6 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Permanent Eyeliner

Permanent eyeliner is a type of semi-permanent makeup that can enhance your eyes. If you’re considering this treatment, you’ll want to make sure your eyes are fully prepared.

Photo Credit: Inara Prusakova/Shutterstock.

To prepare for permanent eyeliner, you should avoid products and substances that could increase your risk for bleeding and swelling, including beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, anti-inflammatory medications, and skincare products containing retinol.

You should also protect your skin from the sun. A sunburn could prevent you from having this procedure done.

What Is Permanent Eyeliner?

Permanent eyeliner is essentially an eyeliner tattoo. Using tattooing techniques, a pigment is applied along the lash line, leaving behind eyeliner that won’t wash away. 

Although the ink used for these treatments is permanent, it does fade over time, which means it will have to be touched up every few years if you want your results to last. 

Typically, pigment is applied to both the top and bottom lash lines, but your treatment can be customized according to your needs and preferences. 

While you can decide where you want pigment and how thick you want the line to be, you won’t be able to add flourishes like a cat eye or an extended tip. 

How To Prepare For Permanent Eyeliner

While permanent eyeliner is perfectly safe as long as it’s applied by a trained artist, your skin could swell, bruise, and even bleed if you don’t take the right precautions. 

You can reduce the sensitivity of your skin and keep yourself safe by following these steps:

1. Schedule a Consultation

Set up a consultation so that you can talk with the artist who’ll be performing your procedure. Let them know if you’ve had eye surgery or any treatments in the eye area, such as Botox or filler. 

2. Pick the Right Date for Your Treatment

When you’re scheduling your procedure, keep in mind that you’ll need time to heal. Some people experience swelling or redness for a few days, while others have light bruising. 

Don’t have your eyeliner applied right before a big event or a vacation. Make sure you have enough time to recover.

3. Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

In the weeks leading up to your procedure, you’ll want to do everything you can to protect your eyes and your face from UV rays. 

Apply sunblock on a daily basis, and wear sunglasses whenever you’re outside. 

Sunglasses become less effective against UV rays over time (1), so you may want to pick up a new pair.

4. Avoid Substances That Could Increase Your Risk of Bleeding

In addition to taking steps to prevent sunburn, you should avoid any and all substances that could put you at a higher risk for bleeding. 

You should stop using all these substances a week before your treatment:

  • Ibuprofen 
  • Aspirin
  • Fish oil 
  • Vitamin E
  • Niacin
  • Coumadin

You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine for at least 24 hours before your treatment. Make sure you drink plenty of water so that you’ll be fully hydrated. 

5. Stop Shaving, Waxing, and Exfoliating

If you normally use an exfoliant, wax your eyebrows, or shave any of the hair on your face, you should avoid doing so for at least one week before your treatment. 

You shouldn’t do anything that will make the skin around your eyes more sensitive or delicate. 

You should also avoid using retinol for at least two weeks. 

6. Don’t Wear Eye Makeup or Contacts

On the day of your procedure, you’ll want to make sure your eyes are clean and free of products. 

The one exception to this is eyeliner; some artists will ask you to wear eyeliner so that they can see how you usually apply your eyeliner. 

You should avoid wearing contacts on the day of the procedure as well, and you may want to skip wearing them for at least a few days afterward. 

Can I Get Permanent Eyeliner If I Have Eyelash Extensions?

If you have eyelash extensions, you’ll have to have them removed at least six days before your permanent eyeliner appointment. 

Having obstructions like lash extensions could cause issues during your procedure. 

With that said, you can get lash extensions once your permanent eyeliner has been applied and the skin on your eyelids has fully healed. 

To be safe, any eyelash extension appointments should be scheduled at least two weeks after your permanent eyeliner appointment. 

Can I Get Permanent Eyeliner If I Wear Contact Lenses?

You can have permanent eyeliner applied if you wear contacts, but you’ll need to take a break from wearing your lenses for a few days.

You won’t be able to wear your contacts during your procedure, and you’ll want to give your eyes a few days to heal before you start wearing them again. 

If your vision is impaired, you’ll want to make sure you have a pair of glasses you can wear until your eyes are ready for contact lenses again. 

Since you’ll also need to protect your eyes from the sun, you may want to invest in a pair of clip-on or magnetic sunglasses that can keep your eyes protected. 

Who Is Not A Suitable Candidate For Permanent Eyeliner?

