Permanent Cosmetics in Cheadle
Micro Pigmentation in Cheadle
Permanent Makeup in Cheadle
Semi Permanent Makeup in Cheadle

Phil Davis, Owner and Lead Cosmetic Tattoo Artist at Davis Permanent Cosmetics

Permanent Makeup Blog by Phil Davis

Often in the permanent makeup (I’ll refer to it from here on as PMU) industry, clients & technicians alike will confuse one another with terminology. Allow me to clarify a few common misunderstandings.

What are the main differences between Microblading and Machine Tattooing?

  • Microblading is done with a manual hand tool
PMU Microblading Hand Tool

  • Machine method is performed using a sophisticated digital device designed especially for permanent makeup and not to be confused with the equipment used by body ink tattoo artists
PMU Machine (Nouveau Intelligent Machine)

  • Although the tool is the main difference, this also means the technique is different. The tool used to implant the pigments determines the delivery systems of pigments and this is indeed different

When it comes to distinguishing between the two methods, what you should almost be more aware of what they do have in common:

Both are tattoos
Both are used to create hairstroke eyebrows (amongst other designs)
Both are reliant completely on the skill and artistry of the person wielding each tool
Both should be performed in a sterile environment as they cut the skin and to exactly the same depth

Hairstroke eyebrows

Hairstroke eyebrows can be achieved either using the PMU machine or the manual handpiece. So now you know. If I were to tattoo hairstroke eyebrows on to you, whether I was using my Nouveau Contour Intelligent PMU machine or one of my Microblading handpieces; I would use the same brand of PMU tattoo pigments albeit with a slightly different technique but the design would be a very similar style. The aftercare is the same.
PMU Microblading Hairstroke Eyebrows

Microbladed Hairstroke Eyebrows

PMU Machine Hairstroke Eyebrows

Hairstroke Eyebrows done with digital machine

For want of a better analogy, it is akin to screwing a screw into wall with a screwdriver or using a drill. One is manual, the other uses an electric device.

Some detail about the differences

Occasionally people will approach me as a client to ask, “Do you do Microblading?”, which I confirm that I do and, they will often follow up with; “..because I only want the hairstrokes”. Now that (without photos to illustrate) can be where it becomes confusing. Because I will explain that Microblading is not the only method to tattoo hairstroke eyebrows.

I have heard technicians say this: “Microblading doesn’t go as deep as machine tattooing”, and/or “bodyart tattoos which you would receive in a traditional tattoo parlour go deeper than permanent makeup” (see my previous blog Permanent Makeup Versus Tattoo Ink). Neither of these statements could be true. If you’re having a dragon tattooed on your thigh or eyebrows with my Intelligent machine or brows with a Microblading handpiece - they are all being tattooed at the same depth of your skin.
To claim that microblading isn't actually a tattoo as it is placed 'shallower' in the skin, is absolutely absurd. If it were placed above the dermal layer (in the epidermis or outer layer of the skin), it would simply shed out in 5-6 weeks as the skin goes through it's natural desquamation (exfoliation) cycle. All that is different is the molecular structure of the pigments or ink that is used in body art.

The Look

Microblading can create a more natural looking tattooed brow, we term the effect of this ‘Ultra-Realism. I have always felt, however that if performed correctly, hairstroke eyebrows do look perfectly natural whether they’re microbladed or machine tattooed. Due to the techniques used in microblading, it can give the appearance of a fluffier brow if required.

Which technique yields longer lasting results?

Again, I’ve seen it explained (incorrectly) that “Microblading (the result) doesn’t last as long as machine tattooing”, I’ve even heard/been told that “Microblading fades within six months”. I’m not disputing that some people will have experienced complete fading within such a time, you probably know someone who has. But, as a general rule they should last a similar amount of time to machine brows (however the subject of fading is is more about skin type/UV exposure/medications and is a whole other subject within itself!).

Which do I chose and why?

