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Monday confessional: taking the permanent makeup plunge


Yep. I had my eyebrows tattooed!

Remember this post from January where I was hemming and hawing over what to do about my negligent eyebrow hair situation?

If you don't want to click on the link, here's a picture which really needs no explanation:

After some encouraging feedback, I decided to go for it but had to impatiently wait for an online coupon deal to pop up for the place I wanted to go to (recommended by a friend and with excellent online reviews). Once one finally became available in February I called and made an appointment for the same day! (When I'm ready to do something I am READY!) Then I called my sister-in-law, Tricia, and asked her if she wanted to go on an adventure with me :) Tricia is always ready for Jodi-adventures... And like that we were off!

This was the proposed timeline of the appointment as explained by Lindsay, my permanent makeup artist:
- 10 minutes or so to discuss what I want
- 30 minutes to draw them on, adjust as needed, and make sure they're exactly what I want
- 20 minutes to let the numbing gel work
- An hour and 15 minutes approx to do the tattooing
- 5 minutes wait time before leaving.

I made my appointment for 5 pm on Monday, February 10th so there would be no customers after me and figured I'd be out of there by 7:30 pm.


Apparently I am very opinionated/indecisive about eyebrow shapes because when it hit 7 pm and I was still nitpicking the drawn on version, poor Lindsay basically told me I needed to either get down to business or come back another day.

I almost didn't do it! I'd driven an hour to get there though and truthfully, felt guilty that I'd already wasted two hours of her time, so I squashed my nerves and blurted, "I'm ready". (And then I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed it wouldn't be a disaster while my stomach twisted into a nervous knot.)

And here's one more picture to show you how silly I looked beforehand.

The process: Above you can see the drawn on brows, with an upwards dash at the outer corner to clearly mark the stopping point. The numbing gel worked awesome... the first time over with the tattoo gun. But she had to go back over each brow over and over again, and once that numbing gel was worn off... HOOEY, it hurt! Especially the closer to my nose she got.

After two or three times over she'd numb my brow again and go to the other side, which gave me some much needed relief. In my opinion it was nothing like a regular tattoo (I have a small one on my shoulder blade and it only took 10 minutes!) Permanent makeup is really only semi-permanent (lasting years but not a lifetime) so the process is apparently different. And I was a bit of an extra bleeder so that meant she had to go deeper and over it more times too. All in all it took almost two hours - partly because Lindsay was such a perfectionist! (Something I was very grateful for.)

We finally left at 10 pm, five hours after I'd arrived! I'm smiling in the above pics but seriously, I was in shock. And thus began an hour long freak-out session while Tricia and I drove home. I can tell you though, Tricia was magnificent, the best moral support I could have asked for! By the time we got back home she'd halfway convinced me I hadn't made a giant mistake ;)

Swollen and red but not quite as freaky looking as I was first thinking. After 6-8 weeks permanent makeup fades about 40% and thins by about 30%, so the initial result is quite drastic compared to the final appearance.

Now, I shared one picture on instagram afterwards but I didn't want to write about it here until my eyebrows were all healed up so I could show you a progression of pictures... because that's the fun part!

My first time going out in public.

Celebrating Valentine's. Starting to peel.

Starting to lighten up a bit. Still peeling.

Thinner and lighter.

So you may be wondering, how do I feel about my eyebrows now? 

I love them! I am so happy I did it and can't tell you how much time it saves me not to have to draw my eyebrows on everyday! I am also way less self-conscious than I was before and that alone has made it worth it to me. 

Because I had so little hair to begin with the brushstroke technique was not an option for me (it would turn out looking like zebra stripes). This meant I had to get solid eyebrows, which are not quite as natural looking. I've decided it's infinitely better than what I had though and LOVE the shape. Seriously, so much better than what I was drawing on daily!

Cost: I paid $200 thanks to an online deal (regular price $450) and don't need any touch-up work so I won't need to pay anything else. Yay!

Funny side story: The insides slope down towards my nose more steeply than my old brow shape so for the first couple of weeks Russell kept asking me if something was wrong and if I was upset with him. We figured out it was just my new eyebrows so we started calling them my "angry bird" brows... which for some reason really cracked us both up :)

So that's it! Have any questions? Shoot away!


  1. So glad you could do this for yourself!

  2. Wow they look great! Mine are thinning so much and it's so annoying to have to draw them on every day. And going to the pool is always embarrassing, especially when they melt down my face! I would love to get this done. I have a little more than you so maybe I could get the technique you couldn't.

  3. Bravo! Welcome to the tattooed face club :) you look marvelous

  4. They look so good Jodi! I knew you would be glad you went for it! :)

    1. Thank you, Sarah, and thanks for your instagram moral support! ;)

  5. I still love them and I knew you would too! Way to be brave!

    1. Thanks, my ever-faithful friend :)

  6. They look amazing :) as do you :). Great choice. ~Valerie

  7. You are a brave one, Jodi!! So glad that you love how they turned out!! You look really pretty! :)

  8. It looks pretty great! The more it heals, the more it looks natural. Maybe with time, it'll fade to a natural shade, and you’ll lose the “angry bird” look too. Let me assure you that it doesn’t look bad, although it gives you a stern look when you don’t smile. [ageless]

  9. Those are fantastic results! The procedure might look very painful, but it’s definitely worth it. You don’t even have to bother with putting an eyebrow pencil on anymore. However, you have to refrain yourself from getting exposed under the sun too much, because doing so might irritate your skin and might lead to the ink fading fast.

    Eleonore Zetrenne

  10. Great example of permanent makeup. Thanks very much for sharing your experience here. You have described everything in very nice way in your post and specially your pictures are very nice and helpful to understand about permanent makeup.

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  12. Woo this is amazing! Cosmetic tattooing is blessing to look beautiful forever.

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