Frequently Asked Questions: Permanent Cosmetics –


Q.  What is it?

A.  The application of permanent cosmetics is a process of applying micro insertions of specially formulated colored pigment into the dermal (second) layer of the skin.  Permanent cosmetics are also referred to as micro-pigmentation, cosmetic tattooing and intradermal cosmetics.  It is not the same as regular body tattoos that are implanted deeper into the third layer of skin with different pigments.  Always Beautiful – Permanent Cosmetics uses the top, medical grade mircopigmentation digital machine. The pigments Deanna uses are iron oxide free and designed specifically for permanent cosmetics.  

Q. Who can benefit from permanent makeup?

A.  Anyone who feels more confident with a little color on their eyebrows, eyes, or lips would love permanent makeup.  Women of all ages, especially those over 30, experience loss of definition or color in one or more areas of their face. 

Q.  What are some of the reasons for having permanent makeup?

A.  Desire to look better at all times, poor vision, unsteady hands, allergies to conventional makeup, active lifestyle, frustration with makeup that runs or wears off, arthritis, chemotherapy, alopecia, post-mastectomy, cleft-palette lip, sparse or over-plucked eyebrows, desire for freedom from daily make-up application.  

Q.  Are permanent cosmetics safe? 

A.  It is a skin invasive procedure requiring proper aftercare.  At Always Beautiful, strict sanitation and sterilization guidelines are followed.  Gloves, masks and sterile, disposable instruments and supplies are used. Deanna's top-of-the-line, medical-grade, digital machine and pigments are designed specifically for safe and effective permanent cosmetic application.  Allergic reactions to permanent cosmetic pigments (as well as body tattoos) are extremely rare.  Allergy patch tests (applied in the hairline) are available, in advance, for those concerned.  If a patch test is desired, it should be scheduled at least one week prior to the procedure.    

Q.  Does it hurt?

A.  In most cases discomfort is at a minimum. With the use of extremely effective topical anesthetics, Always Beautiful can provide near total numbing of the area.  Deanna has a special way of applying the topicals that yields a greater numbing effect than traditional application.


Q.  How long does the procedure take?

A.  The procedure takes 1 - 2 ½ hours.  This includes time for topical analgesics to take effect, pigment color selection and design and the actually implanting of your permanent cosmetics.

Q. How long does it last?

A. Technically, the color is permanently in the skin.  However, all pigment will eventually fade over 5 – 10 years.  Generally, the lighter the color, the faster it fades.  Aftercare and skin type determine the lasting visual results.  If desired, a refresher color can be applied. 

Q. What is the recovery time?

A.  Most people are able to resume normal activity immediately.  Short-term effects may include some redness, swelling and tenderness.  Clients having eyeliner or lips may experience swelling or irritation for 24 to 48 hours afterward.  Cold compresses can be applied to reduce this.  Aftercare continues for 6 days.  The color will also appear more intense for the first week. 

Q. Does it really look natural?

A.  When you choose the right technician, the results are amazing!  Permanent cosmetics are more natural looking than traditional makeup.   

Q. How do I know what color to get?

A.  Always Beautiful helps you select the best color for your skin tone and desired look.  Deanna will evaluate and account for your skin undertones to determine the proper pigment for your skin tone.  Deanna will work with you on the design, color and contour by first creating your desired look by painting on the pigment so that you can see it prior to implanting.  Once your permanent makeup has healed, you can always wear traditional makeup over it if you want to change the color or intensity for a special occasion.

Q. How do I select the best technician?  

A.  Ask.   Always Beautiful Permanent Cosmetics ~

Deanna Vonada Gillespie has been doing permanent makeup for over a decade.  She is one of the few technicians to have earned a Masters Certification in Permanent Makeup from the AIIC in 2018.  Deanna is 1989 graduate of The Penn State University with a BA in Advertising and Art.  She has been a commissioned artist for over 20 years.  In 1984 she graduated from the Barbizon School of Modeling.  The blend of art and beauty schooling along with her formal training in color, symmetry and proportion formed a natural prelude to entering the field of permanent cosmetics.  In 2011, she completed her certification as an Intradermal Cosmetics Technician from the AIIC (American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics) in Dallas, Texas.  After living on the West Coast, she returned to State College in 2011 to launch Always Beautiful – Permanent Cosmetics.  Her artistic background, recent and continued studies of permanent cosmetics (with Astrid S. Harper of in DC) combined with her cutting edge, medical-grade, digital equipment will create results that will be ‘always beautiful’ on you.