All made up & ready to go
Specialist can apply makeup that lasts for a couple of years
Tara Baxter Yarkey, derma-technician at Victoria's Day Spa in York County, clears away Lidocaine from Lori Milliron's eyelids in preparation for the pigmentation procedure to apply "permanent" eyeliner. The Lidocaine is used to numb the eyelid. (Adrin Snider/Daily Press photo)
Meet the makeoversNov. 27: a 24-year-old teacher in the Williamsburg area, gets a new look. Dec. 4: Natalie Romano, a 15-year-old York High School student, discovers new styles for her long curly hair. Dec. 11: Deloris Parker, a 57-year-old nurse in Newport News, steps into the world of hair color. Dec. 18: Permanent makeup: The makeover series concludes with a look at how you can toss out your tubes of lipstick and eyeliner to wear a makeover that lasts several years.
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The 25-year-old York County resident looks this way 24 hours a day, seven days a week, because she wears permanent makeup.
"Being in the business, appearance is everything," says Milliron, who sells Redken's hair products for Columbia Beauty Supply.
"It's great because I'm always ready to go, and I don't have to worry about my lipstick coming off."
Permanent makeup isn't all that permanent, but it lasts two to four years, or longer, depending on how you care for your skin. Anti-aging creams, sunlight and facial peels can shorten the effect.
"Skin on the face changes faster than the rest of the body," says registered nurse Laraine Housh. She took a course in micropigmentation - the technical term for permanent makeup - in 1998 through the Penmark Micropigmentation Course in Ohio, and does permanent makeup at Plastic Surgery Center in Newport News. She treated herself to the luxury of wearing permanent eyeliner.
"The makeup fades in six to eight weeks, but then stabilizes and can last 10 years."
The long-lasting makeup is applied like a tattoo, except pigmentation - not dye - is used to achieve the desired color. A hand-held motor guides a cluster of five small needles as they pierce skin tissue and implant color. Depending on where you have your makeup done, a topical numbing cream or local anesthesia is used to dull the mild pain.
Why pigmentation instead of ink like a tattoo artist uses?
"Tattoo artists use ink, which is made from carbon and therefore does not produce allergies, and lasts forever," says technician Lynn Pickett.
"However, over time, the color will migrate (spread) and the black they use for outline will turn to blue/green." Pickett said the most common pigment used by derma-technicians, iron oxide, is also found in human blood.
Pickett is a graduate of the American Institute of Permanent Color Technology in California and does permanent makeover procedures at the Williamsburg Plastic Surgery Center. She's been a beauty expert for 22 years and teaches her specialty at the American Spirit Institute in Williamsburg.
In addition to giving you ready-to-go lips and eyes, permanent makeup can camouflage scars, make beauty marks, enhance light or disappearing eyebrows or create the nipple and areola area of the breast after a mastectomy or breast reduction. Prices start at $250.
When Tamara Tindell of ALTA Accounting in York County tired of putting on black eyeliner every morning, she went through three applications of black pigmentation to get the lasting look she wanted.
"I don't have to do that anymore, and I really like it," she says.
Melissa White of Williamsburg first had her lips colored mauve. Then she went back to get black eyeliner.
"I get a lot of compliments," she says.
When Milliron decided to throw away her lipstick tubes and mascara wands, she sought the help of Tara Baxter Yarkey at Victoria's Day Spa in York County. Yarkey also trained at the permanent color technology institute in California.
Depending on where you have permanent makeup done, each procedure takes two to three steps. Milliron's lips were done in two sessions, but she returned a third time to darken the eyeliner on her upper lid. Each procedure takes about an hour.
"The first pass is uncomfortable, and then it's not," says Milliron on the day she came back for her third application of eyeliner.
Yarkey numbs Milliron's eye area between each pass - application of color. Lips take about seven passes, eyes five and eyebrows as many as 12.
Eyes, in general, are puffy and red looking for a day or two. They look like you cried all night, says Milliron. A cool shower the day after your procedure usually makes eyes look normal again.
Lips, however, can feel a little more pain. Women who have had the procedure done say their lips feel chapped the day after color is applied. They are told to use an antibiotic ointment and something like Vaseline to help lips heal.
"After you get your lips done, they are always real red, but within two weeks that color blends and you have the color you wanted," says Yarkey.
Milliron didn't want lips that scream color, so she went with a neutral color. If she wants to jazz up her lips to match a red party dress, she again uses a lipstick tube. Her lashes look thicker and darker, thanks to lash enhancement color applied at the follicle line.
"The nice thing about this is I can change my lip color in a couple years," she says.
"It's not something I have to live with the rest of my life."
Kathy Van Mullekom can be reached 247-4781 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.