I Had My Eyeliner Tattooed

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If you've ever heard about people tattooing on eyebrows or getting permanent lip liner and wondered "Who DOES that?!?", allow me to introduce myself. I'm wearing black eyeliner—forever—and it's been one of my better life decisions, right up there with learning HTML and adopting a tortoise. I paid a lady in Chinatown $150 to do it (found her on Yelp!), and now I'm considering getting my lips permanently tinted, too.

The whole experience has been great and so freeing. I only wear makeup now when it sounds fun and I'm excited to do it. For me, cosmetics are a great means of self-expression, but on Monday at 8 am when all I'm trying to express is my need to be at work in a half hour, the goal is to put as little work as possible into looking good. Hence my willingness to let a tattoo gun puncture my lash lines. It was an uncomfortable experience to say the least, but now for the rest of my life I never even have to consider whether my eye makeup will smudge, and combined with bimonthly at-home lash tinting it's actually cheaper than getting new products on a regular basis. Of course, like any tattoo, permanent makeup fades over time. So in a few years I'll go back in to have the ink freshened up. But $500 in tattoo maintenance over a decade is still a substantial money/time/frustration savings over replacing $39 liquid liner every three months, ya know?

Long story short, I'm very, very happy and if you're interested, here are the things I'd recommend you do to get the best possible permanent makeup:

Absolutely research and read every review you can.

-Make sure your artist is reputable, licensed by the state, and has excellent studio hygiene.

-Ask for photos of your artist's work to make sure their cosmetic style is compatible with what you want—any professional will have a book.

-Take super close-up, clear photos of your eyes wearing the kind of liner you want, then use them as a guide.

-Talk about how thin/dark you want the ink and be very precise; the more straightforward you are the easier it is for your artist.

-Have the artist draw practice lines on your eyes beforehand until it's exactly the shape you want.

-Ask for the slightly more expensive hand-tattooing option rather than the tattoo gun if it's available—you'll get finer, more precise results.

If needles/pain are your main concerns, I have some good news...and some bad news. The good news: there's numbing cream, so it won't hurt unless you're getting liner tattooed right next to your eyeball, literally on the rims of your eyes (which is what I did; it hurt, but it was worth it). The bad news: there's no avoiding the needle. If you're terrified of shots and may start freaking out, please, please do not go get this done. I don't want to see you on the front page of The Post talking about how your eyeball is permanently polka dotted.

There's some healing time involved, just as with any tattoo. I had minor scabbing that no one besides me even noticed, and some places will try to sell you a healing ointment to speed up the process, but any triple antibiotic ointment will work just as well.

Eyeliner is probably the least traumatic/noticeable permanent makeup, so if I'm making my experience sound suspiciously easy, that's because it was. If I'd gone in to get my eyebrows or lips done, there would have been significantly more scabbing and a longer healing time. Other than that, I think I'm just about ready to give permanent lip color a try! I need to bring in good stain/lipstick/gloss options, so if you have suggestions, let me know. Also, if you have any other questions, I'll answer them to the best of my abilities—just put 'em in the comments!

—Lacey Gattis

Photo by Elizabeth Brockway.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Alyssa Gapske

    This is very intriguing. Just this morning I was thinking about how sick I was of taking time to do my makeup every morning. My aunt had it done and said it's life changing!

  • ITGLacey

    Hi Niya,
    And I'm sorry you feel that way. Eyeliner is a small luxury that makes me happy, so I don't think this is ridiculous—at all.

    • Lilly

      Actually, eyeliner and eyebrows tattoo-ing is very popular in South East Asia, it's not over the top at all. I don't wear a lot of makeup, but feel naked without eyeliner, so I see where Lacy is coming from. Be carefuk with eyebrow tattoo-ing, though. It droops and changes shape as you get older.

    • SC

      I really appreciate this article because some of us asked to hear about it (in the comments thread on another story)!

  • Jane

    This sounds very interesting! I agree that tattooed eyeliner is probably less traumatic than tattooed eyebrow, possibly because it's less visible and allows more room for change. Though for someone who has monolid and requires a thicker eyeliner, I'm more hesitant to do it. Also just a fyi on lip color, as someone who has very tinted lips, finding lipsticks can be annoying because nothing looks the same on lips as their tube colors.

  • lauren k.

    is that photo of you? if so, that's basically exactly what i would want... i tightline/waterline everyday, even if i'm not wearing any other makeup, because i look straight-up ill without it. i can't imagine just being able to get up and go about my day without putting on eyeliner! must be so freeing!

