Semi-permanent makeup – is it worth the investment?
If you’re thinking about trying semi-permanent makeup, make sure you do your research first, writes Rebecca Barnes.
I never used to be big on brows, probably because my fair specimens are, I feel, nothing to write home about. That is until I experienced an expert tweeze by a top makeup artist – I could not stop admiring my newly groomed arches, and ever since have been just a little obsessed with making my brows the best they can be.
I’ve been plucked, threaded and tinted in my quest for brow perfection. A few years ago I even tried semi-permanent eyebrow enhancement which gave good shape and definition, but the colour ended up changing, fading to a too-warm-for-my-skintone shade of ginger-brown.
Oh, and did I mention that it hurt? A lot. My pain threshold might not be the highest, but despite lashings of topical anaesthetic the procedure still felt akin to a big cat clawing at my face.
Also known as micropigmentation, semi-permanent makeup uses a technique similar to tattooing; specialised instruments implant colour into both the outer (epidermis) and deeper layers (dermis) of the skin. If you’re lucky, the results can last up to two years.
But before you close your browser and reach for your makeup bag, the good news is that semi-permanent makeup techniques and technology have advanced since my first experience, so I thought I’d try one of the latest treatments.
Using specialist vegetable dyes, Browhaus’ Advanced Brow Resurrection is a revolutionary technique (from £450) that actually mimics brow strands so you get a completely realistic, 3-D result.
Brow Architect Priya began by discussing what I wanted to achieve, and we both agreed that my brows could be a bit fuller, longer and of course, more defined.
She then set to work ‘designing’ and drawing on my new brow shape which I got to check and approve. This was slightly scary, as I was secretly hoping that Priya was not just a brow technician but a mind reader too, and that she would instinctively know what I wanted them to look like.
And when I looked in the mirror I was actually quite taken aback – someone else’s perfect brows had been transplanted onto my face, and they looked damn good. If this was an indication of the final result, I could not wait to be ‘resurrected.’
Next, we chose a shade – medium brown as my main worry was walking out with unattractive black caterpillars on my face – plus I could always have them adjusted during my ‘Tune Up’ appointment a month later.
My brows were then smothered in numbing cream and the process began. Actually I had to ask if we’d started because all I could feel was slight scratchy strokes, but no pain whatsoever. A big thumbs up for the cream.
45 minutes later my new, beefier brows were revealed - slightly pink and tender, but that was completely over-ruled by fuller, shapelier arches, with no caterpillars in sight. The colour will lighten before my second appointment, but they’re actually close to spot on already, and I’m in love.
Of course it’s not only eyebrows that can be enhanced; many people opt for eyeliner, lip liner, and even lip tint, all of which when done correctly, will shorten your makeup regime and save you lots of cash on cosmetics.
Example eyebrow treatment before and after shots (not of me!)
Known for her ultra-realistic work on brows, eyes and lips, A-listers’ favourite Debra Robson offers five bespoke eyeliner treatments, plus a ‘guy liner’ procedure for men. permanent-makeup.com or call 0845 230 2021
With clinics in London, West Yorkshire, Cheshire, Nottingham and Jersey, Karen Betts works wonders on lip contour and colour. She also offers the ‘Brow Blush’, which lasts around 2-4 weeks and is a great way of trialling permanent cosmetics without full commitment. karenbetts.co.uk
The innovative Browhaus in London is the place to go to for artisan brow work, and I give them the seal of approval for their super-natural results. Prices start from £450 for brow lengthening. browhaus.com/uk or call 020 7240 8408.
Shavata Singh is renowned for recreating flawless arches, and her new semi-permanent, ultra-natural brow technique, £600, gives ‘a blur of colour’ which lasts between 9 months and a year. Call 020 7034 3060 for appointments.
With clients including Katie Price and the TOWIE girls, Tracie Giles uses only mineral pigment and is known as ‘the Queen of Brows.’ Her latest treatment, Gloss & Go, leaves a subtle lip tint and is very popular. traciegiles.co.uk
How to ensure successful results
Follow Debra Robson’s advice:
- Ask how long the technician has been working for, and how many procedures they have done
- Ask to see before and after photos of their work
- Err on the side of caution – it’s better to ask for a more natural, subtle effect than be stuck with results that you are not happy with
- Have a mirror with you during the procedure so you can keep an eye on what’s happening