Blog posts of '2015' 'August'

Permanent Makeup

Cosmetic Tattoos, also known as permanent makeup, derma-pigmentation or micro-pigmentation, is a cosmetic procedure in the form of tattooing. With permanent makeup, a person can be left with what appears to be topically applied cosmetics, such as eyeliner or lip liner. Other kinds of cosmetic tattoos can be used on the body, helping to correct perceived imperfections.

Permanent cosmetics have been around since the early 1900s. Famed tattooist George Burchett is recognized as a pioneer in permanent cosmetics. The process became very popular in the 1930s, although it was often done in a discreet fashion. The quality of permanent makeup has vastly improved in recent years, as tattooing equipment becomes more advanced.

Types of Permanent Makeup

There are many different types of cosmetic tattooing. Most include the tattooing of lips, eyelids and other areas of the face. Those who regularly wear eyeliner, for instance, can save money and time by permanently tattooing makeup to the eyelids. Some people opt for tattoos on the eyebrows. This could be for those with light-colored eyebrows or those who have lost eyebrow hair from conditions such as alopecia. Tattoos can also be used to line and / or fill the lips for a more dramatic effect.

Facial cosmetic tattoos can be useful in that they save grooming time each day. However, it has even more practical use for those with severe allergies to makeup. There are many people who would like to wear makeup like mascara, eyeliner and lipstick. However, they have adverse reactions to topical cosmetics. With the help of permanent tattoos, some allergy sufferers will be able to enjoy the effects of makeup without the side effects of over-the-counter cosmetics.

Sometimes, permanent makeup is used on the body. Those who have undergone surgery to the breast, for instance, can use tattoos to recreate a nipple. Cosmetic tattoos can also be useful in concealing body scars and other skin imperfections. Those with vitiligo, a disease that causes pigmentation loss, can be left with large white spots all over their body. With the skilled hand of a cosmetic tattoo artist, these spots can be concealed.

Cosmetic Tattooing Results 

The results of cosmetic tattoos can greatly depend on both the skill of the tattoo artist and the quality of the ink. Permanent makeup is a very precise form of tattooing that has little room for error, especially where facial cosmetics are concerned. This should be viewed as one of the most crucial tattoo choices, far more serious than a decorative tattoo that is easily hidden by clothing. 

Those who choose to go ahead with permanent makeup should be aware of the possible need for retouching. In fact, many permanent makeup procedures require more than one visit to achieve the best shade and shape. Eyebrow tattoos, for instance, should be applied lightly at first, as it is easier to go darker from there if needed.

It should also be understood that permanent makeup will fade over time, although the severity of the fading depends on a few factors. The tattoo must be cared for properly during the healing period in order to ensure the best results. Also, areas that are exposed to sunlight are more susceptible to fading. This usually includes facial cosmetic tattoos and any other parts of the body that are regularly exposed. Tattoo inks that are lighter in color will fade the quickest.

Typically, those who are happy with their cosmetic tattoo results will be comfortable with the idea of retouches. Major fading wont happen for years, if the cosmetic tattoo is cared for properly. Eyebrow tattoos and eyelid tattoos, for instance, can sometimes last up to a decade before reapplication is needed. Other areas of the body, however, may never need retouching.

Choosing a Cosmetic Tattoo Artist

This is the most vital step in the decision to get a cosmetic tattoo. Although there are tattoo removal procedures, they arent always completely effective and tattoos should be considered permanent. This is why it is absolutely crucial to choose the most reputable cosmetic tattoo artist. One should not opt for the cheapest or nearest artist; rather, the most qualified.

A consultation will be the best way to find out more about an artist. He or she should be able to answer questions about costs, methods and the risks involved. Always prepare a list of questions beforehand and ask to see a portfolio of the artists work. It is a good rule of thumb to consult with several artists and compare their answers. Even if the first artist seems perfect, this is not the time for a rash decision. It is always best to seek several opinions.

Costs of Permanent Makeup

The cost of permanent makeup can vary quite a bit. On average, a procedure costs between $400 and $800. However, it can sometimes be hard to predict how much a procedure will cost, as it may take several visits to complete the desired result. Many cosmetic tattoo artists charge an hourly rate, with some commanding as much as $150 - $250 per hour. The first visit for one procedure will often take 1.5 2 hours.

Permanent Makeup Regulations

Like any form of tattooing, there are regulations that apply to permanent makeup application. In the United States, the Department of Health oversees the various businesses that offer cosmetic tattoos. Naturally, this procedure must be administered in a sterile environment. While some areas of the world require a cosmetic license on the part of the tattoo artist, other places do not allow cosmetologists to administer permanent makeup. Each country is different and, in the case of the United States, local jurisdictions might have varying laws.

In the United States, the FDA pre-approves tattoo inks used in permanent makeup application. There are dozens of pigment shades used in cosmetic tattooing, all of which should pass the approval of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Although the FDA does actively monitor tattoo inks, the agency does not necessarily act as an enforcer where laws are concerned. Traditionally, local jurisdictions and the Department of Health are more hand-on with cosmetic tattoo artists. 

