Enhancing your sparse eyebrows with permanent cosmetics

I ran across this article the other day on sparse eyebrow hair transplants and thought it was interesting to share.  Eyebrows frame the eyes–the windows to the soul.  Not everyone is blessed with genetically full eyebrows though.

Some solutions for sparse eyebrows include makeup, waxing/shaping, LATISSE® for hair regrowth and eyebrow hair transplants (as discussed in the above article).  Another solution which is minimally invasive and offered through Dr. Macdonald’s office by Thao Duong is permanent cosmetics.

Otherwise known as cosmetic tattooing, or permanent makeup, permanent cosmetic artistry for eyebrows would entail making up for the eyebrow deficiency by filling in the spaces with micropigmentation.  In my own journey to enhance my eyes, I have discussed myself as an eyebrow tattoo candidate, as a way to open up my eyes and redefine the shape with a simple and easy solution.

Lifestyle Benefits to cosmetic tattooing:

  • Look vibrant and youthful 24 hours a day.  The look remains even while exercising, traveling, attending teary weddings, and first thing in the morning.
  • Avoid allergic reactions.  It’s a great solution for allergy sufferers or those who can’t wear topical makeup.
  • Save time.  Save yourself time in the morning or getting ready to go out for the evening.
  • Helps those with unsteady hands or visual impairment.

If you’re interested in learning more about cosmetic tattooing, I’d suggest calling Dr. Madonald’s office at 415-956-3223 and scheduling a consultation with Thao.  She will start you out with a pre-procedure consultation appointment where she does a full mock-up of your desired effect.  She also tattoos other areas such as eyeliner, lips, scar camouflage on face or body, hair loss blend associated with medical conditions, and tattoo removal using a safe and effective technique.

© 2012 R.E.L. Copywriting. All rights reserved.

3 Months: Cosmetic Tattoo Eyeliner Decisions

Karine, one of the Cosmetic Tattoo patients of Thao Duong, Dr. Macdonald’s Permanent Cosmetic Artist had upper and lower eyeliner tattoos done a few months ago…

Please read her entire story by selecting category: “Cosmetic Tattoo”

Continuing on from her last post where she was contemplating whether or not she would go in for a touch-up

Seems like Karine is happy with her natural makeup look..

***From Karine January 17 (3 months)***

Natural look. No extra makeup.

I went to my consultation with Thao a couple weeks ago. Before going, I was thinking that I wanted a touch-up to the eyeliner under my eyes where there was a small inconsistency, and to the upper eyeliner to make it thicker.

But, by the time I made it to my appointment with Thao (2 1/2 months later… gotta love the holidays!), I changed my mind. I decided that I’m happy with my eyeliner the way it is as I took the time to get used to it.

All ready to go out! Just 2-3 brushstrokes of mascara:)

Compliments from friends. On a downhill snow skiing weekend in Lake Tahoe, friends of mine have commented that they like my eyeliner.  I smirked because I knew I wasn’t wearing any makeup.  :)

When I get ready to go out at night, I only have to put on minimal makeup and am ready to go in a flash!  This picture to the right is a good example [took me a few minutes].

So, this eyeliner has a great natural look in the sunny or gloomy lighting outdoors and also dresses up nicely for going out!

I think this tattooed eyeliner is absolutely ideal for:

  • Busy, athletic women like myself
  • Moms of young kids who simply don’t have a moment to spare for themselves
  • Mature women whose near-sighted eyesight is starting to be less sharp (starting around 45 + years old) and thus putting on eyeliner smoothly and evenly can be a challenge

I think it’s well worth the money in time savings and makeup product savings!!

I would have done this years ago if I’d known someone I trust who did it.  The only downside is that it’s semi-permanent so it’ll fade in about 3-4 years…but I’ll be going back to Thao to do it again when that happens!

Discount on Thao’s services offered through end of February. Since I finally just made it in to see Thao for my follow-up, I found out while I was in there, that she’s offering a special discount promotion that started this month.   She’s offering a complimentary (free) consultation through at least Valentine’s Day, and maybe she’ll extend to end of February.

