Cosmetic craze raising eyebrows



For Anya Hanks, tattooing her eyebrows was the makeup miracle she'd been searching for.

“I always had to fill it in. It was full up here and not enough here,” she said.

The technique uses cosmetic pigment and a needle to tattoo hairs that mimic a person's natural eyebrow.

“People think I get them trimmed, and I tell them I get permanent makeup they cannot believe," she said.

This cosmetic craze is keeping permanent makeup artists like Milla Rosen extremely busy.

“Unfortunately, I would say at least 75 percent of my work is correcting somebody else's mistakes on clients faces,” she said. “The worst probably was a young lady, really pretty, she came with two pairs of eyebrows."

(MORE: What you should know about micropigmentation, microblading)

A licensed esthetician, Rosen has performed thousands of hours of training and micropigmentation procedures in the 15 years she's been practicing.

“Experience is everything in this industry,” she said.

Something Cynthia Levine found out the hard way.

Levine has been microblading for 20 years and didn't think twice when a friend referred her to a new technician.

“Day two, there was some serious problems, some oozing and then when it finally dried the whole entire eyebrow basically peeled off,” she said.

To be licensed for microblading or micropigmentation, there's no minimum training or competency requirement. The cleanliness and hygiene of a brow studio are regulated by each county's individual health department. But when it comes to making sure brow artists know what they're doing, and who issues licenses, that varies by jurisdiction.

In fact, Georgia law states only a licensed physician can tattoo within an inch of an eye socket - otherwise it is a criminal offense.

That's why these procedures are officially called micropigmentation and microblading, and not tattoos.

Kaiser Permanente internist Dr. Sylvia Morris said while complications from permanent makeup aren't common, there are risks.

“Scarring, infection, as well as keloiding, and then there can be tiny, what we call intradermal legions, so you can get these tiny hard spots in the skin,” said Morris.

“That's why it's important to know where you're going, they're license and you have people who know exactly what they're doing.”


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