Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 4, 2010

Senior Focus: Permanent makeup tattoo

Local Columnist

---- — Wouldn't it be nice to wake up each morning and not have to go through the tedious job of applying your makeup? Imagine the convenience and ease of permanently emphasizing your eyes by utilizing a process called micropigmentation.

The next Lunch and Learn program at the Traverse City Senior Center, scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, will feature Tammy Hubschneider and Darcy Fellows, owners of Enduring Beauty. They'll talk about micropigmentation — or permanent makeup. It's the last Lunch and Learn of the year.

Permanent makeup basically is tattooing. Pigments are inserted into the dermal layer of the skin.

As we age, features can become more diminished. While some senior women undergo the procedure for cosmetic reasons, many turn to permanent makeup as a corrective procedure. It's a great solution for skin allergy sufferers, who are prone to cosmetic irritation, infections or breakouts; for people who want to camouflage scars from burns or reconstructive surgery; for areola restoration following a mastectomy; for alopecia sufferers; or where women reach a point when they are too shaky to use an eyebrow pencil, either through arthritis, Parkinson's or aging.

"If an older woman has to pencil in her eyebrows, she has to remember not to wipe her face or there goes her eyebrows — one of our clients had that problem," Hubschneider said. "You can even cry and permanent makeup stays on."

Permanent makeup is safe when applied by a trained technician. Both Hubschneider and Fellows are certified. They received their training from Advanced Educator Inc. in Illinois.

Enduring Beauty uses a rotary machine to apply permanent makeup. The rotary method is popular because it is smaller and lighter than the coil, which is the classic tattoo machine. With its disposable parts, the rotary machine is easier to keep sanitized.

More desirable micropigmentation is done with iron oxide pigments. Enduring Beauty uses the pigments from Kolorsource. These are nontoxic to skin tissue, nonirritating and long lasting. The chance of developing an allergic reaction to iron oxide pigments is very remote, less than 1 percent. Iron oxide pigments are nonmagnetic and normally do not interfere with an MRI.

"The pigments we use make a big difference," Hubschneider said. "Plus, we have the technique down to make it more natural looking — the eyebrows can look like real hair."

"With a background in makeup for Estée Lauder, Tammy has an advantage over just a clinical technician," Fellows said. "She is knowledgeable about choosing the right colors and is more artistic in her skill when applying makeup. It's not something that everyone can do well."

While the idea of permanent makeup sounds convenient, it's important to recognize that permanent makeup is a major decision. An individual should conduct consumer research on the pros and cons of using micropigmentation, plus investigate the technician who will be doing the application.

"Permanent makeup is something people need to think about," Hubschneider said. "They should be sure it is something they really want, because permanent makeup means just that — permanent."

Enduring Beauty will have gift bags for participants. Lunch, after the presentation, will be compliments of Integrity Home Health Care.

Reservations are required by calling the Senior Center lunch line at 947-5285 by noon Tuesday, Nov. 9.

For more information call 922-4911 or e-mail

Kathleen Bellaw Gest is a local freelance writer. For more about the Traverse City Senior Center, go to