What to Expect When Getting Permanent Eyeliner

What to Expect When Getting Permanent Eyeliner

Jun 23rd 2022

If you are like the growing number of women who want to accentuate their eyes without the daily hassle of applying eyeliner, you are likely considering permanent eyeliner. Like any permanent makeup application (including permanent lipstick, permanent eyebrow makeup, and scalp micropigmentation), it is important to know what to expect and how to prepare. We hope that these tips help you make the best possible decision for yourself and ensure that you get the best results possible if you decide to move forward with a permanent eyeliner application.


Permanent eyeliner, also known as eyeliner tattoo, is a permanent makeup (PMU) application that gives you the look of eyeliner without having to apply it daily. Although it is called “permanent makeup,” most PMU applications are technically semi-permanent because they only last one to three years. Unlike traditional tattooing where a needle inserts pigment deep into the skin, an eyeliner tattoo only penetrates the uppermost layer of the delicate eyelid skin. This means that it will fade much faster than a traditional tattoo. On the other hand, it also means that as trends and styles change, your permanent eyeliner can change too!


Permanent eyeliner is an excellent choice for anyone who does not want the daily stress of applying eyeliner but wants the benefit of eyes that stand out. It is ideal for:

  • Anyone with hand tremors, poor vision, or a disability that makes applying eyeliner difficult
  • Swimmers, athletes, or people in a strenuous profession don’t want their makeup to run
  • People with sparse or light eyelashes
  • Anyone who wants to accentuate their eyes
  • However, some factors may prevent someone from being a good candidate for an eyeliner tattoo. If any of these apply to you, or you have any other health conditions, please consult with your doctor before proceeding:
  • People with skin conditions that affect the face, including chronic acne, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, keratosis pilaris, or dermatitis
  • Anyone using medications that make the skin sensitive or prone to bleeding, including blood thinners, Retin-A, Accutane, other skin peeling acids, or eyelash and eyebrow growth serum
  • Those with a compromised immune system either due to a medical condition such as diabetes, chemotherapy, medications, or an autoimmune disease
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding


Once you have determined that you are a good candidate and have decided to proceed, the next step is to make sure that you are properly prepared before your permanent eyeliner application. Make sure to:

  • Research your artist and review many examples of their healed work. Also, make sure they use premium, high-quality permanent makeup pigments. 
  • Abstain from alcohol and caffeine 24 hours before your procedure to avoid excess bleeding.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Do not color or perm your eyelashes before your procedure. Make sure to ask your artist for how long as they may recommend anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.
  • Remove false eyelashes or eyelash extensions at least 3 days before your procedure.
  • Let your artist know if you have had any cosmetic procedures or surgery on the eye area. This includes laser eye surgery, Botox, or fillers.
  • Do not take any medication that can thin your blood for 3-7 days before your eyeliner tattoo including NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, vitamin E, fish oil, niacin, or blood thinners. If your doctor has prescribed any of these, please check with them before stopping any medication.
  • Bring your sunglasses as you may experience light sensitivity after your treatment.
  • Check out this FDA fact sheet  to help you understand the risks.


Be prepared to spend a couple of hours and anywhere from $200-$1,200 depending on exactly what you want done and where you are. You will pay more if you want both your upper and lower lids done, if you are in a major city, or if you are going to a more well-known artist.

Your artist will begin by consulting with you on the look you would like to achieve and the shape and colors that are right for your eye shape, eye color, and skin tone. Next, the artist will prepare the area by cleaning it and applying a numbing cream. After the area is prepped, they will begin the actual tattooing phase. The artist will make several passes to ensure that you have the desired coverage. This needling portion can take about an hour. Finally, they will clean up the area. While you are done, for now, the process is not finished.

Your permanent eyeliner is going to look about 30% darker on the day it is done than how it will look when it is healed. It may even darken more as the pigments oxidize over the next few days. After about 3 days, your permanent eyeliner will flake and will start to lighten. For the next few days, it will look lighter than the final result. Don’t panic, instead focus on what the healed result will look like. In the coming weeks, as you continue to heal, the color will start “blooming” and become more and more like the expected healed result. During this entire process, make sure to follow your artist’s aftercare instructions carefully. This will ensure that you avoid infection and have beautiful long-lasting results.

In 6-8 weeks, your eyeliner tattoo should be mostly healed. This is when you will come back for a re-check. At this point, the artist can touch up any light patches. This is also an opportunity to darken up your lines if they are healing lighter than expected.

We hope these tips put your mind at ease about your permanent eyeliner application and help ensure that you have a positive experience and amazing results. If you are considering other permanent makeup applications like permanent lip makeupscalp micropigmentation, or permanent eyebrows, check out our other blogs. For the latest blogs, updates on new colors, special pricing, and more, follow us on social.