This is usually $65 and takes a good hour because she’s really thorough and you get a really good idea of how it will look when tattooed.   Then if you book your treatment at the time of your consultation, you’ll get 15% off! That’s definitely a reason to check it out!


One Month: Cosmetic Tattoo Eyeliner, Touch-ups? No Touch-ups?

Karine, one of the Cosmetic Tattoo patients of Thao Duong, Dr. Macdonald’s Permanent Cosmetic Artist recently had upper and lower eyeliner tattoos done…

Please read her entire story by selecting category: “Cosmetic Tattoo”

Continuing on from her last post where Karine was considering getting touch-ups to make the eyeliner darker

I had the chance to interview Karine in person.  I asked her the following:

“When is your next visit to Thao and plans for the touch-up?  I know you want to go darker so that you have the ‘makeup look’,  since now it is a simple enhancement to the ‘no makeup look’.

Have you been in discussions with Thao via email or phone that is helping you make your decision?”

Karine’s answers:  I’m a pretty low-maintenance patient in that I don’t freak out about pain, results, etc. unless they’re really awful or unexpected.  So, I’ve had no contact with Thao.

Having gone around with my permanent eyeliner for a few weeks now, I’m not completely sure if I do want to go darker after all.

When I see Thao in early Dec we’ll talk about it and I’ll take her feedback into account before deciding.

Although the effect looks darker in the pictures than I noticed while seeing Karine in person, I can tell from the one month photos that the eyeliner is still holding.  In the photo she is wearing a little bit of mascara on the top lashes but no other makeup.

And for the record, after seeing Karine’s results myself in person, if I were do get this eyeliner done myself, I would go for the current look she has now which I want to call the enhanced no-makeup look.

To be continued when she meets with Thao in a few weeks.

© 2010 R.E.L. Copywriting. All rights reserved.

Day 8-9: Cosmetic Tattoo Eyeliner, Lighter Now, Touch-up Planned

From Karine, one of the Cosmetic Tattoo patients of Thao Duong, Dr. Macdonald’s Permanent Cosmetic Artist.  She recently had upper and lower eyeliner tattoos done…

Please read her entire story by selecting category: “cosmetic tattoo”

***From Karine, October 28 (Day 9)***

First follow-up visit with Thao:

Yesterday was Day 8 for me.  I had my follow-up visit with Thao.  She simply wanted to check in with me to see that I was healing well and to review with me the outcome with regard to the color we chose.   She was interested to know if I was happy so we could discuss whether I felt I’d want to take advantage of the 1-2 touch-ups she includes in her treatment price.

My honest answer to this is that I really do love it and am so pleased with how quickly it healed.  I never felt like I had to “hide” from the public view.  I am going to, however, take advantage of at least 1 touch-up for the following reasons:

  • Upper eyelids: I found that, although I was worried about it being too dark at first, now that it’s faded a bunch I really do want at least the eyeliner on the upper lids to be a bit darker and thicker.  [See my pictures posted 2 days ago.]
  • Lower eyelids: I see a small discrepancy on the lowers comparing the two eyes.  The eyeliner seems to be a perfect consistent line and darkness on the right eye.  But on the left eye, it’s slightly lighter from the midline of my eye in toward the tear duct.  I’ll have her darken there to even it up with the right eye (which is perfect!).

I’m going to try to do the touch-up right after Thanksgiving, so I’ll be sure to write more then to let you all know how it goes…

Some research on cosmetic tattooing in general

Before “signing off” today, I thought I’d share with you a bit more information about permanent cosmetic tattooing as I always appreciate when others help educate me before jumping into something new.

Thao is a wealth of information!  She’s been perfecting her craft for over a dozen years now.  She tells me that her objective in assessing each new eyeliner patient is to provide her patient with a refreshed, youthful appearance that enhances the natural shape and color of  the eyes.  In other words, she does not want the patient to look too made up.

In doing this, she considers the eye color and skin tone to determine the best blend of tints to use for the tattooing procedure.  She also is incredibly precise and detail-oriented in her application of the tint in that she actually inserts the color between the individual eyelashes in such a way that it enhances the lashes in addition to framing the eyes.

