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What Is Permanent Eyeliner?

Melanie Smeltzer
Melanie Smeltzer

Long worn to enhance the appearance of the eyes, eyeliner has become a staple in many makeup kits, and for those who love the look of it, there is a more long-lasting alternative to the traditional forms. Permanent eyeliner is a form of cosmetic tattooing that mimics the look of pencil or liquid eyeliner. Many people feel that these tattoos are preferable to regular makeup, as they are not only long-lasting, but are also water and smudge-proof, and can cut down on the hassle and long-term cost of daily makeup application. Although most frequently performed on women, some men also find that this cosmetic procedure helps to improve their appearance.

Permanent eyeliner is a form of tattooing typically performed by a specially trained artist or cosmetologist. The procedure performed is known as micropigmentation and can take several hours to complete. Micropigmentation consists of applying a topical anesthetic to the lids, then placing metabolically immobile pigment granules below the dermal layer around the eyes. Although the results are permanent, the color may eventually become dull and need to be touched up every few years.

Permanent eyeliner is a cosmetic tattoo applied around the eyes.
Permanent eyeliner is a cosmetic tattoo applied around the eyes.

Many different methods can help enhance the appearance of the eyes. One popular method is referred to as lash enhancement. This procedure consists of placing large dots of pigment between the eyelashes and is thought to be one of the more subtle methods. For a dramatic look, thick lines of permanent eyeliner may be placed above and below the lash line. Thinner lines may also be used for a more natural look, and may be placed on either the upper or lower lids.

Although permanent eyeliner has many advantages, it also has many disadvantages and potential risks. One of the biggest disadvantages to this procedure is that it is, indeed, permanent. Though the ink may eventually fade, it will never be entirely gone if the wearer changes her mind later.

One of the biggest risks of permanent eyeliner is having it done by an inexperienced individual, who can potentially damage the skin or eyes if she does not follow proper procedures. There is also a risk of infection if needles are not properly sterilized. Additionally, this form of tattooing requires precision, and if done improperly the wearer may have to have the tattoo removed. Laser tattoo removal done on the eyes can potentially damage the hair follicles.

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    • Permanent eyeliner is a cosmetic tattoo applied around the eyes.
      By: BlueSkyImages
      Permanent eyeliner is a cosmetic tattoo applied around the eyes.