cases) up till four years. Successful result mostly calls for 2 sessions – main procedure and a revisit (retouch) after a specified amount of time. Revisit procedure is needed only if for any reason pigment has lifted in some area or client desires to intensify the color or slightly change tonality of it. Fully revoking the same area – second procedure - is recommended only when it is really needed and timing of it varies from one individual to another (it may be after one year or three it is not predictable without firsthand experience).
What can be done with the help of micropigmentation?
Nowadays micropigmentation or permanent make up acquires much wider use than previously. It is possible not only to have the traditional eyebrow, eye or lip line done, but to shade almost any part of the facial or body features.
Eyebrows: fully filled intense eyebrows has been, is and will be on trend, but right now more natural looks are preferred. Lightness and natural look is mostly what my clients want from eyebrow micropigmentation! Airy shading, visual lifting effect, form correction and correction of asymmetry gives a pleasant look to the face. Traditional hair stroke technique is the foundation of eyebrow micropigmentation, but it does not suit all clients. Hair stroke technique looks pleasing only if client has normal to dry skin and enough eyebrow hairs to begin with. If client’s skin is thick, oily and with enlarged pores hair stroke technique does not look good as “hair” strokes cannot “hold” into the skin at all or in a couple of month can look blurry and unpleasing. I advise clients on the procedure and technique it should be performed in to obtain the most impactful and qualitative result and that is what my clients appreciate the most. It should not be forgotten that eyebrows are the part of the body that changes facial expression the most.
Eyes: nowadays with the help of permanent make up it is possible to almost achieve miracles! It is possible to do classic eye liner in any thickness and shape, but it might seem too strict for some clients. Liner can be imagined as a picture frame that in some cases makes eyes appear smaller. Classical liner is well suited for almond shaped eyes, but with age and the signs of wrinkles light liner and shading (filling without complete coverage) is more suitable. As a very beautiful and trendy is creative technique that mainly is shading. It is possible to do it in color to enhance and bring out clients eye color or it may be “nude” – beige with grey that gives a shade effect in varied intensity. Areas that will be shaded are determined by anatomical landmarks - eye shape, eyelid positioning - and is chosen to give the most beautiful and harmonious effect to the whole face.
Lips: Lips are the most sensual part of the face! For quite some time filling without a distinct contour has been the most desired lip micropigmentation technique that has the most natural effect. Lips can be done brightly, “nude” with slightly more distinct outline, as a gradient with multiple tones, with light transition to the inner rim on precisely the opposite – with brighter inner part. It is possible for lips to be covered with pearl effect. It is possible for us to play with the standards of beauty and varied methods of achieving it.
Correction of work done by other specialists – is a very sought after procedure! There are cases when it is possible to work with existing shapes and colors to achieve better results, but sometimes laser correction is needed to get rid of the previous permanent make up. This may take up some time and in most cases one appointment is not enough to correct everything.
Camouflage of the dark circles in under eye area: procedure for the brave and only for those who actually need it. If dark under circles under the eyes are permanent for you we can use lighter camouflage micropigmentation in this area to counteract the appearance of darkness.
Blush: yes, it is also possible to add flush to the cheeks with micropigmentation and it is practiced in multiple countries.
It is also possible to camouflage or optically shape nose, cheek bones or whole oval of the face. In most cases it is done to make face appear more slim and structured. I do not practice this myself, but have seen some results.
Varied paramedical procedures:
Significant part of my practice is spent not only on beautifying procedures, but on micropigmentation done with intent to mask some defects:
Scar tissue (after trauma or surgical procedures), alopecia – hair-loss in eyebrows or of eyelashes. Main aim of such procedures is to camouflage the effect of hair loss and imitate eyebrows or eyelashes hairs in appropriate technique. Also appearance of stretch marks can be corrected with micropigmentation. Viteligo correction (camouflage of depigmentated area with appropriate colors to match clients skin tone), tricopigmentation or scalp micropigmentation has now grown to be its own industry and is dedicated to imitation of hair on the head in case of hair-loss. It does not look completely natural in some cases, but ultimately you have to choose between embracing the look of no hair or choose micropigmentation with its dot, line pattern to camouflage the first hand appearance of hair loss.
Brest areola reconstruction – performed after mastectomy and breast reconstruction with implants when the nipple is not existent. Brest areola is “created” with the help of 3D drawing technique.
Micropigmentation for men. Men have the same possibilities as women to achieve more pleasing look with the help of micropigmentation. Most widely used procedures would be eyebrow shape correction, filling of the lash line to achieve appearance of fuller lashes, creation of shade effect below the bottom lip (that will make appearance of the mouth and chin area more manly), highlighting of darker areas and of course tricopigmentation. Possibilities are endless so you have to decide is any of them are for you.
Who can perform micropigmentation procedure?
The procedure can be performed by a specialist of micropigmentation or a cosmetician – a person that has gone through a specific accredited educational program; works in a clinic environment or individually; knows methods and principles of the procedures performed, skin reactions possible to these procedures and strictly obeys hygiene and sanitary requirements!
Main steps of the procedure
The first step (sometimes omitted) is consultation. Consultation is needed in cases you have had a previously done micropigmentation work, but it is not clear if laser correction is needed to have a successful correction procedure. Consultation is needed in all cases of paramedical procedures. In the case of testing skin for allergic reactions my standpoint is that if you have an allergic reaction to more than three different categories of allergens, for example, animal fur, pollen, distinct food group, then you should avoid micropigmentation at all.
