Permanent makeup is a cosmetic technique which employs tattoos (permanent pigmentation of the dermis) as a means of producing designs that resemble makeup, such as eyelining and other permanent enhancing colors to the skin of the face, lips, and eyelids. It is also used to produce artificial eyebrows, particularly in people who have lost them as a consequence of old age, disease, such as alopecia, chemotherapy, or a genetic disturbance, and to disguise scars and white spots in the skin such as in vitiligo. It is also used to restore or enhance the breast's areola, such as after breast surgery.
Regulations and oversight
Permanent makeup regulations vary from country to country: sometimes by state, province, county or even city to city. For instance, in the US, while in most areas it falls under the cognizance of the Department of Health, State Boards of Cosmetology are often the oversight agency. In fact, in some areas a cosmetology or esthetics license is required, while in other areas, cosmetologists are prohibited from conducting these procedures. Exclusive to Australia, practitioners are prohibited from advertising the procedures as "permanent" since it is commonly known that tattoos will fade over time and it is their opinion that the "…benefits of cosmetic tattooing are not permanent and will generally only last three to five years."
The purpose of the ACCC action was to alert the consumer public to the fact that touch ups may be required to maintain optimal appearance. Some believe this position is not consistent with the fact that permanent makeup is tattooing and tattooing is a permanent process.
Before undergoing any form of cosmetic tattooing, it is essential to ensure that a salon has appropriate approvals from their local health authorities for skin penetration procedures. It is important to note that just because a salon has local health approvals for general beauty therapy services does not necessarily mean that they have approval for cosmetic tattooing procedures, it is prudent to insist on seeing the certificate of registration.
Mobile tattooing (in home) services may be a breach of Health Guidelines in some locations, for example in Melbourne Australia they prohibit mobile tattooing services.