Subtleties of Permanent Makeup

Permanent make-up takes your beauty ritual one step further. It functions like a magic wand for those who want to emphasize attractiveness and look well-groomed and attentive. This modern beauty ritual becomes a source of time saving and self-confidence for women who enjoy every moment.

This special technique applied to your eyebrows, lips, eyelids and different areas allows you to look good at any time of the day. Even when you wake up, seeing a smile on your face and fresh lines of makeup can be the guarantee of starting the day with positive energy. We listened to the journey of permanent make-up in the beauty world and the details of the applications from Brows By Tuğçe’s Founder, Permanent Make-up Artist and Master Tuğçe Dönmez.

You are a ‘Permanent Makeup Artist’ who loves your job very much. Can we get to know you?
I am Tuğçe Dönmez. I currently have a studio called Brows By Tuğçe in Nişantaşı and we are completing our 7th year here. As a Permanent Make-up Artist and Master, I organize one-on-one Workshops in this field. Brows By Tuğçe; A place where you can ask everything about permanent eyebrows, lip tinting, eyeliner, all other areas where you want permanent make-up and lamination (lifting) applications…

Can you explain what permanent make-up is, which is an application that has emerged today from the development of techniques and art to beautify people’s appearance in the most natural way?
Permanent makeup, also known as cosmetic tattoo, micropigmentation or dermapigmentation; It is a type of “superficial” tattoo in which we apply pigment to the dermal layer of our skin, mostly to the most distinctive areas of our face such as eyebrows, lips and eyes. But this is not a traditional tattoo application. Personally, I interpret the reason why permanent makeup has so many different names as the desire to keep this process separate from tattoo applications. Because although it is referred to as a tattoo process, our main goal is to make the makeup a little more “long-lasting”. The reason why it is called permanent makeup is; It arises from the desire to use our make-up for a longer period of time, and the ideal thing is not for the process to be permanent; It is semi-permanent… The reason we call it cosmetic tattoo is that cosmetic versions of tattoo devices are used in the procedures. The reason why we call it micro and derma pigmentation is that it is a process that is closest to nature and technically performs our art on a much more surface surface of the skin, thanks to highly diluted liquid pigments. So, in fact, permanent makeup is all of these, due to these different names; At the same time, it is exactly neither. For this reason, rather than what permanent makeup is; I have considered it my duty in my professional life to explain what it is not, and I feel very happy to be able to explain it here today.

Permanent makeup has come a long way since the time when eyebrows were tattooed. What are the latest techniques? Which one do you use most?
Believe me, I may be the happiest about our progress. When it comes to techniques, I enjoy following them all. There is only one truth; Whatever the technique is, when it comes to a permanent process, you always need to adopt the convertible application method. Of course, professional practitioners will be able to do this. The basis of my ability to do my job properly for more than 10 years lies in my adoption of the transformable practice principle. Whatever the technique; If you are a permanent make-up artist who is knowledgeable and has foresight, you can give the right guidance for technique and application. Techniques vary depending on the area applied, as well as the effect desired to be achieved. Therefore, there is no technique that I can say I use this technique the most. Because every technique may not be suitable for every person, region and effect. The person’s skin structure, the lip, eyebrow and eye form they currently have; While there are many variables involved, such as the effect we want to achieve, I cannot say that one technique is perfect and I use it. In short, option E: All! Now you have also read the detail that turns a permanent make-up specialist into a permanent make-up artist. “Technique and combination are the most important,” I will say.

What are the differences and similarities between tattoo and permanent makeup?
In short, I can say the difference in depth and pigment. Technically, tattoo pigment is applied deep into the skin, namely the dermis; Pigments used for permanent make-up are applied to the basal layer of the epidermis, just above the dermis. In this way, unlike the tattoo process, we gain the advantage of being able to revise the permanent make-up process. Pigments, on the other hand, offer us the opportunity to achieve a more natural and homogeneous appearance because they are in a much more diluted and liquid state. They contain a lower concentration of colorant and a higher percentage of liquid than traditional tattoo pigment. Also, unlike traditional tattoo pigment, they gradually fade away over time. As for their similarities; Maybe when you look at someone who is using a device similar to a tattoo device, you may think that they are doing a tattoo; I advise you to ask what he does, no one knows but him.

