Mom Got a Tattoo
So my mother waited until she was almost 70 to
go out and get a tattoo, a cosmetic tattoo that is, a
thin, sharp, attractive strip of eyeliner, also known
as ¡®permanent makeup¡¯. She is quite active, playing
golf, running, and hiking, and says she ¡°just didn¡¯t
want to mess with makeup¡± that smears when you
sweat and has to be applied and reapplied. Mom
is very practical, and quite comfortable in grungy
camping clothes, but as she said, ¡°when you can
look more stylin¡¯ this easy, why not?¡±
The Art of Permanent Makeup
Permanent cosmetic makeup is cosmetic tattooing.
The specialized technique deposits colored pigment
in the upper layer of the skin, just like a regular
tattoo. In the hands of a trained permanent makeup
professional, it is a safe and quick procedure that
can provide a soft, natural enhancement to one¡¯s
appearance, eliminating the hassle of regularly ap-
People seeking permanent makeup have various
reasons for their interest in such a procedure. Like
mom, many are active and on the go, and appreci-
ate simplifying their daily routine. Athletes like the
fact that permanent makeup does not smudge with
sweating. Some folks with health conditions, such
as poor vision, arthritis, or neurologic disease have
difficulty applying makeup.
One of the main areas for permanent makeup is the
eyebrow, which disappears or fades especially with
aging or health conditions such as low thyroid. The
base of the eyelashes where eyeliner is applied is
also a common area to treat.
I asked esthetician and cosmetic tattoo artist, Jen
Madrill, what are the main concerns of patients
inquiring about permanent makeup? She says ¡°will
it hurt and how long does it last¡± are the top two
questions she gets. Jen has been doing permanent
makeup for years and she has a good deal of feed-
back on the procedure.
be one¡¯s first prior-
ity. Most important
is the training, skill,
and experience of the
person performing the
I asked Mom if she
was pleased with her
decision to get perma-
nent makeup, and she
replied, ¡°It is a great
idea and I often have
women ask me about
the process. It¡¯s a very
good idea for women
who don¡¯t want a
heavy or ¡®made up¡¯
look and want to look
more natural. I espe-
cially like it because
I¡¯m involved in a lot of
According to Jen, it is variable in how much dis-
comfort people experience, seemingly related to
patient¡¯s general pain tolerance. ¡°It is a tattoo after
all¡±, she says, and ¡°for some people it is a minor
irritation while for others it is a bit more sensitive.
We do use topical anesthetic which really helps¡±.
Jen is reassuring about the procedure explaining
that, ¡°education and preparation really help take
the fear factor out of the procedure, and most
people do just fine¡±.
As for the ¡°permanent¡± aspect of cosmetic tattoo-
ing, there is a bit of wiggle room here. Like tradi-
tional tattoos, colors will fade and require periodic
maintenance referred to as color refreshing. Jen
says, ¡°This is actually a good thing as it is an op-
portunity to reevaluate one¡¯s color and design
preferences¡±. How long the color lasts will depend
on sun exposure, topical skin products used, and
the color used.
The procedure usually takes several hours depend-
ing on the area being treated, while color refresher
treatments go much quicker. Side effects are
minimal and are rare in the eyebrow area. Swelling
and slight bruising is more common on the eyelid
where eyelash enhancement or eyeliner is applied.
Slight bleeding may occur during the procedure
but again it is minor and more likely in people tak-
ing aspirin or prescription blood thinners. There is
usually minor tenderness for a day or two after the
The color of a cosmetic tattoo is typically darker
than anticipated the first week or so and normally
fades. Jen says ¡°this is why professional cosmetic
technicians really spend a lot of time with the
patient before the procedure to evaluate particular
health issues and anticipate just what the patient
envisions. Experience with a wide variety of colors
and skin types help the technician get the color
and appearance just right.¡±
The cost of permanent makeup varies quite a bit
of course, depending on the area or areas treated.
Typical prices are in the $300 to $600 range. Like
many things, the cost of the procedure should not
Pg 6 - The Sunshine Express
Health & Nurturing
by Scott Rollins, M.D.
outdoor activities like golf, camping, and jogging,
and I don¡¯t want to mess with make up, but like
the look that the permanent provides. Yes, I¡¯m an
advocate. I¡¯m honest with people though and tell
them that the process is a bit uncomfortable, but
not a long one.¡±
Permanent makeup is not something to rush into,
as it is not easily removed. Make good decisions
up front by working closely with your technician.
Jen imparts these final words, ¡°Cosmetic tattooing
isn¡¯t something you should blink an eye at, but
once you are comfortable with the idea it¡¯s a tattoo
you will never regret!¡±
(Jen Madrill is a licensed esthetician and cosmetic
tattoo artist. She is available for free consulta-
tions at Bellezza Laser Aesthetics (www.bellezza-
laser.com). Call 970.245.6911 for an appointment
or more information.
Scott Rollins, MD, is Board Certified with the
American Board of Family Practice and the
American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative
Medicine. He is founder and medical director of the
Integrative Medicine Center of Western Colorado.
In a Different World
Many times in my life I have wondered ¡°How
did I ever get here from there?¡± What a variety of
influences have contributed to who I have become.
Allow me to introduce you to Memere. She was
my mother¡¯s mother. She was a French Canadian
and a woman of interest. She completed six years
of public education, but was an avid crossword
puzzle enthusiast and a great story teller. I never
felt very close to her, but I did learn a lot from her.
She was a sickly woman, never very healthy from
early childhood. I believe it made her life choices
different than other people, but it taught me ac-
ceptance. She lived a party life - Speak-Easies in
Chicago and night life in New York. She and my
by Sandy Lauzon
Remove the stinger. Use tweezers to pry it out or
scrape it off with your fingernail, or a credit card.
Do not attempt to press out the sting, as this will
only help the poison spread under the skin.
Immediately wash the bite with soap and water,
then cool off the skin with ice cubes or an ice-pack
that has been wrapped in a cloth or thin towel.
Rest the affected area and elevate it to prevent
excessive swelling. If needed, use a painkilling
cream, gel or an antihistamine to soothe the itch.
Call your doctor immediately if you notice any of
these symptoms: The person has been stung by
many insects at the same time, a rash or swelling
that gets worse instead of better, if the site is red,
tender and swollen, headache, dizziness, nausea,
pains in the chest, choking or wheezing, difficulty
breathing. These may be symptoms of allergy
and can be life-threatening if the victim goes
into shock. People who are allergic to insect bites
should carry a card, bracelet or necklace that lets
other people know about their allergy.
How To Treat Insect Bites/Stings