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Semi Permanent Makeup vs Permanent Makeup

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

What is the difference between Semi Permanent Makeup and Permanent Makeup?

This is a question I am asked ALOT.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I am a permanent makeup artist.

Their replies usually go one of two ways.

They are either unaware of the industry and have never heard of Permanent Makeup, but mostly it kind of goes like this…

“Oh! Like microblading but permanent?”

Now this doesn’t annoy me at all, I quite like educating people on the different types of services I provide and plan to offer further into my career, but I feel like there is a common misconception where people believe it is a time tiered system.

I’m here to let you know that it’s not!

Permanent Makeup and Semi Permanent Makeup are the EXACT SAME THING!

The term semi-permanent, comes from the fact that over time, the pigments we use in the industry do fade. Fade being the big word there! They don’t magically disappear one morning!

I could never, hand on my heart, tell you that the pigments used by us professional PMU artists will 100% leave your skin.

Its not possible to foresee the future and with so many different aspects involved regarding skin types, aftercare, pre - care, and numerous other elements thrown in for added measure, I myself have decided to be completely transparent and call it what it is. Permanent Makeup.

Yes, it will fade, that is why we recommend to have an annual top up to keep the treatments looking fresh and crisp.

If you decide to not have an annual top up (Note – annual top up if necessary, and only if needed please! That’s a whole other blog post though!) and let the colour fade out, that’s completely fine. However, the light fastness of the pigments used during service, can vary.

This means that the three main colours used to build a pigment, can fade at different levels.

This is a very big subject that could be spoken about for days and days but for the purpose of this post, I have kept it simple.

For instance, have you ever met someone and noticed that their eyebrows look slightly salmon in colour or a funky green/grey/blue?

This is due to the process of the pigment fading and the body breaking down the particles.

Now, in time, they could potentially fade to almost nothing, but in reality, there will always be small particles of pigment beneath the skin.

Microblading is also what I would refer to as permanent makeup. The skin is penetrated, and pigment is added and healed within the skin. The same pigments that us Permanent Makeup artists use.

Now when I say pigment, I mean the “ink” used in your permanent makeup service. As professionals we don’t tend to call it ink as that is what is used in traditional body tattooing.

Note - There is sometimes a need for a crossover of body inks and permanent makeup, but again a whole other blog post!

Traditional body tattoo inks are built to last, but our bodies are wonderful things and will still try and break down the ink!

Have you seen anyone with a blurred out grey tattoo or an extremely dull flower that once used to be bright red? That’s just the body doing its thing!

I do have a post relating to this on my webpage if you hadn’t already seen it, you can find it here.

I am thoroughly loving the theory side of Permanent Makeup as well as the creative side so here I am, dispelling myths, I myself, once believed to be true!

I would love to know any of your thoughts on this subject?

Did you think Semi Permanent was different from Permanent Makeup?



P.S If you would like to see which services I currently offer, head over to the Treatments page and there you will be able to find out more information about each one.


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