Everyone wants to look better, right? And don’t we all feel better when we look better? Besides what I do for my clients’ hair, I can now recommend another way to make them feel good about themselves!
After hearing and seeing several client testimonials regarding permanent makeup, I decided to check it out for myself. Being a natural redhead, I was blessed with pale skin, hair and eyes. And as I have gotten older, the need to enhance seems only to have become more significant. Being an owner of a salon, and always looking for more time, I needed to do my homework. Wouldn’t spending less time on my morning routine be great? Even on my days off, going sans makeup seemed to be a bit daunting for fear of running into someone only to hear “oh, you’re not feeling well?” I’m fine……just not wearing any makeup! At least, not having to draw on my eyebrows every morning, would make my job easier.
Being an active person, in and out of work, having face framing eyebrows on permanently was music to my ears. That’s when I went to see the artist, Nikki Shevchenko. Like I stated before, I had already seen her work and was very impressed with it. Now, to go and meet her. I found her to be a very compassionate and professional person. She took her time explaining everything and even did a “temporary” look to show me exactly what it would look like. Meaning, you actually have some say as far as where you want more or less. Needless to say, I have been thrilled with my results and plan on continue using her in the future.
There was an article about her business in the The Philadelphia Inquirer this past March, for which I was also interviewed! If you have ever thought about permanent make up, continue reading below!
From creating subtle accents to making dramatic, bold statements, cosmetics always have been a colorful part of many women’s daily lives.
Considered a confidence-booster and a must for most females, makeup is available just about everywhere — drugstores, department stores and specialty shops. But what if you could get your favorite makeup permanently added to your smiling face — saving money and time in the process? And how do you go about finding the right practitioner and selecting the best process to achieve the look you desire?
And … do you truly want to wake up in the morning wearing your makeup?
Many women respond with a resounding, “Yes!”
According to practitioners in South Jersey, popular permanent makeup choices for women are eyebrows, eyeliner and lips. For men, the more common procedures include hairline enhancements through scalp pigmentation.
But before you place permanent makeup solely in the “cosmetic procedure” category, think again, as it offers a lot of other benefits, too. A number of permanent makeup practitioners work with people who seek to camouflage facial or body scars or who suffer from diseases such as alopecia (which causes hair loss from an immune system deficiency).
They also help cancer patients and cancer survivors, including those who are undergoing reconstructive surgery. (For example, areola and nipple restoration and repigmentation are offered for breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy.)
In addition to enhancing your overall look, there is a practical side to permanent makeup as well, as experts agree it can be a huge time-saver for women who no longer have to spend their mornings drawing on their eyebrows and eyeliner and/or applying lipstick.
Permanent makeup, although considered a form of tattooing, is very different from the process of applying a traditional tattoo (body art). The needles and the ink are not the same. Permanent makeup is formulated especially for the face, and the color will not turn green or blue as regular tattoos often will with age. It is also designed not to blur over the years, which is called “migration” in the makeup world.
Nicole Shevchenko, a permanent-makeup practitioner based in Cherry Hill, is the owner of the Cosmetic Center of Permanent Makeup. With over 16 years of experience, she has worked with thousands of clients in South Jersey and the immediate region. She contracts with several area surgeons, plastic surgeons and surgical oncologists.
“I find that my permanent makeup clients are pleasantly surprised at how natural it looks and how much time it saves in their everyday beauty routine,” Shevchenko said. “You get a polished, professional look without all the extra effort.”
“For those who come to me due to a medial issue, the results have a more positive and dramatic effect overall,” she added. “It truly helps them get back to a normal life.”
Shevchenko prides herself on her light touch with clients who may be apprehensive about applying permanent eyebrows or a color to their eyes or lips.
“It’s important for me stay conservative with my practice. Even though heavy eyebrows are in style right now, I have refused requests to make eyebrows excessively bushy or draw cat-eyes — or apply heavy eye makeup. It’s essential to communicate with the client about how styles come and go, and you don’t want a style that you can’t easily change.”
Terri Haines, owner/partner of Beato Salon in Mount Laurel, is a client of Shevchenko’s and has recommended her services to a number of her own salon clients in recent years. Haines had her own eyebrows enhanced in 2013 and has been extremely happy with the results.
“I am thrilled with how my eyebrows turned out,” Haines said, “so when I have a client who is forced to draw on their own eyebrows, I always recommend that they consider the permanent makeup.
“It is such a lifesaver not to have to create your own eyebrows every single day, or especially when you are going swimming or worried about the pigment accidentally coming off. Honestly, it crosses one thing off my to-do list,” she added.
Bonnie Hall has been a permanent-makeup practitioner for more than 23 years. Based in Haddon Township, she has performed thousands of procedures in South Jersey and the surrounding area and works through physicians’ offices as well. She teaches advanced procedures and has apprenticed more than 1,000 practitioners seeking to enhance their skills or learn the process.
She said a top concern among clients is whether they will be happy with the end result. “I tell everyone that all makeup should be drawn on in front of a mirror while the person is sitting up — so adjustments can be made easily. I do my best to ensure it is perfect before I start by measuring carefully and taking ‘before’ photos.”
Regarding newer trends, Hall mentioned that “micro-blading” or “micro-stroking” is the latest technique for eyebrows. “It’s an advanced method that creates delicate, wispy eyebrows that is applied with a hand device. It will literally make you look like you are born with real hair. The way it heals is beautiful.”
Hall added: “Another big trend is scalp micro-pigmentation. It’s becoming more popular with men as well as women — it’s a great solution for people who want to camouflage a bald spot.”
There is an artistic side to the process.
“It’s important for the practitioner to have a good understanding of color and how it works under the skin, due to tone and ethnicity,” Hall said “For example, if someone has a lot of natural blue in their lips, I need to add the color orange, or the lip pigment will look horrendous. It is essential for a practitioner to have experience in formulating color so doesn’t turn ashy or green.”
“Permanent makeup really is prettier than regular makeup when done with a natural look in mind. It definitely helps people feel more confident.”
Marla Cimini is a freelance journalist living in Cherry Hill. She writes about lifestyle, travel, food and luxury for USA TODAY and other publications. www.marlacimini.com; Twitter and Instagram: @MarlaCimini
Permanent Makeup FAQ
Q: How do I choose the right permanent-makeup practitioner?
A: Ideally, it’s best to see the practitioner’s work in person and get a recommendation from a satisfied customer. Be sure to have a consultation before you agree to the service. Look at before and after photos so you can see the person’s previous work.
Q: Is it painful?
A: Permanent makeup application is considered to be very low on the pain threshold, although a topical numbing cream is often used. However, it depends on the person and type of procedure, so it’s essential to have a discussion with the practitioner before the process to fully understand what to expect during the procedure as well as the healing process.
Q: What is the cost?
A: Approximate costs for procedures range from $400 to $800, depending on the specific process.
Q: Is there any downtime?
A; Most procedures have a little swelling, and most people go right back to work right away. However, it is not recommended to have any process done immediately before a “special” occasion.
Q: How long will the makeup last?
A; Eyebrows usually last one to three years; eyeliner and lips about two to eight years.