Permanent Makeup

Permanent Makeup

Ultimate guide to PMU permanent makeup treatments including their benefits and effects.

Permanent Makeup

Makeup has always been about enhancing the beauty of the individual. And through the years it has been evolving and improving. At present, there are ways of making makeup last longer in the form of permanent makeup tattoos or cosmetic tattooing. These services give the face the look of fuller eyebrows, plump lips, permanent eyeliner and even ways to cover up scars or imperfections.



What is PMU?

PMU stands for Permanent Makeup and it is similar to tattoos but the main difference lies in the tools used to do the procedure. Modern versions of PMU use sophisticated tools, machines and pigments. Unlike usual tattoos, PMU is semi-permanent which can last from 2 to 10 years depending on the procedure done.

PMU procedures are done for aesthetic purposes. It is to enhance the beauty of the individual. An example is a lip treatment which allows the person to not worry about their lips and still have the perfect color all day. The same thing happens with permanent eyeliner, you can wash your face and it doesn’t come off or smudge. The pigment is injected between the epidermis and dermis of the skin.

How is PMU done?

These types of procedures are done by PMU artists using machines or manual tools. It depends on the procedure being done. For microblading, for example, a manual blade is used to make incisions into the skin to mimic real hair strands. Other procedures use machines to make the marks on the skin.

Does PMU hurt?

Clients who have experienced getting PMU treatments claim there is minimal pain but it can be uncomfortable at times. The feelings also greatly depend on where the tattooed area is. There are numbing solutions used before the treatments to help reduce pain. Make sure to talk to your artists as they provide pre procedure reminders and post care tips to help your tattoo heal.

Who should not get PMU?

Most people can get PMU procedures safely. But there are some people who are not recommended to receive these treatments. These include people younger than 18, women who are pregnant or currently breastfeeding and those who may have the following conditions:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Conditions that need blood-thinning medications
  • Viral infections or diseases
  • Conditions that require chemotherapy
  • Diabetes (must get doctor’s approval)
  • Skin irritations or Psoriasis near the treated area
  • Recent organ transplant
  • Recent botox injections or fillers in the treated area (at least 2 weeks before microblading)

Is PMU safe?

Permanent makeup is a form of tattoo so similarly, small cuts are made on the layers of the skin. This is still considered an open wound that has the possibility of infection if not done properly. To avoid complications, there are aftercare tips that must be followed. One example is steering clear from wearing makeup during the healing process.

In terms of side effects, it is rare to get allergic reactions but a patch test can easily avoid this. Before treatment, it is important to let your artist know of any skin conditions or health problems you are experiencing. This can greatly avoid complications for the treatment.

Above all, it is vital that the PMU artist who will do your procedure is reputable and experienced. Make sure to check if they are certified to provide the treatment.


Available Permanent Makeup treatments


This treatment makes use of a manual blade with tiny needles that deposits pigment into tiny incisions in the skin. This treatment mimics the look of real hair strokes. It leaves the eyebrows looking fuller and more defined while still looking natural. Check out our Microblading guide to learn more.

Microblading Permanent Makeup

Powder Brows

Powder brow treatments are similar to microblading but have a soft makeup look to the brows. It gives the look of fuller brows with a shading added for a powdery look. It does not have the natural hair strokes that microblading has. Learn more about Powder brows here.

Permanent Makeup Powder Brows


Microshading is typically added after a microblading procedure when a client wants to add a makeup effect to their brows. The procedure is done with a manual or electric tool which consists of tiny needles in a gradient pattern. This creates a powdered effect in addition to the natural-like hair strokes of microblading. Here is a guide on Microshading.

Permanent Makeup Microshading

Nano Brows

The final result of this procedure looks similar to microblading but the main difference lies in the tool that was used. Nanoblading is also called machine brows because an electric machine is used rather than a manual blade. Check out our Guide on Nano Brows for more information.

Feather Brows

This treatment is perfect for those with good brows but has sparse spots they want filled in. Eyebrow Feathering adds extra hair strokes for a bushy, natural look in the brows. Here is a Guide on Feather Brows.

Permanent Makeup Feather Brows

Henna Brows

This procedure lasts only up to 6 weeks which is the shortest treatment available which makes some question if it should be considered as PMU. But it is a good idea for people who want an enhanced look to their brows without much commitment. Color is added with a subtle shading under it. Learn more about Henna Brows here.

Permanent Makeup Henna Brows

Brow Lamination

Similar to Henna Brows, this treatment only lasts up to 6 weeks. It gives a look of fuller and thicker brows without the commitment. Check out our guide on Brow Lamination to learn more.

Permanent Makeup Brow Lamination

Permanent Eyeliner

Some people like to draw eyeliner everyday, this procedure saves time and keeps your eyeliner on fleek for up to 3 years. There are different styles to choose from ranging from a subtle lash line to a dramatic and bolder line. Everything you need to know is in this Permanent Eyeliner Guide.

