For many women, makeup is essential to helping them feel better and more confident about themselves. But makeup takes time, a regular outlay of money, a clear view of your face and a steady hand. If you fall short in any of these areas, it can be a bother.
However, now women have an option: permanent makeup from The Forum Salon & Day Spa in Fort Wayne. Imagine waking up with no-smudge makeup that does not need to be reapplied for several years.
"Permanent makeup is especially beneficial for anybody who is allergic to makeup or cannot see very well to apply it, especially eyeliner and eyebrow liner," says Melody Pastura, certified permanent makeup technician at The Forum. It is also a blessing for people with alopecia (a form of hair loss) who have lost their eyebrows and for people who have difficulty using their fingers and hands.
Permanent makeup is actually a cosmetic tattoo. "It's not the same kind of tattoo that regular tattoo artists use. It's made of smaller molecules, and we don't go as deep into the skin as a body tattoo does," Pastura says. She, herself, has had her lower lids tattoo-lined where the lashes grow out and her upper lids enhanced, which is a technique where colored ink is inserted in tiny dots between the lashes to better define the eyes.
Pastura gets the most requests for upper and lower eyeliner, but she also tattoos on eyebrows as well as lip liner and fill-in.
Clients are made as comfortable as possible, reclining on a raiseable bed, while soothing music plays in the background. For all procedures, Pastura starts with a 25-minute numbing process using a topical anesthetic cream to minimize discomfort. For the eyeliner procedure, she has the client put on her eyeliner the way she likes to wear it after wiping off the numbing cream.
"Together, we come up with something we both like. Then I tattoo right over it," she says. Pastura mainly uses an electric pen-like machine called a rotary machine for tattooing.
Her makeup clients typically are in their 40s or 50s. "I just did the eyebrows today of a lady' who is 60," she says. "The older we get, the more our eyebrows disappear, and tattooing is nice because it looks like hair so the client doesn't have to mess with it."
You could call permanent makeup a misnomer, although it does last from three to five years, depending on one's exposure to the sun. "That's why we recommend sun block when you go out," Pastura says. The tattoos eventually fade to the extent that the client can have them retouched or just let them fade.
Pastura first heard about permanent makeup when she joined The Forum as an assistant cosmetologist for owners Kent Stevens and Dawn Lewis. The former dental lab technician and makeup artist noticed that they advertised permanent makeup, but nobody was doing it because the previous technician moved away right before she started. "So I asked them if I could do it here if I went to school for it, and they said, 'Absolutely.'"
Pastura received her training from Polly Parker, a certified permanent cosmetic professional and 22-year veteran of the art from Wabash, Indiana. She intends to go back to get advanced training to help women who have had reconstructive breast surgery, learning how to tattoo on the breast areola and how to tattoo to camouflage scars.
For this technician who loves working with her hands, her enjoyment comes from seeing her clients excited after the procedure is finished. "And being excited about not having to worry about their makeup every day," she says.*