On which areas can permanent make-up be applied? How it is made?
The most popular types of permanent makeup are; eyebrow, lip coloring, eyeliner and dipliner applications where we highlight the roots of the eyelashes and freckles… Apart from this, it also includes different application areas such as hair simulation, shaping the aerosols and camouflaging scars in the paramedical field. Techniques and methods vary depending on the effect we want to achieve, skin structure and the area to be applied.

• Eyebrow
Our luxury of being able to make permanent the best version of our eyebrows, one of the most distinctive parts of our face, has of course made this application the most preferred area in permanent make-up. You can assume that my brand name is Brows By Tuğçe as a reproach. Humanity has made many experiments to determine which eyebrow shape would look better on our face, and did not hesitate to use the measurement method we call the golden ratio in measurements. And recent years show that; Small arrangements without disturbing the natural form are the applications that make us happiest. Therefore, while the goal should be to protect nature; Unfortunately, we can witness that all of the original eyebrows are shaved and a brand new eyebrow form is created with permanent make-up. Or by filling the gaps between the original eyebrow hairs with permanent make-up; We can see applications where the existing asymmetries in our eyebrows are made more prominent and permanent. For this reason, nowadays people are not without eyebrows, but with two, three or even four eyebrows. Yes yes, you read that right…

I am aware that those who want to have a good permanent eyebrow application still cannot find the answer to what is the most natural technique. That’s why the way it is done is very important. While microblading is a technique that allows us to obtain the appearance of individual eyebrow hairs, “wrong and deep applications” will cause the pigment to spread under the skin and the hair appearance to disappear, leaving us with the following question: “What if my eyebrows were to be natural?” It was the most natural technique!” As with all techniques, the importance of your skin type and eyebrow hair structure (thin or thick) cannot be denied in microblading. If you have thick eyebrow hair and oily skin, microblading will not satisfy you or support techniques such as powdering may be needed in addition to microblading. While you are looking for the most natural technique and have a skin and eyebrow hair structure that is actually very suitable for microblading; Again, due to applications made at the wrong depth, you may never benefit from the possibilities of the technique and the result will be an artificial-looking eyebrow again. The same thing applies to the technique we call powdering. Therefore, the way the techniques are performed is really a completely different matter. However, small changes; It can turn into great satisfaction with the correct application of the technique. My advice for you is to start the day with great self-confidence, with your permanent eyebrows that accompany you in all natural ways as soon as you get out of bed; You will have to work with professional and experienced people, with the right technique. Before the procedure, a draft form is drawn, the skin is analyzed, the appropriate technique is shared, beauty advice is given regarding your current eyebrow form, and the process begins. Bring on the stunning eyebrows!

• Lips
One of my favorite applications in permanent make-up is lip coloring. This application is not exactly a lipstick; It allows us to exist in a lively appearance, as if we had eaten a strawberry or a cherry. Of course, if you want such an effect… Apart from this, you can also choose lip coloring to regulate pigment loss around the lips or to revitalize your dark lip pigment, especially caused by smoking. I don’t think we need to use neon and artificial bright colors to achieve a vibrant lip appearance, which we call tinting effect. At this point, the current color of your own lips also affects the choice of pigment and the number of sessions. The conclusion we reached at the end of the sessions where we talked about all these in detail was generally, “Oh, how important lips are!” is happening.

• Eyeliner & Babyliner & Dipliner
First of all, in dipliner applications that highlight the eyeliner and eyelash roots, thus deepening our gaze; I base it on forms that highlight the most striking details of our eye shape. For people who want to choose decorative eyeliner forms with tails, we start the process after analyzing whether the eye form is suitable for this. Apart from decorative and tail eyeliners, babyliner applications where we emphasize the eyelash roots or add a minimal tail are generally suitable for all eye shapes. There are color options in eyeliner applications, as in all permanent make-up applications. While sometimes an extra black eyeliner color looks great on the eyes, sometimes warm or cold tones of dark brown take the look to a much more striking version. Since it is an application we apply to our eyelids; the pigment chosen, the needles used in application and the pressure applied while working on the eyelid; This process is much different and important compared to other regions. For this reason, I will recommend that it be done by practitioners who are experienced, have solid technical knowledge and an artistic perspective.