    • ITGLacey

      It is indeed my eye! I have very light lashes, so I'm in the same boat, definition wise. I really like the way it looks, although unless I point it out, no one can really tell it's even there.

    • Anonymous

      Most women look "ill" without eyeliner because they're used to wearing it so much. I know girls who have rarely ever worn eyeliner so they look much better without it, and when you do see them with eyeliner its just weird. And then I know girls who almost always wear eyeliner and I'm used to seeing them like that, so when I finally see them without it, it looks strange.

  • Claudia Fox

    I get why you would do this, but good god does it sound terrifying! I don't even use normal eyeliner though so I would never do it. You're very brave!

  • Duff

    I got my brows done last year. It was pricey, and TOTALLY ALARMING when healing, a serious chola moment for this Irish girl. Thank God the lady who did it warned me that it would look like someone attacked me with a Sharpie. They healed up great and the fear of sweating/rubbing off my eyebrows is gone. One less fight to fight, ya know?

  • Nina R.

    I went to a facialist years ago who had her eyeliner and lipliner tattooed. It was pretty subtle, but she did look like she had makeup on all the time. As a pigment-deprived person myself, I can relate, although it isn't something I think I'd do. However, I wear lip stain everyday so here are my favorites: Hourglass (flush and scarlet), Serge Lutens (the purpley one - very $$), YSL glossy stains (and the L'Oreal and Sephora knock-offs) have a plethora of colors. Remember that the "natural" color of lips is kind of a purpley/mauve tinge, not what cosmetics companies market as "nude."

  • http://pinkelephantbloggin.com/ Pink Elephant Blog

    Great post! I would be on of those people who are very dubious of anything tattooed on the face (I saw some VERY bad eyebrow jobs!!). But the photo in the post looks fab! Doesn't actually look like full on liner, just like your lashes are really thick! I love that look! x


  • Kirsty

    Ouch! This makes my eyes water just thinking about it! I have to admit though, it does look great! I'm assuming you have to keep your eyes really still for this? How do you not blink? I go wild just having my eyelashes tinted so I'd definitely be the one with the polka dot eyeballs!

    Effortlessly Excessive.

    • ITGLacey

      It was actually ok—the artist was verrrrrry patient & went tiny bit by tiny bit with plenty of breaks in between so my eyes weren't too irritated. But yeah—that was not my favorite part :(

  • Neta

    Could you give us more info on where you went to get it done- sounds like going to the wrong practioner could be really scary! And how long was your healing time? Very interesting stuff!

    • ITGLacey

      Hi Neta! I didn't really have any downtime because the liner is so thin. I also didn't have any swelling, bruising, etc., although I know that if I'd gotten winged liner, brows or lips done it would probably be a very different story. I had a little scabbing on the third & fourth days, but I was the only one who could even see it (again, same definitely isn't true with brows or lips)

  • Aurélia Diotima Bode

    To be honest I can hardly see your eyeliner but your eyes are so pretty!!! Lucky girl. Having tattoos myself I can relate to the liberating feeling, I guess, but I'd still be scared as! Please share pictures of your lip tint if you decide to get it done :)

  • Bella

    i don't always wear eyeliner. If I don't feel like it, I put on a strong lip, some bronzer and mascara. I sometimes love the barely done eye look. I am also the anti-tattoo Nazi and I have the lowest pain threshhold on the planet.
    So I am very happy that your experience was not too traumatic and that you're happy with your results!!

    • ITGLacey

      Thank you! I can totally appreciate that it's not everybody's bag, but eyeliner has always been my favorite makeup, so for me it made sense.

  • Mackenzie

    Ooh, can you share the Chinatown lady's info!? Also, is it safe for people who wear contacts?

    • ITGLacey

      Hey! I actually had my contacts in while I was getting it done, although I kinda wish I'd just worn my glasses, since I spent the entire time worried my contacts were going to fall out :( I'm waiting back on word from the artist about whether she's comfortable having her info shared, but if she gives me the go ahead I'd be delighted to tell you!

  • Nicole

    Funny, but things like this are exactly why I come to this site every day.

    Lacey, I have never wanted permanent eyeliner, but seeing yours makes me seriously reconsider. Beautiful!

    • Niya

      LOL, it's a little bit OTT for me. I can take it from celebs but otherwise I think it's a bit out of touch from reality. Do your thing though!

      • softy

        not sure where you live, but in most major cities more people have tattooed makeup on than you'd think. it's not out of touch from reality at all.

        • Niya

          I live in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. I think my background is a bit different from everybody here to be honest.

          • Lilac

            I live in Switcerland, and I have a European background. But guess what, I have tatooed eyeliner, and I love it.

