The idea of any tattoo is enough to make a needle-phobe squirm, but some spots are more cause for squeamishness than others — like, say, the eyes. However, the area isn't an uncommon place for ink, particularly when it comes to cosmetic enhancements. In the latest episode of Macro Beauty, our subject, Jackie, decides the potential discomfort is worth it, and goes to Fiction Cosmetic Tattooing in Los Angeles for a lash enhancement tattoo.
"Anyone looking for more definition in their eyes or who wants their eyelashes to look thicker is a great candidate for lash enhancement," says Kahli Smith, cosmetic tattoo pro and the owner of the studio. Jackie explains that her lash journey has consisted of mascaras, curlers, serums, glue-on strips, and eyelash extensions, but nothing as long-lasting as a tattoo. "I want to do this procedure because doing my makeup is a chore," she says. "I want to do anything that will make my life easier."
Smith says that a lash enhancement tattoo shouldn't be confused with an eyeliner tattoo; in fact, the procedures are very different. Eyeliner tattoos are permanent and done on the outer eyelid, while lash enhancements are semi-permanent and done in the inner waterline. "Lash enhancements last between one to three years depending on the client and their lifestyle," Smith says.
For Jackie, Smith mixed black and red pigments to get the color exactly right. "I add a bit of red to help the pigment from cooling down, so it doesn't turn gray or blue," she says. "It's going to stay true black over time." To prepare Jackie's skin, Smith applied numbing cream for ten minutes before tattooing each eye. "She shouldn't feel any stinging or pain," Smith says, "more of a vibrating sensation."
After "breaking" the skin with the first tattoo layer, Smith applied more numbing cream before depositing ink on Jackie's waterline. She continued using alternating layers of numbing cream and ink three to four times until she reached her desired level of pigment. The final result was a thick, barely-there line of black ink that made Smith's client's lash line subtly pop. Click play to see her complete transformation.