The most common form of Micropigmentation is Semi Permanent Makeup, followed by Medical Micropigmentation and Hair & Scalp Micropigmentation.

Semi-Permanent Makeup

Semi-permanent makeup, also known as cosmetic tattooing, uses micropigmentation to implant pigments to mimic makeup in the popular areas of the face. Treatments include eyebrows, eyeliner, lip liner, lip colour and lip blush. Eyebrows are enhanced and reshaped or repaired. Eyeliner is applied as either a very subtle lash line or varying thicknesses depending on the individual’s request. Lips can be redefined and given the illusion of a fuller look. 

Eyebrow procedures range from individual hair strokes for a very natural look to a dusting shadow powder effect. Whichever look is chosen the eyebrow can be transformed into a work of art, framing the face, and giving you either a dramatic or natural and soft eyebrow. Eyeliner can be applied as just a very subtle eyelash enhancement or a dramatic Smokey sultry eye! Lips can be defined with a simple natural outline or coloured to cover dark lips or give a lipstick effect. The more recent techniques such as Latino eyes and a glitter eyeshadow effect along with 3D lips or eyebrows are for the more advanced technician and can give you an amazing look that lasts! In all cases, the look and shape are drawn on using an eyebrow pencil before any pigments are applied. Pigment tone and colour are mixed and applied to the client’s requirements.

Medical Micropigmentation

Medical micropigmentation uses the same non-permanent pigments to conceal damage to or imperfections of the skin. The most popular treatments are Scar Removal & Concealment, Tattoo Removal, Vitiligo, Alopecia and Areola Reconstruction.


For scar removal, a micro-pigmentation process called MCA and Dry Needling is performed on the scar to activate the body’s natural collagen beneath the skin. This flattens the scar and in most cases re pigments the scar to look like the surrounding undamaged skin.


If re-pigmentation does not occur through MCA and Dry Needling, then a procedure called Skin Camouflage is required. Skin Camouflage uses non-permanent pigments to match the skin tone to camouflage the area and look like the surrounding skin. The same Skin Camouflage technique can also be used for wherever there is pigment loss to the skin so is very beneficial to Vitiligo sufferers.


Micropigmentation is used for Areola Tattooing post-surgery. People who have had a breast reduction and the nipple is removed or breast cancer sufferers and the nipple is required to be removed. Areola tattooing uses micropigmentation to implant pigments to create a fake areola. A very natural 3D look can be achieved by applying light and shadow tones.

Tattoo Removal

Tattoo removal uses the same micropigmentation machine and needles however the pigment is replaced with a specially formulated removals cream. This cream attaches itself to the pigment and is naturally expelled from the skin over a few weeks. As the cream is expelled the pigment is expelled with it

Hair & Scalp Micropigmentation

Hair & scalp micropigmentation is becoming a very popular procedure to conceal baldness or redefine hairlines. The pigment is applied to the area of baldness to mimic short stubs of hair at skin level resulting in a look of more dense hair at the root level. This procedure is very effective for people with short hair


Cosmetic Tattooing
Dermal Graphics
Intradermal Cosmetics
Permanent Cosmetics
Permanent Make-Up (PMU)
Semi-Permanent Make-Up (SPMU)

With so many procedures available a wide number of people could benefit. Semi-permanent makeup is very well suited to anyone who wishes to save time with their morning makeup routine or for people with sporty and active lifestyles. Medical micropigmentation provides exceptional results for scar removal, Alopecia and Vitiligo sufferers or who have had chemotherapy for cancer and lost their eyebrows and lashes. 

Whichever procedure you choose you should always do your own research and find the best specialists available. Knowledge and experience are an important factor so please choose wisely to avoid costly corrections or removals.


The “semi-permanent” vs “permanent” designation is a controversial subject, as we cannot guarantee a “semi-permanent” enhancement will disappear fully and the skin return to normal. To suggest the procedure is “semi-permanent” implies the skin will return to its pre-tattooed state, which is not the case, as there may be residual colour maintained in the skin indefinitely.

To enable the procedure to be considered as “semi-permanent”, the pigment would have to be implanted in the Epidermis of the skin. As epidermal cell regeneration has a 4–6-week cycle, the pigment would only remain for this period. 

