The problems associated with permanent makeup are mostly the same as those associated with tattoos. There are about 50 different pigments used in tattoos and permanent makeup, but even if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved some of the shades for cosmetic use, they're not always safe for injection into the skin. In fact, the FDA has received more than 150 complaints of negative reactions to some of the shades of ink used in permanent makeup [source: FDA].
Even though allergic reactions are rare, they're difficult to treat because it's hard to remove pigment from the skin once it's been injected. There are also skin issues that can result from tattoos or permanent makeup. You can develop a keloid formation, in which scars grow beyond their natural boundaries, or granulomas, nodules that form around the pigment. Hepatitis and staph infections can be transmitted through unsanitary needle use, so make sure a licensed technician who uses sterile equipment treats you.
One important nonmedical issue is that people change and so do their tastes -- although permanent makeup may seem like a good idea now, you may regret the decision in the future. The popularity of tattoos and the subsequent need for better removal procedures has led to new advances in laser surgery, dermabrasion and surgical removal, but pigment removal is difficult and time-consuming, and it often leaves scars [source: Mayo Clinic].
If you're considering getting permanent makeup, you probably want to know what you can do. Are you limited to some eyeliner, or can you have permanently red lips? And will permanent makeup be just as effective as your concealer and foundation? Keep reading to find out.