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Everything you need to know

Before the treatment

General questions

Q. What is permanent cosmetics?
A. Permanent cosmetics are a type of cosmetic tattooing (also known as micropigmentation or semi-permanent cosmetics).  The most common treatments are available for eyes, brows, lips. The effects available can range from a natural enhancement to subtly improve the facial features to the imitation of make-up.


Q. What is medical tattooing?
A. We believe that helping to rebuild someone’s body image is something very special. Medical tattooing is an advanced form of permanent cosmetics which has helped many people achieve just that. A range of treatments are available for people who have experienced a range of medical conditions such as hair loss, burns or scarring or breast reconstruction.


Q. What different treatments are available?
A. Whether you are getting your brows, eyes, lips or breasts enhanced, or if you require a medical tattoo treatment, there are various treatment options available. Brows, eyes, lips, breasts, scars can all benefit from permanent cosmetics or medical tattooing. See our case studies for more information.


Q. What does the treatment involve?
A. An initial consultation will be used to discuss your requirements and help you decide on the result that will best suit you. Everything from your lifestyle, image, hair, skin tone and facial features will be taken into consideration. The team will then custom blend colours to perfectly match your requirements –their skill as artists coming to the fore during the design stage.

The treatment itself involves gently implanting microscopic particles of pigment into the reticular layer of skin.


Q. Will it look natural?
A. Yes, the healed result will look very natural indeed. Take a look through the portfolio images  and you will see that the results can be tailored to whatever look, colour tone or strength best suits you.


Q. How long will it last?
A. This varies from person to person because skin type, diet, genetics and environmental factors can all contribute to how long the pigments will be retained.  For instance, sun bed use and sun exposure have a bearing on the pigment retention, but this can be prevented with proper protection.

As a guide, it could be anything between one to five years before a new treatment is required, although refresher colour boosts are recommended for maintenance during this time. Once the colour starts to change you will know that you are ready for your refresher colour boost.

We offer discounted colour boost rates from 6 – 18 months after the initial treatment. It is important to remember that permanent make-up is a “low” not a “no” maintenance treatment.


Q. What if I want to have cosmetic surgery at some point?
A. Whether you have had cosmetic surgery, or are considering it at some point in the future, that is not a problem. Karen and her team will always work to complement your natural contours and features. Due to the healing process, you will need to leave some time between having cosmetic surgery and permanent cosmetics. Please call us for advice specific to your procedure.


Q. What if I have medical issues?
A. A full assessment of your medical background will be made prior to the treatment. While there are some occasions when people are not suitable for permanent cosmetics –due to medical matters –this is fairly uncommon.


Q. Are there any risks involved?
A. Karen and her Elite Team adhere to the highest standards of health and safety. They have many years of experience with clients from all over the world. You can be assured that all risks are minimised and that you are in safe hands. However, because the treatment involves implanting pigment into the skin, that means it is invasive. While this is what provides permanent cosmetics with its long-lasting benefits, there are also some risks. As with any form of tattooing, these can include allergic reaction, undesired result or colour, misplaced colour, infection or scarring.


Q. Can I drink alcohol prior to my treatment?
A. It is advised that you do not drink alcohol the night before, or on the day of, your treatment. This can affect pigment retention.

Brow treatments

Q. Should I bring my brow pencil?
A. Yes, it can be useful to see what colour tones you have been using for your brows.

Q. Do you do hairstrokes or block brows?
A. We specialise in ultra-realistic permanent cosmetics. For brows, this means we can imitate natural brow hairs – whether you have any left, or none. Alternatively, if you do want a block brow style that can also be achieved. We will work with you to achieve the perfect brow style for you.

Q. Can I have my brows waxed, then have a brow treatment?
A. Any waxing should be performed at least 48 hours before the treatment.

Q. Can I have electrolysis on my brows, then have a brow treatment?
A. You should wait a minimum of five days between having electrolysis and permanent cosmetics for brows.

Q. Do I have to have all my eyebrows shaved off?
A. No. We prefer you to keep your own brows - don't even tweeze them before you come in as we like to work within your natural shape if possible.