PMU artists are advised to inform all clients that Micro-pigmentation is a form of tattooing and therefore a degree of color may be visible in the skin indefinitely. It is advised that Micro Pigmentation is referred to as a “permanent” procedure which may fade over time. The exceptions are the lip procedures where the pigment is confined within Vermillion border. 

As the structure of lip tissue – mucosal tissue- is anatomically different to that of skin, tattooed pigment is usually only visible for a maximum period of 5 years. It is of great importance the artist is particularly careful when creating lip enhancements, as pigment placed beyond the lip Vermillion, in the Vermillion Ridge or White Roll and surrounding skin, may potentially remain visible indefinitely. In contrast pigment implanted in the lip tissue does not share the same longevity, meaning the client will be locked into a continual procedure plan, to maintain natural looking lips. 

An important factor therefore which must be discussed, during a consultation with a client, are maintenance procedures which are required at 12 – 18 months, post the initial procedure. The purpose of these maintenance procedures is to maintain the procedure result.

As part of the natural fading process there may be color changes, especially in cases of brow enhancements. Boosting the colour every 12-18 months.



We would recommend that the client is seen for a preliminary consultation prior to starting the procedure. This time should be spent listening to what the client wants to achieve and for you to decide firstly whether your client is a suitable candidate for treatment (for example, a lip treatment will not be suitable for darker skin tones as we will later discuss) and whether you believe that you can successfully manage your client’s expectations and that what they desire is appropriate. If there is any chance that the outcome of the treatment is not an improvement, we would never recommend carrying out the procedure. A consultation will also allow for you to give the client a patch test (usually a small dot of pigment behind the ear) to ensure that when they come for their treatment, they have no allergy to the pigment.

Allow up to 45 minutes in your initial appointment to discuss the following topics. INCLUDE PATCH TEST


The right eyebrow shape can make a miraculous change to your face. The shape of the eyebrow is calculated according to facial morphology and proportions. Facial measurements are taken, and brows are designed in accordance with gender, face shape, eye shape, natural hair growth, ethnicity, and trends. We love feedback and will not continue to the next step until you approve the design phase.


Pick a few colours that will compliment your client’s complexion and natural hair growth. We can show you a few samples on your forehead an modify the pigment to ensure it heals true to your expectations. Bring your brow pencil in to guide us how you liked them filled. P.S. We never use straight BLACK!!


We will educate you in your pigmentation choices helping you understand what’s involved long term and short term. We know what is best for your skin type to obtain long lasting, flawless results. No matter what technique you choose we can make it look natural 🙂


Here is the fun part!!! Ask you plenty of questions to obtain a clear vision of your expectations. We will get you to select from our style guide the perfect mix of strokes and shading, so you know EXACTLY what you’re getting.


The next stage is carrying out the actual treatment which will be discussed in more depth later during this course pack, but in essence is comprised of the initial pre-drawing and then the actual cosmetic tattooing procedure. When you are still in the early stages of your Permanent Make Up career, it is important that you allow yourself enough time to carry out your treatment so that you do not feel under pressure or rushed. We generally recommend that you block out a 2-hour interval for the initial treatment to make sure that you achieve the optimum results. As a beginner, it should certainly not take you any time shorter than 2 hours, and you may find that you require a longer period to produce the desired outcome.


The client will be required to return after 2-12 weeks (depending on the treatment method) to complete the process, otherwise known as their retouch. The process will not necessarily be finished until the client has had this retouch, as some skins will not sufficiently retain the pigment from the initial session. Moreover, it is advisable to start off ‘lighter’ in the first treatment as it is much easier to intensify and add to the color in the second treatment than to remove a color that is too dark for the client. Any minor shape changes or additions can be made at this stage. Some clients may even need 2 retouches, although this is not common for experienced PMU artists.


To keep the color looking fresh and fabulous, we would suggest that on average, your client returns every 12 months for a yearly retouch, but if it is correctional/medical work that has been carried out, this time may vary. Even though Micro-pigmentation is referred to as form of specialist tattooing, there is a significant key difference from conventional tattooing, that being the implantation of color into the skin at a greater depth in the conventional which means tattoos do not fade to the same degree.



