PMU What to Expect

Getting permanent make up can be scary, especially if you are not familiar with the process.

On the day of your appointment, you are asked to clean your face and do not apply lotions, creams, or traditional make up.  You might want to have some of your favorite make up colors available so that your PMU technician can match the color.  You can also bring along some photos of PMU that you may have seen online to show your PMU tech what you DO like and what you DON’T like.  Your PMU tech will take some time to explain the procedure, talk about colors, styles and expectations.  Once you and your PMU tech have agreed on a color and marked out lines on the face for your procedure, the PMU tech will clean and prepare the area and  apply topical numbing cream and you will be asked to wait 15-30 minutes to allow the numbing agent to work.  Your PMU tech will check the progress of the numbing agent occasionally to be sure that it is working.  Once the PMU tech is ready to begin, you should not be able to feel any pain in the area.

Once you are properly numb and comfortable the PMU tech will wipe away the numbing cream and redraw any lines that may have wiped off.  There are many choices for PMU machines ranging from hand tools, rotary or coil tattoo machines and PMU “pens”.  Regardless of the machine, the process is the same, a small grouping of needles will penetrate the superficial layers of the dermis, implanting color.  When the skin heals, the color pigment will be trapped in the skin.  As the skin naturally dies and falls off you will begin to lose color.  This is a process that generally takes a few years, however exfoliating, chemical peels, excessive tanning or exposure to UV rays and other skin care products can expedite this process.

Most of the anxiety surrounding eye procedures is the fear that the needle will touch the eye.  Regardless of the type of PMU machine that is being used, the needles do not stick out far enough from the tube to penetrate deeper than the second layer of skin.  Therefore your do not have to worry that  the needle will “accidentally” penetrate the skin and harm you.  It is for that same reason that it is perfectly safe to apply traditional tattoos over think skin where veins are visible, such as the wrist.

During the PMU process your tech will also apply a second type of numbing gel which is designed to be used once the skin is broken.  This will provide further numbing to the area.  Both the numbing agents and the PMU process may cause the area to swell.  The area may also become red and sore, which is perfectly normal but will vary individually..  Applying cold compress to the area will greatly reduce swelling and discomfort.  Over the next few days you may still experience these symptoms, just ice it and be patient.  For lip procedures I describe the discomfort as feeling like dry chapped lips, which is certainly annoying but not terribly bothersome.  For eye procedures I describe the discomfort as dry and irritated, as if you were up crying all night, which again is annoying, but not horrible to deal with.

Immediately after your procedure you will see some swelling and possibly redness this will subside in 1-3 days.  You will also notice that the color is extremely dark and “harsh” or bold.  This is not the final color.  Once you are fully healed the color will be softer, smoother, and lighter.  Additionally, no two people will have the same exact color because you are always looking at the color through the top layer of dermis, therefore an individual’s color, and tone will affect the final color.  Additionally, no two people will heal the same, therefore PMU is more of an art than a science.  Most people will require a follow up visit to “tweak” or adjust the color, darkness, or to touch up missing spots.  Although we try our best not to pick, scratch or accidentally pull out the scabs during the healing process, it happens, and can cause missing or uneven spots of color.  Following aftercare instructions is pivotal in proper healing.

Once the scabs (which will be the same color as the tattoo) come off (which usually occurs with in 3-5 days) you will be able to see your final color- HOWEVER, just like nail polish which seems dry on the outside but is still wet on the inside, you are still healing underneath the top layer of skin, which is why you are not permitted to schedule a follow-up procedure for 4-6 weeks.  Once the scabs are gone you are also permitted to apply traditional make up over the PMU.
At your follow-up appointment you will be able to adjust the color (darker, lighter, or cooler/warmer tones) and adjust imperfections.

If you have any other questions, concerns or comments please use the CONTACT link to send me a message!

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