Similar effects to LATISSE® and eyelash tinting

So, it has the eyelash lengthening and darkening effect as that of LATISSE® or eyelash tinting.

By the way, in reference to LATISSE®, I did see that Dr. Macdonald sells the LATISSE® in his office too.  I learned that  now through year-end 2010 there is a special running where:

  • you get 1 area of BOTOX® treatment and as a result you can also get…
  • a box of LATISSE® (which I believe lasts at least 4 months) for only $20.  It’s regularly $120 per box.

I also asked Thao about eyelash tinting.  She says that it usually needs to be re-done every 4-6 weeks.  This is like getting your hair colored.  Apparently,  Amy, Dr. Macdonald’s on-staff Medical Aesthetician, provides this service.

How long will my eyeliner tattoos last?

As far as how long my wonderful new natural eyeliner effect will last, she did indicate that, as with most other medical procedures, the effects vary from individual to individual.  Usually the lighter the skin tone, the faster it fades.   The eyebrows fade the fastest and the lips last ~3-4 years.  For the eyeliner treatment, it will probably last ~3-5 years.

Ongoing treatment

Thao also told me that the Aquaphor healing ointment I’ve been using is a great ongoing moisturizer that, with continued nightly use, will prolong my results…

I don’t have to layer it on so thick as when I was healing, but it’s kind of like a “night cream” in that it’s good to use ongoing to help hold extra moisture in the delicate skin around my eyes and thus also help prevent fine wrinkles around my eyes.

One of the dermatologists Thao works with at her secondary office in Memphis, Tennessee uses the ointment for this purpose herself all the time and swears by its positive benefits.

I’ll write again when I’ve done my touch-up appointment toward the end of November.  Feel free to comment and ask any questions you like and I’ll try to answer them for you or consult Thao to do so.  This has been really fun!  Thanks for reading!


© 2010 R.E.L. Copywriting. All rights reserved.

Day 6: Cosmetic Tattoo Eyeliner

From Karine, one of the Cosmetic Tattoo patients of Thao Duong, Dr. Macdonald’s Permanent Cosmetic Artist.  She recently had upper and lower eyeliner tattoos done…

Karine is healing fast from her upper and lower eyeliner tattooing procedure performed on October 20.

In the last few days, a significant amount of ink is flaking off as part of the procedure.  Karine reports that she wakes up in the morning and a lot of it is clumped up in the corner of her eyes.  During the day she continues to use a wet q-tip to periodically wipe away the flecks that flake off.

One day she felt that a larger section peeled off.  She was a little nervous that the entire tattoo section was coming off completely (but it wasn’t).  Overall, she is now left with a noticeably lighter version of the eyeliner on the lowers.

The swelling and redness is completely gone.  Check out the difference from 4 days ago.

On the uppers the eyeliner is thinner and right along the eyelash line (closer than you could ever get while applying eyeliner).

Karine shared with me that Thao applies the ink not only above and below the lashes, but in between them as well so there is a more even effect.

Apparently, Thao calls almost every day to follow-up on her progress.  This is certainly a nice perk:)

Karine has her first check-up appointment on Wednesday (in 2 days).  She is considering taking Thao up on her offer to do a free touch-up.  She is interested in making the lowers a little darker now that it has lightened so much in the last few days.

What do you think?

Please follow her entire story by selecting category “cosmetic tattoo”.

© 2010 R.E.L. Copywriting. All rights reserved.

Day 3-4: Cosmetic Tattoo Eyeliner, Soothing, Healing

From Karine, one of the Cosmetic Tattoo patients of Thao Duong, Dr. Macdonald’s Permanent Cosmetic Artist.  She recently had upper and lower eyeliner tattoos done…

Her story starts:

***From Karine Oct 22-23 (Day 3 + 4)***

The healing is going well and I love my results already!  I’m so curious, what do you readers think?  Do you like the effect?

Has anyone who has seen me in person made any comments to me that might relate to my new tattoos? No one has really said anything.  I ran into an acquaintance when I had my glasses on and he was unphased.