Clients are welcome to consult with me and decide whether they want Microblading or machine tattooing. The decision is theirs (or yours) to make. I will only ever advise a client if I consider their/your skin to be a factor. ‘Crepe-like’ skin (thin and/or dry) typically on the more mature clients can be a reason why I would encourage someone to receive machine tattooing and in particular a soft powder brow.
For me; there are no advantages or disadvantages in choice. My prices for eyebrows are the same, be it machine or manual. The appointment time is the same and I’ve no preference to which treatment that I perform, I enjoy tattooing eyebrows whichever technique I employ!
by Phil Davis

There are many rewarding elements to my job, I’ve discussed them in previous blogs but, today I want to talk about the feel good factor for YOU - my clients!


I’ve lost count of the amount of times ladies have returned for their follow up appointment with me and beamed about their confidence boost.

Women of all ages visit my clinic, most commonly to get new eyebrows. Mostly I hear “I just want my eyebrows back”, as if the crux of the matter is replacement rather than replenishment or improvement. The most satisfying thing about being privileged to tattoo people’s new eyebrows on is that it often surpasses clients’ expectations! From “I just want my brows back” to “Wow, my eyes look great”, “I look awake!” or “My whole face looks better”, and all this whilst they’re smiling! People look better as the happiness glows outwards from within but, just as important; they do feel better!

Personally I feel that women’s best feature is their eyes. Eyes are pretty and expressive. When beautifully framed, women’s eyes are gorgeous! Eyebrows and eyelashes are the frame.


Confidence brings many things. ‘Wake up in makeup’, we often say in this business and it means that you begin your day made up! That gives you more time to do what you want, another coffee, checking Facebook, getting to the gym on time (where your makeup won’t smudge/sweat off because I’ve tattooed it), having breakfast, doing yoga or just screaming at Piers Morgan on your TV.

I love this review from one of my clients, I think it encompasses the happiness with both confidence boost and that precious time back in the day. Both things help with your day to day well being:

"I had my eyebrows done by Phil! I'm in love with them, they have given me so much more confidence and given me back precious time!
I go for my retouch tomorrow and I'm so excited for the finished result! Lovely couple that make you feel totally relaxed and professional service! Wish I had plucked up the courage months ago as it's one of the best decisions I have made!"

Feeling good because you look good is part of the process as well. With your brows on point - your eyes look great and you’re ready for the day!

by Phil Davis

Where it grows or more importantly, where it doesn’t...Eyebrow hair...
As we age, hair increasingly grows in places which we don’t want it to. Hair also changes colour. We go grey, some people’s hair goes white. We also lose hair in places that, perhaps we would rather not. On our head, our hair thins, some people go bald.

I want to talk about a subtle and natural hair loss which is relevant to my work as a permanent makeup technician - brow hair loss. This is something which can affect a variety of people.
Why do we lose eyebrow hair?
People struggling to manage stress are prone to lose brow hair. A temporary condition known as telogen effluvium (TE) is an abnormal loss of hair which is occurs when they experience an alteration to their normal cycle of hair growth.

Eyebrow maintenance such as over-tweezing, waxing and/or ‘threading’ your brows often causes scarring to your follicles which inhibits or prevents regrowth. Severe weight loss, excessive touching (of your brows), hormonal changes and auto immune disease can cause irregular brow hair loss as well.

In a previous blog, I discussed the loss of Hair due to chemotherapy and alopecia; click here to read Hair Loss & Permanent Makeup Blog

Some of my clients have mentioned to me that they believe that the autumn and winter seasons brings about slight brow hair loss then they experience in the summer. I have studied this theory at length, and whilst there are many people who feel that this is true - I cannot find any medical proof to back it up.

The Solution
Lost eyebrow almost certainly will not grow back. However permanent makeup (tattooing) is a common way to resolve a ‘lack of brows’. We have published numerous blogs discussing and explaining this treatment which you may have read.

