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  • Charlotte Brows

Is Semi Permanent Makeup… Permanent Makeup?

Updated: Oct 30, 2019



You might have heard it be called Semi Permanent Makeup, Permanent Makeup, Cosmetic Tattooing or Micro-Pigmentation but to put it simply – it’s all the same thing! All of the above refer to a cosmetic procedure that is considered to be permanent because the colour is implanted into the upper reticular part of the dermal layer of the skin and cannot be washed off. (Sorry for the biology lesson there!) However, as with any tattoo, fading can and does occur, meaning regular colour enhancements or top ups are required.


The terms, Permanent Makeup and Permanent Cosmetics, are mainly used in America whilst in places such as Australia and the UK, it is much more common to hear the term ‘Semi Permanent Makeup.’ This is in an attempt to prevent false advertising. However neither is right or wrong and mainly comes down to how a trained technician prefers to market themselves. I am actually noticing more people in the UK are promoting Permanent Makeup instead of Semi Permanent Makeup, as I do, which is what lead me to research and write a blog post on the subject.


In my opinion ‘Semi Permanent’ means that it is long-lasting but it does grow out eventually – your skin grows out just like your hair, nails and dead skin cells are shedding all the time. Your skin is living tissue that’s subject to change from various external and internal factors. When placed into the skin, any colour will also become susceptible to change, most commonly fading. (In a recent survey of Cosmetic Tattoo Professionals, 85% agree that cosmetically tattooed eyebrows will require a top up every 1-3 years.)


With that taken into consideration, I think it is important to clarify the use of the word ‘permanent’ with your clients, should you wish to promote yourself as a Permanent Makeup Artist. Anyone considering the procedure should understand the need for additional colour enhancements in the future should they wish to maintain their tattooed makeup. But no matter what we call it, many people will still love the benefits of long-lasting cosmetically tattooed makeup – even if it is only semi permanent!


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