Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Cosmetic Tattoo?
Also known as Micropigmentation, Permanent Cosmetics, or Permanent Makeup, is the revolutionary method of depositing hypoallergenic mineral pigments into the dermal layer of the skin. Gina creates the most natural looking, realistic hair strokes with the use of Manual microstroking, also known as eyebrow embroidery, microblading, feathering or 3D hair strokes. This technique allows her to create crisp, fine hair strokes that fill in thin brows, brows with bald spots, total brow reconstruction, and even those who suffer from alopecia.
How permanent is permanent makeup?
Although micropigmentation has the name permanent makeup, it requires touch ups.Cosmetic tattooing is considered semi-permanent as it does not wash away, however, pigments are designed to fade over time. Factors such as skin type, iron deficiency, pigment color (lighter colors fade faster), lifestyle ( facials, peels, etc), and sun exposure can affect the rate at which these pigments are broken down. For best results, it is recommended that you follow our aftercare instructions and touch-up your tattoo every 6 months to a year (or as needed). Touch-ups are normal and expected for cosmetic tattoo procedures.
*Please note that final results CAN NOT be guaranteed due to the nature of skin as it heals. Follow-up appointments are recommended at 4-6 weeks after inital procedure. It is then, we can assess your pigment retention and make any necessary changes. People with lighter hair, correction work or sparse eyebrows may require more than one follow-up to reach their desired look at an additional cost.
Do I need a consultation before getting a cosmetic tattoo?
No. If you have additional questions, Gina is more than willing to answer them over e-mail or phone call. If you have an existing tattoo, please email a clear closeup picture. If you still wish to come in for consultation, you can schedule it on our website for additional cost.
**If an appointment is booked after your consultation, your consult appointment charge will be deducted off your procedure.
How can I book an appointment?
Appointments are scheduled online, or over the phone – 732-747-1100.
Can you add me to your waitlist?
Waitlist is for clients with existing appointments.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require 7 days notice to cancel or make any changes to your appointment.
What is your lateness policy?
We have a 20-minute late policy. Please call the office if you are going to be late. Being more than 20 minutes late to your appointment may result penalty and cancellation of your appointment.
What does the procedure involve?
On the day of the procedure: A patch test can be performed to determine if you have any sensitivity to the pigment. Gina uses sterilized pigments made in the USA.
Gina will discuss the shape which would be most flattering for your face as well as the color which will complement your skin’s undertones. Gina is very skilled at blending pigment for a client’s skin tone. She will show you some before and after photographs to give you an idea of how the procedure can transform and give youth to your facial features.
Your new eyebrows will be pre-drawn using an eyebrow pencil. This ensures that the correct colors and styles are chosen and the finished result is exactly what you want. No-ones brows are the same. Because client comfort is the utmost importance to us, numbing agents are applied prior and during the treatment process. The”pre-drawn template” is followed with use of our custom mixed specialized pigments. Your appointment takes around 90 minutes and our clients describe the sensation as ‘like having your eyebrows tweezed”
Gina will usually schedule 2 to 3 visits to give you the perfect result. During the second or third visit, the color can be adjusted, made warmer or cooler if skin chemistry demands it. Gina works conservatively, so she will increase the width of the brow or eyeliner as sessions progress. This can give a client time to adjust to the look of having their facial features refreshed with color.
Should I clean up my brows before my appointment?
I prefer that you leave us all the hair. We will take care of it.
Is it painful?
A topical anesthetic is applied prior and, if needed, during each procedure to numb the epidermis and help ease any discomfort. Every client is different, some will feel vibrating or scratching, and some will feel nothing at all.
How safe is it?
The strictest sanitation and safety standards are followed by using only single-use needles and parts. Also, hypo-allergenic pigments containing no fragrances, emollients or other irritants are used during the procedure. We offer a patch test prior to the procedure.
What is the recovery period?
Some clients may experience slight swelling or bruising which is usually not noticeable. Most can return to normal daily activities right away. Healing period is about one week.
What colors should I choose?