Lip treatments

Q. Should I bring my favourite lipstick?
A. If your aim is to have your favourite lipstick recreated, please bring it with you to the treatment. This will enable the artist to custom blend an appropriate permanent cosmetics pigment.


Q. Can permanent cosmetics cause cold sores?
A. Permanent cosmetics do not cause cold sores, however, if you carry the virus, it lays dormant in the body and can be aroused by the treatment.


Q. I already have cold sores, can I have a lip treatment?
A. If you have a history of cold sores (herpes simplex) we advise you to contact your General Practitioner to obtain the proper prescription medication to prevent such outbreaks, or obtain and use your regular medication from your local chemist. You should use for one week before and one week after your treatment. This can help to minimise an outbreak.


Q. I have a cold sore on my lip at the moment, can I have a lip treatment?
A. No. The outbreak must be fully healed in order for a permanent cosmetics lip treatment to be performed.


Q. Can I have a lip wax or bleaching treatment before a lip treatment?
A. You should not undertake a lip wax or bleaching treatment for at least two weeks prior to your permanent cosmetics lip treatment.

Eye treatments

Q. Will I need to remove my eye makeup for the treatment?
A. It is required that eye make-up is removed for any eye treatment. However, please wear your usual make-up for the appointment so we can see your style.  


Q. Should I bring my favourite eyeliner pencil?
A. If you have a particular colour tone of eyeliner pencil that you would like to be replicated, please bring it with you to the treatment. This will enable the artist to custom blend an appropriate permanent cosmetics pigment.


Q. I’ve had my lashes tinted / permed, can I still have an eye treatment?
A. Any eyelash tinting or perming should be carried out no sooner than one week before, or two weeks after, the treatment.

Medical tattoo treatments


Q. I am currently undergoing treatment for a medical condition, can I have a medical tattoo or permanent cosmetics treatment?
A. This depends on a variety of factors. Some medical conditions, for instance pregnancy or infectious diseases, mean you cannot have permanent cosmetics or medical tattoo treatments. For other conditions, it will depend on the medical condition you are experiencing, its severity, the treatment or medication you are being provided with and so on. You will have a full consultation prior to the treatment during which your medical history will be discussed and the implications of this for your treatment explained in detail to you. 


The treatment

General questions


Q. Will it hurt?
A. Permanent cosmetics is far gentler than you might imagine. The specialist equipment that Karen and her team use is refined, quiet and gentle. Many clients comment that the treatment is no more painful than having their eyebrows tweezed.


Q. How long will the treatment take? 
A. Treatment times vary depending on how advanced or detailed the required result is. Although some treatments may take as little as 1 hour, you should set aside 2-3 hours for your appointment.

A second appointment to review the final healed colour is included in the price. This usually takes place around 4 -6 weeks after the initial treatment and takes around 30 minutes. 


Q. Can I train as a permanent cosmetics or medical tattoo artist? 
A. Yes, you can train through Karen’s own academy, at which both she and many of her Elite Team teach. Click here to find out more.

Brow treatments

Q. Will you need to remove any of my natural brow hairs?
A. Karen will work with whatever brow hairs you have. It’s a common myth that brow hairs need to be shaved off for permanent cosmetics treatments. This is not the case at all. The only time brow hairs may need to be removed is if there is any errant growth which needs tidying up, either through tweezing or plucking. 

Lip treatments

Q. Will it hurt?
A. Lips can be a little more sensitive than brows or eyes, due to the larger surface area and greater blood supply. We do our very best to reduce discomfort by using topical numbing cream throughout the treatment.

Eye treatments

Q. My eyes are sensitive. I’m worried about blinking and my eyes watering during the treatment. Is that a problem?
A. This is a normal concern for first time clients and nothing to worry about.  As you can see in Bethanie Lumb’s video, showing her having an eyeliner treatment, it’s not a problem if you are prone to blinking or your eyes water. 


Q. Will my eyes swell a lot after the treatment?
A. Swelling is relatively minimal and usually occurs for up to 12 to 24 hours after the treatment. Ice packs can be used to minimise this.

