Newschannel 6 Exclusive: The Cost Of Beauty

Permanent cosmetics have been around for about ten years.  In Texoma, it seem the procedures are gaining popularity.

Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers is looking at the cost of beauty and why women are willing to spend so much on something that stays on your face forever.

She talked with women who have had it done, the artists who do it and a local doctor to see if there are any health concerns associate with the permanent makeup.

The standard options for permanent cosmetic tattoos are eyeliner, lip color and eye brows.  Some artists also do customized reconstructive procedures.

"You'll have a little bit of swelling and a little bit of redness, you'll get a little peeling.  Some peel more than others, it's just part of their healing process," permanent cosmetic technician Richelle Mello said.

The procedure itself only takes a couple of hours and the recovery a few days, but what about the pain?

"Some tell me it itches.  They feel a little discomfort in the corner. Nobody has said it's horrible. It's not, we try to make it as comfortable as possible for the patient," Mello said.

"A good thing about going to a reputable place is they have very good numbing cream," Callie Nichols said.

"It's more mental than it is physical pain," Mello said.

The cost to have a needle inject your face with ink ranges anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.  Which is much more for such a small area when compared to a typical tattoo.

"It's the technical work you have to do in that area. We're about 3/16 of an inch from the eyeball when you're doing eyeliner," Mello said.

Often times, it's not just a one-time fee.

"Generally, you need one touch up. It depends on the patient. Every canvas is different. Some people hold pigment very well some people do not," Mello said.

She had her eyeliner and lip color done several years ago.

"I am lazy, I won't lie. Putting eyeliner on every day was not something I wanted to do and I didn't do. Once I did it, I loved it. My eyes always look awake I don't look as tired or washed out if I don't wear it," Mello said.

It interested her so much, she went to school to become a technician and now works at Kiss and Makeup in Wichita Falls.

"The problem with people and permanent cosmetics is the fear. They are so scared of the pain and they're scared of what if it goes wrong," Mello said.

So, why do women choose to get permanent cosmetics and put their face in the hands of these tattoo technicians?

"Convenience. I'm mother a and being able to wake up in the morning and have color on my face if I need to go run an errand. Or, the end of the day and your lipstick is worn off I still have something there. When we go to the pool I look great and my friends have makeup running down their face,  Nichols said.

"I have a lot of women who have allergies and they're tired of putting it on and it just rubbing off. Same with lips, they're washed out. They don't feel alive. It's self esteem. They get back their self esteem from it because they don't feel washed out and don't have to keep applying," Mello said.

"I've had elderly women come in 70 years old and they can't see to put their makeup on. They don't feel confident about themselves," Kathy Brooking said.

She is a technician at Cosmetics Solutions in Wichita Falls.

Over the years, she has done permanent makeup on thousands of Texomans, including Callie Nichols.

"Make sure that it looks like makeup and that it looks very natural and that you can wear it every day," Nichols said.

So, what if it doesn't turn out quite like you'd hoped?

"Most anything is correctable. I have seen some where people let inexperienced techs work on them and almost anything is correctable. Whether it's poor choice in colors or maybe not such an artistic touch," Brooking said.

"Research shows the number one complication is you are putting that tattoo ink inside living skin and that could migrate to other areas. It's not going to change from eye to cheek but certainly may see couple millimeters. With time, your skin changes," Dr. John Hayley said.

So, what if it does change over time or you decide you just don't want it anymore?

"On the face, you don't want to do a lot of tattoo removal. A lot of it has to do with location. I've had girls come in who ask to have something removed and obviously you wanted it or you wouldn't have chosen this procedure. Usually it's that they are unhappy with shape or color. That's easily correctable," Brooking said.

There are some risks associated with these procedures.  One is the risk of getting the numbing cream in your eye.

"Very painful. It is fixable but something you don't want to deal with. The patient has a brand new eyeliner and their eye is in excruciating pain. You don't want to go through it," Mello said.

"When you're around the eye, there's a chance you could get some in it. If this happens, wash it out.  Normally, corneal epothoma, or front layer, completely fixes itself in about 7 days. So, no irreparable harm. Nothing that can't be fixed, but certainly want to minimize exposure to that medicine," Dr. Hayley said.

Dr. Hayley also said covering certain glands on the eye lid could cause problems later down the road.

"You're actually coating those glands with eyeliners and that can cause destruction of those glands and you end up with watery eye because not holding tears there," Dr. Hayley said.

He recommends getting screened beforehand and said if you scar easily or have Psoriasis or other skin issues, you might not be a candidate.

Brooking said if you have diabetes, she requests you get clearance through your doctor.

"In the general point of view, very little complications, if everything is done correctly and you go to a good reputable place," Dr. Hayley said.

Remember, this is something that will be with you forever, so, make sure it is what you really want.

"It is your face and it's the first thing people see," Mello said.

Everyone we talked with stressed the importance of doing you're homework.

Be sure to check out the artists and facilities and make sure they have experience and ask to see their work.

Also, check to confirm they have all necessary licensing and clean equipment.

Permanent cosmetics fall under the tattooing state laws, therefore, you must be 18 to have it done.

If there is a doctor on staff they are inspected by the state and not through our local health department.

Both of the technicians we talked with do have doctors on staff.

If you'd like to read more about state requirements click here.