A pleasing but, not a guaranteed side affect of eyebrow tattooing is that during the healing cycle - some people experience brow hair regrowth! Trauma to the skin (caused by the needle implanting pigment to create your beautiful new brows) stimulates the area into repairing itself and with that, new hair follicles!

It seems that something in the healing process can reprogram our stem cells in the skin to start making new follicles. Essentially this process is like rebooting a computer except the new command is sent out through genetics!
This results in new follicles which behave like follicles should do - they sprout hair.

However it is extremely uncommon that everyone will experience this. Therefore I obviously would encourage clients to research permanent makeup as a reliable treatment to replace lost hair either in full or patches. The natural appearance of hairstrokes or the subtle ‘powder’ or ‘shading’ which we tattoo into your skin offers the perfect replacement.

As ever I welcome clients asking any questions regarding any aspect of this treatment or book your complimentary consultation if you would like to discuss any aspect of eyebrow tattooing.
Phil Davis
History of Tattoos

The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin to date was found on the body of Ötzi the iceman. Ancient stone aged people such as Ötzi the iceman are thought have been tattooed or tattooed themselves on their joints as they believed it could help fix or soothe rheumatism & arthritic ailments. Ötzi, discovered frozen in a glacier in 1991 had died and was preserved for 5300yrs before his sixty-one tattoos were mapped!

Other tattooed mummies have been recovered from at least 49 archaeological sites including locations in Greenland, Alaska, Siberia, Mongolia, western China, Egypt, Sudan, the Philippines, and the Andes.

Tattooing was often a status symbol in ancient times, reserved for decorative purposes for royalty such as Priestess of the Goddess Hathor from ancient Egypt (c. 2134-1991 BC). Not content with jewellery, high society would decorate their bodies or receive a tattoo for protection, such was their belief in the spirit world:

Tattoos found at the mummy's neck show several Wadjet eyes — a sign associated with protection.

Tattoos are more common nowadays.. why?

Ready availability means that there exists a huge demand for tattoos. Since the turn of the century, society has witnessed a surge in tattooing. It is not at all uncommon now for people to have ‘some ink’. From the Chinese symbol to the ‘tramp stamp’ to personalised Sanskrit messages to sleeves, we all know somebody who has branded themselves.

But why? Well, tattoos like many aspects of fashion (shoes, haircuts, makeup) are a statement. Many people mark the birth of their baby with the date or the child’s name. Some record the death of a loved one with tattooing.

People naturally seek comfort, we all do whether we are conscious of it or not. Carrying a personalised message that communicates outwardly it makes us feel safe, proud, lucky or brave is something which brings inspiration and pleasure to those with their tattoo.

The rise of permanent makeup which, lest we forget is also a tattoo as we implant the pigments in to the dermal layer (see my previous blog about tatto ink v permanent makeup pigments) is very much a tattoo for everyone and is increasingly popular across the social spectrum for both male and female clients. The lady pictured above is my wife, Penny. The photo is not only illustrating Penny’s important body art Tattoo message, she also has her brows, eyeliner and lips tattooed. Enhancing features is a relatively modern body modification and is an increasingly popular remedy to removable makeup. Here at DPC we offer a full range of permanent makeup from eyebrows, eyeliner and even lips and if you would like any more information on any of our services, just get in touch as we offer compliementary consultations.

by Phil Davis

Tattooing around the eye is an interesting treatment and is possibly my favourite. It is the challenge to use a client’s natural feature and to enhance it so if client has narrow or wide eyes, closed or open, what have you - it is my job to use the most appropriate design for a great result!

Here are some of the different designs:

Lash Enhancer

There are many different styles of eyeliner. There is the simple, slim tattooed line through the lashes; we call this lash enhancer. Lash enhancer is usually between 1.5mm-2.5mm thick from the first lash of the inner canthus to the last lash along the upper eyelid to the lateral canthus. On the lower lid the tattoo begins at the last outer lash (lateral canthus) to in-line with below the pupil. Often this is either half or two-thirds if the way along the lashes of the lower eyelid.

