The Eyeliner Process & Care
Eyeliner tattoo, unlike the traditional tattooing, is done on the most sensitive and prominent area of the face. While permanent tattoos use ink, cosmetic tattooing is done with pigments selected according to one’s skin tone or undertones. There are a variety of pigmented colors to choose from, but the most common one used for eyeliner is the black pigment.
The procedure uses a micro-blading technique that lightly fills in colour as close as possible to the lash line. Before the process, the technician will apply an anesthetic cream on the eyelids to numb the area and lessen the pain. The session lasts for 1 – 2 1/2 hours, depending on the thickness and style of eyeliner that the you desire.
When the first session of tattooing is over, you can continue to carry on with your normal activities, but there will be slight swelling and soreness in the following hours which will eventually subside within 32 hours. Therefore, it is advisable to take a day off from work if you want to be discreet. This effect, however, does not occur in every client.
All PMU Eyeliner treatments are a two-step appointment process. At the first appointment, the client is profiled, so the look and design are approved before the process begins. Once approved, the PMU application process begins.
There will be mild scabbing and aftercare required, but your PMU Eyeliner should be completely healed in about 6-8 weeks.
The second appointment is a touch-up (3-12 weeks after the first session). This allows enough time for the ink in the epidermis to naturally slough off, and the colour to settle into your skin. At the touch-up appointment, it’s possible to see how your skin has received the ink and make any necessary corrections.
Sometimes a client’s skin undertones may have unexpected effects on the ink’s colour, and there may need to be an adjustment. These kind of corrections are normal with any PMU Artist, and an essential part of the process, as everyone’s skin is different and receives ink differently.
During the healing process after your first appointment, it will seem like the ink and tattoo is fading away completely. This is normal and the pigment colour will return as the skin heals and exfoliates. The new skin that grows, after the scabbing sheds, often has an opaque appearance, and is referred to as ‘milk skin’, which can greatly conceal the pigment implanted below the new skin. Be patient for a few weeks and trust the process. The pigment IS there, and will mysteriously reappear once the new ‘milk skin’ matures and becomes more translucent again.
Where the ink doesn’t take as well, these areas will be re-treated during the second appointment touch-up process. We’ll also tweak any pigment choices, or any design preferences desired during the touch-up appointment.
You may also like to take an antihistamine tablet before your procedure. This can help reduce swelling and watery eyes during the treatment. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist first.
The following restrictions are to ensure your skin is in the best possible condition for an amazing PMU Eyeliner procedure. Please read carefully!
✔ Please do not work out the day of the procedure, as the body heat will expand the pores.
✔ Avoid exposure to heavy sunlight for a couple of weeks leading up to the procedure – heavy exposure can make the skin more sensitive.
✔ Remove any eyelash extensions at least 3 days prior to the procedure.
✔ Eyelash growth serums bring extra circulation to the area, which results in more growth of hair/lashes. This can cause the skin in that area to be hypersensitive and bleed easily. It is recommended to discontinue the use of these products at least 3-6 months before your treatment.
✔ Contact lenses need to be removed and should not be replaced for a minimum of two hours after the procedure. It is advised to bring a pair of glasses for the drive home or arrange transport.
✔ Do not drink coffee, or anything with caffeine in it, on the day of procedure – this can increase the likeliness of you bleeding during the procedure, which can negatively impact your pigment retention.
✔ Do not take Aspirin, Niacin, Vitamin E and/or Ibuprofen, Omega-3, unless medically necessary, 48-72 hours prior to the procedure (Tylenol or acetaminophen is okay). These supplements thin your blood, and increase the likeliness of bleeding during the procedure.
✔ Do not drink alcohol 24 hours before the procedure – this is a blood thinner also.
✔ Ensure you have had no Botox treatments for 3 weeks prior to your PMU procedure. Please schedule accordingly to avoid complications.
✔ Ensure you have had no Accutane Treatments within the past 12 months.
✔ Ensure you have had no Waxing or Tinting 3 days before the procedure
If you have any questions about these restrictions, please contact High Brow Beauty and Brow Studio and we’ll be happy to clarify as needed.
The First Appointment
A typical PMU Eyeliner appointment lasts between 45 minutes – 2 hours, depending on the work needing to be done. A touch-up appointment lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours, depending on the amount of work that needs touching up.
A standard first appointment will have the following steps:
Profile the client:
First, the artist will assess your lifestyle and taste in eyeliner look.
Do you want something bold or natural? Classic or slightly winged? Do you wear makeup every day or just special occasions? What face shape do you have? Do you keep the same colour hair? Do you change your hair colour? This assessment will help the artist create the best eyeliner for you.
Before photos will be taken of the eye area:
Your artist will request authorisation to take and display before and after photos.
Map and draw on the eyeliner:
The artist will draw the eyeliner directly onto your face. This will be the artist’s guide for the PMU Eyeliner procedure. This also allows the client to see the final look before any permanent work is performed. Nothing is performed until you love and approve the design!
PMU Eyeliner Application:
After a very precise numbing process for your ultimate comfort, the artist begins the PMU Eyeliner application of choice, following the design drawing agreed upon with the client.
Client approval of finished design:
No PMU Eyeliner application is considered complete until the client is 100% in love with the finished design. The artist will ensure that you agree that the design is final, and the liner on both eyes is symmetrical.
Remove the excess pigment:
Once the final PMU design has been approved, and the final pigment mask has been completed, the artist wipes off any remaining pigment left on the client’s face.
If you look very closely, you may be able to see very small, slight traces of the marks used to ensure the critical liner design remained mapped on the skin during the anaesthetic process (after the procedure), but rest assured, any potential marking shadows will disappear over the next day or two at most. The artist will also put some eyedrops into each eye to flush out any bits of dye that may have fallen into the eyes.