There is a right color for everyone. We take into consideration your natural skin color, hair color, eye color, and face shape. A soft, natural color is always preferred. Gina will help you choose the proper color.
Why are pigments so intense when first implanted?
Like wet clothing is darker before drying, pigments look brighter and darker immediately after they are implanted into the dermal layer of the skin. Increased blood flow to the treatment area is one reason for the more intense colors. Another is that the pigments are made up of liquefied powder particles. The body gradually absorbs the liquid allowing the pigments to return to their original dry condition.
Are activities restricted during the healing period?
It is important to avoid saunas, facials, steam baths, activities that will result in extreme sweating, tanning salons, sun and chlorinated or salt water pools for a minimum of a week and preferably two weeks after a procedure.
What is a contraindication?
A contraindication is a condition or factor that either renders a medical treatment inadvisable under any circumstances or increases the risks involved in carrying out a medical procedure. Absolute Contraindication: hemophilia, blood thinners on prescription. Relative Contraindications: diabetics injecting insulin (increased risk of infection & slow to heal), allergies, blood thinners like Aspirin or Vitamin E.
What if I am taking a blood thinner?
Mild bleeding is normal. Excessive bleeding, caused by blood thinners or a health problem, pushes the pigment out as quickly as it is being implanted. Gina will ensure a medical history form is completed in order assess clients for contraindications. If an individual wants to have permanent makeup and is on blood thinners, then they should be discontinued for a week prior to and a few days after their appointment. If aspirin has been recommended by a physician, then the doctor should be consulted prior to stopping any blood thinner. Prescribed medication is an absolute contraindication, in other words, permanent makeup should not proceed. A doctors note stating consent will allow Gina to procedure with the procedure.
I tend to get cold sores. Will it affect the procedure?
Make sure you start your anti-herpes medication like Valtrex or Zovirax to help prevent cold sores two days before your appointment and continue taking after procedure, as per doctors instructions.
How long does the procedure take?
The time can vary depending on the procedure. For the initial appointment, Gina dedicates 2 hours. Much of that time is spent choosing colors, design and allowing the topical anesthetics to take effect.
Will permanent cosmetics change or look bad as I age?
Permanent cosmetics will fade gradually over time, so there will not be an obvious change in your appearence. The color will fade and when you return for a touch-up you can also change the color (within reason) as you age.
Can I keep my own brow hair?
Yes. Once you and Gina have decided on the best brow shape, any hair within that shape can stay and will only make the work look more natural. Any hair outside the shape can be waxed or tweezed just as you would normally do with your normal brow maintenance. Any tweezing, tinting or waxing should be done at least 48 hours prior procedure.
Are permanent cosmetics really permanent?
The cosmetics implantation technique deposits color pigment into the upper reticular layer of the skin and is considered permanent because it cannot be washed off. Unlike traditional tattoos performed on the body,
permanent cosmetics professionals do not use traditional tattoo ink (dye). Permanent cosmetics pigment is more delicate and designed to work with the skin’s undertones and to mimic hair. Every person’s skin is different in regarding pigment retention. Factors which affect longevity of permanent cosmetics are: color selected, age, thickness of skin, scarring of skin, use of skin care products, injectables, laser treatments, medication and sun exposure. You will need periodic refreshing of color, depending on how light the shade of implanted pigment, as well as factors mentioned above.
A general Color Retention guideline is:
Blondes and light taupes shades may need refreshing every 10 to 12 months
Mid-tone browns may need a yearly touch-up
Dark browns and blacks may need a touch-up every 12 to 24 months
*Please note- if a technician tells you only need one visit to complete your procedure and you will not need a touch-up, then he/she is not being truthful. Run!
I had an unsatisfactory permanent cosmetics brow procedure done elsewhere, can Gina fix it?
Gina does not do touchups for other artists work. She takes correction work on a very limited basis and requires that anyone who has had their brows tattooed previously by another artist contact us via email before booking an appointment. If you book an appointment without disclosing previous cosmetic tattoo work your deposit will be forfeited and your appointment canceled.
