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How long does cosmetic tattooing last?

How long does cosmetic tattooing last?

This is a question I get asked a lot!
Many people assume that it is like a traditional tattoo and cosmetic tattooing will last almost forever. I think this is where the term “permanent makeup” comes from.
Others refer to the procedure as “Semi-permanent makeup” as they know it does fade over time.



I personally will not use either of these terms as I believe they are both incorrect so I refer to the procedure as “cosmetic tattoo”.

Now, there really is not a straight answer to this question. There are so many factors to take into consideration and every single person will heal and fade differently.
So what are the things that will affect how long to lasts?

-Quality and technique used
-Quality/brands of the pigments used
-The SKIN- often dryer skin can hold onto the skin more than oily skin , but this is not always the case.
-The sun- will make the pigment fade a LOT quicker.
-Medication- certain medicines can make the body push the pigment out of the skin a lot faster. They can even make the skin not hold onto the pigment at all.
-Metabolism and natural body functions. Everyone heals differently for different reason. Diet and exercise can also make a difference.
-Beauty treatments- certain beauty treatments and creams can make the tattoo fade, e.g.: glycolic acid, AHA, peels, laser, microdermabrasion etc.
-Aftercare: You technician will explain aftercare to you following your procedure. If these instructions aren’t followed properly you tattooing won’t last as long and may not even heal into the skin at all.
-COLOUR: Darker colours usually last longer thats just how it is. So I notice black eyeliners tend to last the longest and lighter colours like blonde eyebrows etc will need to be touched up a lot earlier.

There are many other things I could add to this list.

The first time I ever had my eyebrows tattooed the technician told me they would last 3-5 years. Boy was I devastated in 12 months time when I was already having to fill them in with makeup. I’ve seen other technicians on social media advertising that it lasts up to 10 years. (no way will you be happy with your tattooed lips or brows in 10 years). I do believe this is false advertisement.

Many years ago pigments were made differently and they lasted longer in the skin. These days we are more regulated and a lot of the ingredients used back then are no longer allowed. “Thank God” I say! I’ve seen many women with brows they had tattooed 15 years ago, they still have their eyebrows now but the shape has changed with their ageing skin over the years and the colour is wrong! How many times have you seen a lady with blue, purple or green eyebrows ? NO THANK YOU

Imagine being stuck with these for the next 20 years!



What do I tell my clients then?

I tell them:
If you come back for a touch up within 12 months it will keep your brows and lips looking perfect, they won’t get to the stage where you need to be covering them with makeup and the colour will stay fabulous, and you can have the touch up at a cheaper rate ($250).

If you wait longer than 12 months thats totally fine but you will pay full price again.

That being said, I find eyeliner (black) can last a very long time. As an example I had my eyeliner tattooed 6 years ago. My top eyeliner has almost completely faded i have a little colour left here and there . My bottom eyeliner is faded but still looks fine. They were both tattooed at the same time with the same pigment by the same technician. But one has faded a lot more than the other. You can see why I say it can be so hard to give one answer to this question. Its IMPOSSIBLE.

So the answer is?

There really is no exact answer, people giving you answers like 1 year, 3 years or even 10 years, are definitely just taking a guess!
I never want my clients to be upset or disappointed when it fades quicker then they expected.
So I say just be prepared to have a retouch every 12 months or so if you want the colour to stay perfect. You might be lucky and get a lot longer out of the procedure or you may decide to let it fade off a bit before having it re done. That way you can also change the colour or shape over the years too, which I think is a lot better then being stuck with a set of eyebrows you had tattooed 20 years ago !

If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate contacting me via the CONTACT page on this blog. Or you can call me direct during business hours on 0400 361 822.

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Meredith Shepherd

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