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What is micropigmentation?

Micropigmentation is a process by which pigments are deposited under the skin. There are 3 layers of skin- the epidermis, the dermis, and hypodermis or subcutaneous. For optimal results, pigments should  be deposited into the dermis layer of skin. Too shallow, the pigments will be sloughed off in a month or two time.  Too deep, pigment colors may hit veins or arteries and "migrate" and look like a "blob" or lose their intended lines and colors  There are 2 primary methods of micropigmentation:  manual (microblading) and machine (micropuncturing).  With the use of tiny needles arranged in a linear format similar to that of a blade, the manual process of “microblading”, is performed by slicing motions in a free-hand format.  With the use of a single or multiple needles in grouping configurations,  the machine process of “micropuncturing”, is designed to deliver pigment into the dermal layer of skin with quick machine-generated puncturing motions.


Is micropigmentation the same as tattooing?


What is the difference between Microblading and Micropuncturing?

The two primary forms of micropigmentation are:  manual microblading  and machine micropuncturing .   When a permanent make up artist uses a hand-held instrument with needle tips on it to manually slices the skin, this is known as microblading.  The needle depths have no real nor consistent controls or safe-guards,  thus its incredibly difficult to judge the depth and depositing of pigments with each movement over the course of a procedure. Because of this, the microblading technique often results in uneven pigment deposits,  poor retention, and even scarring. On the other hand, when a permanent make up artist uses a mechanical device with a secured configuration of needles, set to a specific depth, and puncturing at a set speed -  the pigments are more likely to be deposited more consistently with regards to depth and dispersion.  When permanent cosmetic inks are placed in the proper depths, results are more even and stay looking beautiful longer.  Micropuncturing is also less traumatic to the skin than micro-slicing (microblading).  Healing tends to be better with the micropuncturing method as well because there is less trauma to the skin.   All micropigmentation procedures performed at LUSTRE LOOK are achieved using the more advanced techniques of machine micropuncturing method. Keep in mind... all tattooed facial features  will need "touch ups" over the years.  How often,  depends on many factors- diet, lifestyle, skin care, hydration, sun exposure, etc.  Usually LUSTRE LOOK clients are recommended to get a brow touch-up every 1-3 years,  eyeliners 5-10 years, and lips 5-10 years.  

Does micropigmentation hurt?

Before any procedure, we will generously numb the area to be worked upon with a lidocaine numbing ointment. We will also apply more numbing agents as needed throughout the brief time of the procedure. This has proven to work nicely to keep you as comfortable as possible, and most clients report feeling only a minor discomfort to none at all. The LUSTRE LOOK experience is focused on helping you look as beautiful as possible, while remaining as comfortable as possible!

How long will it take for my tattoo to heal?

Most tattoos take 4-6 weeks to heal. The upper skin layers need time to slough off on their own, while new layers develop underneath.  Some of the pigment will slough off with the damaged skin, and some will be whisked away by your lymphatic system.  After the dry, damaged skin falls off... your tattoo may appear pale or faded.  Don't freak out, this is totally normal.  New skin is forming over the pigment nestled in that dermis layer and at the completion of formation (usually 6 weeks) the pigment in your tattoo should brighten up and become more clear.   After 6-8 weeks, you may schedule your touch-up... IF you feel like you even want one, that is.  The permanent cosmetic process is all about "layering".   We can always go darker... its going lighter that's problematic!

What can I expect post-procedure?

Similar to a tattoo anywhere else on your body, initially, you may experience slight swelling or puffiness. This should resolve in 1-2days time. You will be advised to "dab" the tattooed area gently for the first 4-5 hours to soak up any lymphatic fluid that may come to surface of skin.  You may also use cold compress in between to minimize swelling.  Keep the tattooed area dry and clean for 5-7 days. The topmost layer of punctured skin may scab or start to crust over and eventually flake off.  Let it do so on it's own!


Picking at scabs will undoubtedly contribute to loss of pigments and/or scarring. Some of the pigment will be wisked away by your body’s lymph cells, and some will rise to surface and flake away in the top shedded layer of epidermis. You should have an accurate idea of the appearance of the lasting tattoo in about 4-6 weeks time, as new layers of epidermis are formed and settle into place.

If for any reason, you experience anything different, please feel free to contact your LUSTRE LOOK LPCP and they will be able to advise you properly.

How long do permanent cosmetics really last?

Microblading (manual) can last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year, usually.  Microneedling  (machine) can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years, typically, before needing a touch up.

Cosmetic grade pigments are usually made with an iron oxide base, as opposed to the carbon-based body tattoo pigments.  Iron oxide-based pigments are not as stable in body long-term, nor fade-resistant to UV sunlight as the carbon-based pigments.

Sunlight is tattoo's worse enemy!  So, a person's lifestyle, environment, and amount of direct sunlight exposure both with and without sunscreen will greatly determine how soon a touch up is needed.

Is microneedling for me?

Microneedling, or the controlled “puncturing” of the skin into the dermis layer can have multiple beneficial applications. First, let us take a look at the various layers of skin and what lies in each.

The Wound Healing Process.  

As mentioned earlier, there are 3 layers of skin- epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis or subcutaneous. The epidermis is the top layer of skin that is approximately 0.1 millimeter, the thickness of a piece of paper. This layer is continuously shedding and replenishing. The next layer of skin is called the dermis and is anywhere from 0.3-3 millimeters in thickness. This layer is where blood vessels, hair follicles, oil glands, sweat glands, and collagen reside. The hypodermis or subcutaneous layer is a layer of fatty cells that lie in between the dermis and muscles and varies in thickness from 1.5 - 4 millimeters according to each individuals’ percentage of fatty tissue as well as location on the body.

When slicing or tearing of the skin occurs- either intentionally or accidentally- down into the dermis layer, this incites moderate injury to the body and the immune system often over-reacts in a rushed, chaotic fashion.  Blood vessels are cut, causing blood and plasma to rush to the site of injury and form a clot for protection. Underneath the clot, the body is busy clearing away damaged cells and flooding the area with a crazy and often surplus network of collagen and fibrinous tissue.  This fibrinous tissue is tight, stiff, and lacks the blood flow, balanced amount of collagen, and color (melanin) of healthy skin.

When puncturing the skin in a slow, controlled manner down into the dermis layer, this has proven to actually stimulate the production of collagen in a nice, orderly amount and fashion of networking.  Minimal amounts of that hard, fibrinous tissue is produced. In addition, blood flow is often times restored to the once avascular tissue, as well as color (the presence of melanocytes – resulting in melanin).   Each of these factors directly affect the feeling and appearance of scars.  I like to say microneedling the skin is similar to aerating the yard!

Here are some before and after photos of microneedling results used in scar reduction therapy as well as collagen stimulation therapy which results in the reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.

Scar camouflage is the process by which pigments are deposited with a micropigmentation machine (tattoo gun) directly into the scar tissue for the purpose of creating a more even skin tone appearance.

Here are some before and after photos of scar camouflage performed using micropigmentation.

Tell me more about 3D areola restoration?

3D Areola Restoration is the process by which pigments are deposited with a micropigmentation machine (tattoo gun) directly into the dermis layer of skin to re-create the appearance of a multi-dimensional areola and nipple.  This procedure is most often performed on clients who have experienced a mastectomy (surgical removal of breast tissue) due to anticipated or actual cancer.  Having these features restored, can have a positively powerful effect on an individual's self concept and quality of life!  3D Areola Restorations are just like any other cosmetic tattoo, however, with little to no sunlight exposure to fade pigments... these babies should stay pristine and beautiful for 5-10 years before needing a touch up (if at all).

Here are some before and after photos of 3D areola restoration using micropigmentation.

What is scar revision all about?

  1. Scar tissue is formed of collagen- a fibrous material that is usually stronger and thicker than normal layers of skin.  When a cut, slice, tear, skin infection, or scab is removed before healing is complete, the body reacts by rushing into “quick fix” mode and deposits disorderly and excessive layers of this collagen.  These scrambled and copious layers often result in irregular and raised scar tissue, that can also be lighter in color than adjacent skin.  By performing slow, controlled punctures in the scar tissue with tiny needles, the dermis layer is re-programmed to fill these punctures with a nice, orderly, minimal-moderate amount of collagen which serves to reform the scar into laying flatter with softer borders.  If discoloration of a scar is of concern, pigment can be deposited into that scar to create a more uniform look.  The transferring of melanocytes – cells that make melanin – from healthy skin regions to scarred areas can also be performed - enabling scar tissue to then generate its own color corrections.

Am I an appropriate candidate for permanent cosmetics?

There are many factors that directly and indirectly determine one's qualifications for permanent cosmetic procedures.  LL has developed a comprehensive screening process to ensure  clients will experience phenomenal results!  After completing and submitting the 4, brief forms under our BOOK CONSULTATION link (located in top right corner of each page), a LL Practitioner will review your forms and then call you to answer any remaining questions you may have and schedule you for your service.  In the event an individual is not qualified for our services, we will be happy to discuss the reason(s) why, explore different goals, various timelines, and provide some nice alternatives.  LUSTRE LOOK reserves the right to refuse services to any individual deemed unfit by a LPCP.   We strive to create, and restore natural and soft cosmetic aesthetics here at LL ...  NOT popular trend aesthetics.  Larger than natural sized features, beauty marks, freckles, tattooing outside the borders of natural features - are just a few aesthetic trends we refuse to perform.  Once again, our LPCPs are trained in soft, natural, feature restoration  and subtle enhancement techniques and will advise clients accordingly.  If you do not agree with our practitioner's suggestions, LUSTRE LOOK may not be the right fit for your desires.