I want to become a cosmetic tattoo artist, can you help me?
Unfortunately, I cannot provide information/advice or training to become a cosmetic tattoo artist. Best of luck!
Could I be allergic to the pigment?
Allergic reactions to pigments have been reported, but they are very rare. There have been so few reactions to the pigments that some doctors are suggesting that the patch test be eliminated. But I feel that skin testing should never be eliminated. Better safe, than sorry! So, if you too are concerned about the odds, especially if you have other skin sensitivities, Gina always recommends an allergy patch test to safeguard against allergic reactions to pigments or topical anesthetics. The final determination is the responsibility of the client. The client may waive testing if desired. Unlike body tattoos, which are made using carbon based ink, cosmetic tattoos are made using iron-oxide based pigments. These pigments are safe to use and are created to slowly fade over time. The pigments I use do not contain organic material (i.e. vegetables) as these have a higher risk of causing allergic reactions.
What if I don’t like the design or color after the procedure?
During the procedure, you are ultimately the one in control of both of these important decisions. You will be provided with several pigment colors to choose from, all of which are complimentary to your skin tone You will also have control to direct the path as the procedure is happening. I’m a Makeup Artist who has been trained in designing eyebrows that are right for your face… So I will be happy to assist you in determining a design. The things to take into consideration are your bone structure, skin tone, and facial shape. You must approve of all design work (color & shape) before we proceed. This is your face, your procedure, and it must meet your expectations. I do work conservatively and won’t do anything I feel won’t give you a subtle, natural look. The most common issue is slight patchiness. This sometimes does occur and is easily adjusted when you come in for your follow-up visit in about 6 weeks.
Why are multiple sessions necessary?
Every face is different… Each skin type is different. Some skin types accept the pigment better than other types and more pigment may be retained in one session with one person over another. Also, fine details, additional color, depth or design adjustments are more easily made after the initial healing is complete. A follow-up visit is always considered vital – if only to meet to discuss healed outcome of the procedure, take your after picture, and agree that no further work is necessary. Typically it takes a total of at least 2, possibly 3 applications, 4-8 weeks apart to achieve the desired outcome.
If this is permanent, why are future touch-ups necessary?
There are always issues that affect the appearance of your procedure. The number 1 culprit is sun exposure! Also, changing health conditions, smoking, medications, anti-aging products, and hormonal changes all can have an effect on your pigment retention. You should keep your follow up visit since it helps prolong your investment.
Why does permanent makeup fade faster than body tattoos?
First of all, Permanent cosmetics are a form of cosmetic tattooing and should be thought of as being “permanent”, the same as one thinks about traditional tattoos on the body. Traditional body tattoos do fade, however, generally at a slower rate due to several different factors. For instance, body art is generally covered up with clothing most of the year and is not excessively exposed to the UV rays which fade cosmetic tattoos on the face. Also, the skin on the body is much denser as compared to facial skin, which is much thinner and again, influencing the degree of color retention. Listed are some other factors which cause permanent makeup to fade: body chemistry; cellular turnover – rejuvenation, etc.; anti-aging products applied directly over the permanent makeup; choice of color applied (i.e., lighter colors will fade quicker than darker colors); and exposure to sunlight (hence the suggestion of wearing an SPF over your permanent makeup); and also, the technician’s choice of pigment(s) used, as well as her experience in applying permanent makeup.
The word “Permanent” scares me.
Don’t be afraid. Permanent Makeup is a multi-session process. During the healing process, the first application will fade by at least 20-30%. Some people even can fade by up to 50-60%, while others may lose all color. There is no way to tell how much any one person will fade. You just have to wait to find out. The length of time that pigment will remain is very individual. Body chemistry, skin pigmentation, and sun exposure are just a few of the factors that affect fading. Technically, permanent cosmetics procedures are considered permanent because the color is implanted into the upper reticular part of the dermal layer of the skin and cannot be washed off. However, as with any tattoo, fading can and often does occur, requiring periodic maintenance or refreshing. Just like hair color, furniture that may be located near a window, or even house paint, pigment implanted in the skin will fade to some extent with time.
