Permanent makeup, or PMU, is a form of cosmetic tattooing that uses cartridge needles and a tattoo machine to deposit ink into the skin.
Microblading is a form of cosmetic tattooing that uses a manual microblade to scratch ink into the skin.
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At a glance
What is the difference between PMU and Microblading?
PMU is used for ombre brows or powder brows as well as lip blushing and eyeliner. This packs more color into the target area.
Microblading is used only for brows and creates more realistic-looking hair strokes.
PMU lasts 3-6 years before requiring a touch up while microblading will last 1-2 years.
What is the difference between a powder brow, an ombre brow, and combo brow?
A powder brow is achieved with PMU. The entire brow is filled and mimics the look of a shadowy powder or brow pencil once healed.
An ombre brow is similar to a powder brow, except the color fades towards the front of the brow; the tail is more opaque.
A combo brow uses an ombre brow base, and then manual microblading strokes are used to fill in the front of the brow, giving it more dimension and a realistic looking appearance.
What is the healing time?
For most people, you can expect a couple of days of possible discomfort, but a full 4-6 weeks of cosmetic healing–meaning you won’t be in pain, but the appearance won’t finalize for about a month.
- Brows will be swollen from the procedure for 3-5 days after the procedure. Brows will shrink 20-30% once healed.
- The color will get darker the days following your appointment. Brow color will fade 30-60% once healed
- Expect redness for 1-7 days. The color may appear too “warm” initially, but this is from the skin swelling and is not the ink. Color will settle once healed
- Days 4-7 the brows will start to scab and itch
- Days 8-10 the color will appear to fade or it may look like no color is there at all
- Days 14-28 the color will “bloom” and return to the surface
- Eyes will be swollen and treatment area will be red for 1-3 days after the procedure
- Days 3-4 swelling should subside and color will flake
- Days 5-6 color will appear to fade and may seem uneven
- Day 10 color should return
*Note: it is normal for ink-colored “crusties” to form in the inner corners of the eyes during the healing period
- Lips will be swollen and possibly bruised for 2-5 days after the procedure. Immediately after, lips may feel swollen and tight. Color will be dark.
- The color will get darker the days following your appointment. Lip color will fade 30-60% once healed
- Day 3-5 the skin will begin to flake or scab. Color will begin to fade.
- Day 5-6 lips will feel almost normal albeit dry. Flaking will be almost gone.
- Day 7-10 lips will have healed and the color will be much lighter
Does it hurt?
Like most procedures, your comfort will depend on your individual pain tolerance.
Topical numbing is provided prior to and throughout the procedure for comfort.
Eyeliner tends to be the most comfortable procedure, with an average 0 or 1 out of 10 on the pain scale.
Eyebrows on average are a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale.
Lips tend to be the most uncomfortable at a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale.
What is aftercare like?
After your procedure, you will be given an antibacterial balm to help aid the healing process to be used for 10-14 days. Only a very light layer of ointment is required.
It is crucial not to scratch, itch, or pick at the treatment area, especially while it is in the “flaking” stage of healing. Doing so will cause patches that will require retouching.
You will not get the treatment area wet for 24 hours. You will also not directly wash the treatment area for 5-7 days. After that gentle cleansers may be used.
Sun exposure, excessive sweating, and steam should be avoided for 1-week post-procedure.
What if I don’t like the outcome?
Consultations are required to ensure that you are fully prepared and confident with moving forward prior to your PMU or microblading procedure.
Please be advised that it is common to be in “brow shock” or shock for a full week to three weeks after your initial appointment, simply because the treatment area will appear very dark/swollen and you will not be used to the new look yet.
However, Emergency Saline Removal is available. This service does come at an additional cost and may require multiple sessions and complete removal is not guaranteed with the saline or any other method.
Do I have to get the touch up?
Touch ups are highly recommended, especially for lip and brow treatments because that is when color and shape are perfected. It is impossible to know if your skin will heal needing color correction or line correction until the healing process is complete.
Please note: corrections cannot be made until the 4-6 week healing period is complete. The color needs time to “bloom” and therefore correction will not be accurate beforehand.
Lash enhancements (eyeliner) may not require an additional visit depending on how the individual heals.
Many things affect the outcome after your first PMU visit, such as how oily your skin is, how well it takes pigment, if the area was scratched or picked at, if the area was slept on or excessively sweat etc.
When can I get Botox/Fillers/Facials after my procedure?
It is recommended to get Botox and Fillers 2-4 weeks prior to your PMU appointment.
You must wait 2-4 weeks to get a facial, botox, fillers, chemical peels, or laser after your procedure.
Can I get a Lip Blushing procedure done if I have lip filler?
Actually, some artists will argue that you will get better results because the filler creates more of a foundation for the ink to sit on.
Can you tattoo around my lips to make them appear bigger?
No. However, subtle shape correction is possible.
Lip skin and the skin on your face are very different.
For starters, the pigment will look different on your skin than on your lip because it doesn’t have the same intrinsic color underneath. You will be left with an obvious outline.
Also, the skin around your lips contains many pores and hair follicles, which will not give an even appearance to the ink once healed.
Finally, lip tattooing does not add volume to the lips. Larger lips require dermal fillers and anything else will not look natural.
You can find us at the following address:
200 White Road
Little Silver, New Jersey 07739
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Call now: +1 732-747-7935 to speak to one of our friendly experts about permanent makeup and microblading, and arrange a free consultation.