“Permanent make-up is a safe procedure, but it is very important that you work with an experienced, reliable and reputable artist.”

• What are the latest trends in permanent make-up, which has been preferred by many women lately? Colour, silhouette etc.
The ’90s saw the birth of some of the best and worst trends in the beauty and fashion industry; We still suffer the consequences of some of these today. The worst? Pencil-thin eyebrows worn by iconic artists such as Christina Aguilera and Gwen Stefani, unfortunately lost to impress the masses. Thin eyebrows dominated the 90s and unfortunately left many women faced with over-plucked eyebrows that they could not cure. We have even witnessed permanent makeup applications that mimic these looks to take these trends further; like thin and dark tattooed eyebrows… I would like to remind you a little about the recent past because we have been mostly influenced by different trends in our country. I can say that Turkey was most affected by the straight and unarched eyebrow trend. We tend to make the habits we acquire in normal makeup permanent. As a result, seeing people everywhere with zero arch on their eyebrows, straight and tailless eyebrows, and even adding straight tails to their eyebrows with permanent make-up, ultimately made us question whether trends are important in permanent make-up. From green eyeshadow to purple lips, from minimal makeup to flashy makeup looks, makeup looks are constantly changing in line with the latest fashions and trends. What is consistent with permanent procedures is using makeup to enhance your natural beauty; permanent makeup is the perfect solution for this. Creating a perfect base for any temporary makeup look to be applied over it. We should know that the minimal changes we make to our eyebrows can give us much better looks compared to maximal changes. To highlight the form of your lips as close to nature and to revitalize their color; It is much smarter than making a lipstick color that is trending that year permanent on your lips. If this is a trend; We can say that consistency and naturalness in permanent make-up is a timeless trend.

• What is pigment? How do you determine colors that suit a person? What are the most popular colors?
Pigment is the best friend of permanent makeup artists based on artistic work. Pigments represent colors to be used in permanent make-up. The tones chosen are always personal. The contents of the selected pigments, their transformation within the skin, their permanence, and the decisions we make as permanent makeup artists regarding which tone to use vary from person to person. At this point, it is also important which area we will treat… If you are going to have eyebrow application with permanent make-up, your skin tone, as well as the color of your eyebrow hairs and hair, has an impact on the choice of pigment color. The color we see in the pigment box may seem darker, lighter or brighter to us, but we must consider that the pigment will be applied under the skin and there will be a healing process.

We may not be able to talk about popular colors when it comes to eyebrows, but the most popular colors for lip coloring are the soft peach and pink tones that are closest to nature. Since our lip area is already a colored area, a permanent make-up artist with good pigmentation knowledge will be able to predict the final color result with the desired color reflection with peace of mind. All you have to do is wait for the healing process, which is a very fun process on the lips.

In eyeliner applications, rather than colored liners; most preferred colors. black, even warm black, shades of brown. In eyeliner applications, your eye color is also important, even if you have black, brown, hazel, blue or green eyes; Let’s not forget that there are many options!

• What is the retention period? May retouching be required during this process?
The average permanence of permanent make-up procedures is 1-3 years. My preference is to proceed with sessions. On average, I recommend two sessions. After the first procedure, we need to complete our recovery process for a minimum of 4 weeks. At the end of the 4th week following the first session, we have a follow-up appointment to check how the care process went. If there are areas that need retouching, we go over them and wait another 4 weeks for the healing process of our retouching. The view after all these processes; It is used as the final look of your permanent make-up. The pigments are semi-permanent and ideally you can have them renewed over time if you wish; This is always an advantage in permanent procedures. Over time, you can refresh your permanent make-up in sessions for periods longer or shorter than 1 year.