Eye Without Tattoo

Eye without tattoo

Upper Lash Enhancement

Upper & lower lash enhancement

Baby Eyeliner

Baby eyeliner or ‘Latino’ is slightly more advanced than lash enhancer, whilst the lower lash line remains similarly tattooed, the upper eyelid is tattooed through the lashes again however the line is increased up to perhaps 3mm-4.5mm by the client depending on their request.

The upper line therefore is thicker and is elongated beyond the last eyelash of the lateral canthus and a ‘flick’ or ‘wing’ is tattooed. You can have this a just the top eyeliner or you can add in the lower lash enhancer for further definition of the eyes.

Baby eyeliner/Latino with lower lash enhancer

Baby eyeliner/Latino with lower lash enhancer

Bespoke eyeliner

This tattoo is common, often a client requests something in between a Latino and a lash enhancer. Many clients want some tattooing along the underside of their eye, however they are keen to emphasise their eyes with a thicker line a long their upper lid minus the ‘wing/flick’. This is perhaps my favourite. We can frame the eye beautifully with a significant tattoo through the lashes.

Baby eyeliner without ‘flick’ or ‘wing’ and lower lash enhancer

Baby eyeliner without ‘flick’ or ‘wing’ and lower lash enhancer As you can see there is a great selection to choose from, some clients want to save time on a morning so want a more 'make up' look, others just want to have that natural looking definition around their eyes so no mascara is required for the school run. Having your eyes 'on' really does make a huge difference to your face and lots of our clients report increased confidence in their appearance.

Because a tattooed eyeliner won't smudge off, it's also a great option for gym enthusiasts, people who suffer with hayfever or whose eye sight is problematic for close up application of eyeliner.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss the best style to suit you, remember, it doesn't have to be black as we have a large selection of colours to choose from and we have a colour and a style to suit everyone - even men!

Phil Davis


At Davis Permanent Cosmetics we refer to cosmetic tattooing as permanent makeup because we must assume that some residual trace of the pigment ingredients will remain in the skin indefinitely, even if you cannot see them.

Some in our industry refer to it as ‘semi permanent makeup’, because it does gradually fade over time as the pigments break down in the skin. However, we at DPC consider this to be slightly misleading as it gives an impression of being temporary but just because you can’t see it, does not mean it is not there.

Many people also wrongly assume that permanent makeup pigment is tattoo ink. Tattoo ink (for body art) is designed to be truly permanent and fades in a different way.

Body art tattoos are made by implanting the ink into your dermis (as is PMU). When tattoo needles puncture your skin it creates a tiny wound. Your body responds to the wound by firing up your immune system and sending special cells, known as macrophages to the area in order to heal the cut skin and swallow any ‘foreign bodies’. Other cells, such as fibroblasts will also suck up the tattoo ink.
These pigment particles are too large for macrophages to destroy, so they become stuck in the dermis.

Permanent makeup pigments lack the particle size which body art tattoo inks possess and so the colour fades more quickly. This is why we recommend your colour boost at around 12-18 months. Therefore, if permanent makeup pigment molecules were bigger, the colour would be denser and more permanent, just like body art tattoo ink. Also note worthy, permanent cosmetics pigments are specially designed to complement different skin tones so that your results are as natural as possible.

I have often heard people describe the difference between PMU & body art tattoos being that body art tattoos are “tattooed deeper in to the skin”. This is incorrect. Tattoo artists and permanent makeup technicians both tattoo into the dermis. If the ink doesn’t go in deep enough to reach the dermal layer, then it will only go in to the epidermis which will simply heal out as the skin goes through it’s natural shedding process over the course of 2-4 weeks.