The History of Tattoo Machines

Many people are surprised to learn that the original tattoo machine was actually patented in 1891, and there is evidence of models of the machine being used by various artists much earlier than that. Tattoo machines, which are machines that puncture the skin and then drive ink into the skin, thereby creating a permanent tattoo design, have undergone some major changes throughout the years, and have been influenced by some surprising historical figures.

Of course, the earliest tattoo machines were literally pieces of bamboo that were used to slice open the skin so that ashes or other pigments could be rubbed into the skin. Then, Inuit tribes began sewing their tattoos into place, using pieces of inked string or sinew that could be pulled through the upper layers of skin using a needle, leaving a trail of ink under the skin behind them. These could technically be considered the first tattoo machines, but they in no way resemble today's machines, which look kind of like small and perforate the skin while forcing ink into the tiny perforations to create a tattoo design. The birth of the modern tattoo machine actually occurred earlier than many people imagine, and it was directly influenced by Thomas Alva Edison, who is better known for his inventions like the light bulb than his influence on body art.

The tattoo machine was patented by Samuel O'Reilly's in 1891. O'Reilly used the electric battery, recently created by the Italian inventor Volta, and the principals of electromagnetism, recently discovered by the Danish inventor Oersted, to power his electric tattoo machine, which actually looked fairly similar in nature to the handheld sewing machines of today. O'Reilly modeled his machine after Thomas Edison's embroidery machine, which used needles to transfer powdered dyes onto a piece of fabric. O'Reilly's machine simply transferred ink to skin instead of dye to fabric.

In 1904, the next era of the tattoo machine began. A man named Charlie Wagner patented a new machine that had an ink chamber, which enabled artists to become much more precise and made the tattoo machine slightly less bulky. Wagner also added an on/off switch that prevented artists from having to unplug the apparatus in order to take a break, and a needle bar that enabled artists to make clearer lines and cover more ground more effectively.

In 1929, the tattoo machine finally became an instrument of capitalism as well as taking on the form of today's tattoo machines. Percy Waters patented the tattoo machines, which had a set of coils, a needle bar and a foot pedal. Waters also created the first tattoo accessories, including plastic stencils to guide tattoo design, foot pedals, on/off switches, spark shields, and many other helpful items. Interestingly, Waters is the first inventor involved in the evolution of the tattoo machines who appears to have ever made a profit or even tried to turn a few bucks with his invention. He helped spread the use of the tattoo machines by selling his new model and his accessories very aggressively throughout the United States.

Today, tattoo machines continue to evolve. While they are usually purchased from a manufacturer, most tattoo artists have at least a limited familiarity with tattoo machiness and tattoo machines mechanics due to their years as tattoo artist apprentices, when they may have had to clean, mend, solder and repair shop tattoo machiness. Many artists tailor their tattoo machiness to fit their own personal preferences and needs, and as a result the tattoo machines today is still changing. When an artist hits upon an improvement that can make a major impact on the beauty and ease of getting a tattoo design inked, they often publicize it and promote it at trade shows. An example of this is the pneumatic tattoo machines, which runs on the power of air and is extremely lightweight, making it attractive for a variety of reasons since many tattoo artists get wrist and shoulder tendonitis as a result of repetitive fatigue.

Why You Need Tattoo Stencils

A tattoo stencil is a tattoo design template. Tattoo stencils can be transferred from either transparency paper or transfer paper to your skin, then a tattoo artist can use the stencil to help guide their artwork. Originally, tattoo stencils were usually used only as guidelines for the artist who created the original drawing, and if another tattoo artist wanted a stencil of a tattoo design, they had to replicate the design as closely as possible in their own hand before they could turn it into a stencil. However, with the help of the internet and a variety of other digital technology, you and your personal tattoo artist can now take advantage of original stencils of tattoo designs straight from the hand of the artist who created the tattoo design in the first place. This is very exciting for many people who want to be sure that they will be able to get their tattoo artist to replicate nearly exactly a tattoo design that has been dear to their heart for a long period of time.

There are several reasons that people decide to use tattoo stencils. First of all (and this is likely the best and most popular reason), tattoo stencils provide a solid guide for the tattoo that both the tattoo artist and the person getting the tattoo can look at together and agree on. What a stencil provides that other test tattoos do not is a solid guide for the artist as well. A tattoo design stencil enables any tattoo artist to replicate in detail the design of your dreams. Certainly there will be tiny touches that you and the tattoo artist work on together that will make that tattoo your own. However, a tattoo stencil provides the guide, the style and the creative backbone that you and your artist can work with to make your tattoo just exactly what you have been dreaming of.

