The field of Permanent Cosmetics (Cosmetic Tattooing) is rapidly expanding in popularity. Women all over the country are learning of the benefits of having Permanent eyeliner, eyebrow coloring, lip color or lipliner. What could be better than to wake up looking as good in the morning as you did in the evening? Think of the time you could save putting on your makeup.

The benefits of Permanent Cosmetics are being discovered by people from all walks of life including professional women, athletes, those with poor eyesight or unsteady hands, those with sensitivities to traditional cosmetics and those whose work precludes wearing makeup. Properly applied Permanent Cosmetics are so natural your neighbor will never know you are wearing them.

Once you have made the decision to have Permanent Cosmetics applied you have the important task of finding a qualified technician to do the work for you. This is a critical decision. Locate a technician in the same manner you would a doctor, dentist, etc. Since there are no uniform regulations in the country, it is mandatory you learn as much as possible about the industry so you can determine who is a qualified professional in this field. Remember you are altering your appearance permanently so it is important you make your decision carefully.

  • It is important you visit the site where the work will be done. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set standards for physical cleanliness and a sanitary working environment. Does the location you are visiting meet this outward criteria? Is there hot and cold running water on the premises other than in a rest-room? Is the work being done in a private room where other contaminants, such as acrylic nail dust, cannot circulate in the air?
  • Is the technician registered with the county Health Department? Do they have their Body Art technician registration certificate on display in the work area? Remember that Body Art licensing is different from Cosmetology and Skin Care licensing, and just because someone is a licensed Hair Stylist or Esthetician under the CA State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology it does not mean that they have been properly licensed under the county Health Department for Permanent Cosmetics/Body Art! Health Department registration is a requirement under California state law.
  • Is the facility or shop registered with the county Health Department? Is the facility registration certificate on display?
  • Is the technician clean and neat? Do they use new gloves for every client? Do they use clean sheets on your chair/bed? Are surfaces to be touched during the procedure wrapped in barrier film to prevent contamination? Are the technician’s nails clean and short?
  • Most importantly, do they use new sterile needles and equipment with each client? Are needles and equipment fully disposable? Are any metal handles Autoclaved or disposed of after use?
  • Ask about the technician’s background. How long have they been in the industry and how many procedures have they done? Ask about certificates of training and continuing education. Since this field is rapidly evolving, regular continuing education is a must. For someone relatively new to the industry, ask how many hours of training they have had. How many hands-on procedures did they perform during training class? A one day or two-day training course, or training done remotely where practice is done on paper or latex and not real people is not enough and should disqualify the technician.
  • Look at the technician’s portfolio and inquire if this is their own work (and not stock pictures from their training school or pictures of work done by their instructor). Does their work match your own personal style as it relates or relative to how intense the finished work is, how wide the eyeliner, how red the lips or lip liner.
  • What does their healed work look like?

If you desire permanent lip color, find a technician who is experienced in this procedure. Lip work is more advanced than eyeliner and eyebrows and should only be entered into after consultation with the technician and a review of their picture portfolio. If you are considering cheek blush or eyeshadow, select a technician that has been in the field for many years. These procedures the most difficult of all and should not be considered unless you have seen other acceptable work from the technician and have reviewed their qualifications.

The same cautionary approach should be used toward any camouflage work.

As you do your research into this industry, bear in mind Permanent Cosmetics are a form of tattooing and must be thought of as lifelong. It is important you be comfortable with your technician before you start. You will have a special relationship with your technician. You must be confident he/she will give you a look you will be comfortable wearing for many years.