Semi-permanent make up

Katy Jobbins of The Permanent Makeup Training Academy

Katy Jobbins of The Permanent Makeup Training Academy - Credit: Archant

Dream of waking up and not having to apply eyeliner or lippy? There is a solution

Have you ever thought about going under the needle (as opposed to the knife)? Also called micropigmentation, cosmetic tattooing is a process that involves applying hypoallergenic, pharmaceutical grade pigment into the upper dermis area of the skin using a needle.

Eyeliner, lips and eyebrows can all be defined and enhanced and this procedure can also be used in medical situations to add ‘nipples’ after a breast reconstruction or as a boost for those who may have lost eyebrows through chemotherapy or alopecia.

Tonbridge practitioner Karen Sochon ( is a beauty therapist who recently qualified in aesthetic semi-permanent procedures and hopes to go on to qualify in medical tattooing and treatments for scarring.

“During our training we practiced on synthetic skin and grapefruits before we were let loose on willing members of the public,” she explains.

“I have carried out a number of procedures since then and my aim is to produce a very natural, rather than a high-fashion look. Most clients, quite understandably, want to know if the treatment is painful. Of course this depends on individual pain thresholds. However, topical anaesthetic is applied before and during the treatment and many clients have found the treatment relaxing rather than painful – a couple even fell asleep!”

One of Karen’s clients is Kent Life editor Sarah Sturt who says rather than pain, she experienced a mere light pricking sensation. “As a lifelong fan of eyeliner I opted to have my top and lower lids done and am delighted with the results. In the mornings now I just need to apply mascara.”

It is, however, a procedure that does need consideration and it is important to have a clear and realistic idea of what you hope to achieve and a willingness to invest time and money as well as follow up all aftercare recommendations.

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A free consultation should be offered which will include a patch test to check for allergies to the ink used as well as suitability generally. If you decide to go ahead, the initial treatment could take two to four hours with a follow up after four to six weeks for a retouch to ensure the best results.

The time the effect lasts can vary from a year or two to many more depending on factors including individual skin type and sun exposure.

Katy Jobbins, who founded the Permanent Makeup Training Academy ( has trained many practitioners at Kent salons, including Zinny Kahn, Transformink, Tonbridge and Cherie Bennett from Natural Definitions in Sittingbourne and says it is vital to know you’re in good hands. “Someone may say they have been doing permanent make-up procedures for five years but if this is a sideline to their main business, bear in mind that another practitioner who is doing it as a main profession for a much shorter period may actually have more expertise.

“Ask where they studied, what professional associations they belong to and can they supply testimonials. Do take time after the free consultation to be completely sure you want to go ahead rather than feeling obliged to book straight away. Be clear whether the price you are quoted includes the top-up appointment you will need or if this will be charged separately.”

Not feeling that brave?

The following options won’t provide the long-lasting effect of semi-permanent make up but should stay put longer than other products.

Stila’s Stay All-Day Liquid Lipstick, £16, tester found this really did stand the distance through eating and drinking at a social event and comes in a range of 20 vibrant shades.

Eylure’s Pro-Lash Eyelash Dye Kit, £9.95,

A cheaper option than lash dying at a salon and a good idea for holidays and regular swimmers.

Max Factor Lashfinity 3 Day Mascara, £18.99, stockists include Boots or visit

This feels stickier on your lashes than regular mascara and has been designed to stay on for up to a three-day period before being taken off with an oil-based make-up remover.


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