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Permanent Makeup vs. Semi-Permanent Makeup - what's the difference?

Every now and then clients ask me about the difference between 'Semi-Permanent Makeup' and 'Permanent Makeup', while other clients want their eyebrow or lip makeup to be Permanent- as they add: 'I don't want it to disappear!'. In general, artists mean the same thing, but there is a tiny difference between these two.

Technically, Semi-Permanent makeup's purpose is to either create eyebrows (that you don't grow naturally) or to replace makeup you do everyday- making your life easier (and prettier :) Know your 'why' when you book an appointment, as it helps me seeing your vision better. What's the purpose of Permanent Makeup? No different than the first one. The only difference is longevity- Semi-Permanent Makeup is supposed to fade over course of 1-4 years while Permanent Makeup is permanent, so it stays forever. Hey, that sounds familiar! It definitely does sound familiar- as permanent makeup is nothing else but a tattoo- or it's form, as there is pigment used not ink. Tattoos don't fade- but why is that? It's because of the depth of ink implementation. Performing Semi-Permanent Makeup, artists aim to implement the pigment in upper-dermis layer of your skin (That's the sweet spot!) It allows your Semi-Permanent Makeup stay for 1-4 years, even through constant skin renewal process (it takes on average 28 days for superficial layer of our skin to peel off and create a layer of new skin and happens constantly, every month). When we pass the upper-dermis, our makeup cannot let the pigment go by itself, as the skin renewal process doesn't go deeper than epidermis level (renewal process slowly removes pigment, layer by layer). To clear things up- Semi-Permanent Makeup can easily become a tattoo if done improperly = too deep. In order for it to be properly done, it has to be done superficially. It requires lots of experience and proper technique. Properly done Semi-Permanent Makeup looks soft, not oversaturated, hair-strokes look like real hair (not skin cuts that split when stretched) and powder looks like mist, no heavy, bold-looking dots. Single pixels should be visible, not as a blended patch of colour.

When we pass upper-dermis, semi-permanent makeup becomes a tattoo = makeup that stays permanently. For some, it might sound like a dream, but if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is... I will talk about it more in another post. Makeup that is done too deep doesn't age well and it also won't stay true to colour.

I explained the difference between those two types, but to sum it up lots of artists use different names for the same treatment. For example in the UK it is known as 'Semi-Permanent Makeup' while in the United States it's often called 'Permanent Makeup'. Keep in mind that no matter what name is used, the same treatment is offered. No matter which name is more appealing to you, there is only one type that you should go for and it is SEMI-permanent one. Only this type of makeup will look beautiful and natural over the course of it's 1-4 years on your face, also it will stay true to colour, fading gradually after a few years and will look good during it's time on your face.

Make sure you ask all the important questions during consultation. Feel comfortable, the more you ask the better prepared you'll be! If you have any questions, pop us an e-mail on:



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