Is Permanent Makeup Painful? A Guide to a Painless Cosmetic Tattoo

A Guide to a Painless Cosmetic Tattoo

With 15+ years experience in the permanent makeup space working with hundreds of clients in our Liverpool clinic, we have put together this guide discussing everything you need to know about permanent makeup and how you can have a pain-free experience at every stage of your treatment. But first, let’s answer some general questions.

Is permanent makeup painful?

Permanent makeup procedure involves piercing pigments into deep layers of skin, which can typically be painful, but most cosmetic practitioners will apply numbing cream before your procedure which will significantly reduce the level of pain experienced.

The amount of pain and discomfort experienced during cosmetic tattoo treatment differs from person-to-person.

Which permanent makeup treatment hurts the most?

Permanent lip treatment can be sore once the numbing cream has worn off. Eyeliner and eyebrows are generally less painful than lips.

Before your procedure (Preparing for your cosmetic tattoo)

Here is everything you need to know about preparing for a painless cosmetic tattoo before your treatment.

Should I shower before my procedure?

Yes, it’s strongly recommended to wash the area you’re going to receive the permanent makeup treatment hygienic to avoid infection.

Can I take painkillers before my treatment?

Try to avoid taking painkillers at least 24 hours before your cosmetic tattoo. Painkillers can thin your blood which can make the procedure more difficult to complete. Alternatively, to deal with the pain, you may take paracetamol or codeine 60 minutes before your treatment. 

If you’re receiving permanent eyeliner treatment, antihistamine can be taken to help with sensitive eyes.

During your procedure (Getting your cosmetic tattoo)

This stage has the potential for the most pain, but don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds!

Is it normal to bleed?

Yes, it’s perfectly normal to bleed during your permanent makeup treatment. Although, alcohol and certain medication can thin your blood which can cause excessive bleeding. This might impair the cosmetic practitioner during the procedure, so it’s suggested you avoid drinking or taking blood thinning medication 24 hours before your appointment.

What does a cosmetic tattoo procedure feel like?

During your permanent makeup tattoo, you’ll feel slight discomfort and a scratch alongside a vibration from the machine. 

How long does permanent makeup treatment take?

The average treatment completion time is 2 hours, but this time does vary from lips, eyebrows and eyeliner tattoos.

  • Permanent eyebrows take 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete.
  • Permanent lips can take a maximum of 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete.
  • Permanent eyeliner can take up to 3 hours to complete.

After your procedure (The healing process)

The healing process is important, and if you don’t take the right steps, you may experience more discomfort than you need to. We’re written a detailed guide on aftercare for permanent makeup that you should read, but to stay on topic here are some of our frequently asked questions associated with pain.

Will my cosmetic tattoo be sore during the healing process?

Soon after your cosmetic tattoo, you’re going to feel minor soreness(similar to bruising) around the treated area. A few days later, you’ll likely experience  redness and even blistering.

Can you apply ice after your procedure?

Yes, applying ice to your cosmetic tattoo is an excellent way to relieve pain, reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.

Does permanent makeup damage the skin?

A cosmetic tattoo will pierce the skin and inject pigment into the deep layers, but this will heal fully 4 weeks after your treatment.The only way cosmetic tattooing can permanently damage your skin is when it’s applied incorrectly without any aftercare.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the side effects of permanent makeup treatment?

If tattoo correctly and aftercare guidance is followed, it’s possible you might experience the follow:

  • Blistering in the treated area
  • Tenderness and soreness
  • Flaking of skin

The below only happens if the treatment has not been correctly cared for. You should always choose a qualified permanent makeup artist. Here is what might happen if safety measures are poor and aftercare advise isn’t followed:

  • Infection
  • Skin reaction
  • Scaring

Is permanent makeup toxic?

No, but it’s important that the permanent makeup practitioner uses quality pigment. All qualified clinics in the UK will use non-toxic pigment.

Is it painful to remove your permanent makeup tattoo?

It’s recommended you allow your cosmetic tattoo to naturally fade, but there are several methods for removing permanent makeup that can hurt such as laser hair removal.