What is the difference between permanent makeup and tattoo?
Here at Cambridge Micropigmentation Centre, although we specialise in SMP treatment (scalp micropigmentation) as a solution for hair loss, we also apply this skillset to our other field of work, permanent makeup (PMU). As part of this service, we offer permanent eyeliner and lipstick as well as Ombre brows and microblading for eyebrows from our Cambridge clinic. Today we will focus on the difference between permanent makeup and tattoo.

PMU Techniques

The fundamental difference between PMU and tattoos is in the technique of the service. In order to understand this, we need to think about the layers of the skin, which is made up of the epidermis (the top layer), the dermis (the middle layer, which includes connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat gland), and the hypodermis, which consists of connective tissue and fat. Tattoo ink is injected deep into the dermis, whilst the pigments used in PMU are injected into the epidermis. This is so that you benefit from having the permanency of the makeup, whilst not lasting a lifetime like tattoos, so that if you change your mind in later years, you can. This means that microblade eyebrows will last up to two years, eyeliner after one year, whilst lip blush can last up to five years.

Permanent Makeup Artists

Unlike tattoo artists, who usually become an artist full-time through an apprenticeship, PMU artists need to complete a course at a beauty school or certified training centre, where you may or may not need a degree in cosmetology. Training is necessary, but it doesn’t take long to become qualified, and often you will be trained in a number of treatments in order to offer your clients a comprehensive service.

The Tools of the Trade

Each application requires different types of equipment to carry out the treatment. Coil machines are commonly used, whilst it is rare for a rotary machine to be used for tattooing. Rotary machines are typically used with MPU due to their thin needles for optimum precision. The diameter of a tattoo needle is usually 0.3mm or 0.4mm, whilst MPU requires a needle between 0.18mm to 0.28mm.

Pigments Not Inks

When people get a tattoo, it is ink that is injected, whilst with MPU, we use pigments. These are made up from iron oxides, usually mixed with water and glycerine. There are more limited shades available due to the nature of the work, with black and brown pigments mostly used, with shades of pink for lip blush.

Contact Us

If you would like more information about permanent makeup treatments near you from our Cambridge clinic, please get in touch with the team through our online contact form, or by emailing us at hello@cambsmc.co.uk. You can also speak to a member of the team directly about your requirements by calling us on either 01223 662255 or 07525 755530. You can also find out more information from our online blog. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our PMU treatments or any other services.