There are many pros and cons of permanent eyeliner, and it can deliver amazing results. However, it isn’t right for everyone.

You’re probably not a good candidate for permanent eyeliner if you are:

  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Taking prescription blood thinners
  • Have a history of keloid scarring
  • Prone to hyper-pigmentation 
  • Have issues with high blood pressure
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Undergoing chemotherapy
  • Suffer from psoriasis or have other skin irritations in the area being treated
  • Diabetic 
  • Epileptic
  • Someone who tans regularly

Note that regular eyeliner is safe to use if you’re pregnant.

You may also want to hold off on permanent eyeliner if you have taken oral vitamin A in the last six months or if you’ve had surgery on your eyes in the last six months. 

If there are any other issues that you think could possibly cause issues for you during the procedure, make sure you bring them up during your consultation. 

Things To Avoid Before Getting Permanent Eyeliner

To make sure you are a good candidate for permanent eyeliner, there are a number of things you’ll want to avoid before your semi-permanent makeup is applied. 

While it’s likely that you’ll be given instructions during your initial consultation, you should check this list of things to avoid before getting permanent eyeliner to make sure you don’t do anything you shouldn’t:

12 Months Before Your Treatment

If you’re hoping to have permanent eyeliner done, you’ll have stop using Accutane at least 12 months before your appointment. 

Eye surgeries should also be done 12 months prior to your appointment. 

Six Months Before Your Treatment

If you use a serum to enhance your lashes, you’ll need to stop using it at least six months before your permanent eyeliner is applied. 

Eyelash enhancing serums are stimulants and can increase the sensitivity of your eyelids. (2) Quit using your serum and give your eyelids a chance to recover.

One Month Before Your Treatment

Retinol and vitamin A products should be avoided for at least a month before your treatment. 

Don’t start using these products on your face again until your eyelids have had the chance to fully heal. 

One Week Before Your Treatment 

Don’t take any medications or supplements that thin your blood in the week before your appointment. 

Ibuprofen, Aspirin, fish oil, vitamin E, niacin, and Coumadin are some of the more commonly used blood thinners. 

If you’re on a prescription blood thinner, talk to your doctor before stopping your medication. 

You should also make sure you don’t have your lashes permed or tinted during this time. 

Wait at least 14 days after your procedure before scheduling any new lash treatments. 

24 Hours Before Your Treatment

You should stay away from alcohol and caffeine for a minimum of 24 hours. 

In addition to avoiding coffee, watch out for teas, sodas, energy drinks, and  any other beverages that might have caffeine on the ingredients list.

The Day of Your Treatment

Don’t wear any makeup on the day of your appointment unless you’ve been told to wear eyeliner. 

You should avoid working out as well to keep sweat away from your eyes. 

You can wear contacts to your appointment, but you’ll need to bring a contact lens case and glasses so that they can be removed before your treatment starts. 

If you’re on antibiotics or are showing potential symptoms of a viral infection, you should reschedule your appointment. 

Getting permanent eyeliner done when you’re ill can compromise the overall effectiveness of your treatment. 

If you’re getting over an illness, wait until you’ve gone seven days without symptoms to have your treatment done. 

Does The Procedure Hurt?

A numbing cream will be applied to your eyelids before any tattooing is done, which means the procedure shouldn’t be overly painful. 

Some people do experience minor discomfort, but the pain isn’t intense or severe. 

You may experience some mild pain in the days after the procedure, especially if you have swelling. Thankfully, the pain should be easy to manage, and it should subside within a few days. 

What Can I Expect After The Eyeliner Tattoo Procedure?

The right aftercare is extremely important when it comes to permanent eyeliner tattoo.

It typically takes between four and six weeks for your eyelids to fully heal after your procedure.

You may experience swelling, bruising, or redness around your eyelids, and your eyes could look bloodshot. 

Most people see their swelling go down within 48 hours. 

To reduce these symptoms, try using an ice pack or taking ibuprofen.

Because of the swelling, your eyeliner will be thicker and darker than it will be once you’ve had the chance to heal. 

You shouldn’t panic if your eyeliner doesn’t look exactly the way you wanted it to. Over time, the color will soften, and the line will start to thin. 

If you’re not satisfied with your results after you’ve finished healing, you can schedule a second appointment and have touch-ups done. 

As long as you take the right precautions and follow aftercare instructions, you should have great-looking and long-lasting results.