Men and women who wish to enhance their appearance.
Anyone who desires freedom from daily make-up application/ people with allergies to make-up
People unable to apply make-up due to physical conditions
Alopecia suffers
People undergoing or have completed chemotherapy
People with sparse or no eyebrows/eyelashes
Contact lenses wearers
Those seeking to correct asymmetrical features
People who have scarring or asymmetry after disease or accident
Burns survivors
People with scarring as the result of surgery including nipple areola complex reconstruction
People with skin conditions which result in hypo-pigmented areas of the skin
People with medical conditions such as albinism and thyroidism
Men and women who suffer with hair loss


At the end of the day, most things are safe when it comes to permanent makeup when it is done by skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced artists. It is important to prevent the issues, by ruling out certain clients, requesting doctor clearance, informing clients about possible results, and doing your best to provide a beautiful service that is the banner of your work. It is detrimental to an artist’s business if a client’s newly microbladed eyebrows are gone in 3 months or have healed an off color. Of course, this CAN occur even with the most experienced artists, but the key is to do whatever is in your power to prevent it. Your reputation and your livelihood are at stake!


One of the advantages of choosing microblading as a permanent makeup brow treatment is that it is probably the most natural-looking technique of any brow treatments – When done skillfully, it can give an existing brow density without anyone even knowing there are tattooed hair strokes mingling within natural brow hair. It can completely replace a missing set of eyebrows. They are so realistic that people need to look closely to see whether they are tattooed or real. In fact, even the most masculine men who suffer from brow sparseness or brow hair loss can benefit from the natural look of microblading. The truth is, it really is the only treatment that works and that will restore a set of man brows, provided that specific man is a candidate. Now, this is art!!! 

Microblading is also a great choice for clients who may not want to commit to one specific eyebrow shape for several years – As stated earlier, trends change, and eyebrows are seemingly at the forefront of cosmetic evolutions. A well-done set of microbladed brows will lighten and fade nicely over a period of 12 to 18 months. When the treatment has faded the client may elect another brow treatment, perhaps with a shape alteration.

Cons '

Microblading cannot be done repeatedly, over, and over, without shading in between – The skin must be given sufficient time to heal between microblading treatments, and this does not mean retouches. The last thing any artist wants is to create are tiny hair stroke “scars” in a client’s skin. Also, one of the upsides can equally be a downside if, for example, a client wants something more long-term. Microblading does tend to last longer with mature clients due to a slower cellular regeneration cycle. Probably the only downside of microblading on such clients is an off-color heal which often has less to do with the color choice and more to do with overall exposure – sun, pollution, free radicals, skincare, and alike. 

Microblading is not owing to any individual or client – In fact, it is the industry itself. Indeed, it has existed as a beautiful art for decades. However, when it gained huge popularity, poor quality training programs also started to attract attention in many cases, these programs promised career-changing to millions without a single prerequisite!!! This unfortunate turn of events has harmed the entire industry of cosmetic tattooing. It is another reason why clients should do intense homework on their artists and for artists to ensure clients have all the information they need from them to make them feel confident. 


Social media has been probably the best and the worst thing to happen to permanent makeup! On the one hand, artists can easily present a gallery of their work to prospective clients without having almost any costs. On the other hand, bad work on the part of one artist goes viral and hurts everyone. Moreover, unscrupulous upstarts have been known to steal gallery photos that belong to skilled artists, claiming them as their own. Social media, however, has been the catalyst to the growth in popularity of microblading. The public’s awe of brows like those belonging to Cara Delavigne played a major role, most certainly the beauty activities of many celebrities like the Kardashians and the unknown originator of the term “on fleek” have been a driving force in this beautiful work. Celebrities play an enormous role in the beauty trends of society. This is not new information. Hundreds of thousands of artists have been inundated with clients entering their studios clutching photos of their favorite celebrity’s cosmetic styles, asking for a duplication on their own face. Of course, an artist will aim to oblige and do what’s in their power to achieve the desired look. A good artist, a knowledgeable and savvy artist, knows that creating a set of brows that do NOT belong on a face, can damage their career. With, a visionary artist with a strong business sense, can map a set of brows for a client that completely fits with their facial contours, on their brow bone and is in tune with their natural coloring. And, voila, the client can see a new opportunity to make facial lines even more beautiful and make them even more unique. 

