Everyone is familiar with body tattoos (I personally got my first at 18), but people seem genuinely surprised when we explain that tattooing your makeup is also a thing! So here’s a brief introduction into how we got to that point:
Have you ever heard of Sutherland McDonald? Yeah, us either. Sutherland McDonald was a tattoo artist in Britain in the 1800s. He is considered to be the first person to offer a professional tattoo service in London, although the practice was already popular in Japan and the Middle East prior to that time. Not to mention that permanent makeup has actually been in use for thousands of years, with archaeological evidence showing tattoos on bodies as old as 3300 B.C. Egyptian and Nubian mummies are tattooed, as were the Incas, Mayans, Aztecs and Greeks.
In 1902, McDonald performed the first documented permanent makeup treatment “all-year-round delicate pink complexion” on the cheeks. In the 1920s, this technique arrived in the U.S. and it was known as “electrically tattooing a permanent complexion or blush on the face”. Another tattoo artist, George Burchett, played a role in its development within the U.S. and it became fashionable in the 1930s. He mentioned that beauty salons tattooed many women without their knowledge, offering it as a “complexion treatment … of injecting vegetable dyes under the top layer of the skin.” CRAZY.
So much has changed! Even the technique was different back then. The tattooed eyebrows were much simpler, consisting of one thin line, as opposed to the microblading technique of today. The pigments were of different quality, and the black shade faded into green as time passed, so the patients had to draw their eyebrows on after some time to ‘’fix’’ the greenness.
We now have new techniques which are used to replicate eye liner, lipstick, eyebrows or hair. Additionally, there are now “Paramedical” permanent makeup techniques used to disguise skin discolorations such as scars or vitiligo. This technique can also be used to restore or enhance a woman’s areola after breast surgery or a mastectomy.
Fashion and technology are not the only things that continually change over time. Makeup is definitely changing as well, and it’s becoming a very important aspect of our lives. Simply take a look at all the beauty gurus out there, both male and female. This is why permanent and semi-permanent makeup is going to be even bigger in the future.
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