If you are beginning your permanent makeup journey and wish to ask any questions and/or visit our beautiful clinic for a free consultation to discuss anything you can call, message us or book online via our website.

by Phil Davis


My clients have different reasons for visiting my clinic to receive eyebrow and/or eyeliner tattooing. "I over-plucked them when I was younger", "The older I got, I just seemed to lose (eyebrow) hair", "I've never had very good brows", "I just want more defined brows", are some of the phrases I often hear, so I know that these are common issues.

Not so common, however are clients who come to me with no eyebrow hair and no eyelashes often due to chemotherapy.


Whilst clients receiving cancer diagnosis have other urgent matters to attend to - we are finding that more and more, ladies and gentlemen are looking to Permanent makeup for help.

Hair loss is one of the many distressing side affects of chemotherapy which can be used to treat cancer and lupus. Both men and women report hair loss as one of the side effects which they fear most after being diagnosed with cancer.

The extent of hair loss can vary from person to person and is dependent upon the type/amount of chemotherapy. Patients can expect to regrow your hair three to six months after their treatment ends, though their hair may temporarily be a different shade or texture but in some rare cases it might not grow back at all.

Why do chemo/radiotherapy patients lose hair?

Chemotherapy drugs are powerful medications that attack rapidly growing cancer cells. Unfortunately, these drugs also attack other rapidly growing cells in your body — including those in your hair roots. The hair loss all over your body — not just on your scalp. Sometimes your eyelash, eyebrow, armpit, pubic and other body hair also falls out. Some chemotherapy drugs are more likely than others to cause hair loss, and different doses can cause anything from a mere thinning to complete baldness.


Upon diagnosis of cancer, many pressing matters are at the forefront of the mind: how to deal with their diagnosis and prognosis. How to explain their situation to loved ones, how to accommodate work and/or time off. There are a multitude of reasons for not fully considering the possibility and mental impact of losing body hair mid, or post, treatment.

Nobody knows how they will react to such news or whatever medical treatment we're prescribed.

There is excellent provision for head hair loss and the care teams assigned do an amazing job. Great information and treatment options for the impending hair loss (cold cap, wigs, wig hairdressers) and offer practical advise and solutions which are invaluable. Other hair loss may also occur i.e. eyebrows, eyelashes and men's facial hair and often the mental effect of eyebrow and eyelash loss is not given the focus it needs. There are solutions available with permanent makeup that I've seen make an extremely positive impact on the mental well being of someone suffering with hair loss.

I honestly could write about this topic for days however I believe that it's best to allow three of my clients to explain their journeys to you. All of these ladies wished to offer the benefit of their experience in the hope that it would help others.

Testimonial from Anya Illing

"I'd been looking into permanent makeup for a while because I had always had half eyebrows from an early age but could never really justify the cost.

However, this all changed for 2 reasons, my GP nurse had had the procedure done and it looked really good. I was very impressed with the natural look of it and that she had recommended Davis Permanent Cosmetics as one I could trust. Also I had been diagnosed with secondary cancer and this treatment would mean I would lose all my hair.

This totally changed my decision so I started looking into the procedure and made contact with DPC. I had an initial consultation with Phil to discuss my requirements and went through my medication thoroughly so that there wouldn't be any unexpected complications. I had to make sure that the procedure wouldn't clash with my chemotherapy sessions. I double checked with my consultant too, to make sure that she was happy with me going ahead with PMU.

The day came for my hairstroke brow tattoo procedure. I wasn't sure what to expect. Phil made me feel at ease and was very helpful regarding my mobility which had decreased considerably since I last visited. He put numbing cream on my brow area and then we agreed on the shape of my eyebrow design. We looked at the thickness and the length of my eyebrows and also a suitable pigment colour. He kept checking with me to make sure I was happy with the shape, this was probably the thing that took the longest time. The tattooing was ok......surprisingly it was only a bit uncomfortable on the brow bone area but that didn't last long. I followed the post tattooing plan with the tattoo balm and I'm pleased to say I didn't have any problems or complications. I've had many compliments about my eyebrows and every morning when I look at them in the mirror I'm pleased I decided to have them done. It gives me that confidence boost to go out there and face the world".