      • mary d

        i live in NY and its so not way OTT, people do it all the time regular people who just want to look good or feel it makes them so…i guess in some places this sounds OTT - but it just another beauty treatment as, fillers, teeth bleaching, ect. - must you be wealthy or a celeb to desire to look the best you can or desire nice things?

  • K.B.

    You totally had me convinced until you said you'd have to go in every few years and get it touched up. Back to my painstaking 5-10 minute application complete with a Q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover to clean up mistakes/thin out the line. And another 5 minutes to reapply because no matter how long I try to wait before curling my lashes, it ALWAYS comes off.

    Thanks for this article! I bet you're sitting there laughing at my simple ways while occasionally glancing at yourself in the compact mirror you keep in your purse so that you can enjoy seeing your perfect eyeliner application whenever you need a pick-me-up. ;)

  • Sailor

    Maybe I'm crazy, but I don't see it at all. A before and after pic perhaps?

  • Rhea Silvia

    I had my eyeliner done last year and I am so happy I did! My eyes are heavy-lidded, so it makes a hell of a difference when I have eyeliner on. Now when I camp, swim and workout, I don't look half asleep.

    Thank you for writing this. Before I took the plunge I was looking for articles like this, but few exist. If you love wearing eyeliner and you're tired of wasting your time and money, then consider it please! I went to a woman in Koreatown and paid $300. Worth it yo.

  • Grace

    please please please take photos of the process if you get your lips done!! also, how do you now go about wearing bright or different coloured eyeliners? (always a fan of the stilla emerald green or periwinkle blue eyeliner) will you just be able to layer it over the top, or only black for you!?

    • ITGLacey

      Hi Grace! It's basically tight-lined, so I can still use any color I want & it shows up! I actually did a bronze smoky eye over the weekend & it looked the same as always

  • debbiland

    What does it look like when you don't have mascara on?

  • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

    My mom (full Asian with no eyebrows) has her brows, eyeliner and lip liner tattooed. She did this more than 10 years ago by a Vietnamese lady in my hometown and then again in Vietnam. She loved it, but she did say she would never do her lips again. (She did her lips in Vietnam).

    I remember being with her after her lip liner procedure in Vietname; we were leaving to come back to the U.S. and she looked like a FREAK! Her lips were swollen 4x bigger and she wore one of those little face masks that all the Asian ladies wear :) When she had to take it off to get through security, the guard insisted she put it back on! :-) We still joke about this.

    The color has faded and she's said she wouldn't do it again. I'm wondering if it's because your lips are always prone to moisture that it fades quicker? Anywho, we need to see pics of your eyeliner (I'm assuming that's not it in the picture in the post?).

    I am about ready to save up for a brow transplant. I HATE powdering my brows everyday!

    • HackerGirl

      Luckily technology has changed, the procedure now is painless with no swelling and amazing colors available now. I did mine the morning and hubby saw me the afternoon and didn't even notice because there was no swelling. xo

  • softy

    i got mine done about 2 years ago, and it still hasn't faded. i agree, it's the best thing. i also got a really thin line, so while it's totally subtle and no one can tell i have eyeliner on (i have black hair), it still defines my eyes. i do still have to buy eyeliner, though, for times when i do put on makeup. sometimes you want more of an effect!

    i don't know how you're going to get your lips done, though, i heard it's painful beyond belief!

    • ITGLacey

      That's awesome! I'm trying to be pragmatic about how often I might need to have it freshened up, but if it stays like yours has I will be a very happy girl indeed! And as for the lips...tequila & lots of numbing cream??

  • Lee

    Unrelated but Lacey your blue eyes are intensely pretty.

    • ITGLacey

      Thank you so much, Lee! I am legally blind & have no melanin, so I am always very grateful when people are kind about my poor, beleaguered eyes!

  • Katie

    Hi Lacey, what colour is the ink? did you get it dotted between your lashes or in a line above them? thanks!

    • ITGLacey

      Hi! It's soft black & I did indeed have it dotted between the lashes!

  • Susanna

    My mom has her lips, brows, and eyeliner all tattooed on and loves it. You would never be able to tell since its all very simplistic and the lips and very light.
    Plus i get to tell her that she literally has face tattoos, which is fun for me.

    • ITGLacey

      I am totally going to start telling everyone I have cool new face tats. Cue terrified call from my poor mom in 3, 2, 1...

