Cosmetic tattooing for permanent makeup

Saturday March 11 2017

By Carolyne B. Atangaza

Remember that time when for just one day you had your dream face. What wouldn’t you do to get it back? Most women would love to get out of bed looking “flawless” as singer Beyoncé states. And with permanent makeup, that dream is now very much attainable.
Imani Mpiririrwe of Imani worldwide makeup studio, says it is now possible to get permanent makeup done in Kampala. “One can get eyebrows and lashes done very well. Other procedures such as the permanent foundation and eyeliner are not yet popular with both the makeup artistes themselves who shy away from them because of their delicacy and the clients too,” she says.

There are two types of makeup tattoos: permanent, in which pigment is placed in the dermis and will last forever, and semi-permanent, in which pigment targets the outer epidermal layer and is designed to fade away after a year to 18 months. Make sure you understand what kind you are getting. Permanent makeup means it is everlasting though, like any tattoo, touch-ups may be required every few years to combat fading.

The procedure
The process begins with getting your perfect face ready. In the case of the eyebrows, for instance, a makeup artiste shapes them to the client’s preference but leaves the major job for the tatoo artist. The eyebrows are then filled in with ink.

Santo, the eyebrow tattoo specialist with K’la Ink, says the process takes about 30-45 minutes depending on the client’s pain tolerance and heals completely in one month.

“I have been in this business for four years and I have seen women increasingly prefer to have their eyebrows permanently shaped instead of fiddling with them every morning,” he explains.

There are two ways one can go about this; first is to completely shave off the eyebrows and shape them with ink or the artiste can paint over them. “Hair tends to take longer to grow over ink so the one who completely shaves off the eyebrows won’t need any touch-ups for over three months,” Santo says.


For the painted over eyebrows, a client will need to continually trim them into the preferred shape more often. The client must adhere to a strict after-procedure care to avoid infection, which includes ointments that are applied twice a day and some antibiotics.

The foundation
The foundation on the other hand is made up of tattoo ink mixed to the client’s preferred complexion. Mpirirwe is, however, very reluctant to advise her clients to go in for the permanent foundation. “Your skin needs to be able to breathe or else it breaks down. Can you imagine what this kind of treatment does to it? I always advise my clients to go easy on makeup but you know Kampala women; they tell you that they want to look “hot” all the time,” she elaborates.

For those enticingly long, luxurious lashes, there are various brands and labels. “At Imani, I use a brand that is 100 per cent human hair,” Mpirirwe explains.

They can last up to three months after which they will need to be filled in. “You shade them just like your own lashes, but fortunately those can be replaced instantly from a box as opposed to waiting on nature to grow them back,” says Mpirirwe.

Before you get it done
There are so various reasons for opting for such a procedure but chief among those would be lack of time, especially for public public figures or those recovering from a medical condition.

Choose wisely
Research carefully the person or people going to do the procedures. Choose someone that comes highly recommended. Also choose the procedure more carefully.

Don’t be afraid to ask about the pros and cons of the procedure. Make sure you understand clearly what goes on during, before and after the procedure and make sure you are comfortable with it all.

Expect some level of pain
Permanent makeup is also called cosmetic tattoo because of its similarities to a regular tattoo. Expect some discomfort and pain; it’s a tattoo after all. However, a numbing cream could be applied beforehand to lessen the sting of the procedure. If at any point you feel like the pain is too much to bear, feel free to ask for a break before resuming the process.

Depending on the treatment, some redness, soreness, and even scabbing is a possibility. Make sure that you follow your technician’s aftercare instructions .