Testimonial from Lisa Sweeney

"I was diagnosed with primary Breast Cancer in November 2007 and had Chemo & radiotherapy in 2008. I lost all my hair and I wore a wig. My wig was great but I really missed my eyebrows & lashes.

Fast forward to May 2011, I got the devastating news that my cancer was back. It had spread to my bones and was now incurable. After keeping it under control for a few years with various medication, in January 2017 I was told I needed to have chemo once again. I was anxious about all the side effects and upset that once again I would lose all my hair. I decided to try the cold cap this time to reduce my hair loss but I knew I would still loose my brows and lashes. Then I saw an advert for permanent makeup and hair stroke brows at Davis Permanent Cosmetics. I was due to have chemo in a week and a friend encouraged me to call them. I got straight through to Penny who was amazing and so lovely. She realised I needed to be seen quickly and arranged for Phil to do my brows that afternoon, after a consultation. When I arrived I met Phil & Penny who were both so welcoming and put me straight at ease. The procedure was painless and I was really pleased with my finished brows, Phil is very talented!

Throughout chemo It made me feel better and gave me more confidence having brows and I didn't have that 'cancer patient' look. I've recently been back to have my eyebrows touched up and I've also had permanent eyeliner. Phil and Penny were once again really welcoming and looked after me.

I would recommend Davis Permanent Cosmetics to anyone wanting permanent makeup".

Testimonial from Fran Harvey

"I would like people to know how I became, well not a client but, friends with Phil and Penny Davis because that is how this lovely couple are. I had breast cancer which meant I had to have a lot of treatment. With this I lost my hair, my eyelashes and my eyebrows!

Unfortunately my eyelashes and eyebrow hair never grew back. I'm so grateful, believe me that I'm still here to tell the tale but, of it all the only thing that bothered me was not having any eyebrows. One of my friends found Phil and Penny details for me, so I rang and spoke to Phil. I felt like I'd known him for years, so I knew after the kind and helpful words that I would chose to have my brows and eyelash enhancer by Davis Permanent Cosmetics!

I chose a date to have them done and off I went, nervous to be honest but, I got there and within five minutes I was so at ease. The surroundings are beautiful, I was so glad I'd chosen their clinic because they had treated several ladies who had received chemotherapy treatment for cancer so they understood how I felt.

Phil offered me lots of options and advice on what colour and shape my brows should look like by drawing them on until I chose the shape and colour which I felt comfortable with. Phil began tattooing but not only did I have Phil - I then met his lovely wife (Penny) who had travelled a long way just to meet me after hearing my story.

It's the best thing I ever did it, made me feel me good again and I've never looked back. Their care in everything that they do is all about the client and how we feel inside and out. But most of all they give you confidence and that is now what I have. Phil and Penny are dedicated to what they do but also loving and amazing friends. Their experience in what they do is 100% in every way, I would say to anyone who has unfortunately experienced, or still has cancer, and needs any kind of uplift then go to Phil and Penny.

I travel about thirty-five miles to the DPC clinic but, if they moved another million miles I would follow them that's how good I feel about them thank you Phil and Penny for everything and I will be seeing you again soon!"

If you want to discuss any aspect of hairloss, please get in touch with us.

Phil Davis
Owner & Lead Cosmetic Tattoo Artist DPC

Service industry workers are infamous for making inane smalltalk. I don't do smalltalk. I love meeting new people because I'm genuinely interested in people.

Because of my job I usually have two hours with each client, sometimes 4 hours if it's a two treatment session. This enables me to discuss lots of things with my client. I'm acutely aware of not overstepping boundaries and I can read when someone wishes to be left to enjoy a treatment in peace and quiet/listening to music.

Overall though, I believe that my clients enjoy talking with me. It's important that they know that I am interested in them and that at that time; it is all about them! They are special. They are my sole focus. I don't talk about myself unless they ask. No client wants to hear about one of my kids being poorly or that my car insurance has gone up or that I had a really bad headache yesterday (they can add me on Facebook for all of that nonsense)! The client is the important one, not me!

