Frequently Asked Questions


Is permanent makeup actually permanent?
All permanent makeup will fade and lose its shape overtime. However, it should still be considered permanent and may not ever completely disappear. It does fade quicker than other areas of the body largely due to a much higher cellular turnover (roughly 10x as much as elsewhere), more sun exposure and anti-aging/exfoliating skin care products. The reason the term “semi-permanent” exists is because of the need for color/shape refreshers from time to time.
How long can I expect to enjoy my cosmetic tattoo before I need to come back in for a refresher?
Due to the typical fading of tattoos on the face, refreshers will be needed (most frequently for brows) to maintain shape and color. Eyeliner lasts 5+ years, lips last up to 5 years, brows usually need refreshers at 18-24 months, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. Once the ink is healed and looks good, a client’s lifestyle, skin care and biology will determine how fast they fade. As a general rule, we tell clients to come back when they’ve faded 50%. This not only will allow for any color and shape adjustment (which can’t be done when they’re too saturated), it also preserves skin integrity
What is the difference between microblading and other forms of permanent makeup?
Microblading is done with a tiny hand-held blade (like a U-shaped exacto knife) and cuts are made in the skin and filled with ink. This is really only an acceptable technique for young, healthy skin that is dry-normal and has a lot of collagen because the cutting builds way more scar tissue for those who don’t fall in that category. The other types of permanent makeup done at Arden Gate Studio are done with a machine, and are much gentler on the skin. Powder brows are not hairstrokes, but a method of gently dusting pixels into the skin with a tattoo machine to build up a powdery makeup look. It can be as soft and natural or bold and crisp as desired. Nano brows are hairstrokes done by machine and they heal better on more skin types than microblading. Lips and eyeliner are also done by machine and usually involve a similar method of dusting pixels in to build desired saturation.
Does permanent makeup hurt?
Permanent makeup is a form of tattooing and a pain-free experience should not be expected. Here at Arden Gate Studio, we use effective, high-quality numbing products and we strive to keep you comfortable during the process as it’s in our best interest for a better result. Most clients experience a maximum of 4/10 pain with an average of mild discomfort or 2/10. Brows are virtually painless for 95% of people.
Why is permanent makeup expensive?
As far as luxury services go, permanent makeup is arguably the best investment! Nails, lash extensions, facials, injections and hair cuts/color actually cost more annually. The initial cost of permanent makeup is more expensive because it is a combination of artistry and breaking the skin barrier on the face. Working on broken skin creates a huge infection risk and needs to be done with the highest level of care and cleanliness in a licensed shop. The cost of licensing, rent and insurance in our industry, along with excellence in artistry, expensive ongoing training and rising supply costs, are why permanent makeup is pricier up front.
Why does permanent makeup need a 6-8 week touchup?
The application techniques of permanent makeup require a very light hand to keep the color true. If applied too deep, your tattoo can change to an undesirable color (a great example is the old, deep permanent makeup tattoos from 20-30 years ago that have turned weird colors). Because of the depth we work at these days, more fallout is expected, as compared to regular tattooing. It is also extremely difficult to get perfection in one session, so a perfecting session is typically needed to address any patchiness, color, and shape adjustments.
Why does Arden Gate Studio book online only?
The pre-and post-care of PMU is extensive. Using an online booking system allows us to keep on top of specific directions and reminders to our clients. The studio has 100-150 appointments per month. Online booking streamlines record-keeping, which is essential for a small business run by one person.
Do I need a consultation?
Every new service actually includes a consultation, so booking a separate consultation prior to the service is not necessary. It is an option if you are wanting to feel more comfortable and meet the artist ahead of time, however. All in-person consultations are booked online.
What kind of ink do you use?
Arden Gate Studio uses two types of pigment, both of which are manufactured by very reputable companies. World Famous Tattoo Inks and Eternal Ink both have permanent makeup lines and Arden Gate Studio uses them all!
My existing permanent makeup looks bad, can it be fixed?
Arden Gate Studio offers a wide variety of options to restore your permanent makeup. This may include color corrections, shape corrections, removal or just straight working it. Arden Gate Studio has become a leading expert in correction work and you will be told honestly if your tattoo can be improved or if removal is needed. Referrals for laser removal are available upon request.
What should I expect during my appointment?
When you arrive for your appointment you will be greeted by your artist and asked to fill out paperwork. Then we will take some photos and have the consultation, where we discuss shape/style/color. A template will be drawn by the artist and approved by you, then we will carry out the plan discussed.
Can I get a tattoo while pregnant or nursing?

No, you should not get a tattoo while you are pregnant or nursing. It is not because of the anesthetic (people still need dental work while they are pregnant, etc), it is because of the risk of infection. While we keep everything in our shop very clean and perform services in the most sanitary way possible, a client could get an infection from their pillow and sue their artist. Not only that, our insurance would not cover us, and that instance, they would actually drop us which would prevent us from being able to work. Any infection could harm the unborn child or infant, and that is not worth the risk for either of us.