the Difference Between Tattoos and Permanent Makeup

Quickly Grasp the Difference Between Tattoos and Permanent Makeup

Quickly Grasp the Difference Between Tattoos and Permanent Makeup

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People who are beginners to permanent makeup or who are not particularly interested in beauty trends may think of tattoos as permanent makeup, and although both are achieved by inserting the ink into the skin, there are many differences between the two. Permanent makeup involves the face, focusing on the eyebrows, lips, and eyes, the main goal is to restore harmony and balance to the face, while tattoos tend to be more of a construction of the body’s skin (including facial skin), either for aesthetic reasons or to cover up scars. Quelle takes you through the following points to quickly grasp the main differences and similarities between tattoos and permanent makeup.

What is the difference between body tattoos and permanent makeup?

1. Skin Depth

The tattoo ink is injected deep into the skin and then touches the dermis. The needle depth setting for body tattoos can be found in “How To Set Up The CORRECT Needle Depth For Tattoos?” for details. The pigments used for permanent makeup are injected right above the dermis into the basal layer of the epidermis.

2. Pigments

It is often assumed that tattoos are lifelong and permanent makeup is temporary because of the depth of skin pigmentation; the pigment used for tattoos is deeper than permanent makeup.

Inserting pigments too deep and too strong into the dermis can lead to color migration and hypertrophy of the pigmented area. The main difference lies in the type of pigment used.

Chemical parameters of pigments for permanent makeup and tattoos

  • Tattoo ink – tattoo ink consists of pigment, carrier and various chemicals, tattoo inks use mainly organic inks
  • PMU pigments – the pigments used in permanent makeup are mainly non-absorbable and partially similar to the pigments used in tattoos. The pigment used is iron oxide, usually with the addition of some water and glycerin.

3. Using Equipment

Due to the different depth of penetration and location of the skin, it is obvious that tattoo and permanent makeup application devices are also different.

  • Tattoo machine

The tattoo machine is more powerful, as it needs to push large needles into the skin. Coil tattoo machines and rotary tattoo machines are the most common body tattoo equipment, while almost no one uses coil tattoo machines for permanent makeup.

On the other hand, the equipment used for permanent makeup is designed with great attention to style and precision. Since vibrations when used on the face can lead to unacceptable technical results, it is important to use the best quality equipment and thinner needles. The most commonly used tattoo cartridge needles are 0.30mm or 0.40 mm in diameter, while the needles used for permanent make-up range from 0.18mm to 0.28 mm.

  • Permanent makeup machines

For micro pigmentation artists, what they need more than anything is a dynamic but low vibration pmu tattoo machine, and because the facial skin is very delicate and sensitive, the need for a permanent makeup machine is for gentler skin during the treatment.

The quelle permanent makeup machine New Galaxy is an outstanding example of this in permanent makeup, with 8.0v for a gentle treatment, an ergonomic design for hand comfort during long permanent makeup sessions, and a battery backup so you never have to worry about interruptions in the treatment process.


4. The Artists

  • Tattoo artists

The tattoo artist profession has been around for a long time. While tattoo artists themselves do not require any formal education. In most states, however, every tattoo artist must go through an apprenticeship process before becoming a professional tattoo artist.

  • Permanent makeup artists

Permanent makeup is an umbrella term for a series of different procedures, such as microblades, powder eyebrows, permanent eyeliner, and even lipstick. Each one is a separate discipline and you will need to take a separate course. After completing the course, you must achieve a pass in even the most basic training before you can immediately start working.

Permanent makeup artists primarily complete a course at a cosmetology school or accredited training facility before they can officially become permanent makeup artists. Some programs require a cosmetology degree, others do not.

5. Healing Process

The healing time for PMU is shorter because the procedure is less invasive and the pigment is not injected as far into the skin. While body tattoos take a little longer to heal. Whether it is a tattoo or permanent makeup, you need to be aware of possible rash, swelling, or redness reactions after the procedure (they should subside within a few days after the procedure). If a very severe rash occurs, prompt repair treatment is required.


Although some permanent makeup procedures may look similar to body tattoos, especially eyeliner and lip liner, there is a clear difference between the two, and hopefully this article will help you in understanding tattoos and permanent makeup.

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