Don’t get us wrong. We, as artists, need celebrities to promote our art and our industry. The more they promote outstanding work, the more calls we will get. What must be critically understood, is that promising a people’s magazine look that does not belong on a client’s face, must be discouraged. For instance, the look might not align with a client’s contours and bone structure, or it may be the shock factor – the premonition that the client may want the look beforehand, but may absolutely hate it, and blame the artist afterwards.


The psychology behind having discussions with clients regarding shape and color is as important as the work itself. All permanent makeup treatments involve at least 2 sessions. Taking a client from a subtle or non-existent brow to a bold “in your face” set of brows will evoke a shock factor. While you have taken before and after photos and protected yourself on your forms and went through lengthy discussions with your client, a client who is shocked with their appearance after the treatment, even though they have chosen that look themselves, can still do damage to your business, and not just with his or her commentary, but in the reaction of others in their social circles and beyond. 

So, in other words, we need to thank celebrities for mobilizing our field of work, but we need to be cautious about clients wanting to look like a celebrity. It is a fine balance that all good artists must learn to work within, using exceptional customer service skills, and their understanding of psychology and a talent to encourage others to share positive thoughts about their services. 

What must be ENCOURAGED in the design of a brow shape, is an exquisite look that incorporates and amplifies the natural beauty of the woman or man in front of you. A well mapped brow reveals your skill. When client leaves your space feeling beautiful and thrilled, they will be spreading the word about your expertise and your name will be frequent in many public circles. 

Anyone seeking to become certified in permanent makeup cannot discount the importance of learning to talk with clients. It cannot be overstated that psychology is on par with our talent. For example, besides the discussion about the shape and your ability to deliver a “Hollywood” or “New York runway” look, you will also need to carefully detail the entire experience of creating a permanent makeup to your client. Perhaps they are entirely new to PMU, perhaps they have heard things and think they know all about it, when they may know very little, or perhaps they have had a very bad previous experience. At all times, we must be respectful of other artists, carefully taking mental notes in case we run into an artist who might need to be reported. However, you are taking one person’s word for a negative experience, and it is undoubtedly an emotional one for them. It is always advisable to support one another (artist to artist), never undermine another artist or boast around. Modesty yields credibility. 

Permanent makeup can make many clients nervous. Therefore, your calm approach to outlining what permanent makeup is all about is critical. In addition, many clients may wish to negotiate price with you. As an initial investment, it can be a steep one-time cost that, in many cases, a client has had to save up for. Discussing the merits of price versus quality is a delicate but important subject. An artist must be prepared to prove their worth, as well as to prove that a client’s investment pays off in the long run. Be prepared for these kinds of conversations with your potential clients.


People disagree about exactly when permanent makeup originated. Most PMU artists will tell you that the history of their profession is filled with giant holes and unknowns, and they’d be right. Tattooing as an art has been around for centuries, but the act of using the same techniques and tools to permanently tattoo eyelashes and lips saw a rise in popularity during the early part of the 20th century. 

Early 1920s & 30s saw a rise of popularity in PMU procedures offered by tattoo artists and beauticians. The latter would tattoo women’s eyebrows without telling them and would sell it to them as a complexion treatment. 

Mummies from ancient and prehistoric times have been found with well-preserved tattoos. Experts believe early people used tattoos for ornamental and religious purposes. Some folks say ancient people also used tattoos for cosmetic beautification, much like makeup, but this purpose is less certain. Others believe using tattooing as cosmetic enhancement is more recent innovation. 

The BBC has reported about a 1902 article in Pearson’s Magazine in which Sutherland Macdonald, a prominent tattoo artist of the time, said he could give women a year-round pink complexion by tattooing their cheeks. Traditional tattooing was well-known in Edwardian Britain, but this article gives a rare mention to cosmetic tattooing. 

It’s also been reported that permanent cosmetics may have been used as a “beauty treatment” in the 1930s, while the unsuspecting client had no idea, she was getting a tattoo. 


