«Why White and Camouflage Pigments Should Not Be Used in Permanent Makeup» by Lorena Oberg

1234I will try to answer your questions about why pure titanium oxide should not be used in Permanent Makeup.

Recently there have been many trainers that were using white either as a highlighter, as a base for light lip colors on dark skin tones that otherwise would not show, or in the so called «butterfly” eyeliners. I have also come across trainers that teach students to correct their mistakes by using skin color pigments i.e. camouflage.

I am at a loss for words as to how any ethical trainer could teach these techniques to students who are new to the permanent makeup industry. These students put their faith in trainers, which have been paid handsomely, only to realize later that they start to receive complaint after complaint from their clients due to the aforementioned techniques they have been taught.

We must remember that our responsibility with the clients ends the very day when the last molecule of the pigment we had implanted fades away, not before; in most cases, the pigment does not go away completely.  If you think that your job is done as long as the client walks out happy – think again.  I have had many people in my clinic who told me that their face had been ruined by the flesh color pigment which was used to correct a mistake. Years after the black eyeliner faded, the flesh pigment went yellow and has become a painful reminder of a botched job.

I do have some degree of sympathy for camouflage being used in years gone by, before laser treatments were affordable.  I have spent the past five years of my life developing techniques to remove pigments safely from the face, and was teaching these techniques in case the law of supply as well as demand would make laser treatments affordable.12345

However, there is no excuse for using flesh color pigments today. Once I trained a very experienced semi-permanent makeup technician how to use a tattoo removal laser. I asked her what she did if she made a mistake before she had a laser.  Her answer, without missing a beat, was “I don’t make mistakes….I need the laser to fix other technician’s mistakes!”

Whilst this response may seem rather arrogant, the fact is that it is what every semi-permanent makeup technician should be striving for. Since mistakes are inevitable to some degree, the aim should always be to get the ink out, not to cover up mistakes by putting more layers of pigment on top.

A slip of the hand is possible even for the most experienced technicians, but getting the ink out is the ONLY ethical approach to correcting mistakes.


You can read the full article about Lorena Oberg in PMU International Magazine # 2.

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