  • Franquie

    Lacey, I love this!!! I have the trifecta - brows, full liner & soft full lip colour (no liner) and it is the BEST THING EVER. Everything is always perfect, and all I need is mascara, a touch of creme blush and some lip balm with SPF. No one ever believes me when I tell them it's all permanent. I have my skin & my patients to focus on (and now my 7 month old) and I don't have time to mess with applying & touching up makeup! There IS such a freedom about the whole thing - you know you always look good. No, it's not for everyone, but when you know yourself & how you want to present yourself on a daily basis, it's a wonderful option.

    I agree completely with your recommendations with the exception of hand tattooing - it is very harsh on the skin, your practitioner should have varying guns & needles (single, 3, 5, 7, etc) for small & large areas. Hand tattooing also results in more swelling, bruising, healing time & distortion during the process, which is not ideal for precision. I recommend going in for a consult first with your pictures, take your makeup, and have them apply/talk through your vision. They should color swatch the pigments on your skin - one color/style/size/shape does not fit all, and if they pull out a stencil get out of there!

    Healing-wise, Aquaphor is the go to for ointment. Liner should heal in about 3 days, brows a week & lips 3 weeks because they shed the most colour... FYI, lips look scary dark until they fully heal. Wearing SPF will protect the color, and don't use retin-a, peels or have any lasering done over treated areas.

    I am so strict on researching your practitioner, I only allow my patients to see one person who comes with years in the medical field. I also like to point out that a cosmetic Derm I have so much respect for, Dr. Leslie Baumann, is pro permanent cosmetics, with obvious caveats.

    One last thing (since I have already over posted!) I tell my patients who are worried about exacerbating wrinkling & laxity in the peri orbital area by applying eyeliner daily to just do it! You will eliminate all that tugging & pulling of the delicate tissue.

  • magicmollys

    This is so cool.

    • ITGLacey

      Hello! How is your foods-periment going?!?!

  • Guest

    I have very sensitive skin and am allergic to many things. I would NEVER do this. What if something went wrong? Would you really risk losing your eyesight in order to avoid the two minutes it takes to apply eyeliner every morning? I sure as hell wouldn't.

    • ITGLacey

      That's why research is so important!

  • JenniferCN

    Perm make-up seems so appealing. My mom has her eyeliner and brows done yet she always wonders how I am able to endure all the body tattoos I have. However, I'm the one whose too skiddish to have the needle near my eye! Kudos to you ladies.

  • http://www.dearskim.com/ Sara | Dear Skim

    My mom has had her eyeliner tattooed on as well, though she's only done one touch-up over the past 5-10 years! It's lasted pretty well :) She got it done because her eyes were super sensitive and would be really bad with makeup in the area, but I could see how this would be a major convenience thing.

    Yours looks so natural! Not something I might be able to handle, but the results were quite lovely.

  • Eliza

    This looks amazing! It's so subtle you'd never know there was any tattoo at all--it just looks like a nice thick lashline. Was it horribly painful, though? I have two tattoos (ribs and hip) and parts of them reeeeeally hurt--I cannot imagine that near my eye. Did you blink like crazy? I have too many questions haha but the result is really fantastic.

    I'm surprised that some people think it's so crazy though--maybe they're on the wrong site if the idea of self-enhancing (for your own benefit/joy) is so odd to them. Anything that makes you feel gorgeous is great in my book :)

  • http://www.alittleglitter.com Pamela Bannon

    I am also in NYC. Can you please email me the name of the woman you saw? My email is pamela@alittleglitter.com. Thank you for posting this! I feel the same way every morning. I rarely even wear eye makeup anymore because I have no time to put it on.

    • softy

      hey, thought i'd throw in a rec since my eyeliner came out perfectly. i went all the way to nj from nyc to have it done because my mom swears by the owner of this salon: http://skinstation.com/locations/newjersey/index.php. the owner, angie, actually has locations in nyc, but i think she personally works out of the nj one the most, and she's the one i trust the most, so i wouldn't get it done by anyone but her. if you ever see her, you'll die over her skin. she's gotta be at least 50 but looks 30. she did her own tattooed eyeliner as well and it looks so subtle and natural on her, that's what gave me the confidence to trust her to get it done right on me.

  • MsEaves

    a) you have crazy-pretty eyes
    b) what mascara are you wearing?
    c) which eyeliner were you using before? I still haven't found a good one

  • English Rose

    Seriously think long and hard before you go ahead with eyeliner tattoo. I had it done 2 years ago and it was a really unpleasant experience. I found it impossible not to blink and flicker as the needle hammers so close to your eye. It was extremely painful despite the numbing cream and once the procedure had started there was no going back. Your eyes screw up as a reflex to protect your eyeball so it is very difficult resisting this urge. Because I found it so difficult to just stay completely still my lines are not perfect and so now I use eyeliner to straighten up the tattooed line. Was it worth it? I would say no - eyes and needles!

