How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last? [Answered]

Want to shorten your makeup routine? Then permanent makeup may be right for you, especially if you’re tired of applying makeup every day. Permanent eyeliner can give you that perfect, precise eyeliner look. Does that mean permanent eyeliner lasts forever?

How Long Does Permanent Eyeliner Last

Permanent eyeliner, also referred to as eyeliner tattoo lasts between 8 and 18 months. The pigment will fade with time, so a ‘touch up’ after 12 months is recommended. Every skin type keeps pigment differently, and a variety of factors, including medications, skin type, and health, can influence the rate of fading.

What Is Permanent Eyeliner?

Permanent eyeliner is a tattooing technique that eliminates the need to wear eyeliner every day. 

Permanent eyeliner is created by applying ink along the lash line using tiny needles to give the impression of eyeliner. 

While the ink is permanent, it will fade over time (within a year or two) and must be reapplied in the form of touch-ups. 

Eyeliner tattoos come in several forms, ranging from thin, natural-looking lines to bolder lines and even winged eyeliner.

How Long Does the Process Take?

The entire treatment, including the numbing phase, usually takes around 2-3 hours (approximately 30 minutes). 

A standard look takes less time, but a heavier eyeliner, wing, or cat-eye might take three hours.

Permanent Eyeliner Types and Styles

There are four different techniques from which to choose:

Thin Eyeliner

If you want to add some boost to your eyes but nothing too glam, even a small thin eyeliner can suffice. 

It is the perfect option for women who do not want to apply a lot of eyeliner but will still want that little pop to their eyes that looks all-natural.

Medium Width Eyeliner (Classic Line)

Medium width is the most significant choice for women who use eyeliner every day and prefer a more prominent eyeliner look. Also referred to as the “classic line.”

Thick Width Eyeliner

For those who love the wingtip look or bold looks, you can choose a thick-width tattoo design if you desire (remember, this is permanent, so it’s a committed look.). 

You can even do a wing tip line, however, there is a ‘no go’ zone where glands are positioned on the inner and outer corners of the eye that can lead to color migration and spreading if your tattoo is in this area. This can be quite difficult to remove.

Eyelash Enhancement

Eyelash enhancements are a more subtle and effective tattoo technique used today. 

It’s the ideal style to try if you might not be completely ready to go for a flat-out eyeliner tattoo. 

Instead, eyelash enhancement draws a thin line that does not leave the lash. 

It’s not like eyeliner, but it thickens and lengthens your lashes. It’s a terrific alternative if you want your lashes to be thicker and more attractive, and is also popular among men.

Does Permanent Eyeliner Last Forever?

Does Permanent Eyeliner Last Forever

Permanent makeup is theoretically classed as a tattoo in all forms. Does this imply that it is permanent? 

The truth is that the answer is yes and no. It’s permanent in the sense that it won’t wash off with your other cosmetics, but the color will fade in time. 

Most permanent eyeliners last 8 to 18 months before you may see any fading. So, your aesthetician will recommend a touch-up after 12 months. The fading process will differ for everyone.

How Soon Will My Permanent Eyeliner Fade?

When you think of the term permanent eyeliner, one would think it is permanent when it is not. Its longevity, though, is what makes it appealing. 

No licensed artist can give you the exact time when your pigmented eyeliner will fade; through its guesstimate, it can start to fade as soon as 18 months. 

It varies from person to person and depends on four factors:

Skin Type

Tattooed eyeliner fades quicker on those with oily skin than normal to dry skin due to the excess sebum produced, which causes the pigments to fade quicker.

Sun Exposure

Too much sun exposure can lead to your eyeliner pigment fading.


The essential factor in determining how soon your permanent eyeliner will fade is how well you follow your aftercare instructions. 

You can sabotage the results if you don’t follow the aftercare instructions, causing mechanical damage to the area.

Body Chemistry

Depending on how your body processes, the pigmentation can also factor into how long it will take for your eyeliner to fade. For some people, their systems absorb the pigments faster than others’.

