Everything You Need To Know About Permanent Make-up

Everything You Need To Know About Permanent Make-up

I recently interviewed one of my amazing colleagues, Diane Makish, permanent make-up extraordinaire. Being part of the minority of non-tattooed individuals, I was curious about this form of permanent skin marking, and probably the only one that I would seriously consider doing.

This practice actually dates as far back as the beginning of the 20th century and became fashionable in the 1930s as seen in this vintage article.

ME: How did you get into permanent make-up?
DM: I got into permanent make up after an extensive makeup knowledge in commercial,  editorial , print , weddings etc. I wanted to incorporate skin care,  so I became an aesthetician – this is where I met Dr. Friedberg and she took me under her wing – we worked  together for 12 years, until she retired 3 yrs ago.
ME: Who is a good candidate for permanent make-up? Who is not?
DM: A  good candidate is anyone who has a difficult time putting on make up, someone who may have sight  issues. Someone who has hair loss in the brow area due to alopecia or chemo. Someone who has uneven thin pale lips someone who just wants to accentuate their features and look better , or someone who wants to wake up with make up lol. No one is a bad candidate however the healthier the skin the better the results!
ME: Well, I check a lot of those boxes, but I am anxious about needles.
DM: I typically apply a topical anesthetic then inject local anesthesia.
ME: Great! That makes me feel better. If one is interested in getting permanent make-up done, how should they prepare?
DM: Patients should prepare for the procedure by staying out of the sun prior to the procedure. Take no aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, etc. as this may cause excessive bleeding during the procedure. Arnica Montana is recommended one week prior to aid in swelling and bruising. After the procedure patients are given Aquaphor as a healing ointment along with some instructions for post procedure care
ME: How often should they come back for touch-ups?
DM: The eyebrow procedure clients usually come back 2 to 3 years later for a touch up. The lips and eyeliner are about five years before a touch up are needed – again, skin health dictates how long a client’s permanent make up will last. Always wearing  sunscreen to protect the tattoo will help in preserving the color and longevity . Darker shades are going to last longer then soft natural colors
ME: Is there anything else they should know prior to taking the plunge?
DM: Every client’s make up is customized to fit each individual. Prior to the tattoo, the make up is drawn on in terms of color shape and symmetry –  it is important that a client do their homework and go to someone with experience.


I’ve  always said a bad body tattoo can be covered with clothing.  However, on the face, there is no way to cover it up. Correction can be costly and painful, some bad work cannot be corrected – spend the money and do it right in the first place. Make sure you check to see the practitioners experience , credentials, and  portfolio of work.
Here are more pics of the process:

For more on Diane and her work, visit her website or make an appointment here.