I like to ask about about my clients work. This is interesting to me and also helps me to discuss aftercare with them (i.e. they work in an office so the computer glare may fade their PMU tattoo). It also fascinates me what people give their time up for. The gym, yoga, or if they're a football season ticket holder or have another hobby and if this involves other friends or family members? I'm interested in tattoos, I have some and permanent makeup is tattooing ergo it's a natural conversation to have with clients (this often indicates their pain threshold) but people like to talk about their tattoos. Where, why and who? Peoples' body art intrigues me and it's fun to discuss.

This isn't a cynical or creepy way to pass the time, I don't do awkward silence. I like to know what sort of person I'm tattooing and why. It is great to learn about people.

My clients have told me many things which are useful to me for work, socialising, health and so on. I have started playing lacrosse again because I was inspired by a client called Claire who is extremely hard working at the gym. Another lady called Zita inspired me to look into getting a fourth dog because of her passion for rescuing dogs at her favourite charity.

My client called Vicky explained about how Man City football clubs female youth policy works because her daughter plays for them. It gives me hope for one of my daughters!
Countless other clients have given me exciting ideas about how to entertain my daughters; Gullivers world, Monkey Forest, Fun Time Kids adventure soft playground and many more! Not to mention; talking to so many women gives me an insight into how women think, this can only give me an advantage with how to be a better husband! Sorry, yes, some of you ladies have exposed trade secrets to me:)

Of course we're aware of the stereotype hairdresser question "So are you going on holiday..?", but I ask because I'm passionate about travelling and I want to know where I could take my wife! I've had so many suggestions and recommendations that my bucketlist makes Philea's Fogg look like a hermit!

To sum up - I love learning about my clients and so should anyone in this industry. If you don't love people, it will show in your face and your body language and your voice!
Phil Davis
Owner & Lead Cosmetic Tattoo Artist DPC


Tattooing eyebrows, eyeliner and/or lipstick are treatments which are becoming increasingly common. Many people are fully aware of what these procedures involve but, to those who are not - let me enlighten you..

Using the word 'tattooing' can be slightly misleading for some people. Essentially pigment is tattooed into the skin via a needle with a machine so, it is fair to say that tattooing is an appropriate description. However I feel that it is important to discuss the differences in order to distinguish permanent makeup from the more familiar understanding of a tattoo i.e. a dragon or a loved ones name on your forearm rather than neat set of eyebrows on your forehead.

I have experienced being tattooed in a tattoo parlour in order to decorate my arm. I have also experienced permanent makeup on my eyeliner, as I'm a male we call it 'guyliner''. I am also a Nouveau Contour qualified permanent makeup technician. Therefore I feel experienced and I am educated in this subject enough to explain the distinctions between the two.

Tattoos parlours typically have a certain atmosphere. Many people have visited one, have watched reality television focussing on tattooing or know enough from received anecdotal evidence to know what they tend to be like. The environment for permanent makeup really ought to be very different. At my clinic most clients describe the treatment room as having a very clinical feel or describe it as looking rather more like a medical (yet comfortable) environment. Sterility is taken very seriously in both tattoo parlours and permanent makeup clinics. Hygiene is of paramount importance, therefore professional cleaning and sterilising standards are essential. All equipment is sterile and one time use, plastic barrier films are used on all equipment, disposable one-use needles are incinerated following each treatment and technicians wear nitrile gloves, face masks and disposable aprons.

Client comfort
The level of comfort for my clients is very important for a number of reasons: one, a relaxed person is far easier to tattoo. If someone experiences discomfort then they tend to flinch and/or frown which makes tattooing neatly almost impossible. Two, if somebody were to feel uncomfortable for a treatment then it perhaps would not matter how satisfied that they were with the results - they will not recommend me to friends, family and colleagues. Word of mouth in this industry, is just as effective as advertising! Three, I don't like the thought of somebody not enjoying a treatment with me. The look and feel of the clinic is beautiful and serene so I wish for people to be relaxed.