What if makeup styles change or totally go out of style?
As long as you aim for a natural classic shape, which can be determined by a combination of your personal preferences, my suggestions, along with a mathematical equation based on your own facial features – you will be safe from the fads that come and go.
Is this considered a safe process?
Yes. It is a safe process. But only if conducted by a trained professional that is educated and follows the proper sanitation and sterilization procedures. To ensure peace of mind to each of our clients, we open a sterilized tool and a manufactured sealed sterilized needle at the beginning of the procedure. The used needle is placed in a Sharps container when the procedure is completed. In addition, I sanitize all areas the client will come in contact with while in my treatment rooms and I apply barrier film to protect all surfaces from contamination during a procedure. By conducting our procedures in this manner, we feel that our clients’ health and safety have been safeguarded to the highest standards. After leaving, it is then the client’s responsibility to care for the procedure strictly adhering to the post-treatment(aftercare) instructions, assuring normal healing and the prevention of an infection.
If proper sterilization and sanitary guidelines are met, permanent cosmetics should be completely safe. These guidelines include the following:
* All Needles should be new and sterile for each client.
* Other machine parts should also be pre-sterilized and disposed of in a sanitary manner.
* Other equipment and supplies should be kept in a sanitary manner.
* Gloves should be new for each client and changed during the procedure when needed.
* The technician should be clean and neat and knowledgeable of environmental safety requirements.
* Clean sheets should be used for each patient or the nonporous chair should be wiped with a sterile solution between
* The room or treatment area should be in an area free from other contaminants.
*AGAIN, Gina STRICTLY abides by ALL rules and regulations noted in section 8 of the NJ sanitary code issued by the Board of Health.
What is the potential for medical problems to arise after a procedure?
RARE.. especially with the health standards and precise methods of sanitation and sterilization, that are in place today. Pre and Post- procedural instructions, if followed carefully, will completely eliminate any risk. But remember, you have to take care of an open wound. If you are not careful, an infection could occur. If allowed to get out of control, worse problems could arise. So if you suspect an infection may be brewing, call your doctor and then call Gina directly.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Each procedure behaves differently after its application. You will see various changes occur within the next few days/weeks. Immediately after the procedure is done your make-up may look like it has been stamped onto your face and will be much too dark. This is normal. You can expect also swelling and redness caused by the procedure, which should diminish over the next day or so. It is extremely important that post instructions are followed to guarantee the results you’ve just invested in. Aftercare ointment must be applied on the treated area once a day. But since wounds need air to breathe, the application should be thin, not thick. Once the area has healed, there is a much greater chance that the permanent makeup will be too light or too subtle. But just remember, this is because by applying it more conservatively, in the beginning, changes can be more easily made later, without being traumatized with too much. It is much easier to add pigment than to remove it. This is the reason Gina requires 1-2 follow-up sessions. The touch-ups are fast, easily tolerated and recommended to perfectly balance your outcome. Within 7-14 days this artificial look will give way to a more naturalized and softer look. It is impossible to accurately evaluate what the final result will be until this “naturalization” process occurs. Several hours after application, they will appear much darker and thicker than they will in a week or two. The shape may even appear to be somewhat distorted; don’t worry. Brows may scab over and have a hard, crispy appearance for a few days, but when fully healed, there are soft beautiful brows underneath. Make sure to let it heal naturally, DO NOT PICK at it or your brows will not appear uniform. If you have any concerns about any reactions you are experiencing please contact Gina. Due to varying degrees of difficulty of applications associated with skin texture, wrinkles, scarring, anti-aging laser treatments, medications, smoking, sun or tanning bed exposure and use of hydroxy acids, and we cannot guarantee “perfect” results in two visits. Therefore, if irregularities in pigment color develop from the above-mentioned conditions, additional procedures may be necessary. These conditions also affect the longevity of the permanent cosmetic, causing some persons to require maintenance sooner than others.