Eyeliner Style

Depending on your eyeliner style, it can also factor into how long your eyeliner tattoo lasts if you went for a thick line with a darkened effect – roughly three years. 

A very thin line or eyelash enhancement would likely vanish within 6-12 months.

If you’re still on the fence, read our pros and cons guide to getting permanent eyeliner.

How To Prevent Permanent Eyeliners from Fading Quickly?

You need to take the right precautions when getting permanent eyeliner done, but it is unavoidable that your permanent makeup is going to fade with time. 

Fortunately, you may take steps to give your favorite permanent makeup a new lease on life:

  1. Follow your aftercare instructions.
  2. Use your healing ointment as prescribed.
  3. Wash your face using water or non-alcoholic soaps, then wipe dry gently with a towel.
  4. Avoid scratching, picking, or touching your permanent makeup during the healing process.

Try to avoid being overexposed to things that can cause fading. Your permanent makeup is vulnerable for the first month following your application. 

Thus, keep away from the sun, tanning booths, swimming, or doing any aggressive exercises that can lead to excessive sweating.

How Often Should I Get Permanent Eyeliner Treatment?

How To Prevent Permanent Eyeliners from Fading Quickly

Tattooed eyeliner fades quite gradually, so a new treatment would usually be suggested every two to five years. That is if you do not get a touch-up in-between. 

Touch-ups once a year are recommended, though, as the color can start fading as soon as 12 months. 

Again, how soon varies on numerous factors both inside and outside.

What To Look For When Choosing A Permanent Makeup Artist 

Thanks to Google, we can find a permanent makeup artist pretty easily.

The critical factor is finding the right one for you. Below are some key questions to ask yourself when it comes to choosing:

License and Certification

Always check to make sure you are going to a licensed professional. 

This may be more difficult if you are researching over the web. Suppose you visit their place of business, though they should have their license and certifications up on their wall. 

This will show you that they attended proper training.

Training Experience

Another thing to look for is how long they have been in their field, i.e., meaning how much training experience they have. 

The involves the training and apprenticeships that the technician has completed. 

It typically indicates their mastery of the craft. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about where they trained and how long they’ve been doing their art.

Testimonials or Reviews

If you want to check out a new restaurant or doctor, you look at what other people’s experiences have been, right? 

The same should be said when choosing your permanent makeup artist. Most businesses include testimonial sections on their websites. 

At the same time, you can check out Facebook and Yelp for reviews and feedback, as these will usually provide you with the most accurate and unvarnished representation of other people’s outcomes.

Inks Used

Even though permanent makeup is considered a form of tattooing, permanent makeup artists use iron oxide ink/ pigmentation that is not as harsh as body tattoo ink. 

So, look out for what types of ink or pigmentation your choice of permanent makeup artist uses.

What Happens If I Don’t Go in For Touch-Ups?

So, what happens if you don’t go in for your touch-ups? If you don’t have your permanent eyeliner tattoo repaired, the pigment will start to fade or can even change color over time. 

So, if it’s been months since you’ve gone to the cosmetics studio for a retouch, you may find you may need a whole new permanent eyeliner treatment instead.

What Are the Risks of Permanent Eyeliner Tattoos?

Cosmetic eyeliner tattooing has become popular for those who wish to save time getting ready every morning. 

While this is understandable, there are a few potential risks to consider before going in for permanent cosmetics.

Risks of Permanent Eyeliner Tattoos 

Aside from the normal swelling, itching, and crusting that happens with routine eyeliner tattooing healing. Other risk factors can include:

  • Allergic reaction – There have been allergic reactions to the ink.
  • Infection – Can be caused by contaminated equipment, poor hygiene, or failure to follow post-procedure instructions.
  • Granulomas and keloids – May form around foreign substances perceived by the body.
  • Scarring – Small scars can occur outside of the regular tattoo region if you’re prone to scarring.

To reduce swelling, simply apply an ice pack to your eye or use Ibuprofen if needed.