Tattoo stencils are also extremely popular for another reason that probably will not surprise you. Legitimate tattoo stencils come with color guides also designed by the original artist. This means that nothing is left to chance. While some energetic tattoo collectors enjoy getting tattoo surprises that leave the color (and sometimes the style and image) selection entirely up to the tattoo artist, most tattoo collectors and tattoo artists prefer to have some type of guide for your color desires when it comes to your tattoo. After all, a surprise is not always good, and if you do not like your tattoo surprise then that is unfortunate because you will be stuck with it forever. Tattoo stencils and the accompanying color guides can help tattoo artists create a tattoo design that looks just like the tattoo that you admired when you were picking out your tattoo design. Particularly when it comes to especially elaborate or realistic art, having a color guide can  be the difference between having a very confusing and somewhat ambiguous tattoo design and having a beautiful and intricate tattoo design.

Finally, tattoo stencils give you something that nearly everyone wants when it comes to their permanent body art: predictability. If you and your tattoo artist are working with a stencil and a color guide, then both of you are on the same page about what type of tattoo design you want and what type of tattoo design you will end up with. An artist can evaluate the tattoo stencil and the color and guide and let you know if the work is something that they can do and are interested in doing, and you can also evaluate your potential tattoo based on a clear knowledge of what it will look like when it is completed. A tattoo stencil lets you rest secure in the knowledge that the tattoo that you have commissioned and the tattoo that you will get are one and the same.

When you are looking for tattoo stencils, always get the stencil from the original artist. Some artists do not provide tattoo stencils and color guides personally, but allow other tattoo studios or online tattoo services to provide these stencils to potential tattoo customers. Whether you get the tattoo stencil directly from the hand of the artist or you obtain a stencil that has been endorsed and approved by the original artist, by going straight to the source you will insure that you tattoo is as beautiful, elaborate and detailed in just exactly the right way as you could possibly wish.

Tattoo Placement

Deciding where to get a tattoo is just as important as deciding what tattoo design to get. After all, a tattoo is a beautiful, permanent artistic statement on your body, and where you get it says as much about the tattoo as the tattoo design and the tattoo symbolism itself. After all, your tattoo placement determines who will see your tattoo, when it is visible and the atmosphere when your tattoo is on view. Tattoo placement is, in many cases, as symbolic as the tattoo design, so you definitely need to think hard about where you get your tattoo and what the effects of your tattoo placement will be.

Traditionally, there are several spots on the body that indicate certain sentiments about a tattoo. Tattoos on the breast are often romantic, while tattoos on the inner thigh and other intimate areas tend to be more erotic and sexy since they are seldom on view and generally are displayed only during intimate circumstances. On the other hand, a shoulder, back or calf tattoo will be fairly visible, and these areas of the body are also more convenient canvases if you want to get a large or detailed tattoo. These areas are popular for major artistic endeavors and memorial tattoos, which are often intended as much for public appreciation as for the individual tattoo owner. The back of the neck, the ankle and the lower back are common areas of the body for first tattoos since they are easily visible, but also easily hidden if the tattoo owner is not always comfortable with their art being on display.

However, when you are considering where to place your new tattoo, the only issue is not potential for display or concealment. You also need to think about what you hope to accomplish with your tattoo, and whether this intimate and very personal form of art is mainly for your enjoyment or whether you hope to also display it to others and what other types of benefits “mental or physical” that you hope to derive from your tattoo design.

Fashion plays a major role in tattoo design and tattoo placement, despite the fact that tattoos are permanent while fashion is extremely dynamic and the rules of fashion are constantly changing. However, since fashion does dictate a great deal about tattoo design and tattoo placement, from the location to the artistic subject area, you may wish to factor the current trends in tattoo fashion into your tattoo placement decision. In many ways, popular fashion is more accepting of tattoo art now than ever before, with many extremely popular, expensive and designer brands utilizing tattoo style art and design to make the brands unique and beautiful. As a result, more and more people are enjoying traditional forms of tattoo flash and tattoo artistic design than ever before, which may impact your tattoo placement decision and cause you to get a more visible tattoo, such as one on your forearm, hip or upper shoulder or back area. Particularly if you are a woman, such tattoos can be extremely sexy and complement any outfit including formal attire as long as your tattoo artist works with you and your body to make the tattoo flow with the shape and lines of your body rather than working against your natural contours.

Tattoo placement can also make a huge statement, which is one reason that gang tattoos are so often so highly visible. However, most people with visible tattoos are not in gangs, but they still use tattoos to make statements about their feelings, views or their inner emotions. For example, personal tattoos and beliefs about inner strength might lead a person to place a phoenix tattoo on their inner forearm where they can see it when they need strength in a tough situation. People who want to place their tattoos in unconventional places like the neck, the back of the hands or the face in order to make sure that everyone who sees them knows that they are not afraid of their individuality. Membership tattoos are also often placed in visible areas, such as fireman tattoos or biker tattoos to let other people who share interests with the person who has the tattoo know that they have found a kindred spirit.

Finally, some people actually use tattoos for physical health reasons. These tattoos are largely related to holistic healing, and the beliefs behind them go all the way back to prehistoric tattoo patterns such as those found on Otzi, the iceman. Otzi's tattoos were elongated and followed the lines of his body, leading researchers to believe that the tattoos were intended to somehow strengthen his health. Similarly, many acupuncture aficionados get tattoos at major points in acupuncture either to guide needle placement or to derive health benefits from the tattooing needle itself.