What started as a way to save time applying makeup in the morning has turned into a costly, time-consuming hassle for one woman. Jeannine Dias of Cranston, R.I., had permanent eyeliner tattooed on her lids at her local beauty salon, Perfect Nails, a few months ago. But Dias says the ink is running, making it look like as though she has perpetually smudged eye makeup.
“I decided to get permanent makeup so I wouldn’t have to take time to do it every day; it was always something I wanted to do,” Dias tells Yahoo Beauty. “I noticed the ink was starting to run right from the start, after it was applied.”
“I was very upset because this is my face,” she told NBC 10.
Dias went back to her salon technician, who had charged her $210 for applying the permanent liner. The technician agreed to give back $100, but refused to issue Dias a full refund. When interviewed by NBC 10, the technician said she is a tattoo artist who is licensed to apply permanent makeup in Rhode Island. Dias tells Yahoo Beauty that she complained to the health department but was told there was nothing they could do until another Perfect Nails customer filed a complaint. She hopes by sharing her story that other unhappy customers will come forward.
Because the makeup is tattooed on, fixing the problem isn’t easy. In most cases, technicians can do color correction that can mask the migrating ink. Dias sought the help of Natalie Ruano, the owner of Permanent Makeup and Beauty Lounge in Cranston, to correct the botched job. “It wasn’t applied properly, so it caused it to migrate all around the eye, giving the illusion that she had two black eyes,” Ruano told NBC 10.
Rachel Nazarian, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City, tells Yahoo Beauty that bleeding ink isn’t a common problem. “But it can happen if the pigment is not deposited correctly in the skin,” Nazarian explains. “Smearing of the pigment and migration of the tattoo ink can cause the results to look smudged or to move to nearby skin.”
The Food and Drug Administration notes that this can happen if the tattooist injects the pigments too deeply into the skin. But others may find they have the opposite problem, with the ink fading over time. Some people also experience reactions to the tattoo ink itself. In 2003 and 2004, the FDA received more than 150 reports from consumers of adverse reactions to certain permanent makeup ink shades.
So, in general, how safe is permanent makeup — and how can you make sure you don’t suffer from a flubbed job? “Getting tattoos is always somewhat risky because some people develop an allergy to the ink, which results in bumps, scars, and even distortion of the tattoo illustration,” notes Nazarian. “But aside from a potential allergy, the majority of results are aesthetician-dependent, so find someone with a good reputation, good reviews, and ask to see their previous work.”