Permanent Eyeliner

Permanent Lips

This is a semi-permanent treatment that adds color and volume to the lips for a fuller look. Lip tattoos or lip blush procedures are also good for covering scars and improving the shape of the lips. Learn more about Permanent Lips here.

Permanent Lips

Scalp Micropigmentation

This is a great solution for people who may be suffering from hair loss. Scalp Micropigmentation is a sophisticated form of scalp tattoo that has a freshly shaved head look. You can read more about it in our Scalp Micropigmentation Guide.

Permanent Makeup Scalp Micropigmentation

Nipple and Areola Tattoo

After getting a mastectomy, some breast cancer survivors prefer to get a Nipple and Areola Tattoo to restore their look and regain some self-esteem. Get more information about Nipple and Areola Tattoo here.

Permanent Makeup Nipple and Areola Tattoo

Freckle Tattoo

This is a trendy new look to get sun-kissed skin with freckle spots. It is currently in high demand because of its look. Here is a guide to learn more about Freckle Tattoos.

Permanent Makeup Freckle Tattoo

Permanent Concealer

For people with dark circles or marks they want to cover up, this treatment is a good choice for permanent makeup. There is some debate on whether it should or should not be done. Learn more about it here.

Lash Lift

A lash lift is also called a lash perm. This procedure is done by curling and lifting the eyelashes using a solution. This lifted effect lasts up to 8 weeks. It is an in demand treatment that you can read more about in our Lash Lift Guide.

Permanent Makeup Lash Lift


PMU treatments are considered semi-permanent. This means that after some time, the color of the pigments start to fade after a while. This is an advantage of modern cosmetic tattoos since the colors only fade rather than change in hue. And if the trends change and you no longer want to continue having that look, you can simply wait for it to fade out.

For eyebrows, typically PMU procedures last for 1 to 2 years. But there are other factors that may impact the length before the pigments fade such as skin type and the kind of procedure done. For Permanent eyeliner, it can last up to 3 years while permanent lipstick can go up to 3 to 5 years. And the longest of all is scalp micropigmentation which lasts up to 10 years.

Non-tattoo treatments which are still considered PMU are lash lift, henna brows and brow lamination which only lasts half a year.


The most prominent benefit of PMU is getting up in the morning and already having your makeup done without the effort. This dramatically shortens your morning routine while giving you a boost in self-esteem. With PMU, simply wash your face in the morning and your eyeliner, lipstick and eyebrows are on fleek.

Another benefit of PMU treatments is particular to those with certain skin conditions such as alopecia. These conditions impact hair growth, so adding microblading can give them natural looking brows everyday without having to draw them in daily. These treatments can also camouflage scars or disguise vitiligo or restore the look of nipples or breast areola for breast cancer survivors.


The pricing for PMU procedures depends on the type of treatment. For eyebrow treatments, the prices can range around $250 to $2000.

More precisely, microblading averages around $600 but it depends on the location and the artist. Here is a Microblading cost guide for the different states. You may notice that getting services from less experienced artists may charge cheaper rates but you may risk getting beginner quality results. The best practice is to find the average price of PMU in your nearby area. Make sure to always check reviews and recommendations before making your decision.

Powder brows have similar pricing to microblading, you can read more about it here. Meanwhile, nano brows are also in that price range. PMU lips cost around $590 while PMU eyeliner is a little less with average cost of $500, but there can still be variations in price. Some exclusive salons cost up to $1000 but there are also some services that cost only $300 depending on the location and experience of the artist.

Scalp micropigmentation ranges around $3000 in the US while PMU nipple and areola tattoos could cost $400 per tattoo.


Can PMU be removed?

These modern cosmetic tattoos are easier to remove than the traditional tattoos. The removal options are the following: topical, non-laser, laser solutions, saline technique and dermabrasion.

Choosing an experienced PMU artist can save you the hassle of removing your procedure when you are not satisfied with the results. Here is a guide on PMU removal.


Is PMU a good career option?

Because of the steady popularity of PMU, it has now become a lucrative job opportunity in the beauty industry. Since it is constantly improving, we can safely say it is here to stay for many more years.

The training may not take years, but there are courses that need to be taken that can still take some time. It takes dedication to keep practicing and honing skills. As with anything, it is more difficult in the beginning but as your skills progress, it can be very rewarding once you become a professional.


This is one of the most important decisions when getting a PMU procedure. The best artists are those who are highly recommended by someone you know. If these are not available, check the reviews online of the artists near you.

It is also a good idea to check before and after photos of their work before booking an appointment. Make sure the clinic is well maintained to ensure cleanliness and avoid any complications to your treatment. Some artists offer a free consultation where you can get to talk to the artist before making your decision.


Permanent makeup is here to stay. These are small, non-invasive procedures that aim to enhance the beauty of the individual. It also works to cover imperfections and help boost self-esteem.

Explore more about Permanent Makeup: