01/09/2017 07:00 BST | Updated 01/09/2017 07:00 BST

What You Need To Know: Permanent Makeup

Permanent makeup is a beauty treatment that has swept the country. It has become so popular that "botched semi permanent makeup" currently appears top in Google searches.

Before making a decision that affects your appearance it is important to do your research and ensure the procedure is right for you. Permanent makeup has many benefits and it is a fantastic way of defining and enhancing your physical features but there is little room for mistakes.

If you are thinking of having permanent makeup, here is my ultimate 'everything you need to know' guide:

How does it work?

Semi-permanent makeup, also known as permanent makeup, is essentially a tattoo treatment. Pigment that matches your skin tone will be injected into dermal layer of the skin. Common treatment areas include eyebrows, eyeliner or lips.

Semi Permanent Makeup or Permanent Makeup?

The term currently used in many parts of the world is SEMI Permanent Makeup. However, this is incorrect. We now know that molecules of pigment remain in the skin indefinitely and therefore we feel that the term SEMI is misleading to the consumer. Depending on the pigments or inks used, where in the skin it was implanted and how your skin reacts, this procedure can be permanent. The SPCP (Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals) now have in their bylaws that all of their member refrain from using the term SEMI.

Who does it appeal to?

Permanent makeup appeals to those are looking for a permanent makeup solution and don't want to apply makeup everyday. It also appeals to people who have an active lifestyle, such as, those into sports or if you wish to simply add enhanced definition to your features. In addition, microblading, for instance, is a popular choice for people who suffer from thinning hair. Medical tattooing can also be a solution for a wide range of medical conditions from scarring, injury or nipple reconstruction, so forth.

What results can you expect?

The best results on lips and eyeliner for example, are subtle. Please consider that you're not meant to look as if you are ready to go out. Permanent makeup is designed to give you a natural and subtle look. Microblading on the eyebrow area will consist of fine hair strokes, which will create a natural looking brow although may prefer a more powder look which can also be achieved.

How long does it last?

Factors such as genetics, skin type, diet, and environmental factors can all affect how long the pigments will last. Sunbeds and sun exposure can also affect the pigment retention, although this can be prevented with proper protection. As a guide, it could be anything between one to five years before a new treatment is required, however, refresher colour boosts are recommended for maintenance during this time. Once the colour starts to change you will know that you are ready for your top up.

Does it hurt?

Permanent cosmetics are far gentler than you might imagine, and a lot of specialists will use a numbing cream during the treatment. Depending on the area, the pain can vary. Lips can be a more sensitive, due to the larger surface area and greater blood supply.

How much does it cost?

Pricing can vary and some treatments start from £150. I would recommend you research properly and ensure you go to someone who is well trained and has experience. For a renowned experienced practitioner you will be looking at around £300 to £1000.

What are the risks?

All practitioners should ask you to complete a test patch before undertaking any permanent makeup procedure. Allergic reactions are rare but you should be conscious of all potential risk factors.

What if I don't like it?

There are ways to reduce the permanent makeup if you decide it isn't for you. It will require purpose built lasers and expertise in healing and scar management. Permanent makeup removal should be performed with lasers that are gentle and suitable for eyes or brows. It is also important the hair follicle is not damaged in the process or affects the original hairs you initially tried to enhance. There are also topical lightening methods that a lot of technicians are trained to perform.