Cosmetic Tattooing explained
introducing Dawn Cragg,
recognised as a leading international specialist
in permanent make-up.
Permanent make-up, or cosmetic tattooing, is a concept that is particularly appealing to the 21st century woman. Throughout a day which might involve being buffeted in the rush-hour (twice!), working in a hectic and overheated office - and possibly doing a few lengths of the pool to wind down, permanent make-up remains immaculately in place.
Converts to the technique would have no need to raise a perfectly shaped eyebrow, or bat a perfectly eye-linered eye (probably accentuated by permed eyelashes), at the advances achieved by micropigmentation since its introduction to the UK during the early '80s.
Micropigmentation is a process involving the introduction of natural colour pigments into the dermal layer of the skin, using a fine needle and an electrical machine. This state-of-the-art technique is medically proven and specifically designed to be completely safe when carried out by a fully qualified and experienced practitioner.
Based at 134 Harley Street, where she also runs the International Centre for Permanent Make-up, Dawn Cragg is recognised as a leading international specialist in permanent make-up.
Dawn comments: "Micropigmentation is a very exciting cosmetic technique that has its roots in a centuries-old art. With tattooing recognised as the sixth fastest-growing retail business in the US, I am not at all surprised by the increasing world-wide interest and demand."
Choosing a pigmentation specialist
The long lasting and visual nature of the treatment requires the careful choice of a practitioner. Personal recommendation is often the best guide and the expert micropigmentation specialist has the advantage of her work being always "on show".
An effective treatment demands that the therapist combines the precise skills of implanting the pigment with an artist's eye for colour, shape and texture. Dawn Cragg is respected for her light, and incredibly precise, touch. A rigorous standard of training has helped to her to develop her artistic abilities, as well as to become highly skilled in the finer techniques of pigment application.
Are there any risks?
The answer is a qualified "Yes". There is always a small amount of risk with any form of treatment but this may be minimised or eliminated altogether by choosing an appropriate practitioner. To be as safe as possible, it is essential that the treatment is performed by a thoroughly trained and qualified individual and conducted in a professional and hygienic manner. Because there is no "governing body" for this profession, Dawn advises that anyone looking for a good practitioner should go by word of mouth and recommendation. Dawn herself has a list of people throughout the country who she has trained, and to whom she is happy to refer people.
A few issues to be aware of:
The eye could be damaged when applying eyeliner, but only if treatment is performed in unsuitable surroundings or conditions, or without necessary care.
An allergic reaction is always a possibility but is extremely rare. All clients are given a test involving pigments prior to the treatment.
Pigments have been known to change colour. This has always been an extremely rare occurrence and in recent years the quality of the pigments and other factors have so improved that there have been significantly fewer occurrences.
Is the treatment painful?
Pain thresholds vary from one person to another and for this reason a topical anaesthetic - usually in the form of a cream - is offered to clients.
What if the result is disappointing?
Dawn says: "This is a question that should not and need not arise. It is very important that clients are given a thorough consultation and are able to agree with the therapist on colour, shape and cost before treatment."
To reassure her clients, Dawn has introduced strategies to help them see for themselves how effective the end result will be. For example, clients with no eyebrows, because of alopecia or excessive plucking, are introduced to sets of eyebrow shapes - rather like stencils - to give an idea of the final result.
Colour correction of permanent make-up and even its removal can be done - but these are both very advanced and specialised procedures and choosing a suitable therapist requires particular care. Dawn herself is highly skilled in correction and removal, for which she uses a herbal product. She warns that facial scarring can occur if a laser or glycolic acid are used.
The therapist should always start the treatment using a lighter pigment than that chosen as the final colour. This allows the client to become accustomed to the colour and for it to be darkened to the exact shade required. This is why three or four visits may be advised for the complete treatment. (The full amount of required treatment is included within Dawn Cragg's fees).