  • http://mikamartyniuk.tumblr.com/ Mika M

    Wow, you surpriser you :). It looks great. I'm more on the lipstick frenzy side, that's why I don't consider permanent eyeliner for myself. But I love tattoos, I have my whole back done. And, for me, your actions featured here are never ridiculous. Accepting your eyes with or without eyeliner is more or less the same, as long as it contents you. I believe that sometimes we are jailbirds of repetitive phrases and common places that lacerate in a mild way a good piece of individuality and freedom. By the way, the blues and teals in your eyes are surreal!

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    I couldn't do it! It looks great however!

  • Molly

    You mention you do bi-monthly lash tinting...what brand do you use?? I'd love to try this!

  • fauxmccoy

    i am new to this blog, but your eyeliner looks stunning -- in the 'omg what gorgeous eyes you have' not in the 'hey, fabulous eyeliner' way.

    as one who has survived cancer and chemo twice, i have lost all of my body hair and the hair on my head came back very different. i have grown to embrace the new, auburn waves on my head, but my brows and lashes never did go back to their former glory. this is something that makes me feel very self conscious. i am sure that nobody really notices but me, but it is a grim reminder that i must face every time i pass a mirror.

    i have had my brows tattooed about 7 years ago and the woman who did it was fabulous, the job has held up well. i am not sure i will repeat, but time will tell.

    i really like the tightlining aspect of your lid tattoo and will definitely consider it for myself. i pay to have both lash and brows tinted every few weeks so that even when i don't wear makeup, i still have some 'oomph' in those areas.

    people who are naysayers have likely not experienced what i have, but i'm here to tell you that humans with scant or no brows/lashes appear freakish and yes, strangers do notice and comment. i for one am all for whatever a woman wishes to do as long as it is safe and a decision not made by some manifestation of body dysmorphia.

  • Lea

    The most important thing is that you are happy with your choice and it works for you. I couldn't do it because I'm to indecisive in my makeup style, the french style (total naked eye and red lips) one day and full on smoky eyes the next. I have dark eyelashes so I never feel naked without makeup on my eyes, but I never go out with at least my tinted moisturiser on!

  • Duff

    WARNING: Graphic. Photos only for the brave.
    The 1st photo is years old but (sadly) the only one I could find where I had NO makeup on. The car selfie is right after the procedure and I was having a serious OMG WTF HAVE I DONE moment. The last one is with minimal or no brow makeup. (I usually fill them in a little still, so it was hard to find a shot without any fluffing.)

    They are way softer and lighter healed. I wanted them to stay relatively thin, FYI. I don't like a thick brow on me, plus I wanted the option to make them thicker only if I wanted to.

    • anita

      thank you <3 it looks really good

      • Duff

        You are more than welcome. I should add, the woman who did it warned that they will fade and people often get them re-tattooed every 5 years or so. I got them done about a year ago, so we'll see how they do long term.

    • thunderlegz


    • Paula Meegan

      Wow...they look awesome. I too have been thinking about having my brows done. I have super thin brows after a life time of plucking, threading and waxing (remember when super thin brows were in). Of course they've also thinned out with aging as well. I didn't want to end up with unnatural Frida brows either so I've been on the fence. But I'm so tired of spending more time on my brows in the morning than I do on anything else and then being afraid of them smearing throughout the day even though I've spent a small fortune on the latest and greatest brow product that promises "smudge proof and water proof". LIARS.
      For the record, I'm sure it looked worse to you, but your brows in the car selfie doesn't look bad at all. I think I'm going to start researching artists in my city today. Thanks for the inspiration.

      • Duff

        Girl, YES! All those waterproof/smudge proof/sweat proof claims are lies, filthy lies. Even now when I fill mine in they fade or smear a little. I will say I've had decent luck with MUFE Aqua Brow but there is a learning curve.

        I think the best part of having the tattoos is that there is a permanent template for whatever product I use. Before I was basically going from scratch and you know how that goes... The right looks totally different from the left or the shape varies too much day to day, and it takes a shitload of time. It could be I'm totally inept with brow makeup but that's immaterial. Now it takes practically no time to do them, when I choose to do so. And that, as they say, is priceless.

        Okay, so recently I played guinea pig for my aesthetician when she started doing the "vampire" facial (microneedling followed by marinating in your own platelet-rich plasma). She wanted me to take a bunch of pics so she could show her other clients. The first one is immediately after where I am doing my best zombie corpse impression to frighten my pal who was getting the procedure the next day. No brow products, obvs. The next one is first thing the next morning. The last is the next morning after workday MU. The brow situation is much more clear in these pics, which I am posting in the interest of curious and skeptical women everywhere despite them being some scary ass images. Best of luck in finding an artist and let us know how it turns out.

