I love the difference that semi-permanent makeup has made to my face as my eyebrows were thin, short and sparse before having them tattoo’d and my eyes small and round with pale lashes. I’ve never been great at applying makeup despite having worn it since my teens as I seem to get the right side of my face looking neat and tidy but I can never replicate it on the left. Brow pencils, winged eyeliner and eyeshadows literally love behaving badly on my face and no matter how much time I spend on doing them they always end up wonky and uneven. Almost eighteen months after having my SPMU eyebrows and eyeliner I have returned to Features For Life at Whitethorn Fields Mediclinic to have a colour boost and restore my semi-permanent makeup.
The beauty of semi-permanent makeup is that your makeup stays perfectly in place day and night without smudging, smearing off or melting down your face when you get wet in the rain or sweaty doing sports. In everyday life I could never get my own makeup as flawless and precise as SPMU and you don’t have the worry or stress of dressing up your whole face everyday or retouching it every few hours; I can literally roll out of bed flick on some foundation when I’m still half asleep and look flawless in seconds because my eyes and brows are already on fleek so it saves me bags of time and lets me have a few more minutes sleep.
One thing that I find rather disturbing when people ask me about my SPMU is that they question why it has to be a cosmetic tattooist that performs the procedure and not a regular tattooist on the high street. The difference is in the application, needle type and pigment used. Semi-permanent makeup is semi-permanent for a reason, over the course of a year and a half it fades out and lightens off ready to be topped up again, re-shaped, re-coloured and adjusted to suit your face, age and fashion. A tattoo from a traditional tattooist is a tattoo for life and as it ages it will blur, the ink changes from black to a wishy-washy blue and if you loved bold thick brows in your teens then chances are you’ll fall out of love with them in your eighties when it may be more favourable to have a natural look.
There are plenty of start-up companies, Groupon deals and gimmicks to attract you to purchase their SPMU packages offering large discounts for up to a third of the price but you have to ask yourself why these prices are so cheap. Would you go to work all day for a third of your wages if you’re a specialist in what you do? A reputable clinic should charge around £350 for a semi-permanent makeup treatment which is completed over two phases to allow the pigment to take and heal correctly at a six week interval across two 45min appointments; a highstreet tattooist can spend ten minutes doing the same procedure for £40 and ruin your face for life. But of course there are tattoo removal procedures these days which can correct any bad ink right? Only you’ll be looking at around three treatments to remove a facial tattoo along with the cost of applying the eyebrows, eyeliner or lip liner you originally wanted and you’ll have very little change left over from £1,000 just to get you back to where you would have started from.
My advice to anybody who is considering having semi-permanent makeup is to do your research; select a qualified professional who has performed the procedure many times and is proud to showcase their work and never be lured in by cheap deals and offers. A good sign of a competent cosmetic tattooist is having a long waiting list of returning clients and often their websites display certificates, awards, press releases and customer recommendations including before and after photos. I have been coming to Caron Vetter at Features For Life for a number of years now and can personally vouch for her exquisite expertise. The face is such a prominent part of the body that you really cannot hide imperfections or mistakes on and to have somebody mark you with a cosmetic tattoo you’re really putting your trust and appearance into their hands so choose wisely and be prepared to travel rather than settling for cheap and local convenience because the results speak to themselves.
The colour boost treatment is completed in a single session which is around 45mins per feature and today I had both my eyebrows and eyeliner boosted. Caron began by waxing and tinting my eyebrows and lashes before applying a numbing cream to my eyebrows which she covered with clingfilm and also along my lash line. This clearly defined the existing hair that I have whilst removing and tidying what I didn’t need and the numbing cream allows the skin to desensitise prior to the procedure so that the face can remain relaxed for the precise application of pigment. First my eyeliner was applied using two different needles, one sharp needle to outline and the other 11 double stack needle to infill; this time I was ecstatic to be able to have winged eyeliner for the very first time which is now possible thanks to the latest equipment and techniques which are forever advancing. Using a Li pigment the SPMU eyeliner creates a thicker lash line and adds width, definition and balance to my eyes. My eyes are completely numb during the procedure and all that I can feel is a slight pushing on the skin as my eyes remain closed throughout. The needles pass over the skin three times in total and the liner is checked both when sitting up and laying down with the eyes open and closed to ensure that it is even.
Following this I then had my eyebrows tattoo’d with a nano needle which is as fine as a single strand of hair and allows for a 3D stroke to be applied to the brow. I over plucked my eyebrows in my teens which meant they regrew wonky, uneven and sparse and were embarrassingly unbalanced. The latest technology allows for a very natural and realistic eyebrow to be completed by replacing the positioning and direction of lost hairs and enhancing the brows that you already have to add length, height and balance to the face and it makes the most incredible difference. Years ago it was the fashion to draw on big, bold and square eyebrows as a statement feature but today it’s all about being natural, flawless and effortlessly maintained which is why SPMU is so successful because it allows you to change and update your features year on year. Today I had a cocoa pigment colour added to my brows as since my last treatment eighteen months ago I have now lightened my hair from a dark brunette to my natural dark blonde with highlights so I needed a warmer shade for my eyebrows to compliment this. The procedure took around 45mins again and involved using the nano needle to implant the pigment three times across each eyebrow.
Following the completion of my two treatments I had a healing cream applied to my eyebrows and was given an aftercare information pack which includes pre/post treatment advice, a mirror, my own sachet of healing cream, a cotton bud and the clinics contact details should I have any further questions. I was advised that, just as my SPMU treatments before, my colour would now remain dark throughout the first two weeks of healing before lightening to its true colour. I now have to keep the area dry for the first 48hrs and then apply the healing cream for the next five days. I cannot touch my eyebrows or eyeliner to avoid the risk of infection and must also stay away from hot and steamy areas, abrasive towels, sun beds, sunbathing and swimming until healed. My skin has to now pass through three stages which are heal, peel and fade which involves forming a small scab on the skin that will peel off after a few days and allow the colour to implant and lighten.
For a first time SPMU procedure it is a two-stage process to implant the pigment six weeks apart but for my colour boost I only need a single treatment as my skin has still retained pigment from before so only the surface needs to be topped up. Seeing as it’s my first treatment of winged eyeliner I may need to have the flicks at the edges of my eyes retouched in six weeks time depending on how I heal and how much pigment is retained in my skin so watch this space because I will keep you updated as and when I go back. I am thrilled with the results of my SPMU colour boost and find it fascinating how far cosmetic tattooing has come in recent years. If you have any questions, thoughts and feedback for me then please feel free to leave them in the comment box below. I wish you all the best in your beauty journeys and hope that you have found my treatment and advice helpful.