Permanent mascara is a type of beauty product which colors, thickens, and lengthens the eyelash but also lasts many weeks or months before wearing off. In some cases, a permanent mascara is called a lash tint, but this type of mascara only darkens the lash. Most types of permanent mascara are called semi-permanent since the results last for up to three months.
There are three types of permanent mascara — the lash tint, the lash perm, and waterproof, temporary mascara. The lash tint gives color to lashes. Individuals with light colored lashes often choose to have a lash tint performed to give them definition. Tints can last several months. People with dark hair typically don't benefit from a lash tint, however.
Lash perming uses a topical treatment to curl and lengthen the lashes. It is the closest thing to using temporary mascara since it provides the same full look. Usually lash perming lasts several weeks, but some formulas claim to last up to three months. In some cases, both procedures are performed together, giving the eyelash color plus length and fullness.
Waterproof temporary mascara is a very strong mascara which can be applied at home. Its formula makes it impervious to water, sweat, and rubbing and it will not wear off. It darkens, lengthens, and thickens the lash in most cases and usually requires a special topical make up remover.
Permanent mascara can be applied at home or by a professional in a beauty salon. Usually, the results of at-home permanent mascara kits do not last as long as professional grade formulas. The advantage of at-home kits are that they are much cheaper than professional procedures. Some companies which manufacture permanent mascara formulas do not sell directly to the public or to non-certified cosmetologists. These companies require professionals to complete an approved training program before they can use the products.
A professional lash tint is more expensive than an at-home kit and takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. An eyelash perm or combination of tint and perm can take up to an hour-and-a-half to complete. Depending on the brand, it can cost hundreds of dollars to receive a permanent mascara treatment.
In some cases, very short or thin lashes do not respond well to permanent mascara. An alternative is eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions use false eyelashes and a strong adhesive to attach longer, fuller lashes to the natural eyelash. False eyelashes can look natural and enhance the overall quality of lashes.
There are both at-home kits and beauty salons which offer eyelash extensions. Like lash tinting and perming, the at-home cost is significantly less than the salon cost. False eyelashes that are applied by a professional using professional formulas typically last longer than at home-kits, and it can be quite difficult to apply false eyelashes oneself, especially if using individual lashes. Hiring a professional is usually much easier and less time consuming.