Photography & After-care:
Your artist will now take the ‘After’ photographs of your new eyeliner, and will then apply any necessary initial aftercare ointment The artist will go over your after-care instructions with you.
Little to no redness occurs for most clients and they will be ready to go back out in public immediately. Any redness that occurs, will heal with correct after-care steps taken post procedure. Most clients don’t experience swelling, but in the rare event that swelling occurs, a clean plastic-wrapped, cold compress can be applied for 10 minutes per hour as needed until the swelling subsides.
It is essential that you follow these instructions after your first PMU Eyeliner session.
The day of the treatment
After the procedure, the artist will gently blot the area with a clean tissue or cotton swab to absorb excess lymph fluid. This process can be continued every 5-10 minutes until the oozing has stopped. Removing this fluid prevents hardening of the lymphatic fluids (minimises scabbing). There may be slight swelling and bruising after the procedure. This is totally normal (see above for what to do).
1 hour (plus 2-3 hours after that) after treatment, with a very light touch, use your fingertips to gently cleanse the eyeliner by rinsing with sterile water (ensure hands are also clean). This will also remove any remaining lymph and any previously applied cream. To dry, gently pat with a clean tissue. Do not use any cleansing products containing acids (glycolic, lactic, or AHA), or exfoliants.
Contact lenses should not be worn for a minimum of 2 hours after treatment.
The following morning
Apply a very thin layer of ointment as instructed, and spread it across the treated area. Be sure not to over-apply, as this will suffocate your skin and delay healing. Gently repeat this 2-3 times a day for 7 days. The ointment should be barely noticeable on the skin. Never put the ointment on a wet or damp tattoo.
Use eye drops if required.
First 7 days
Continue to apply ointment 2-3 times a day through to Day 7 for dry/normal skin types. For oily skin types, after Day 3, only apply the ointment if you feel tightness or stretching in the treated areas. Use eye drops if required.
Within the first 7-10 days, avoid excessive sweating, saunas, hot tubs, swimming, facials and facial massages, steaming, face creams/products, exfoliants, prolonged water contact and/or harsh chemicals near your eyes. Avoid all make-up and foundation on the eye area. Avoid sleeping face down, as this can impact the pigment retention. Make sure you use a clean pillowcase, just in case you do roll over in your sleep, to avoid contaminants coming into contact with your new eyeliner.
Do not pick at any scabbing or flaky skin on the eyeliner. This may cause major damage, scarring and/or premature loss of pigment.
Limit hot showers to 5 minutes or take warm showers instead during the first 7 day period. Too much steam will affect the pigment and healing process of your skin. This will cause the pigment to push out.
Day 8 and on-wards
Begin using SPF again (minimum SPF 50)
Continue to avoid getting your eyeliner wet for the next 10-14 days (up to Day 17-Day 21 – the longer the better). You can avoid getting your eyeliner wet by washing your hair toward the end of your shower. If you accidentally get your eyeliner wet, gently pat dry with a clean tissue.
Wait at least 3-4 weeks before applying eyelash extensions. Also, do not use mascara for the first 7 days. When you resume using mascara, use a new one.
Avoid for 30 days post treatment
✔ Sunbathing/direct sun exposure
✔ Light therapy, chemical peels
✔ Fruit acids
✔ Laser treatment on the face
✔ Eyelash tinting, curling, perming or lash extensions
✔ Creams containing regeneration factors (Retinol, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Anti-Aging creams, Acne creams near the eye area
✔ Laser treatments over the PMU Eyeliner area (Fraxel, IPL, etc), as they can destroy the pigments, and potentially cause burns
Use of antibiotics and hormonal therapy can lead to faster pigment fading.
Although rare, consult a healthcare professional at the first sign of any potential infection.
What to Expect after your first PMU Eyeliner Session
Your eyeliner will go through several phases during the healing cycle.
Days 1-2: The pigment will appear very sharp and dark. This is because the pigment is still sitting on top of your skin, and has not yet settled in completely. Do not be alarmed if you see some pigment on a tissue or cotton swab used, as this is an excess pigment and/or body fluid that is naturally exiting your skin. You may experience some slight swelling across the edge of your eyelid 6-12 hours after treatment – this may get worse on Day 2 but it should settle down by the end of Day 2.
Days 3-4: The swelling should have subsided by now. You may also notice the skin start to flake within these first 4 days. Once the healing of the skin starts taking place, it will look like dandruff flakes or dry skin. Your eye-lid area may feel tight as scabs start to form. This can make your eyes look slightly smaller than usual.
Days 5-7: Upon scabbing and flaking, you might feel that the pigment is fading too quickly, however, this is just superficial colour and dry skin being naturally removed from your eyeliner area. Please note that the colour will actually come back in time. Be patient and wait until your touch-up appointment.
Days 8-28: Your eyeliner may still look a little patchy or uneven, but the pigment will start to ‘reappear’ as the pigment settles and the healing continues. You may get your touch-up/perfecting procedure done no sooner than 3 weeks (at least 4 weeks is recommended), to allow for complete healing of the eyeliner first.
4-6 weeks: The skin is healed revealing the pigment below.
Is the touch-up session necessary?
Yes! A touch-up session after the above specified time, after your initial appointment is necessary, as everyone heals differently, and the outcomes can vary beyond your artist’s control. Certain areas may not pick up during the first session and will need to be refilled. Pigment colour and eyeliner thickness may need to be adjusted.
Your touch-up session is when we refine your eyeliner to ensure it looks perfect and retains the colour for the whole year. Maintenance is recommended 1-2 times a year.
If, however, you do not like the final effect after your touch-up, you can have the tattoo removed by saline base removal treatment or let it eventually fade out within two-three years.