The History Of Semi-Permanent Makeup
We may think that technological advances in the field of cosmetic beauty treatments now allow us to experience ways of enhancing our looks in ways which were never previously possible, but is this entirely true? How long has the practice of applying permanent makeup been in existence and how has it evolved over the years?
Early Egyptians used dark pigmentation around the eyes not only for cosmetic reasons but to protect themselves from the bright sun of the desert environments, and by the time Cleopatra came to power in 1BC, Egyptian women had access to colourful makeup from plants and minerals of the day. Cleopatra is believed to have been adorned with permanent makeup as were Egyptian mummies who were discovered to have face tattoos. Indeed, even today the name ‘Cleopatra’ evokes such thoughts of exquisite beauty, immaculate makeup and trend setting, that makeup brands, treatments and salons have used the name of the Egyptian queen to advertise their products or services.
Semi-permanent makeup has been increasing in popularity and social acceptance over the decades, especially in the USA where the taboo of cosmetic tattoos for women and the secrecy surrounding it, has gradually been eroded. In part, this has also been achieved by the growing trend of semi-permanent makeup in media, celebrity and royal circles. Coleen Rooney, Angelina Jolie, Madonna and Catherine Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge are all known to have received at least one semi-permanent makeup treatment.
The TV reality show ‘The Only Way is Essex’ – affectionately known as TOWIE – features a whole host of stars who openly admit that the use of semi-permanent makeup is no longer a closely guarded secret.
It also appears that the use of semi-permanent makeup is not just confined to the female domain. Image conscious men are also spearheading trends within the male cosmetic market.
33 year old Neil Cooper, a fashion designer with his own boutique in Cheshire, reveals he has had semi-permanent eyeliner applied to his lower lids.
“It doesn’t stand out too much, but it does make a noticeable difference”
“I want people to think “What’s changed about him?” without really being able to tell.”
In this two minute YouTube clip Joe McRobert explains his decision to use semi-permanent make up to hide an imperfection to his scalp to not only enhance his appearance but also boost his self-confidence. The video shows the technique in operation together with a comparison of before and after pictures, demonstrating Joe’s delight with the procedure.
Between the era of the Ancient Egyptians to modern 21st century life, both beauty treatments and technology have advanced significantly, yet the principle of placing pigment under the surface of the skin to enhance, define and give long lasting colour remains the same. George Burchett, known as ‘The King of Tattooists’ in the 1930’s applied cosmetic tattooing to royalty as well as the wealthy from his London based studios with King George V and King Frederick IX amongst his famous clientele. However, today the convenience of semi-permanent cosmetics has filtered into the lives of everyday men and women allowing them to enjoy fresh looking makeup without the chore of applying it daily.
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