Second and the main step – the procedure itself. This step includes consultation about clients’ desires, possibilities, designs etc. Full process (clients survey, consultation, drawing and approval of the shape, primary anesthesia, pigmentation itself, photographing the result) may take up to 2,5 hours. Duration depends on the procedure, for example eyelash filling does not take that long, standard correction procedure takes slightly more than an hour.
Third step - correction. This step is not mandatory. If results are deemed to be satisfactory, correction may be omitted. Correction procedure will be booked right after the main procedure if necessary and will be performed from 1 to 4 month after the initial procedure. (See more in the section PORTFOLIO)
Recommendations before performing the procedure
1. The skin must be calm / soothed, meaning, there should be no rashes, new formations, healing scars, herpes infections on the lips (in case of lip micropigmentation)
2. 5 days prior to the procedure the face should not be tanned in the sun or artificial tanning procedures
3. 5 days prior to the procedure face should not be peeled with substances containing acids
4. All forms of biorevitalization procedures including Botox should performed after micropigmenation procedure; if performed before then no less than 30 days prior micropigmantation procedure
5. In the day of the procedure medicine that expands blood vessels (like aspirin) should be avoided
6. If you experience severe premenstrual syndrome then lip and eye micropigmentation should be avoided multiple days before menstruation due to increased sensitivity
Is there pain during the procedure – yes or no?
Each one of us has an individual threshold of pain. This is why proper preparation for the procedure is very important. If I said that the first touches of the needle against the skin are completely painless I would be lying. In my studio there is almost no pain when eyebrow micropigmentation is performed. Most sensitive area is lips, but that, of course, is individual as well. While performing the procedure, multiple step anesthesia is applied. First a special ointment that relieves pain is applied, later another (maintenance) anesthesia is applied. I can assure that during the procedure, especially while micopigmentating the eyebrows, my clients frequently fall asleep and I have to wake them up during the procedure.
The procedure for some reasons might not be recommended or even prohibited entirely.
Absolute contraindications: allergic reactions to pigment (allergic reaction test is performed to people showing indications to having potential to allergies). Area of pigmentations has new formations.
Temporary contraindications: in case of pregnancy, in case of illness (flu, severe cough, other infectious disease), manifested herpes infection (if lips are to be micropigmentated), local dermatitis (acne, psoriasis, neurodermatitis) – procedure can be performed only in the phase of remission. In the period of scar healing (up to 12 months, except when scar camouflage is performed).
There are cases when the procedure is allowed but only after written consent from your treating physician in case of diabetes, while having chemical – radio therapy, AIDS, asthma, epilepsy, in case of blood clothing disorders, in case of cardiovascular disease, allergies to lidocaine (part of the maintenance anesthesia), hepatitis C and other disorders.
The instructions to facilitate the healing process, which in turn can affect the final result, are given to each client individually. Only aftercare instructions followed are the ones issued by me – your micropigmentation specialist.
The main things that should be strictly followed in all cases are:
- the scurf should not be peeled of or nibbled
- the scurf should not be wetted if not necessary
- any healing balm / ointment (handed to each client individually) should be used as advised
- 1 to 7 days after procedure facial sun tanning, sauna and swimming pool should be avoided
- in case of lip micropigmentation it is advisable to use antiviral medication for herpes
- next day after eye micropigmentation or creative shading technique usage soothing with “dry coolness” can be done to the area; detailed explanation given after this procedure.
Preservation and maintenance of the result
- Up to 1 month after the procedure sun tan should be avoided on the micropigmented area and sunscreen with SPF<30 in a thick coat should be applied at all times prior to going outside.
- 1 - 7 days after the procedure no cosmetics should be applied to the micropigmented area
- Sustained avoidance from laser procedures and acid peels in close proximity to the micropigmented area.
- Micropigmented area should always be covered with SPF 50 prior to going outside or artificial tanning procedures
- All forms of biorevitalization and similar procedures should performed no sooner that 1 month after micropigmenation procedure.
Sterilization and compliance to hygiene standards
This a vitally important point to take not one!
- Professional performing micropigmentation must use sterile one time use needles, that are opened in the presence of client having the procedure
- Work surface and dermograph must be cleaned and wrapped in disposable overlay.
- Pigment or colorant needs to be prepared before the procedure. If additional pigment needs to be prepared while performing the procedure, professional must change disposable gloves used.
- Professional must remove disposable latex gloves if handling mobile phone or other devices not directly related and prepared for the procedure. Mobile phone can also be wrapped in disposable overlay beforehand.
- Cosmetic pencil used to mark shape and design of the area to be pigmented can be used before any disruption of the skin has been done. In the time of the procedure no additional markings can be done.
- Light source used in micropigmentation procedure plays a vital part in keeping hygiene and sterility. As light source is adjusted and touched during the procedure it should also be disinfected and wrapped in disposable overlay. For example, hepatitis C virus can survive on surfaces for multiple hours so infection could be spread if proper procedure is not followed.
What pigments are being used?
Considering clients wishes pigments are being chosen such to provide most qualitative and aesthetically pleasing look. Chemical composition of pigments used is strictly guided by resolution provided by European Union in year 2003. This directive also prohibits the use of certain chemical compounds as a part of pigments suitable for microprigmentation. Inorganic and organic pigments can be used. Inorganic pigments consist of varied metals and oxygen compounds, organic pigments contain synthetic organic compounds blinded with oxygen. For any pigment to get into the European market it has to pas 8 level certification process – from the processing of raw materials to microbiological and sterile control and certification. In my practice I only used pigments certified in compliance with this resolution, so they cannot be the cause of allergic reaction.