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Permanent Makeup and the Oncology Patient

Surgical Breast / May 6, 2016

Restoring Confidence and Feeling Your Best

By Lindsay Cole, Aesthetician, Permanent Makeup Artist and Makeup Artist

Lindsay work photo 3Are you familiar with permanent makeup? Also known as permanent tattooing or cosmetic tattooing, this type of procedure can bolster confidence by not only making you look great, but feel great too! Depending upon the individual, this procedure is done for a variety of reasons and on different areas of the body; the most common areas the procedures are performed are, eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip liner. Another popular procedure is nipple/areola restoration. Having aesthetic areola re-pigmentation after finishing the breast reconstruction journey can be liberating for many women. But did you know that in order to ease the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, permanent tattooing can also be done before or after chemotherapy or radiation? Through medical aesthetics and oncology aesthetics we have bridged the rift between cancer and beauty. Our patients are treated as a whole, so with that in mind, our goal is to ease the psychological effects of having cancer, hair loss being one of the most gut wrenching for some individuals. Wanting to look your best is healthy. When a woman looks good, she feels better about herself and radiates confidence, no matter her age or circumstance. By using permanent makeup tattoo techniques, we can help you regain a new sense of confidence by very carefully and skillfully enhancing your features to recreate the appearance of brows with our 3D brow effect, eyeliner, lash enhancing, areola restoration, camouflaging the effects of hair loss, and even blending in scars or skin discoloration; even if you are a current brave fighter or brave survivor of cancer.

Permanent makeup is increasingly being endorsed by oncologists as a way of helping patients feel more positive about the traumatic experience of chemotherapy. Over the last several years, there has been a surge of cosmetic eyebrow tattooing in patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, or that are about to embark on that journey. Pre-chemotherapy tattooing can capture the appearance of the patient’s natural brows in order to recreate them if chemotherapy causes hair loss.




Permanent Eyebrow tattooing can alleviate the distress of chemotherapy by preserving the appearance of eyebrows. Patients can be treated one month before chemo drugs are administered, when their original facial hair is in place, so visible eyebrow and eyelash line can be enhanced with pigments. Some people are not bothered by their eyebrow loss, while others find it quite cumbersome. Some barely notice, while others feel their eyebrow loss gives them “the look” of being a cancer patient. For women who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy, permanent eyebrows and even eyeliner can restore self-esteem and also eliminate the need to reapply eyebrows and eyeliner every day.

Everyone responds differently to eyebrow loss during chemotherapy. It’s important that you honor yourself by coping with this side effect in the way that is best suited for you, and you alone. Don’t feel pressured to draw on eyebrows or eyeliner, because if it doesn’t bother you, go without it. Eyebrows in particular, frame the face, enhance your eyes, and may help you feel more like “you”, so if the loss or thinning of your eyebrows is distressing to you, never let anyone discredit the importance of your features and how you want to look.

Other candidates for permanent cosmetic tattooing are women who have arthritis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or other conditions that cause tremors, putting on makeup can be a difficult task. Permanent makeup helps eliminate their frustration. Women with vision problems, who are blind, or who have cataracts may also be good candidates. Cosmetic tattooing also helps women who have allergies or hypersensitivity to makeup. Female athletes and other physically active women are turning to permanent cosmetics, as are business women, entertainers, models, and housewives.

Another good candidate to receive permanent tattooing are those with Alopecia (an autoimmune disease in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body, usually from the scalp). It can be a devastating disorder and affects many men and women throughout the world. Permanent cosmetic tattooing is a remarkable solution to restore the appearance of their hair by masterfully camouflaging the effects of hair loss by blending specifically colored pigments, best suited to the individual, right into their scalp. It is confidence boosting and many clients become very emotional when they see how much their appearance is improved after the treatment

If permanent tattooing is a route you don’t want to go down, I would highly recommend consulting with an aesthetician and/or makeup artist to give you a brow lesson and teach you corrective makeup techniques to enhance your features and help camouflage the unwanted, and temporary changes in your appearance resulting from chemotherapy and radiation. It can be frustrating if you have little or no experience with makeup, let alone drawing on your eyebrows or eyeliner. When you first begin losing your eyebrows, you may want to just pencil them in. Until you lose all of your eyebrows, this can sometimes nicely disguise the loss. All you need is an eyebrow pencil or eye shadow that matches your eyebrow color. Having the help of an expert beats standing in front of the mirror for hours trying to get it just right. If permanent tattooing is a route you are seriously considering, schedule a consultation with a trusted permanent tattoo specialist and discuss your options, ask questions, and explore if you’re a good candidate.

Here at evolv Medical Aesthetics, myself and Rachel McCarthy are the permanent cosmetic tattoo artists, we are also licensed aestheticians and makeup artists. We completed our permanent tattoo training at the world renowned Beau Institute in New Jersey, under the close supervision of Rose Marie Beauchemin, pioneer in the permanent cosmetic tattooing industry and president of the Beau Institute.  The pigments we use are manufactured in the United States, using the highest quality colorants available in the industry, resulting in excellent color retention and superior results. Each shade has been designed and tested by permanent cosmetic professionals, who collectively have more than 40 years of color knowledge and experience. Pigments are different from “ink”. Ink has a tendency to migrate and create a blurred feathered affect in the skin over time. The pigments we use are made from iron oxides, which have been used in the skin for hundreds of years, making them the safest pigments. Iron oxide pigments are also MRI safe. The color pigments chosen for you will compliment your individual skin tone and are deposited into the dermis by using very careful and skilled techniques that are performed by your trained and certified permanent tattoo artist.

We would love to help you in any way with your permanent tattoo questions or needs, and urge you to contact our office to schedule your consultation or speak with a provider.