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Permanent Make-up Info



By now, the average American woman is familiar with the term, 'permanent make-up'.... a gentle type of tattooing in the facial area in the form of eyebrows, eyeliner or lip color.  Many women have either had a procedure done or know of someone that has had a procedure done.  Still, it is a course of action that one does not rush into.   Many people have questions and concerns that they want addressed and answered.


Hello, I'm Jennifer A. Portley.... licensed esthetician, make-up artist and permanent make-up specialist.  My office for permanent make-up is located at 5141 Moorpark Ave., Suite 201, San Jose CA.  I have been a licensed esthetician since 1983, starting work in a skin-care clinic specializing in acne control.  I then branched out into the world of cosmetics where I have been working for over 15 years as an award-winning make-up artist for film, print and video.


In 2001, I completed my education in permanent cosmetics.  I found that with my background, I adapted quite quickly and started my business in the field immediately.  I have been absorbed in the field ever since. But, always with the realization that one can never know too much, I took additional courses with those established as the leaders in our industry.  And, of course, as all permanent make-up specialists should, I keep up on all current literature in the profession.


There are two questions that arise during nearly every client's consultation with me.  The first of these being "Will it hurt?"  Which is eventually followed by "What will it look like?"  Let me take the time to address both of these questions now.

As far as pain is concerned....



We have come a long way in this area.  When I had my first procedure done years ago, permanent make-up specialists were not allowed to offer any type of topical anesthetics to their clients.  Clients had no choice but to grin and bear it. I will be the first to admit that I did not bear it very well.  Yes, it was painful! But, vanity got the better of me.  Shortly after I healed and saw the set of beautiful, soft eyebrows I now possessed, I decided to continue on and have a lash enhancement (bits of color implanted just between the lashes to add definition to the eye and fullness to the eyelashes) done.  I think I was influenced by the 'no pain, no gain' mentality.


And, I had no regrets.  I loved the way I looked! Whether I was swimming, exercising or just stepping out of the shower, I no longer felt the need to rush to my 'bag of tricks' to quickly apply my conventional cosmetics before showing my face to the world.  What freedom!


It now is possible to feel that same sense of freedom.... without all the pain. We now have wonderful topical anesthetics available to us.  And, in addition, I have found that doubling the minimum amount of time the anesthetics are recommended to remain on the skin before beginning the procedure adds much to one's comfort level.


Most clients tell me that going through a procedure is similar to the feeling of having their eyebrows tweezed.  In fact, I recently did a procedure on myself. Yes, I decided to be creative one afternoon, pulled out my magnifying mirror and sat down to add an eyeliner to that old lash enhancement of mine.  Unlike years ago, this time I was able to anesthetize the area.  What a difference! Even I was surprised at how painless it was.


As far as what it will look like....


That is completely up to you!  Once we have consulted as to what your desires are (and yes, as a make-up artist I will definitely give my input), I will anesthetize the area to be worked on.  I will then draw on your brows, eyeliner, lip-liner etc. in accordance to your specifications.  Whether you prefer, for example, a thin, barely detectable lash-enhancement, Cleopatra style eyeliner or something in between....any of those looks can be achieved.


Personally, I lean more towards a natural look.  Using soft colors and shapes that blend well with a clients skin tone, hair color and facial structure, giving a natural look of beauty.  I tend to stay away from harsh fads that may soon go out of style.  Remember, one may always add traditional make-up over the implanted color if a little extra drama is desired on occasion.


But, I will NOT begin a procedure until YOU have approved of the pattern.  You have the final say as to what your end result will be.  Once approved, I will out-line the area with a surgical marker and begin the tattoo, working within the marked area.  There will be no surprises.  Only that wonderful look you try to execute daily with traditional make-up.  Only now, it wont wear off.


If you have any more questions or would like to set up an appointment, please feel free to call me at 408-262-5639.


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© 1998-2006  Jennifer A. Portley    Photos copyrighted by individual photographers/models/artists respectively. All Rights Reserved.
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