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Accentuating the Eyes: The Art of Permanent Makeup

By Dawn Willard

Ask anyone which facial feature they most often notice first and many times the answer is the eyes. Eyes are the most expressive feature on the human face; through them we see emotion, thoughts, secrets and reflections of ourselves. To illustrate the power of permanent makeup and the art of eyeliner let me tell you about one of my clients. The star feature of her face was fabulous almond shaped eyes. Following cosmetic surgery to take her back in time a bit, her eyes healed into a different shape, which made the outer corners awkwardly rounded and one lower eyelid partially drooped. Before agreeing to another surgery to fix it, she searched for an alternative way to regain the almond shape. With a little design strategy and meticulously placed pigment all around her eyes, we lifted the droop and then by marking into puckered scar tissue, we re-created the almond-type point at the outer corner of each eye. My client was amazed at how precise and subtle the permanent makeup appeared and she was thrilled to be able to go without topical makeup once again.

When I think of the power of permanent eye makeup, another client always comes to mind. Advanced in years, she wanted the outer her to reflect the youthfulness of the inner her. The blue color of her eyes was stunning, and definitely worth flaunting; however, a few wisps of blonde eyelashes and a total absence of eyebrows did nothing towards the cause. She started out conservatively with very soft, natural-looking permanent eyebrows and lash enhancement. A year later she returned, asking for a bolder look. Here is what she had to say: "Even with the plastic surgery (3 facelifts), the permanent makeup is what gave me the most self esteem. I wish I'd known about it and done it years ago."

Consider the Advantages

Permanent makeup appeals to a wide variety of people. Busy moms, athletes, travelers, equestrians, chefs, models, doctors, dancers, police officers, busy career people and busily retired people have all been clients of mine. In my experience the best argument for a cosmetic tattoo is simply convenience. Individuals who suffer from allergies, toxicity issues, poor vision, hair loss or disabilities that limit manual dexterity have benefited from permanent makeup. Of course, the most rewarding aspect of permanent makeup is the most obvious: it stays put! Permanent eyeliner will never smear or rub away through watery eyes, perspiration, wind, snow, rain, fatigue, or a long night's sleep. For those of you who like the compliment of eyeliner to your face, permanent makeup can give you the look you want without the extra work or cost involved with traditional makeup.

The Difference Between Lash Enhancement and Eyeliner

Skillfully applied lash enhancement looks very natural, not at all like makeup. For a lash enhancement, one or more shades of color are placed in a sprinkle or a line at the base of the eyelash hairs only, making the lashes appear darker and thicker. Rather than eyeliner, I recommend lash enhancement to women, or men, who want a lift to their face "naturally". It makes a good argument for "less is more".

Eyeliner begins with lash enhancement and then widens above or below the eyelashes. Permanent eyeliner can have a hard edge, a softened edge, or even a smudgy, shadow look placed where it most enhances you. It can be very precise, with delicate, crisp endings to the lines; or it can be a soft powdery look. Eyeliner really rocks as a way to bring a flattering color lift to the face. Sometimes a subtle blend of multiple colors creates the perfect effect. I recommend you think conservative, tasteful, and classic. Although this is not totally permanent, it is long lasting. Choose cosmetic tattoos that will wear well through changes in mind, lifestyle and age. To bring out the trendy, glamorous or outrageous expressions of you just add topical cosmetics.

Like Makeup Only Better!

Permanent makeup is an excellent way to enhance your natural facial features. Permanent eyeliner works especially to perfect the balance, shape and overall look of the eyes. Time and again, I witness permanent eyeliner, or simple lash enhancement, lend power, alertness, confidence and youthfulness to the faces of both men and women. To read more about the art of permanent makeup please visit my web site

About The Author
Dawn Willard's extensive career in the fine and applied arts has included lettering, illustrations and photo and film styling. Twenty-three years as a photo and film stylist taught Dawn and array of artistic skills, one being makeup. Ms. Willard's foray into permanent makeup began in 1996. She currently owns the Permanent Makeup Studio in Asheville North Carolina. She has explored a variety of techniques and has clients coming to her from Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, New Hampshire, New Mexico and numerous towns in western and central North Carolina.

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