  • http://www.kimberlyloc.com/ kimberlyloc

    Clean freaks? Ya got me. I'm only half-Asian, and I didn't get the face-mask-wearing-gene.

    • Anne

      to protect from the sun or wind. :)

  • Niya

    I never stated that I think every Dutchie is natural, and I actually consider Amsterdam a "major city" in Europe, even though it is not necessarily similar to major cities in the US.

    Anyway, I personally think tattooing eyeliner is over the top and not worth recommending, and that probably has to do with the fact that I have a different frame of reference than others here. Which is absolutely fine, everyone can do and think whatever they want.

    • Guest

      but you made it sound like your cultural background had a lot to do with your "vantage" point in the beginning that's why Cindy wrote what she wrote. I think you were being a bit rude to the writer.

      What she does is "ridiculous" and not within reality? That's rude. Then you try to cover up your cattiness with fluff words like "i'm sorry" and "do your thing". That's backhanded.

      it's like walking up to a girl and saying "LOL, are those the shoes you're wearing? Well if it makes you happy, good for you"

      Then it sounds like you're using culture shock to cover up your cattiness. "Well I'm from XYZ so I see it from a different vantage point". If you ever travel the world, even to a country where you have a language barrier, they can pretty much figure out what your deal is. We're all not that set apart.

      Yeah, I don't think tattooing my eyelids or spending that much on eyeliner is my thing. But I'm a grown woman too and I do spend on little luxuries. This whole site is about little luxuries. There's no need for shaming.

      The writer doesn't deserve ridicule. Opposing opinions yes, but not ridicule.

      • Peaches

        I thought i deleted this comment but i suppose i stand by it. The guest above is me.

      • softy

        this is everything.

  • Niya

    It's considered hygienic and it's supposed to protect the environment around you (so for instance, you wear it when you are sick and don't want to infect/contaminate others around you). It's actually a very polite and considerate thing to do!

    • charmystique

      I thought that was it too, till I visited Taiwan, and a taxi-driver told me they do that cos it helps them keep warm. Very enlightening!

  • Ania

    Hi! This looks amazing! Do you mind sharing where you went and who you used so us NYC can visit :)? Thank you so much!

  • Prenouveau

    I don't know if this is true for the eyes, but was told for my regular tattoos that white ink doesn't last.

  • Prenouveau

    Are you still doing the lash extensions as well?

  • ChickieBella

    I love the idea. As I've gotten older this queen of eyeliner has found that her eyes are drier. I wear contacts and I love lining my lids with liner. I've used all brands and types over the past 20 years. I think it's my aging eyes :(
    This could solve my problem as I don't feel finished with out my "eyes" on. Thank you for the article!

  • niki

    Hi Lacey!I thought of making lip tattoo too, but a lady told me that it looks very bad when it starts to fade...So I just gave up...
    Do you know anything about this?

  • LisaGG

    It would be nice to see a pic of your eye without mascara on

  • lauren

    I have my eyebrows done and only the ends which were sparse! I've had it over 7 years and it still looks decent. Please post the name of shop if possible! I'm in NYC area and ready to try eyeliner....also any info on eyelash perms? Thanks!!!

  • Guest

    Did you do your bottom lash line as well or just the top??

  • http://www.sparklesandshoes.com/ Kelly

    I have always wondered about this - thanks for the great review!

  • Jill

    Wow - I have never heard of this! Looks very natural. Maybe it's already been addressed in the comments, but did you only have the top lid lined? I can't see that it's been done on the bottom and I'm wondering if that can be done as well?

  • http://www.sparklesandfreckles.com/ maudesarah

    This looks absolutely fabulous and hassle free! The permanent eyeliner I usually see is nothing like that, way less subtle. I never thought I'd even consider this option, it seems like being stuck with a bad cat-eye is to big of a risk for me, but I guess it's all depending on the type of line you're getting. Going for a very close from the eye - brownish-black is a good bet for everyday life.

    I've worked in a hair salon and I must say that permanent ink made such a huge/awesome effect on people who lost their eyebrows. So I'm kind of all for it now, especially seeing it nicely done like that. It just has to be done with moderation and taste ( and a very talented tatooer).

  • Anne

    When I was visiting my hometown (in Asia) I got my lips tattooed. The lips themselves looked fine but I really, really missed my no-makeup face the next morning and the thought of never seeing myself without makeup again kind of freaked me out. So I didn't go back for the second application and scrubbed with soap and it faded pretty quickly. Interesting experiment for me.

