VIDEO: The art of permanent makeupPermanent makeup is among a growing array of procedures that people can use to enhance their appearance or alter what they were born with.
By: Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
Cynthia LaBonte has never been satisfied with her eyebrows. Try as she might, she couldn’t quite perfect the look she wanted.
“I have friends who can just do it perfectly, but I never could get them completely even,” she said.
Earlier this month, the Grand Forks woman decided to have a permanent tattoo procedure to apply eyebrows that would finally free her from that frustration.
“I’m so happy I got it done,” she said. “I don’t have to worry about one side being crooked.
“I can take my shower. I can wear less make-up. I can run out and look like I spent hours on it.
“And sometimes, all you want (for makeup) is the eyebrows.”
Cosmetologist Jackie Janorschke at Attractions Hair & Nail Salon in Grand Forks mixed the pigment — dark brown with a touch of black — that suited LaBonte’s hair and skin color.
“You’d never want to use just black,” she said. “It would be too harsh.”
Janorschke has been applying permanent make-up since January 2004, after completing training in Texas to learn the procedure. In addition to eyebrows, she offers eye-liner, lip-liner and full-lip color using tattoos.
“I mostly get my customers through word-of-mouth advertising.”
Permanent makeup is not a big part of her business though, she said. “I couldn’t make a living at it.”
She numbs the skin before starting the tattoo.
On Tuesday, while reclining in a pure white cloth-covered chair, LaBonte got a free “touch up,” waived the numbing solution. When asked if the procedure hurt, she said, “Just a tish.”
Tiny eyebrow hairs will grow in, which creates a more natural look, Janorschke said. The client only needs to wax or pluck any stray hairs that appear outside the eyebrow tattoo.
When LaBonte tells certain people about what she’s had done, she gets a variety of reactions.
“They range from ‘wow’ to giggles,” she said. “Some ask why I’d want to spend money on this kind of thing.”
Inspired by mom
LaBonte first learned of the procedure when her mother, Patricia Stellon, who was visiting Grand Forks two summers ago from her Libby, Mont., home, had it done at Attractions.
Since then, LaBonte said, she’d been thinking about it for herself. Once decided, she “was totally confident (and) not nervous at all.”
Janorschke, who is licensed through the City of Grand Forks to offer this service, said the tattoo area is usually red and puffy right after the procedure.
Healing time depends on what area is tattooed, she said. An eye-liner tattoo could take five to seven days to heal, “and the first day, it will be quite swollen.”
“You don’t know how it’s going to heal. It may get pink or you may end up with a color you don’t like. That’s why we offer the free touch-up.”
She also sends clients home with a small vial of a Vaseline-type product to keep the tattooed area moisturized. If neglected, the skin could get dry, crack and bleed, forming a scab.
If scabbing occurs, the ink from the tattoo will be lost, she said.
Aesthetic options growing
Permanent makeup is among a growing array of procedures that people can use to enhance their appearance or alter what they were born with.
Truyu, a division of Altru Health System, and Penny’s Touch in Grand Forks also provide permanent makeup services.
Abby D’Heilly of Grand Forks said she approached permanent makeup with caution.
“You have one chance, and it’s your eyes,” she said. “You really have to trust the person.”
At Penny’s Touch, she got “a nice fine line” on her upper and lower eyelids.
“If I’m going out at night, I add my own eyeliner to thicken it. It blends right in with the permanent cosmetics.
“I love it.”
Now in two locations, Truyu on West DeMers and at the Choice Health & Fitness Center on South Washington Street also offer an assortment of facials, body treatments, nail care, massages, spa services and “injectables” such as BOTOX, Dysport and fillers.
Or, if your eyelashes are so pale they disappear and you want to end your mascara dependence, there’s a remedy for that too: have them tinted at the Abby at Pure Image salon in Grand Forks.
Call Knudson at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1107; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.