The Patch Test
Now in truth, you can elect to go ahead without a patch test - however, this isn't my way of working I'm afraid. I believe it's really important to patch test with both the local anesthetic that I use and the pigments. Whilst allergic reactions are very rare, they can occur - so my policy is to patch test ALL of my clients.
I can patch test in two ways. Firstly, you've very welcome to come and see me and I'll patch test you in person. Consultations are free of charge and it's a good opportunity for us to have a chat about the treatment and what you'd like to achieve. Alternatively, I can send you a patch test kit in the post (it's very simple and comes with clear instructions).
Your first appointment and Consultation
If you came to see me for your patch test, we will have had a chat at the time about what you are hoping to achieve with your permanent makeup treatment. If you did a patch test by post, don't worry - I build an additional 30 minutes into your first appointment for a full consultation.
For eyeliner, we will discuss the thickness and colour of eyeliner you'd like. I will apply a local anesthetic 15 minutes before we start the treatment. (you will have been patch tested with this, as well as the pigment) I also apply local anesthetic throughout, to help you feel comfortable.
For lips, we will discuss the colour that you would like to achieve. It's helpful if you bring lipsticks with you, to give me an idea of the colour you have in mind. If needs be, I can mix up a custom colour for you. I will then draw around your lips with a pencil (see picture). When I begin tattooing, I will draw your lip line on first, before commencing the blush/colour infill work. I will apply local anesthetic 30 minutes before I start tattooing, and also throughout the treatment.
For eyebrows, we will discuss whether you would like hairstroke brows or powder brow effect. In order to identify the right colour, I'll ask you a few questions and then place some pigment onto your forehead, so we can see which colour works with your skin tone. This is really important and ensures that the colour we use works well with your colouring. Often I will mix a custom colour up for you.
I will also draw the outline of the brows on, carefully using calipers and specific measurements to ensure they are even. However, as it's very rare for anyone to have a completely symmetrical face, I often have to tweak the outline so that they look even (did you know everyone has a flat and rounded side to their face?? It's true!). The outline can look a little scary (see the picture), but please be assured I don't tattoo around this line! It's simply a guide for the hairstrokes to start, to ensure both brows are even. Have a little look at the gallery to see the before, drawn on and finished examples.
Local anesthetic is applied 30 minutes before I start tattooing and throughout the procedure, to ensure that you are comfortable.
During and after the procedure
During the procedure I will continue to apply local anesthetic, to keep the area nice and comfortable for you (ie.numb!) Some people find the application stings a little for a second, but that's all.
Immediately after your treatment you can expect the following;
Eyebrows: The colour will appear around 40-50% darker than your final colour will be. This is because it is freshly tattooed and sat on the skin, rather than in the skin. It will appear darker for around 7 days post treatment. You may also have redness around the brows, which will go down within 24hrs. You may feel slightly sensitive in the area, but this is all normal. You'll be given full aftercare instructions at your appointment, so you'll leave fully prepared for the few days following your treatment.
Eyeliner: Your upper lid may swell and you may find that the swelling comes and goes over the first 48 hours. If you have the treatment done in the evening, you may find your eyes are a little 'crusty' in the morning. This is nothing to worry about. Please don't wash your eyes, you can use a damp clean cotton pad to clean them. Again, full aftercare will be given at your appointment.
Lips: your lips are very likely to swell, particularly with blush or full colour. They may stay swollen for the first 48hrs, but they will go down! Swelling depends on the individual and some clients actually love the fullness that they get post tattooing! They always feel a lot worse than they look, so please don't worry. Again, full aftercare is provided at your treatment.
Have a little look at some of the pictures immediately post treatment. In the gallery you'll find plenty more, plus some fully healed pictures too.