As an avid eyeliner wearer (and as a girl with fair lashes and blue eyes that seem to disappear without eyeliner to provide some definition), I was very excited to get the chance to get semi-permanent makeup in the form of eyeliner. The lady doing the procedure is the wife of an old school friend and she is currently finishing her training as a semi-permanent makeup provider. When I heard she was looking for volunteers to receive treatment for free as part of her assessment, I jumped at the chance. My mum also volunteered, to get her eyebrows done.
In the lead up to the procedure, we were told not to take any vitamins or fish oils for two weeks beforehand – apparently they can interfere with the body’s reception of the pigments used.
Cosmetic “tattooing” is not actually tattooing in the traditional sense, which is why the term “semi permanent makeup” is often used instead. Tattooing involves the injection of dye into the skin, while cosmetic “tattooing”involves the scratching of pigment into the upper skin layers.
The procedures were taking place at a skincare and beauty college in Brisbane, so mum and I packed our bags for a few days away and did the four and a half hour drive to Brissy. We arrived the day before mum’s procedure so that we could get allergy tests done first. We also make use of the extra time to do some shopping!
Here is what my bare eyes looked like the day before my procedure:
And this is my eyes with my daily standard of black eyeliner and mascara:
On Wednesday morning, we took a train and a bus to the beauty college, arriving promptly for a 9:30 start. With me, I took two pages of printed out colour pictures of eyeliner tattoo styles that I liked and that I thought would suit me. My plan was to show the ladies and discuss with them what I liked and what they thought would suit me, to reach an understanding about what I would get done.
I’d arrived with no makeup on my eye area, wearing just some foundation and lipstick. Showing me into the treatment room, the apprentice and trainer first gave me a medical background form to fill in, then went through my answers with me. Satisfied that I was a good candidate with no pre-existing conditions that would be an issue, the ladies then told me what steps they would go through for the procedure, from set up to finish. I showed them the photos I’d printed out and we discussed what was viable for the day. The ladies then took “before” photos of my eyes.
I sat on the treatment bed and eye drops and a topical anesthetic were applied to my eye area. After a couple of minutes, the anesthetic was wiped off and I lay down, ready for the lower lash line to be tattooed.
The lower line was tattooed with my eyes open – which was only difficult because the bright lights made me want to blink! The ladies were both very good at noticing when I needed to blink and pausing in their work so I could do so. The trainer started the tattooing off, then the apprentice took over, with the trainer watching and offering advice and approval. The lower line was put on slightly thicker than it would end up, as the trainer explained that the line would shrink in and thin.
Once the lower lash line was finished and the excess pigment wiped away, I closed my eyes so the ladies could tattoo my upper lash line. When the trainer started, it felt sharp and scratchy and she immediately noticed that I was feeling discomfort. Another layer of topical anesthetic was applied and allowed to work before being wiped off. The trainer then began again, this time with me feeling no scratching or irritation.
The upper lash line took longer than the lower lash line. The apprentice did most of the “runs” with the needle, densely layering the colour into my lash line. She noted that I have thick, long lashes but that because they were blonde they were hard to see from a distance and that the eyeliner tattoo would help create that visible definition. She also did a slight upward tail to the line in the outer corner to provide a visual lift.
Once finished, the excess pigment was wiped off and some clearing drops put into my eyes. The ladies then took “after” photos, gave me an aftercare sheet and ran through it with me, and confirmed that they would contact me for a “perfection” review and touch up in 4 – 6 weeks. I was told to expect that the colour would lighten and soften a little as it healed.
This is how my eyes looked ten minutes after treatment (excuse the loose excess pigment caught in my inner eye):
As I was told to expect, my eye area felt windburned and a little tight after the procedure. I popped on my sunglasses and tried to remember not to touch my eye area. Mum and I had a long drive home, but the discomfort never got any worse, and I was able to drive part of the way home.
By 9pm, my lower lids were a bit swollen – not so much that they caused any difficulty seeing, but enough to be noticed in the mirror. I had a shower, ensuring I kept my face wash away from my eye area, and went to bed.
Part 2 – Healing and Results has been posted.
Part 3 – Touch-up Appointment will be posted in approximately four to six weeks’ time.
Got a question about the process? Leave me a comment!