• Is it possible to remove or correct permanent make-up when it is not liked or bored?
It’s definitely possible. The most important point here is; The permanent make-up you want to have removed should be done by a professional; It must be made at the right depth, with the right technique and pigments. For this reason, I adopt the transformable application method. This is possible with the right materials and experience. It is possible to remove a professional permanent make-up application that is done at the “right depth” and does not cause tissue damage, even with a 1-2 session removal procedure. If you visited a center with the promise of permanent make-up, and instead of permanent make-up, an application was applied to the wrong depth, unfortunately it is not possible to completely remove it. In the past, there were more professional applicators, but the pigments were very intense and caused color change. For this reason, today, people who are not satisfied with the dominant appearance and color of their old transactions may choose to delete their old transactions. We see that even the processes of professionals who work with the old but correct technique, at the right depth and with the best pigment possible with the technology of that period, can be easily erased thanks to innovative laser erasing technologies. Nowadays, it is really sad that pigments produced with such advanced technology cannot benefit from the benefits they promise because they are applied to the wrong depth by inexperienced hands…

Another important point I want to mention is; Although it is possible to remove professionally applied permanent make-up; Before reaching this stage, one should focus on minimal changes that will not cause regret in people. Permanent procedures are procedures that should make us happy, not unhappy. Not to make our lives difficult and get angry at the mirrors, but to make our daily lives easier; These are practices where we make little gestures to ourselves to feel much better and to enjoy the minimal changes that make us feel much better.

“The purpose of permanent makeup is to use makeup to enhance your natural beauty.”

• We ask the most curious question; Is permanent makeup harmful?
Permanent make-up is a safe application, but it is very important that you work with an experienced, reliable and reputable artist. Even if you are going to have the procedure done in centers authorized to perform permanent make-up applications according to the legal regulations in our country, you should check who will apply permanent make-up to you and the certificates of this person. You should work with artists who take safety seriously and treat permanent makeup as a medical procedure. Very high quality standards must be maintained in terms of their equipment, hygiene and the products they use. Sterile needles and pigments from a reliable source (and manufactured for permanent cosmetics only) should be used. Make sure a trained professional will perform the procedure. Ask practitioners if they will only use pigments made for permanent makeup. Discuss how and when equipment and needles are sterilized. Make sure that the practitioner has a certificate of activity, the content of the certificate, and that the business has a license appropriate for these activities. Ask the practitioner about their experience level. Make sure the practitioner uses a new needle and fresh pigment during the procedure. If the center or practitioner does not meet these safety standards, walk away.

No matter what the procedure is, if you choose to have it done at a place or by an artist who cannot meet these qualifications, you put yourself at risk of a dangerous infection or allergic reaction. Safety first! Use the tips I’ve shared with you to make sure your permanent makeup procedure is sterile, safe and stress-free. Remember that you should always be prepared for intense research for changes that will receive the compliment “There is a beauty, a change in you…”.

• Is permanent make-up a painful procedure? How does the healing process happen? What are the points to consider in this process?
Although the feeling of pain varies from person to person, I can say that the general answer is “no”. We apply a topical anesthetic cream before starting the procedure. Rather than pain, a feeling of discomfort caused by irritation may occur, but for most people, this is not an uncomfortable process. The stage where pigments are fixed to our skin; We call it the pigmentation, or healing process, and this process generally lasts 4 weeks. For a successful pigmentation process, the post-treatment care procedure must be completed completely. The “aftercare procedure” that people should do regarding the pigmentation process also varies from person to person (depending on skin type and region). I think that aftercare should be planned completely individually, so the information I will give at this point will not be valid for everyone. Apart from this, what is valid for everyone is; The point is that we should not compromise on our personal hygiene during the pigmentation process. It is important to keep the applied area clean, to stay away from creams that trigger regeneration and rapid healing in the area, to use only the recommended care cream, and to follow the care procedure tailored for you.