Can I put eye shadow over the shine to be more presentable or just skip the ointment? I’m supposed to wear the ointment 24×7 for 8-10 days.  I have only worn it minimally during the days and the glasses with dark rim seem to cover up (especially the uppers) any redness or swelling.

I glob the ointment on thicker at night.  I only apply it in the morning after a shower.  Then maybe a little more later in the day. The idea is to keep it moist as that lessens the itching.

What did my husband and children say (who all knew I was getting this procedure done)? At first my husband had forgotten about my procedure and simply mentioned that I looked extra pretty tonight and wondered if I did something different?   My kids just thought I had on extra makeup.  Since they are boys and very honest, they would have told me I “look scary” if the look were too drastic.:)  I guess I passed the test!

Am I feeling any pain? I’ve really had no pain at all, just feeling a little odd (heavy lids) because of the slight swelling particularly in my upper lids since the procedure.  It’s diminished considerably though by now, and it never was very bad given that I was able to go to watch a play at the San Francisco Playhouse the day after my procedure and no one even noticed anything weird as my eyes were merely just a little “glossy” looking from the ointment.

How am I addressing the swelling? To address the swelling, I took Thao’s advice and made up 4 teabags the first day after my procedure and put them in a plastic baggie in the freezer.  They were the round-shaped ones which are perfect for covering the eye area.  I would move them from freezer to fridge for maybe a half hour before applying them so they weren’t so cold to give me a “slurppy” headache.

How am I assisting in helping the wound to heal? I followed Thao’s advice to put on my healing ointment to make sure the area was moist, then gently lay saran wrap across my eyes and place the cold tea bags on top of that.  This was very soothing!  For “wound” healing, Thao had me get an ointment called Aquaphor which can be found at Walgreens or most any drugstore.

I’ve been using a micro-brush that Thao provided me with to apply the Aquaphor right along my upper & lower lash line periodically throughout the day to ensure it stays moist.

This is also soothing and I glob it on a bit thicker at night when I sleep.  I make sure to use a pillowcase that I don’t mind smudging up a bit.  As stated above I’ll be wearing the ointment for 8-10 days.

Is the ointment getting in my eyes at night? A little, but not bad.

As the skin is starting to heal, does it itch? Yes.

Anything new happening? I’m using a wet q-tip to periodically wipe away color flecks that flake off.  I do this 1-2 times per day.  This is as expected.

Anything different when I exercise? I’m not allowed to exercise vigorously yet. Thao advised this as the salty sweat will sting/burn.  I’m still taking my dog for a walk though.  He is happy about that:)

Am I allowed to get hot water on my face? Have I been in my hot tub? Has my shower routine changed? I have not been in the hot tub yet but I’m allowed so I will go today.  I’m allowed to get my face wet in the shower, but trying not to squint or rub my eyes.

Does it affect my contacts that I wear to correct my blurry vision? I cannot wear contacts for 7-10 days because Thao doesn’t want me tugging on the delicate eye skin.  So, this is another reason why I’m wearing glasses. 

Has the swelling and redness changed at all from the first morning pics taken on Day 2? Swelling and redness seems the same.

When is my follow up office meeting with Thao? My next follow-up meeting with Thao is on October 27th (on Day 8).

Stay tuned for more updates….


© 2010 R.E.L. Copywriting. All rights reserved.

Cosmetic Tattooing: Consultation, Pre-Procedure Gitters, Procedure Details

From Karine, one of the Cosmetic Tattoo patients of Thao Duong, Dr. Macdonald’s Permanent Cosmetic Artist.

Karine is on Day 3 of her procedure today and hanging in there, detailing out her entire procedure (before, during and after) from start to finish… Read on for all the details…

***From Karine (before, during, and immediately after procedure)***

Oct 20 before treatment

Oct 20 after treatment

Now that my procedure with Cosmetic Artist, Thao Duong is done, I wanted to back track and provide some more explanations…

First, I want to elaborate on my  first post announcing my semi-permanent cosmetics procedure by telling you about about the details of the process for the consultation, prepping for the procedure, and the procedure itself.

It has really been a great experience all-around so far! She provides her treatments through the offices of Dr. Macdonald, who I know is a well known plastic surgeon for 15 or so years now in San Francisco’s Union Square area.  It is always fun to combine your trip to the city with a little shopping!

