Culture of Adornment

Published on: January 3rd, 2014

Michelle Hale, owner of the Beauty spot, offers a wide variety of ways for people to modify and adorn themselves, from affixing Swarovski crystals to their teeth or tying feathers into their hair. One of the most popular alterations for older people, however, is actually a tattoo masquerading under a different name: permanent makeup.

“It isn’t permanent, but it is the most permanent thing we have out there as far as cosmetics go,” says Hale. “I typically tell people it will last probably three to eight years, and then clients come in and they just get a quick touch-up.” The most popular procedures are permanent eyeliner and eyebrow color, but applications are about as diverse as tattoo designs. “People do lips, beauty marks, and camouflaging over scars,” remarks Hale. “Sometimes women who’ve had mastectomies will need to have total reconstruction of their breast and their nipples and therefore need color put back into it. Basically you’re tattooing that back on for them.” A tattoo repairing what a plastic surgeon has done. The irony is hard to escape—maybe even harder to escape than tattoos with the advent of laser removal.

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