Make-up that lasts

By at home

Also known as semi-permanent make-up, micropigmentation can perk up your features and enhance your natural look..

Imagine waking up looking perfectly groomed or stepping out of the shower with your eyebrows, eyeliner and lip colour perfectly in place? That’s what semi-permanent make-up could do for you. It’s great if you don’t have the time or patience to apply make-up expertly each day. The procedure involves carefully applied permanent pigment being placed into the dermal layer of the skin. The pigment is hypo-allergic, and there are no fragrances, emollients or other ingredients added. Your preferred colour is implanted into a lower layer of the skin, where it can remain from two to five years. There is usually minimal discomfort and often anaesthetics are used to greatly reduce discomfort and promote relaxation. Some people report feeling absolutely nothing except a tingly or prickly sensation.

Colours do fade slightly after 18 months or so, but subsequent ‘touch-up’ treatments take less time.

A fine, soft and natural line can be created to add depth and definition to eyes and make lashes appear thicker. Colour and thickness can be personalised and make-up can be applied over eyeliner for more drama.

Eyebrows frame your eyes and face. When designed properly, they can lift the eyes giving them a more youthful appearance, making cheekbones appear more prominent, and influencing how the nose is perceived. If eyebrows are sparse from tweezing, shaving or alopecia, or if brows are blonde or light in colour, you can enjoy natural-looking semi-permanent eyebrows.

Lipliner and full lipstick colour are perfect for reshaping uneven lips and for making lips appear larger and fuller. It also avoids lipstick colour from ‘bleeding’. Scars can be covered and lips will have a natural or dramatic blend of colour that lasts all day.

With the exception of Richard Gere and George Clooney, grey hair doesn’t look good on most people, adding 10 or 20 years to their age. The answer is to dye. For the most natural effect, opt for a shade that matches your skin tone and don’t go more than two shades darker than your natural colour. Before you dye, get some advice from your hairdresser regarding the shade that will suit you best and to run through the different types of dye available.

Permanent colours can make hair lighter or darker, and add shine, but they don’t wash out. You will need to re-apply the colour after four to six weeks. If you want to recolour less frequently, add subtle highlights or lowlights after colouring. This will make selected strands of hair a different colour. As the highlighted strands blend in, greys will be less obvious when they reappear.

Semi-permanent products are used to darken hair (they can’t make it lighter) and fade after 12 washes.

Focus on re-pigmentation of vitiligo
Hina Solanki runs North London-based Sol Cosmedics. Here, she explains how vitiligo sufferers can be helped

What is vitiligo?
It’s a skin disorder that affects one in 200 people and is characterised by loss of skin colour that can be widespread or limited to a small area. Vitiligo affects people of all races and is considered to be due to a deficiency in the melanocyte cells, which produce the pigment that gives the skin its colour.

Vitiligo can be camouflaged using medical tattooing
Medical tattooing treatments are proven to be successful in the long-term camouflage of vitiligo. The results are accomplished by skilled consultants who tattoo skin colour pigments into the hypo-pigmented skin (skin lacking colour) – diminishing the appearance of the vitiligo.

Only vitiligo that has been in remission for one year can be treated with medical tattoo techniques. Disturbance of an unstable site can stimulate the site to spread or new sites to establish in other areas. Extremely large areas of vitiligo are not possible to camouflage since the discomfort, commitment and expense would make it difficult for the client.

How is the medical tattoo procedure performed?

The consultation
The success of the vitiligo camouflage is dependent on the correct skin tone colours being selected to achieve a look that merges naturally into the skin colour. During the consultation the specialist will create custom-made blends of pigment and carry out two or three microscopic test areas on the vitiligo site using the medical tattoo technique.

The test areas will develop over the period of a month, giving the impression of how they will look after the medical tattooing treatment.

The pigment infusion process
Prior to the medical tattooing process topical anaesthetics are applied to the skin to reduce the prickling sensation generated during the procedure.

The specialist infuses the pigments into the vitiligo site, creating a series of minute points of colour that form the subtle colour variations found in natural skin. Each pigment infusion session takes around 60 minutes and will require multiple treatment sessions for larger areas.

Photograph: Getty


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