Everything You Should Know About Lash Enhancement Tattoos

For many of us, makeup is a key part of our daily routine. It's a chance to relax, get a little creative, and maybe listen to a podcast or two while you're at it. As noted by mental health therapist Jane Polinksi (via TZR), applying makeup can be an artistic outlet just like painting or making music. She explained, "Doing something like applying makeup can help the body and mind to slow down and focus intently on something." 

Scientifically speaking, "When you apply makeup, touching your skin helps release oxytocin," aka "the cuddle hormone," according to psychotherapist Valentina Dragomir. This can help us relax while preparing for a busy day. Though makeup has therapeutic benefits, it also takes up more of our time (and money) than we might think. As Refinery29 points out, women on average spend 55 minutes each day prepping hair and makeup. And, over a lifetime, the average American spends $300,000 on makeup, per Allure

That's how the beauty industry earns billions of dollars each year (via Statista). Given how much we spend on makeup, what if there was a more long-term solution? In recent years, permanent cosmetic tattoos have been gaining steam, ranging from lip blushing to micro-bladed eyebrows — even tattooed freckles have gone viral. Now, you can create the appearance of a fuller lash line with the help of a tattoo needle. Here's what you need to know about lash enhancement tattoos before you pay a visit to your licensed esthetician. 

Ensure any makeup residue is cleansed from your eyelashes

An eyelash enhancement tattoo might sound scary but it's relatively simple. A licensed permanent makeup artist will go in with a (very small) specialized tattoo gun, pigmenting your lash line to give the appearance of fuller hairs (via Byrdie). Whereas lash enhancement tattoos sit on the lashline itself, permanent eyeliner sits just above. 

Ultimately, according to cosmetic tattoo artist Piret Aava, ​​"You fill in between the lashes to create the illusion of thicker, darker, and completely full lashes without looking lined or like obvious makeup," as she explained to Marie Claire. Before your appointment, it's important to make sure that you're not wearing any makeup around your eyes whatsoever. 

Esthetician Veronica Tran even advised holding off on wearing waterproof mascara for a few days in advance, ensuring that no flecks are left behind. As she warned Byrdie, "You must not be using any eyelash growth serums for at least six weeks before getting the tattoo." Likewise, "Lash extensions should be off — you can put them back on two weeks after."

Before going in with ink, the makeup artist will numb your lids. You therefore shouldn't feel anything more painful than a slight itch, according to Tran. The tattooing process can take up to two hours, and, per Marie Claire, will require a brief retouch about a month after the procedure is first done. But the results are long-lasting, up to five years. 

Tattoo prices will vary depending on your location

The cost of lash enhancement tattoos varies depending on location. In a city like New York or Los Angeles, for instance, the cost tends to climb. Byrdie suggests that you may find yourself paying between $250 and $600, while Allure cites prices of $400 to $800 a pop. At least you're potentially saving the equivalent of five years of eye makeup money, making it worth the one-off cost, however high.

After your appointment, it's important to avoid wearing makeup for the next week to let the area fully heal. According to Elle, it's common to notice a little bit of eyelid swelling, but redness and puffiness shouldn't last more than a day after the procedure. Further, as board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julia Russak, MD, informed Cosmopolitan, certain variables can make the healing process worse. 

"Avoid blood thinners, including red wine, Aspirin, Advil, and Aleve, beforehand to prevent bleeding and bruising," she noted, adding, "Make sure you haven't taken Accutane within six months of getting tattooed, because it can affect your healing process." And, if you really want to shorten your morning routine and save some money on makeup, don't stop there — it may be time for some lip blushing and eyebrow microblading, too.