• What is the effect of skin type on permanent make-up?
Skin type in permanent make-up; It is a factor that affects everything from which technique we will use to its aftercare. In permanent make-up and especially permanent eyebrow applications, whether your skin is dry, normal, combination, sensitive, oily, acne-prone or problematic affects the determination of which technique is suitable for you. During this process, you should make sure that the permanent make-up artist will give you the correct information and is equipped to evaluate your skin type and whether you are the ideal candidate. As I always say, I recommend that you do your research thoroughly and if you are not sure, walk away.

In most cases, normal and dry skin are the best skin types to work with. Most people do not want to have dry skin, but dry skin is one of the skin types where permanent makeup artists can achieve good-looking and longer-lasting final results, especially with the microblading technique. The reason is; This is because oil production does not push the pigment out, making it the best skin type for the pigment to adhere to. The pigment is more permanent on dry skin, fades less, and the hairs look clearer and more singular, especially in the eyebrow feather effect.

If you have oily skin, it is still possible to have permanent makeup. However, you should be aware that the color may fade more quickly and you will most likely need to have it touched up within 12 months. For oily skin, we may need to ask for three appointments to be scheduled instead of just two, even in the first place. Because it may be better to do the procedure gradually and proceed gradually to build color on the skin. The aftercare procedure for oily skin should also be different.

Most people with combination skin will have an oily T-zone, which can also affect the eyebrow area. If you choose to have permanent makeup applied to your eyebrows, the final results will vary from person to person. Eyeliner and lip procedures are less affected by combination skin, so the pigmentation process is completed normally.

In permanent makeup for sensitive skin, it can be difficult to place the pigment on sensitive skin. Since the skin can become red and irritated very quickly, even at the end of a procedure completed in one round, work should be done more gently and permanent make-up can even be completed in two or three sessions.

Permanent makeup will not be a problem for acne-prone skin, but it depends on whether the acne surrounds your eyebrows. Also, if you have inflammatory acne, it’s best to wait for your skin to calm down and the area around your eyebrows to clear before applying permanent makeup. Eyeliner and permanent make-up for the lips are suitable as long as there are not too many pimples around.

If you are under treatment for your acne problem and are using acne treatment medications (Roaccutane, etc.), you should not have permanent make-up. There are other skin types or skin type issues that may be a risk factor for your permanent makeup not healing properly or even not lasting. Always ask for advice, share it and in more serious cases consult your doctor. The most important thing is to establish a good and trusting relationship with your permanent makeup artist, then an excellent result is inevitable.

• Who should not prefer permanent make-up? How do you decide whether permanent makeup is suitable for someone?
While most people are excellent candidates for permanent makeup, there are some limitations to be aware of regarding these procedures. Permanent make-up applications; It is not suitable for people under the age of 18, those with any skin disease in the area to be treated (dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, keloid, etc.), those with an infectious blood disease (hepatitis, etc.), those during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The absence of these situations, which I want to share for informational purposes, does not mean that you will not have any problems with permanent make-up. It is important for people who want to have the application to share these and similar situations with the permanent make-up specialist.

Apart from all these, I may need not only permanent make-up but also supporting procedures at the points we want to improve in our appearance. People with thin eyebrows due to incorrect eyebrow shaping can make their eyebrows thicker with regular eyebrow shaping. Having more natural and voluminous eyebrows is never a dream with the eyebrow lamination application, in which we can then fix the directions of our eyebrow hairs.

My greatest passion is to guide people to highlight their beauty at the maximum level and naturalness. For this reason, as a permanent make-up artist, it has always been my dream to have a Brow-Bar, where people can find the solutions they need in one place, especially for eyebrow applications, and which includes permanent make-up. It is a great pleasure for me to now be able to offer these solutions together in my studio.

My advice as a permanent makeup artist; Working with people whose aesthetic perspective you trust. Correct guidance is as important as the success of permanent operations. For example; If a person has a very intense asymmetry between the two eyebrows or if they dream of a lip coloring process that goes far beyond their natural lip shape as a way to make their lips look more voluminous, you can see me immediately making an appointment for botox and fillers from the doctor…

We are in a world where there is no limit to what we can do when it comes to becoming beautiful. I feel an inner joy in reminding people of this and recommending whatever action is necessary. Afterwards, we will fully enjoy permanent make-up.

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