The difference between permanent make-up and tattoos!

The difference between permanent make-up and tattoos! What is important to know and why? Master Permanent Make-up Artist, Fernando Nascimento
By Fernando Nascimento, Master Permanent Make-up Artist 

Permanent make-up and tattoos have a lot in common.

In both techniques a pigment is introduced into the skin using a needle. With permanent make-up, as well as with tattoos, the pigmentation can be characterised as permanent.

But there are also differences.

Generally speaking, tattoos are applied deeper in the skin than permanent make-up. The pigment from permanent make-up should ideally be applied to the upper layer of the dermis, just under the epidermis. Tattoos are usually much deeper than that.

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A good tattoo is generally applied to the hypodermis.  The tattoo pigment is located between the fat cells in the skin. Because tattoos are applied more deeply, a tattoo remains in place much better after a treatment than permanent make-up does.

On the face, pigments may not be introduced as deeply due to the fine capillaries and nerve fibres there. With permanent make-up, a pigment is introduced into the skin. If permanent make-up is applied correctly, the pigment will end up just under the epidermis in the upper layer of the dermis.

All of the pigment that is applied to the epidermis will only remain in the skin for several days. The epidermis is continually renewing itself. Pigmentation in this skin layer is not permanent. On the other hand, the pigment may also not be applied too deeply. The more layers of skin on top of the pigmentation, the greater the colour will deviate from the pigment that was applied. Pigmentations that are placed too deep often become greyer, duller or faded.

That is why it is important to know that you have come to a ¨Master Permanent Make-up Artist¨ for your permanent make-up and not to a person who is accustomed to applying tattoos. In Belgium, tattoos and permanent make-up fall under the same statutory category. This increases the chances that you will end up with someone who is familiar with applying tattoos but who is not specialised in permanent make-up.

Also be careful with places that offer everything—nails, beauty salons who provide a wide array of services, hair salons, etc.—unless these places have hired someone professional, a Master Permanent Make-up Artist, to perform this handiwork in a professional manner. In other words, you need an expert! You really can’t be an expert in everything.

So choose a Master Permanent Make-up Artist who is exclusively specialised and has completed a certified course in the application of permanent make-up.

In the field of permanent make-up, the term ‘Master’ indicates an expert and the term ‘Artist’ indicates the artistic sensibilities that the person must have to successfully apply perfect permanent make-up that is aesthetically attuned to the shape of your face and in the right tones.

By selecting a Master Permanent Make-up Artist, you avoid the risk of your pigments fading to grey, dulling or even transforming into a reddish colour. With permanent make-up, you need the initial application and between one and three follow-up applications in order to obtain the perfect result.

That is another reason why the prices for permanent make-up cannot be set (too) low. If you choose inexpensive permanent make-up, you are guaranteed to be given a tattoo technique with tattoo pigments instead of true permanent make-up. Forget about trying to find an eyeliner treatment for 75 euros or getting your eyebrows done for 150 euros. Opting for offers like these means you will be choosing poor quality with a guarantee of grey or red discolouration of your eyeliner or eyebrows. This sounds harsh, but it is the truth—the truth you must take into account.

Normal target prices range between 175 and 250 euros for a high-quality eyeliner and between 300 and 550 euros for eyebrows. This price includes the initial application and all follow-ups until the perfect result is achieved.  These prices are evidence of the use of high-quality pigments and permanent make-up techniques as opposed to tattoo techniques, and of the fact that you are working with a Master Permanent Make-up Artist.

Otherwise, you are opting for a guarantee of problems instead of a guarantee of quality!

Tattoos are usually introduced into the subcutaneous layer of the skin (hypodermis). This layer is much deeper than the upper layer of the dermis. One of the reasons that a tattoo remains visible so much better than permanent make-up is that the pigment is introduced into a much deeper layer of the skin.

The other reason for the permanence of a tattoo has to do with the type of pigment used. The tattoo pigment is encapsulated between the yellow fat cells. This is why the black pigment often has a greenish tint. Pigments for permanent make-up are much more expensive due to their composition. I will discuss this in greater detail in another post.

On the face, the pigment may not be applied so deeply. There are many more muscles, nerves and blood vessels in your face than there are in the rest of your body. If you insert the pigment too deeply, the pigment may run.

The greatest difference between permanent make-up and tattoos is the purpose of their applications. A tattoo is a decoration and is there to be seen. Permanent make-up is intended to highlight the natural contours and is often at its most beautiful when it is not conspicuous.

Would you like an intake interview free-of-charge? Then request an appointment using this contact form, and we will call you personally as soon as possible to provide more information and to book your reservation.

 Below you can see an example of how permanent make-up can intensify your facial expressions!

pmu eye lip wenkbrauwen

Eyebrows – Eyeliners – Lip contour – Full lips

Fernando Nascimento
International Master Permanent Make-up Artist
Permanent Perfection® Team

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