This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.
The Blog

Read This Before You Break Up With Your Makeup!

Like the last 20 years or that crazy night in Vegas, there are just some things you can't take back. Permanent makeup, for one. Why not leave Scarface out of it and use makeup to help you enhance your look?

Like a tattoo, vanity is forever

We've all been there at one point or another. Stumbling into a late-night tattoo parlour after one too many with a 'good idea' we'd rather forget. Or dreaming up a tasteful (and not at all mainstream) emblem that marks a motto or a milestone that we actually remember.

I always wanted a scorpion down my backside, but let's be honest. Some loves are not forever and there are only so many ways to reconfigure the wrong name into "Mom." Yes, ex-boy/girlfriends can be hard to get rid of, but tattoos are considerably harder -- especially the ones on your face.

When you think about it, our skin is a canvas that tells our story. Sometimes, it's the things that make us feel rebellious that later make us feel regret. I'm all for expression, but tattooing your face for a permanent make-up look, is, well... permanent. Understandably, no one wants their makeup to melt off their face in the summer heat, but like momma always said, if you put ink on your face, it will stay that way.

Practiced for centuries worldwide, a tattoo is made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. While they tend to be decorative, in the past they were said to have represented people's humour or disposition. Facial tattooing has been practiced for centuries amongst indigenous people in Japan, New Zealand and Africa, to name a few. Tattooing in the Western world actually originates from Polynesia.

Traditionally, some religious and cultural practices thought of tattooing as a "pagan" or "heathen" activity. Alternatively, within some traditional cultures, tattooing is considered a rite of passage between adolescence and adulthood. See? You weren't the only one rebelling against your parents.

Today's fine artistry and technical skill are clearly evidenced in pop culture and have made their own passage from Polynesia all the way to David Beckham's back, which is no small feat. It has also undoubtedly influenced popular television shows such as A&E's Inked , TLC's Miami Ink and LA Ink.

While some rave, others revere. For instance, some Mormons find the practice sacrilegious, Islamic people call it sinful and Judaism forbids it.

Despite these religious and cultural taboos -- even negative criminal stigmas surrounding tattooing -- the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world. In January 2008, a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive estimated that 14 per cent of all adults in the United States have a tattoo, where men are just slightly more likely to have a tattoo than women (15 per cent versus 13 per cent).

Certainly, tattoos are a form of expression for both sexes, but women offer an interesting juxtaposition. It seems there is a positive correlation between body modification and negative feelings towards the body and self-esteem; however, there is also a strong motive for body modification as young women search for a sense of self and attempt to master control over their bodies and faces. Why not leave Scarface out of it and use makeup to help you do just that?

Think before you ink

Like the last 20 years or that crazy night in Vegas, there are just some things you can't take back. Permanent makeup, for one. Also known as cosmetic tattooing, this technique resembles makeup and includes lining your eyes and enhancing the colour of the skin on lips and eyelids. It is also used to produce artificial eyebrows, particularly in people who have lost them as a consequence of old age, disease, such as alopecia, or chemotherapy.

Practitioners are prohibited from calling the procedures "permanent" since it is commonly known that tattoos will fade over time. Their life span may be influenced by several environmental or procedural factors. What happens when that once-black line turns to blue? Will you be happy to rock the 80s when you're IN your 80s? Doubtful. A look is definitely dated when it's older than your grand kids. Last time I checked, permanent makeup is tattooing and tattooing is a permanent process.

The 'ow' in your faux brow

Depending upon the design, colour value and amount of pigment used, results can imitate topically applied cosmetics or can be quite unnoticeable. At first, permanent makeup results may look harsh but usually the colour softens within a few days during the healing process. If you thought the eyeliner was harsh, it's about to get worse. Here's where the not so pretty part comes in.

As with tattoos, permanent makeup may have complications, such as allergies to the pigments, formation of scars, skin cracking, peeling, blistering and local infection. No, you won't suffer makeup meltdown, but there are instances of the enhancements being "too dark," "wrong colour," "uneven" and "too big." These are fixable, but sometimes painful removal is the only solution.

Long lasting makeup tips you'll love forever!

Before going to extremes, there are tons of innovative products that achieve the same effects. Try these products that stay put until you painlessly wash them off.

  • Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Cream Gel (for a healthy looking tan without the sun)
  • Benefit ChaChaTint (lip and cheek stain; to add that sun kissed finish)
  • BareMinerals Prime Time Primer Shadows (crease and water proof!)
  • Liquid eye liners ; Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner or Le Stylo BY CHANTECAILLE
  • Lancome Aquacils Waterproof Mascara with Keratine
  • Long lasting lip stains; Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain & Color Seal Balm in Guava
  • Mac tinted lip conditioners with an SPF 15

Unlike what's-her-name emblazoned on your arm these aren't a lifelong commitment. Try one or try them all and you won't regret it.

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact