How Much Does Permanent Makeup Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 7, 2018

Permanent makeup, often referred to as micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing, is the process of permanently applying makeup to the upper layer of the skin, making it appear as if you have makeup on 24 hours per day.  Just like getting a tattoo, a pen will be used to inject ink underneath the skin.  Permanent makeup can be done on the lips, eyes and eyebrows.

new things 7 by Idhren, on Flickr
new things 7” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Idhren

How much does permanent makeup cost?

The cost of permanent makeup will depend on the medical professional you use, what procedure you want to have done and where you geographically live.  On average, a single procedure for eye, eyebrow or lip makeup can cost about $200 to $1,000 per session, but if more than one session is done at once, the costs may go down by as much as 60 percent.  The costs really come down to the quality of service being provided and the surgeon you choose.

DocShop.com says the average procedure can cost about $200 to $800, which should include one follow-up visit and some post-procedure skin products.  The website also notes you should be prepared to spend upwards of $250 per hour for a qualified technician.

On RealSelf.com, close to 70 percent were satisfied with the procedure and paid $450 on average for their procedure.

Type of ProcedureAverage Cost
Eyebrows$400 to $800
Full Eyeliners$400 to $800
Only Upper Eyeliner$250 to $400
Only Lower Eyeliner$250 to $400
Lipliner (Full Lips)$400 to $900 (bigger lips may be 20% more)

Permanent makeup overview

Permanent makeup is similar to receiving a tattoo, where pigment will be implanted on the top layer of the skin.  It can be applied utilizing a variety of tattoo techniques, including the traditional method, using a coil machine or pen machine, or simply by hand.  Hand methods will always be the most expensive option.

The most common areas done will include the eyes, lips, and eyebrows.  Permanent eye makeup will be applied to help intensify the eyes and it can either be applied to the top and/or bottom eyelids or create a “defined” line.  Eye makeup is available in various colors and styles and can be the hardest permanent makeup jobs to apply. Permanent eyeliner style samples can be seen here.  Permanent eyebrow makeup can help define, shape and fill in the scattered areas of the eyebrows, creating a full or healthier look.  This is often done if you’re suffering from hair loss or a medical condition.  Permanent lip makeup can create the appearance of having lipstick on all the time, but it can also help create a “defined” lip look for those who have thin or even crooked lips.  Like eye makeup, lip makeup can have a variety of styles and colors to choose from.

At first, the colors will be dark, but over time, it will begin to lighten over the next few days to create a realistic look.

Typically, the first application will take one to two hours to complete, but touch-ups can take as little as 30 minutes.

What are the extra costs?

With a medical professional, a follow-up appointment may be necessary to make sure everything went according to plan.

Creams or topical lotions will have to be applied for a few days after the eyeliner is placed, similar to the aftercare process like a tattoo.

Although the procedure is considered permanent, it doesn’t mean it won’t last forever, but it does mean it can’t be washed off. Touch-ups in the future may be necessary when the eyeliner starts to fade.  Fading will depend on factors such as how often you were exposed to the sun, your skin condition, if you smoke and other various factors.  To produce the desired results, it’s recommended one or more touch-up procedures to see desirable results.  Some clinics may include the follow-up visits in their initial price, but others may bill it separately.  Follow-ups will often cost $150 to $400, depending on the area.

Adding more than one color could be another $100 to $200.  Dramatic designs could be an additional cost as well.

Tips to know

Before having the process done, make sure that you look at pictures of jobs that the surgeon or artist has done in the past to ensure that it’s something that you want to be done.

This procedure is known to be a great option for those who suffer from makeup allergies.  It can also be ideal for those with poor vision or those who have problems using makeup.

Risks will be similar to tattoo risk.  This can include bleeding during the procedure, inflammation, bruising and tenderness.  It can also be hard to reverse due to the hard-to-reach locations.

If choosing an artist, rather than a medical professional, make sure they are licensed by the state and is very reputable.  Read as many reviews as you can online.  However, do keep in mind some states don’t require a license and anyone may be able to do the procedure.

Take a look at the artist’s work before choosing and see if they do work that you may like.  If at all possible, IntoTheGloss.com recommends taking a close up picture of your eyes and bringing it in because, with this photo, you can match the liner options up to your eyes.

Before the procedure, have them draw practice lines on your face to make sure it’s the shape you want.

Aside for cosmetic purposes, it can be used to reconstructed eyebrows for alopecia patients, help camouflage vitiligo, correct a cleft palate, restore facial asymmetry or hide surgical scars.

How can I save money?

Don’t go cheap with a professional because you may get what you pay for.  When choosing a professional, you should ask to see some before and after pictures of previous patients.  While choosing a tattoo shop can be cheaper, they may not be certified or experienced with the procedure, leading to an unwanted appearance.

Many doctors will be able to consult free of charge for 15 to 30 minutes to discuss your plan and give you a quote.  Take this opportunity to talk with at least three to five doctors to see what they can do for you.

Some clinics may offer promotions or coupons for first-time visitors.  Check their official website or Groupon to see if anything is available.  Only going this route if you already decided on someone.

Some offices may be able to create a small payment plan if you’re unable to pay in full.


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