Permanent Cosmetics

By Alison Alhamed | 10/19/2009 2:43:00 PM


Where it’s at: Timeless Skin Spa, Los Gatos, California (

Description on menu: Permanent Cosmetics, the implantation of pigment in the upper layers of the dermis, results in natural looking, waterproof color that lasts for years. Procedures include eyebrows, eyeliner and lips; advanced procedures include scar camouflage and areola re-pigmentation.

Jill Hoyer
Application: The area is cleaned and an anesthetic is applied for 10-20 minutes. After design and color are chosen, the pigment is delivered via one-time use needles, which move up and down and enter the skin in the upper layer of the dermis. If color is inserted too deep, color won’t be visible; if it’s not deep enough, the color will exfoliate away during the healing stages. Healing varies from a few days to a couple of weeks for the lips. “Brows are done with a fine needle and made to look like there are ‘hairline’ strokes, and shading needles to give a more muted, overall wash effect,” says owner Jill Hoyer. Eyes are done with a very subtle eyelash enhancement at the base of the lashes or as a thick eyeliner. Lip options include liner, a liner with shading or a full lip.

How much it costs: Cost varies, but the average is $400-$800, with advanced work/paramedical procedures costing more. A touch-up or detail visit is included in the cost.

Salon’s profit on the service: Varies depending on pigment costs, anesthetics, instrumentation and needles required. “We use a state-of-the-art digital machine, which had an initial investment of $4,000 and requires needles in the $15 range,” says Hoyer. “Overall the salon’s cost per procedure is about $10-$30. On a $500 procedure, the profit margin is good.”

How many appointments are made each month: “I schedule no more than 3-4 procedures per day,” Hoyer says. “Permanent cosmetics require detailed work—limiting your procedures will result in beautiful work, less stress on you and a satisfied client.”

How long it takes: 60-90 minutes per area, touch-ups take less time. Advanced procedures, like areola restoration, take two hours on the initial visit.

Target market: “Most of my clients are in their 30s and older, and I’ve had some clients in their 80s,” says Hoyer. “It is especially beneficial for people who can’t wear cosmetics due to allergies, active people who don’t want to worry about sweating off their make-up, are vision impaired or motor impaired and busy people who don’t have time to spend on their make-up.”

Special marketing tips for the service: “Treat clients well, have a good referral program, and offer others in the beauty industry a professional rate,” says Hoyer. “They are in a position to see many people during the day and can be a great referral source.”





ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alison Alhamed

Alison Alhamed, Editor in Chief of Modern Salon Magazine | Editor of First Chair

Since July 2008, Alison has worked across all brands under the MODERN SALON Media umbrella, including MODERN SALON, SALON TODAY, FIRST CHAIR and MODERN SALON TV. Alison’s passion for the beauty industry grew even deeper after she enrolled in beauty school, working as an editor by day and a student by night. Alison earned her cosmetology degree from Pivot Point International in Bloomingdale, Illinois, in May 2011.

You can find Alison on Google+ or e-mail her at


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