  • Layla Corcoran

    I want to see the eye without any other makeup.

  • http://instagram.com/funshine_sky bunnygrrrl3000

    Don't get your lips done! My co-worker did and it faded to look like shitty lip-liner. The skin on your lips regenerates quicker than the skin around your lips. It looks so bad on her and she regrets it.

  • Amyzz

    How long did the processes take? Also I think Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy Lipstick in Desirable, patisserie by mac and beatnik by topshop are great natural lip colours but not actually sure how they'd looked if they were tattooed on

  • http://www.sveltecollective.co.uk/ Adeline

    So interesting! It's not something I'd do myself (I'm lucky I naturally have thick, dark lashes, although the same genes also gave me luscious hair in unwanted places. You win some you lose some, eh?) but I've always wondered what the process was like. It's actually a lot more common than people think! And, needles that close to your beautiful eyeballs? You brave woman, you.

    Also, that permanent makeup story was great but I still want to hear more about this tortoise.

  • Sally Lyndley

    Hiya Lacey, Sooooo obsessed with this post and your organic posts. I wanted to ask you if you have tried eyelash tinting? I tried it this last month, but I wanted to see if you knew there where any risks involved with the dye so close to precious and sensitive eyeballs... Thanks for your awesome posts on ITG, they have become my favorite.

    • ITGLacey

      Hi Sally! Thank you so much for the kind words! Did you like tinting?

      I do indeed dye mine every few weeks, and the safety really depends on the dye. Vegetable tints are usually gentle, but some places use stuff that's basically hair dye, & those formulations contain oxidants (luckily usually just hydrogen peroxide, but... still).

      The other thing with lash dye is that it's not FDA approved, so it exists in a weird product limbo where you're ok to use it, but there's no guarantee it won't sting the crap out of your eyes.

      The thing that actually makes the biggest difference for me is the size of the brush used to apply the solution. I DIY mine a lot & use these: http://into.gl/Tiny_Brushes. They're shaped like mini mascara wands, so they coat lashes without getting a bunch of product in your eye.

      I also put Klorane cooling patches around my eyes as shields before I apply the dye—keeps my lash lines safe & makes me look well-rested after, too.

      • Sally Lyndley

        Thank you so much for all of this info, I had a feeling it was similar to hair dye and while not awesome to get in my eyes, there's no immediate threat I should know about. I got my lashes and brows tinted last month at a Benefit makeup and dry bar that popped in my neighborhood in SoCal. They do lash and brow tinting for $32, and the girl doing it is a licensed hair colorist. She did a good job, used those Klorane eye patches on my eyes too, to keep the color under control, and I am super stoked with the brow shape and lash color.
        Getting the tinting done has cut my makeup routine down to almost nothing... Now I just do W3LL people universalist multi use color stick in 3 and their narcissist foundation + concealer stick, and I am good to go. Sometimes I will add RMS buriti bronzer and a clear brow gel if I want to be a little more groomed.
        The lash tinting def makes a difference and I feel more well put together straight out of bed... think i am addicted... Tattooed eyeliner may be in my future, my mom had it done in Oklahoma and it looks amazing. And she is obsessed with it, too. It's all about taking the morning beauty routine down to almost nothing!

  • Kate

    A photo would have been helpful.

  • http://vainpursuits.com Ruby

    @disqus_VNL3AiYH0z:disqus Haters gotta hate, and everyone's different. If the argument is that tattooing makes your life more convenient, or better, or both - then do it, and don't judge!


    • Niya

      Everybody is allowed to have their own opinion and express it ;)

  • mary d

    kinda rude for you to impose negativity on her choice---she wasn't asking yr opinion or permission…she stated what she did, and how it works for her and passed it on…but to laud it as ridiculous…NO …it wasn't for her and for all those who have indulged in doing so or any other cosmetic procedure.

    • anonymous

      She posted an article that is open to comments. She shouldn't be shocked if she gets some criticism. Personally I agree with Niya. But thats because I prefer natural beauty and I think its great when women have enough confidence to skip the makeup on occassion. I just don't see tattooed makeup as part of natural beauty. That's my personal opinion. I don't care if other people want to tattoo make up on themselves, but that doesn't mean I have to like the concept of it. Every one has the right to their own opinion. Its like how some men like makeup on women and some do not. Its all a matter of personal opinion, so if you post an article about it then you should be prepared to accept different comments.