People started to use tattoo very early. Anthropologist are arguing which of the mummies with the tattoo is the oldest: Alpine mummy known as Otzi (3370-3100 BC) or El Moro man (4000-1972BC). But the El Moro Man from Chilean Chinchorro mummy is probably the oldest discovered tattoo that may have cosmetic intent: mustaches on the man’s face. Did he claim to be the best first Microblading artist? But when did permanent makeup as we know it today actually started? Who invented it? The industry is silent on it. Some of the best PMU blogs suggest 1970-1980s, one blog published the picture from 1933 article. El Morro mummy Mo-1 T28 C22

Wikipedia tells us: “Permanent makeup dates back at least to the start of the 20th century, though its nature was often concealed in its early days. The tattooist George Burchett, a major developer of the technique when it became fashionable in the 1930s, described in his memoirs how beauty salons tattooed many women without their knowledge, offering it as a “complexion treatment … of injecting vegetable dyes under the top layer of the skin”. 


We did our research, and we do our research good, it’s important for us in this ebook to provide you only with the verified information, separate the myths from the truth. 

Therefore, we can claim that the modern cosmetic tattoo or permanent make up was born in July 1902 in London, and the inventor was not George Burchett, who is considered by tattoo historians as the best tattoo artist in the world of all time, but another famous U.K. tattooist – Sutherland Mcdonald. Location – his studio at # 76 Jermyn Str. The original article about this event was contributed to the August number of Pearson’s Magazine by Mr. Gambier Bolton. And the first PMU treatment suggested was “all-year-round delicate pink complexion” on the cheeks. Interestingly that the idea didn’t belong to the tattooist but to the client – an American lady. And she was also the first PMU model documented in the industry’s history. We even know the ink shades used in the first PMU treatment – the mixture achieved after experimentation “through all shades of vermilion and carmine”. 

Experiment was successful and the first PMU client, “the fair American left Mr. Macdonald’s studio bearing the freshest and daintiest of complexions, one warranted not to wash off”. 

Well, well. First PMU ad – and first myth started to make its way through to the PMU world – that this “all-year-round delicate pink” is “warranted not to wash off”? Sounds familiar? It’s worth to mention, that MacDonald got the patent to his machine 6 years before – 1894. It was considered the best device at that time. And we can assume that the grandfather of all PMU devices was rotary, and even the design of the handheld device didn’t change much!


Even though the first PMU client and model were an American “fair lady”, it looks like she kept the secret of her “freshest and daintiest of completion” of “delicate pink” to herself, or maybe, despite the article promises, the color faded. Who knows now? But America, seems didn’t discover the new secret until 1919 when Electrical experimenter in its December 1919 issue placed an article about the new “fad in London” – “electrically tattooing a permanent complexion or blush on the face”. I believe it was the teaser post of the first traveling PMU artist, since it promised “applications can be graduated to suit any physiognomy, and further, that tattooists report that they have never done such a thriving and profitable business among women as now”. Just like what I see every day in the numerous ads on social media! 

Interestingly, the magazine’s publication authors had no clue how device looked like. They assumed that the pigment got into machine from huge barrels containing inks through a rubber hose. Who knew then that the biggest money in the industry will be done by selling the pigments in a tiny 5-10ml bottles/tubes 100 years later! 

My curiosity about what happened next, made me dig further and deeper and was awarded by finding probably the first USA based PMU artist. This is the article published on January 25, 1920, in Washington Times: 

We can find a lot of facts about how PMU looked like in 1920. The artist used shading technique with fine edge skin blending skill. Most popular treatment was still doing the cheeks though eyebrows, scar concealing, bold spots coverage (first SMP?) and lips were common procedures. He has substantial choice of pigments, enough to make “all hues of rainbow”, while in “In the old days of tattooing by hand only two colors were available – a harsh, glaring red and an equally unpleasant blue. But now we have at our disposal nine different colors, all harmless to human flesh and all fine enough to grace an artist’s palette. By blending these nine primary shades we are able to produce every hue known to mortal eye”. He knew the concept of pigment-skin matching. “Each color employed must be in perfect harmony with a woman’s natural coloring, and they must all blend so well with one another and with the colors around them that the point where the needles stop, and natural skin begins will be visible only to the eyes of an expert”. Very well said! He sterilized his tools. Disinfected the skin before the treatment. Used outline pen too as well as the camel hairbrush to sketch the design. Several tattoo removal methods were known and used. Even the concept of nano needle: he called it “hair-breadth delicacy”! Working with the coil machine, with a single needle at the speed of 6000 time a minute (100 per sec), it took him about half an hour for each cheek. He claimed it to be painless, so I assume he used topical anesthetics too.


