Cosmetics Vs. Body Art


Tattoo art has been around for over 5000 years originating in Tahitian, Polynesian, and African culture. For centuries people have used tattoos for spiritual, religious and cultural reasons.  The word tattoo became popular in Europe and the West in 1769 when the explorer Joseph Banks published a journal about the natives from the South Pacific and their beautifully adorned bodies.

In conventional tattoo art, the technicians uses pure tattoo ink… These are strong, vibrant primary colors that last a lifetime..  It fades a little bit with time, but body art is pretty much a “forever” thing..  This is not the case with cosmetic tattooing.. For makeup we use “pigment”, not pure tattoo ink.  Pigments are soft tertiary colors.. The chemical composition of tertiary colors are much weaker than primary colors.. Remember, you want it to look like makeup, not body art on your face.. For this reason, cosmetic tattooing only last a year or two before it start to fade and then you have to re-do it again.. If you are enjoying your makeup, it’s worth it to maintain the color..

Cosmetic Tattooing

It wasn’t until the 1960’s that tattoo art was used for cosmetic and medical purposes. Back in those days pure tattoo ink was used and clients looked terrible… clownish.  I have photos I can show you of what that looks like when you come to see me.  As I mentioned above, pure tattoo ink is great for body art, but not for your face…..For example, if you were getting a flower on your shoulder, you would want the petals of that rose to be a bright and vibrant red, the stems of that rose should be a strong earthy green.  However, if I were to use that same red tattoo ink on your lips, you would have fire engine red lips and I promise you will NOT be happy with me.  With pure ink, your lips or eyebrows would walk into the room before you do…..  For cosmetic tattooing we use “pigment”. Pigments are soft tertiary colors that are far removed from primary colors so that it looks soft and natural, like makeup, not body art.

The one thing permanent cosmetics does NOT do is take the place of conventional makeup. Cosmetic tattooing is designed to accentuate and add a little color in the three main focal points of your face:  your eyes, eyebrows, and lip.  As we age, we look  “washed out” without color….  In my humble opinion, application of permanent cosmetics should always look like “day wear” makeup, not evening wear.