Thao told me that she’s been working with Dr. Macdonald for 7 or 8 years, and they both really respect each other’s craft and expertise.  Thao also loves that Dr. Macdonald’s front office staff (Lidian & Erin) are so warm and wonderful in their treatment of her clients which she believes adds to each client’s comfort and overall satisfaction with their experience.  You know, having been exposed to Dr. Macdonald’s cosmetic practice, I’d have to say I definitely agree with her.

My initial appointment with Thao was a 45-60 minute consultation. During that appointment, she was very informative about what she does, how she does it, and why.

She shared dozens of before & after pictures of her clients which really helps because I’m a very “visual learner” as I think many people are.  It was amazing to see how her work on permanent eyeliner and eyebrow tattooing can really frame a person’s face, drawing out the beauty of their eyes and often their cheek bones, while also amazingly diminishing less attractive features such as a large nose, forehead or chin.

Then she went on to take a “before” picture of me without any makeup.  After that, I relaxed in her chair while she tweezed and shaped my eyebrows and then applied makeup to my eyes (eyeliner & eyebrow pencil) to show me a “mock up” of what I would look like post-treatment if I chose to do both eyeliner and eyebrow with the blend of colors she chose to draw out the green in my hazel eyes.   [As I mentioned in my first post, I opted to do just eyeliner at first and see how that goes].

I don’t often wear lower eyeliner but I got that done anyway.  Here is why. At first I told Thao I only wanted to do the uppers.  From Thao I learned, however, that it’s actually the contrast of the subtle blend of 2-3 different colors that she uses on top vs. bottom that best draws out the colors of your eyes.  She was able to show me the magnitude of difference this makes when she did her “mock up” for me.  She started with upper eyeliner pencil, gave me the mirror to examine the result.  Then she added the lower eye pencil and had me look again.

When I saw the difference, I was convinced!

When she was done applying “mock up” makeup, she took a set of “after” pictures which I showed in my first post.  She then answered all my questions and talked about the healing process so I could plan for any adjustment to work/family life before my treatment appointment.

Four patient references were also provided so I could call and directly ask about their experience and results.  Thao charges $65 for this consultation appointment, and I felt it was well worth it, especially considering that many spas/salons charge $40 just to tweeze and shape your brows!  I don’t think I’d have had the nerve to go forward with treatment without first having this thorough consultation and visualization of the outcomes.

Now on to the procedure itself. It was comforting to receive this treatment in a medical office with a seasoned cosmetic & reconstructive surgeon an exam room away. I mean seriously, she is using 42 little needles right around my eyes which can be unnerving to say the least!

I definitely was nervous at first but everyone was focused on my comfort and easing my nerves, explaining the typical medical releases a patient signs, answering questions, etc. so this made me feel at ease…

For the upper and lower eyeliner procedure, Thao had me plan for 3-3.5 hours of time.  This includes:

  • filling out any sort of patient registration and medical release forms
  • sipping on a cup of decaffeinated tea kindly provided by Lidian to calm my nerves:)
  • having the topical anesthetic applied to my upper and lower eyelids (along the lash lines)
  • while resting under a cozy blanket in her treatment chair approximately 30 minutes to allow the anesthetic to take full effect
  • listening to some zen-like mellow music playing and inhaling a lovely scent in the room (incense / candle) to calm all my senses

The hardest part was keeping my eyes closed for 3 hours, but Thao has a tender touch and gentle nature, always checking in to see how I was doing and if Ineeded a break.

Post-treatment is in 12-14 days. If any touch-up or adjustment is required, she asks that you schedule it within 3 months of your initial treatment and that you come in for those 1 or 2 appointments within 6 months of your initial treatment.

Included in her treatment price are:

  • the procedure itself (along with all the perks listed above)
  • the healing follow-up appointment
  • 1-2 touch-up appointments


  • Both the upper and lower eyeliner cosmetics tattooing: $785.
  • Upper eyeliner only:  $550
  • Lower eyeliner only:  $385

Stay tuned for my next updates on recovery, along with some research I’ve done on the subject.