Permanent Eyebrows: a fantastic treatment, but proceed with caution!


Of all the aesthetic permanent makeup treatments, eyebrows have the most impact as they determine facial expression and balance of facial features. Whether it is full replacement or simple enhancement, if done correctly, this key beauty feature focuses the attention on your eyes and has a stunning effect on your looks; adding delicacy and shine to your face or simply taking years off a patients appearance.


However, not all micro-pigmentation practitioners understand facial aesthetics and think the same or a “standard" eyebrow shape works for everybody. Unfortunately I have noticed a sharp increase in patients seeing me for eyebrow corrections which are usually for the following reasons. Firstly, the curse of the evil step mother brows. One lady contacted me in tears because her children were scared of her because "mummy looked so angry" with the brows that had been tattooed on. Secondly, as I mentioned earlier is the issue of understanding facial aesthetics and symmetry.  A patient told me that the practitioner who carried out her initial treatment had used identical stencils. This might seem like a good idea, but let me assure you that even Kate Moss dose not have a perfectly symmetry face. Disturbingly, I have even heard tales of some practitioners actually shaving off the eyebrows before applying the stencil so when the hair grows back it looks like the patient has two tails. As you can see from the picture below, this is definitely not a good look!


Back to the issue of symmetry. In an aesthetic context in relation to facial features this doesn’t actually give the best visual results. This is due to a number of reasons with the main one being that the best results are an optical illusion of similarity on the face. We all have different contours on our faces and shallow or fuller sides which means that to give the illusion of "symmetry" you need to cheat. New York-based photographer Alex John Beck took portraits of ten people and made symmetrical images using the right halves of their faces, and another using the left. The resulting images were then placed side-by-side for comparison. As you can see from his work below, actual symmetrical facial features look exceptionally strange.


If you are seeking permanent eyebrows please use the list below as a guideline of what you should expect before your treatment even begins. Consultation is the most important aspect of any treatment. If the practitioner, surgeon, dentist, hairdresser doesn't understand what you are seeking from the results, you are far more likely to be unhappy with the results due to a lack of communication. Don't fall into the "white coat" syndrome of expecting your professional to get it without a thorough consultation. Their view may be quite different to yours!

Treatment Guidelines:

1.You should always have a thorough consultation with your micr-pigmentation practitioner. This should include a patch test for the pigment and anaesthetic they will be using. Your practitioner should also take a medical history and discuss contra-indications with you. You should have an in depth discussion of what you want to achieve i.e. if you require eyebrows do you want hair stroke, powdered brow or block brow? If you want lip enhancement ensure this does not exceed your vermilion border as the skin is different and will retrain the colour unevenly, please note  if you have ever had a cold sore having a lip procedure can trigger an outbreak. if you want eyeliner how do you want this to look etc . They should colour match to give you an idea of tone and explain what the end result will look like, discuss  aftercare instructions so you are fully aware of what the procedure involves. Check they are using specific pigments for micro-pigmentation and not tattoo ink.

2.You should ask to see examples of work carried out by the practitioner. Do not rely on glossy websites which are often "makeup" beauty pictures or produced by manufacturers. You want to see real before and after pictures.

3.Consultation and treatment can be performed on the same day if needed. However do not feel pressurised into having the treatment if you do not feel satisfied with the information and explanations you have been given or do not have a good "feeling” about the practitioner or treatment - do not underestimate your instincts.

 4.Prior to any work being carried out your practitioner should draw the proposed template e.g. eyebrow, lip shape and eyeliner (if applicable) and allow you to view what the outcome should be. Please note that "flicks" on the ends of eyeliners are notoriously difficult and are prone to issues of asymmetry. I therefore do not advise having them.

 5. The practitioner should photograph before, the template and take after photos in order to keep a record of what has been agreed. Only when you are completely happy should you proceed with the treatment.

Written by Anouska Cassano.

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