Topical anaesthetics are used to ensure that the client's skin is numb and comfortable as we begin their treatment. These are creams such as Emla or LMX which can be purchased over-the-counter in normal pharmacies.

I work on a basis whereby clients book an appointment, then on the day we have the consultation at the start of our session. If a client wishes to visit me in the clinic for consultation before booking in for their treatment, then I welcome that too. It is so important to meet and build a rapport with clients. If somebody is allowing another person to tattoo their face then the two must develop trust. One of the most important parts of the consultation is to listen to a clients requirements. A frequent complaint that I hear from clients who visit me for correctional work is, "I told them I wanted hair strokes but not too dark or big and they did this". Whilst I never speculate what previous technicians' work must have involved, it is interesting to me. If somebody says, "not too dark" or "not too big", then that emphasises how important it is to discuss and experiment with colours! If I am going to tattoo somebody's eyebrows then I place a tiny example of the pigment just by the brow area and present my client with a mirror and allow them to confirm or discuss. We do this until their preferred pigment colour is chosen. Similarly, I draw with an eyebrow pencil, the shape and size of the eyebrows on the client. Again, the client will assess my eyebrow template before we begin. This way there is no room for ambiguity. The client selects a colour and takes part in the brow design before I even start tattooing their skin.

Insurance and legality

A lot of what I have discussed already, you probably already knew or imagined. However, it seems that the practises of insurance and licensing a permanent makeup technician are far less understood. Virtually all councils insist that a technician has a premises license as well as a personal license. I hold four licenses! Two licenses for my Sandbach clinic and two for Cheadle (a personal and a premises license), through East Cheshire and Stockport county respectively. Technicians have all had to undertake training courses. Some are more thorough than others. Typically, potential clients will look for examples of a technicians work to see if their style would suit them. The majority of my clients explain that they have assessed my work online and will often use an example and request the same eyebrow design for themselves.
Insurance is very important. Technicians should be insured. If somebody is tattooing your face, you must be assured that there is trust and my insurance covers my client as well as myself. When choosing a permanent makeup technician, feel free to ask to see their license and qualification and proof of insurance. If they hold full licenses and insurance - they shouldn't resist! Some examples of permanent makeup technicians who I would discourage clients from using are: people who perform treatments in their home (without a purpose built clinic), mobile technicians, people who advertise that they will treat pregnant clients! (Yes I have seen examples of all of these on social media) and those who don't offer to patch test you first.


Once a treatment is complete and before the retouch approximately a month later, clients must take care of their tattoo. I, like any good technician will, provide clients with an aftercare balm to apply to the tattooed area. This is to retain the tattooed pigment, to take the heat out of the area and to soothe any itching that they may experience as the skin heals and tightens initially. Maintaining the tattooed area also involves the client refraining from getting their permanent makeup wet for around 7 days following their treatment. Therefore clients must adapt when it comes to washing their hair, washing their face etc. Upon the retouch appointment most of my clients, I'm pleased to say, profess themselves not to have had any difficulties adjusting. I take aftercare very seriously because I wish for my work to stay good looking so I present clients with aftercare instructions with the balm (which is included in the price of the treatment). I also welcome contact from clients during the interim period. If somebody has a query or experiences anything which they wish to discuss, I encourage them to contact me. This often puts clients' minds at rest as well as reassuring them. Please come and visit me at our beautiful clinic in Cheadle if you would like a consultation or contact me to discuss your permanent makeup requirements.
Phil Davis

Skin Consultation Clinic in Cheadle
Permanent Makeup Nouveau Accredited
Permanent Makeup Consultation for Tattooed Eyebrows
Dermatude Microneedling Treatment
Skin Solutions in Manchester
Skincare in Cheadle