15 Aug Permanent Eyeliner…the facts
When we think about eyeliner tattoos, the old traditional thick and winged line comes to mind but techniques and pigments have evolved so much over the years! We now have so many options for creating different looks, but before you jump in for that instagram eyeliner, make sure you know these facts and that your technician knows them too.
To make this content easier to understand, we will break the information down into 3 sections:
what looks can be achieved in eyeliner tattooing
techniques available, and
pigments used and colour choices.
What looks can be achieved in eyeliner tattooing?
Although there are dozens of names used to market permanent eyeliner, there are really only 3 distinct choices: a lashline enhancement, traditional eyeliner with or without a wing, or traditional eyeliner with shading. Although you might prefer the look of one over the other, the deciding factors of which method is most appropriate for you will relate more to your age, the thickness and the strength of the skin around your eye area, and the vascularity of your eyelids. Our priority is always to select what is best for you and to always keep in mind how your permanent eyeliner will age and fade over time.
What techniques are used?
A lashline enhancement is our most popular eyeliner procedure because it is suitable for almost every client, regardless of age or skin type. Pigment is implanted between your lashes and right next to your waterline using different sized needle configurations that depend on the thickness of the line desired. It is not meant to look like a perfect line but instead to give depth and colour to the base of your lashes, creating the illusion of thicker and fuller lashes. It is our favourite permanent eyeliner procedure because it gives definition without looking so much like applied makeup and it ages and fades very naturally. You can always add makeup to a lashline enhancement when you want a heavier look.
Traditional eyeliner is created by filling in the lashline, defining the wing if desired, and then filling in the eyelid to create the desired eyeliner thickness. It is meant to look more like applied makeup. Edges can be created with a finer needle configuration to create a defined, crisp eyeliner or a shading needle configuration to keep the edges soft and “smoky”. This is a suitable technique for younger, thicker eyelid skin with limited visible capillaries. As this technique fades over time ti is typical for the colour to shift slightly and it will need to be refreshed to keep it looking saturated.
Note that wings can only be created within the first eyelid crease. Beyond the crease (and even within it, to some extent) wings are subject to the effects of gravity over time. There are many eyelids that cannot support permanently tattooed wings and those clients are better off sticking to makeup for this effect.
Shaded eyeliners are gaining popularity and are done with a smaller needle and an application technique that implants tiny dots of colour to slowly build up a shadow effect. Although it looks very beautiful when first done it will need frequent refreshing as the tiny amount of pigment implanted will fade quickly. This technique is not at all suited for older, oily or thin skin and requires young, firm eyelid skin to achieve the effect.
What pigments are used for eyeliner procedures.
Black is the most common pigment colour used for eyeliner and we rarely use anything else. A straight brown colour applied around the eyes can appear red once healed and grey will often heal too light., except for the lightest eyes and skin. In saying that, blacks do come in many shades including brown-black. The darker the black, the cooler it can heal in the skin (cool=blue/grey) and to prevent this we might layer our liner colours or add a warmer colour, which may lighten the black but keep the colour truer.
Black pigments are available as both iron oxides or carbon blacks. Although carbon blacks potentially heal darker and “blacker”, the very tiny carbon particles are at risk of “bleeding” into the delicate skin around the eyes and are not always the best choice for eyeliner tattooing. It is for this reason that we will most often use iron oxide pigments. They are the safest but don’t necessarily offer the darkest black or the longevity of carbon black eyeliner and will require a second appointment to build colour as well as periodic refreshing to keep your eyeliner saturated.
If you have an older eyeliner that has faded to a blue/grey we can easily add some corrective colour to help bring it back to a nice black.
If you are thinking of permanent eyeliner, please feel free to book a consultation and we will help to decide what is the best technique for you and for your skin.