Is Permanent Eyeliner Really Worth It?


Spring 2024

Check out the latest digital issue.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get the latest on what’s moving the world delivered to your inbox.

Trending Articles

If you’re a makeup aficionado or have spent any time around people who love makeup, then chances are, you’ve heard of permanent eyeliner. The process has been around for quite some time, and with advancements in technology and comfort during the procedure, you may find yourself wondering if this is right for you. So, we’re here to help you in your research.

Quick Overview 

Permanent eyeliner is a semi-permanent makeup procedure that tattoos eyeliner onto your eyelids. The reason why this procedure is actually semi-permanent, is that because of the ink and the tattoo depth, eyeliner will begin to fade over time. Eyeliner ink contains less metal, and traditional body tattoos are deposited onto the dermis layer of the skin, while eyeliner tattoos are not deposited as deeply. Touch-ups are recommended annually, although individual technicians may advise differently. 

There are several different styles you can get, from eyelash enhancement, to thin, medium and thick eyeliner. You can also opt for a winged eyeliner or cat-eye if you’d like. As for colour, most people choose brown or black eyeliner, but other, more vibrant colours, are also available.


Make sure that you have done thorough research to ensure that the person applying the tattoo is fully qualified and is practicing proper hygiene and safety standards. Make sure that they have their licenses and qualifications displayed in their clinic and that they are legitimate. You should also speak to your doctor before getting the procedure to make sure that it is safe for you. 

Typically, appointments start with a consultation with a technician. You can learn about the treatment, choose which style you want, and they’ll advise you on proper steps to prepare for the procedure. The day of the procedure will be at least a week after your consultation.

Procedure times vary depending on what you’re having done. Generally, your technician will clean your skin, followed with the application of a numbing cream, which usually takes around 30 minutes to take effect. Tattoo time can vary between 45 minutes and 3 hours, with eyelash enhancement taking considerably less time in comparison to thick eyeliner or winged eyeliner.

Healing time can vary between 1-2 weeks and exact time depends on the individual. Those who have had the procedure done often report little to no pain, and few side effects, such as scabbing, swelling, and dry eyes, all of which are normal and should clear up in a day or two.


Cost can vary wildly. Some people have reported only paying $150 for the procedure, while others have paid in the thousands. Typically, procedures cost between $400 and $600, and the cost will increase with the thickness and detail of the eyeliner. Touch-ups usually cost half that of the original procedure.


These kinds of tattoos generally last between 1-3 years, although individual clinics may claim differently. Touch-ups will extend longevity, but the fading process begins within weeks of the procedure and will not only change visibility but may also change the colour of the tattoo. Other factors that shorten longevity are sun exposure and skin thickness, with thicker skin causing the ink to fade faster. 

Of course, like traditional tattoos, these tattoos can be removed sooner, however the process is generally long, painful, and expensive.

Is It Worth It? 

Whether or not the procedure is worth it depends on the individual. For those who wear eyeliner every day, have light colour or missing lashes, or have physical limitations, this may be a hugely beneficial procedure. It can save time and money, and the eyeliner application will always look as intended. 

Alternatively, if it’s just something you want to do, then by all means, go for it.

But if you’ve read through this entire post and still need some convincing, then maybe you shouldn’t get this. The worth of the procedure comes from the value that you attach to it. So, if a several hundred-dollar procedure with costly yearly touch-ups and some danger involved does not appeal to you, or you struggle to justify this kind of commitment, then maybe this is something that you should pass on.

Lily Frances | Staff Writer

Trending Articles