It took three more years, and the new trend started to penetrate to medical offices. It’s no longer the exclusive territory of the tattoo artists. 

Charleston Daily Mail, 27January 1923 in its Sunday Morning issue placed an article about surgeon Dr. Henry J. Shireson, “who straightened the Fannie Brice’s nose and who specializes in cosmetics”, claiming that his newest innovation – tattooed “Cupid bow lips” and “life-like inconspicuous coloring on cheeks” “to black birthmark patches on the face”. 

The Charleston Daily Mail. Sunday Morning. January 27, 1923

And first truly medical warning that it “will be as permanent as “figures on sailors’ arms, notwithstanding their delicate tracery and beautiful coloring. The girl so adorned must keep her design, unless she undergoes a skin grafting operation to remove it”. The doctors were firm already back in 1923 on the efficiency of tattoo removal methods: no saline or acid wash, only grafting! Today they say – only lasers. I believe them. First real photo documentation of the PMU treatment I found in Popular Mechanics from August 1927. Note to the starting artists: please don’t learn the method from the image – always wear gloves!


Cosmetic tattooing after 1930s did not get more popularity. Though we find evidence it was practiced by both tattoo artists and doctors. The beginning of modern era permanent makeup trend re-started in the 80s. We found this little ad in the Fitness & Health classified section on April 20, 1986.

Linda Cowan from Huntington Beach Dermatology Clinic, called her “Pigment Implant Specialist”, who performs “Permanent cosmetic make-up”. That was the birth of the term PMU and the reason that the PMU and Microblading artists inherited the terminology mistake: they refer to the substance injected under the skin as “Pigment” vs. correct term “Ink”.


It’s safe to say that PMU as we know it (a mainstream service to enhance or restore people’s features) started in the 1970s as a particular type of tattooing. One of the early uses was to give eyebrows to people with alopecia, a condition that causes partial or complete hair loss. At first permanent makeup was usually offered in tattoo studios. Permanent makeup gained recognition and popularity in the 1980s, and specialized training programs and salons for this niche emerged. 

This early generation of permanent makeup tended to look much less subtle and natural than the results achieved today. All the same, the convenience and other benefits of PMU tempted many people to try the procedure. Many were satisfied, and positive buzz spread about permanent makeup. In the 1980s and 1990s PMU was applied with the same technique for all features. Lips, eyes, and eyebrows all received a solid-looking application of color. At this time, pigments for permanent makeup were still quite like those used for traditional tattoos: carbon-based. Some people were satisfied with their permanent cosmetics results, but in some cases, eyebrows would fade to unnatural colors or blur as they faded. But advances were made during this era in the instruments used in the PMU process. Electrical rotary devices for implanting permanent makeup came into use in the early 1990s. These devices featured sterilizable and disposable parts and were widely adopted by the PMU industry. Updated versions of these tools are still very popular among PMU artists today. 


Over the years, the tools, pigments, and techniques for permanent makeup have been customized for the purpose of subtly enhancing facial features and doing corrective and reconstructive work all over the body. 

PMU artists have pioneered new techniques featuring individual hair strokes and using specialized, custom-mixed pigments that aren’t carbon-based and don’t change to unnatural colors as they fade. Needles have become thinner, new tools have been invented, and the artist’s touch is now lighter. The latest generation of “permanent” makeup isn’t as long-lasting. But that’s considered a benefit because procedures can be updated to changes in styles and clients’ features. Although it’s still sometimes referred to as cosmetic tattooing, the practice has developed into a distinct entity with its own unique techniques, pigments, clientele, and hand and machine tools. 


Today permanent makeup is popular. As styles change and techniques and tools evolve, who knows what the future holds for PMU. Over the last few years, certain techniques have sparked interest. One is PMU undereye concealer to camouflage dark circles. Another is the use of permanent makeup for facial contouring, implanting lighter and darker tones to shape and add depth to the face. Both are new procedures, and not yet widely available. Only time will tell if they’re ideal for permanent makeup or better suited for conventional (temporary) cosmetics. 

One thing is clear: Uses for PMU are limited only by the imagination