Q.  Will I need someone to drive me home after having an eye treatment?
A. It’s possible that your eyes could be a little watery after the treatment. As a precaution, we recommend that anyone having an eye treatment should ensure that they have someone to drive them home.


Medical tattoo treatments

...to follow....

After the treatment

General questions


Q. What will I look like straight after the treatment?
A. Brows and eye treatments tend to look darker in colour immediately after the initial appointment, while lip colours can look more intense. This softens in a few days. Lips are likely to have some residual swelling and can chap. There may be some slight swelling after eyeliner treatments but this is usually limited.


Q. Can I wear make-up after the treatment?
A. You can wear mineral cosmetics immediately after the treatment, however, you need to wait until the treatment area has healed before wearing traditional cosmetics. 


Q. Do I need to do anything special to look after the treatment whilst it’s healing?
A. We will provide you with aftercare instructions and a special aftercare balm for after your treatment. Looking after your permanent cosmetics or medical tattoo treatment as it heals is not difficult or time consuming –all you will need to do is follow our simple steps.


Q. How quickly will it heal?
A. Everyone is different, but as a general rule the surface skin generally heals between 3-7 days after the treatment, and 10-14 days below the surface. 


Q. Will I need to take time off work after my treatment? 
A. Some people think that they may have to take time off work after the treatment, in fact, this is not the case unless you choose to do so. You should be able to get straight back to work immediately after your treatment. 


Q. Can I donate blood after my treatment? 
A. Current guidelines from the National Blood Service require anyone with permanent cosmetics to wait for 4 months after their treatment before giving blood. 


Q. Can I have anti-aging injections or cosmetic surgery after my treatment? 
A. This depends on the treatment you are considering and it’s location. You will need to take advice from your therapist or surgeon. It is important to remember that some of these procedures can alter the shape of your lips and eyebrows.


Q. Can I have an MRI scan after my treatment?
A. If you have an MRI scan after having permanent cosmetics or a medical tattoo, you should inform the practitioner prior to the scan about your treatment, when you had it and the location. This should not prevent you from being able to have an MRI scan, but is information the practitioner will need to be aware of.


Q. Can I have laser hair removal after a treatment?
A. Laser hair removal can fade and change the shade of your lip and brow treatment if you are having the hair removal in that area. Simply inform your laser technician that you are wearing permanent cosmetics prior to the treatment and they will act accordingly to accommodate for this. 

Q. Is there anything I will need to avoid doing after the treatment?
We recommend that you do not apply make-up, expose the skin to extreme heat, cold or moisture, kiss, apply certain petroleum-based ointments etc immediately after your treatment. We will explain these requirements in full and provide you a printed copy of these aftercare requirements.

Q. Can I go on a sunshine holiday immediately after my treatment?
Strong sun can impact on the success of the result during the immediate healing phase. We recommend that you leave 4-6 weeks between your final re-touch procedure and your holiday.


Brow treatments


Q. Will my brows look very dark after the treatment?
A. You should be prepared for the colour intensity to be significantly sharper and darker immediately after the treatment. This will subside and become lighter as the skin heals. This process can take up to 10 days.

Lip treatments

Q. What will my lips look like immediately after the treatment?
A. You may experience some swelling and redness immediately after the treatment. After this you may experience tenderness, flaking, dryness, swelling and redness for approximately 2-5 days after the treatment. If you are feeling less than 100% healthy it may take longer for your treatment to heal and symptoms may appear more prominent.


Q. Are there any foods I should avoid after the treatment?
A. If you have had a lip treatment, you should avoid eating spicy and salty foods until the area has healed. You should also drink liquids through a straw.

Eye treatments

Q. Will my eyeliner look very dark after the treatment?
A. You should be prepared for the colour intensity to be significantly sharper and darker immediately after the treatment. This will subside and become lighter as the skin heals. This process can take up to 10 days.


Q. Can I apply mascara after the treatment?
A. You should wait until the treatment area has healed before applying make-up. If you have had an eye treatment, a new mascara is recommended.

Medical tattoo treatments

Q. Will I need another appointment?
A. Medical tattoo treatments can take a number of sessions to achieve the desired, final result. This is very much dependent on individual circumstances and will be explained to you in full during your consultation.

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