  • Chelsea

    I think I went to the same lady in Chinatown and I had a heavier but still moderate cat eye done on my upper lid. I've had mine a couple years now and I'm overdue for a touchup. My only warning is that black tattoos can fade to a bluish tone. I'm going to ask about getting a very dark brown next time instead.

    Overall, it's great to never do my eyeliner (unless on special occasions I add a little to darken it), and I even look done up in bootcamp class or first thing in the morning!

    Re. pain--it's a tattoo on your eyelid, so it will hurt. But it's not going to take too long and they will use lidocaine.

  • Everlasting Beauty

    I'm a nurse and a permanent make up artist. I use numbing cream, and cosmetic tattoing machine. I used to do the hand method but the machine does a much nicer job. Some of the comments on here are not accurate. If you are considering permanent brow, liners, lips, scar camouflaging or areolas, Please give me a call. I'm located in Upstate New York.
    Everlasting Beauty LLC

  • M.

    Can the "waterline" be tattooed? Thank you.

  • Mack

    Hi Lacey! I love your article! I hardly wear make-up; used to buy them all the time but never got good in applying them. I had my eyeliner done in Korea 2 years ago; my artist used the hand technique. Just like you, it's one of the best things I've done! I am currently looking for an artist to make my lines thicker. I am also considering lip tinting :)

    For someone who is as lazy or as bad as me when it comes to applying make-up, this is one very good advice. Thank you!

  • Paula Meegan

    Hi Lacey. I'm from Chicago and know many women - all of different ethnicities and backgrounds - who have had cosmetic tattooing. Personally I don't see a thing wrong with it as long as it makes YOU feel better and it improves the quality of YOUR life. I might have a different opinion if you had tattooed electric blue eyeliner and fuchsia lips, but even then, it's YOUR face to do with as you please. What you chose isn't trendy or garish; it enhances your natural beauty. And as far as the "pain" is concerned, let's face it...we all suffer for beauty in some way or another. I would like to say that I'm aging gracefully, but as a 41 year old woman who suffered with acne as a young person and grew up in the age sun worshipping, I have no problem admitting that I really go above and beyond to take care of my skin now. I live modestly in certain areas in my life so that I can splurge on things that are important to me like good skin care products, occasional facials and the yearly chemical peel. I make no apologies. And honestly, because your liner looks SO good, if I can find it in my budget, I'm starting to consider getting my brows and upper eyelid liner done as well. Good luck and keep on being adorable.

  • Maryl S

    I love mine. My eyes water really bad and by the time i got to work it was gone. With the permanent eyeliner my eyes always look made up. It literally took 4 minutes! It was a little uncomfortable but not painful. Highly recommended.

  • http://savageryandsex.tumblr.com/ Vaniessa Chit

    Eyeliner & eyebrow tattoo are pretty common here in Malaysia - especially among the older ladies :p however I do agree that you have to find a reputable artist and not just any artist as they're available everywhere here! Some of them do look good in it but some don't - some had their eyebrow tattooed so badly that it looks so fake. It's always important to find a reliable one and if it makes you happy, why not? :)

  • Skywatcher

    Wow. What gorgeous eyes you have my dear! Love this look! You are so brave but it turned out soooo well...Thanks for sharing!

  • Guest

    Actually, 39$ on an eyeliner isn't that bad. I'm guessing Lacey enjoyed using high quality liners. I used the same from MAC before getting my eyeliner tattooed. And I wouldn't change my decisions!

    Now, I can go swimming, jogging or walk around on a hot day and my makeup stays unsmudged and intact. Important, I rarely used makeup before I went through timess of enjoying it and times when I couldn't be bothered. I start feeling all the maintenance was taking a toll on my skin.

    I also had my eyebrows done too, which I feel really great about. over ten years ago my face was burned in a gas explosion accident and the one part of my face that didn't fully recover was the growth of my brows. I can't explain how much nicer it is not to get stares at my hairless forehead. Funny thing is, I normally have to tell people they are fake; because with the right makeup artist they will simply look like well manicured eyebrows.

    Take Care Lacey!

  • Karen

    I read your post with interest because I had my eyeliner tatoos 3 days before going to Florida. I asked if there would be swelling and the woman told me no. Anyway, to say it was uncomfortable is an understatement. It was quite unbearable and I eventually told her to stop. I would never recommend it to anyone because that's why I did it; it was recommended by a woman who had it done 3 times - eyes of steel. Besides, I hear you have to get touch ups as well - not me!

  • HackerGirl

    I had my eyes done, but a much thicker line, just did my lips. Best decision ever. I'm very pale and in meetings the entire day and looking good at the end of the day or rolling out of bed looking Hollywood glammer is sooooooo convenient!!! No regrets <3