There are many things that could affect how sensitive the eyes are for an eyeliner tattoo service! Eyeliner is often regarded as the most challenging service in permanent cosmetics, and possibly one of the most challenging tattoos in general! The lids are so sensitive and the skin is so thin that it’s so, so, so easy to have a major messup if you don’t do your research and find an artist who has tons of evidence of excellent healed results. As I work, I numb for at least a couple minutes AFTER EVERY PASS, but if you still aren’t numb, it could be one or more of the reasons listed below, which an artist has absolutely no control over!
- Lash serums. Serums that grow lashes long and lush also increase the amount of capillaries in the eyelid. When someone has many visible capillaries, this is often a sign that the client could bruise an well easier (and be way more sensitive) and there’s a higher risk of migration of ink flowing up in to the capillaries, creating clouds of uneven color in areas the needle never touched.
- Being on your period. Everything is more sensitive when you’re on your period, and that includes any tattoos, but eyeliner tattoos are gonna be the worst!
- Recreational drug use. Any recreational drug that increases sensitivity can make someone more sensitive to pain, as well.
- Regular use of heavy eye makeup. This greatly dehydrates the skin, making it difficult to implant as effectively as well-hydrated skin. When it’s harder to implant ink in the skin, an artist has to decide if it would be better to do a light layer for the first service (less trauma can lead to better retention) with continuing the tattoo (excessive bleeding and lymph and wiping can adversely affect retention) to get better saturation. But that’s why touchups are required unless results are exactly as desired after one service!
- Being a redhead. I am one so I know all about this! Redheads often need more anesthetic because we either have a very difficult time getting numb to start or we burn it off very quickly. For me, it’s the latter! My best friend from college is a dentist and she has to give me 30% more lidocaine!
- Oil-based makeup remover. This gums up the skin. Also, our ink is water-based, and doesn’t implant as well on oily lids. See #4!
- Regular use of heavy eye creams. This also gums up the skin, making the skin harder to accept ink. See #4!
If a client has one or more of any of these issues, it could take an extra touchup. This is rare, but does happen every once in a while! That said, I’ve done nearly 1500 eyeliner tattoo services at this point and the majority have at least one of these issues and results have still been excellent. But please keep all these things in mind and plan accordingly when booking for an eyeliner tattoo!