The realm of permanent makeup never fails to surprise us. While we're all familiar with microbladed brows and permanent lip tint, a tattoo artist from Brazil is breaking the internet for doing something we thought wasn't possible, let alone safe—permanent concealer.
Aside from doing traditional tattoos, Rodolpho Torres also tattooes dark circles to visibly lighten them. His Instagram feed is filled with videos and photos of the process, turning him into nothing short of an Instagram sensation.
From his posts, the process for the tattoo appears relatively simple. Rodolpho starts by scanning the skin on client's cheekbones with a device to determine their skin tone, which produces a swatch that'll help him create a matching flesh-colored ink. After, the client's undereyes are prepped with a cream (which we assume is numbing cream) before the artist proceeds to fill in the discolored area with their custom color. Check out the process below:
Here's how the undereye is said to look before and after the tattoo:
The difference is crazy, to say the least, and it could give us the golden ticket to finally skip concealer. As tempting as it is, though, we asked board-certified dermatologists Dr. Windie Hayano and Dr. Gaile Robredo-Vitas if these undereye tattoos are really as good as they seem.
We all know how delicate the skin around our eyes are, but to our surprise, the doctors agreed that it can be safe, given that the procedure is done properly. "Theoretically the area under the eye is still skin, albeit thinner (the thinnest, actually) than other areas of the body. Tattooing that area is possible," says Dr. Gaile.
"Obviously, sterility is a major concern and of course because the area is so thin, bruising can be an issue," Dr. Windie explains. "The aesthetic result will depend on the tattoo artist's experience and skill. This is what separates the very thin line between what is divine and disastrous [for the skin]."
However, a skin-colored tattoo on the eyes could also raise some concerns. For one, the ink will stay the same color no matter how much your skin tone changes. Dr. Windie explains, "A tattoo will remain in that color until, just like any tattoo, your macrophages gradually get rid of the tattoo as well. The color will fade but you can't expect it to fade the way tanned skin will." Basically, a possibility that the permanent concealer won't match the rest of your face and body at some point always exists—like after a particularly long beach trip.
Meanwhile, Dr. Gaile highlights the risks of tattooing the eye area in general. "Just like with any other procedure, there is always a risk of bruising, swelling, redness, infection, scarring, ectropion (pulling of the skin of the eyelids away from the eyes) and post-inflammatory pigmentation, especially in inexperienced hands," she says.
The derm then adds that since it's such a new treatment, we still don't know its longterm effects. In fact, according to Dr. Windie, aging is one of the tattoo's worst contenders, as the skin around our eyes is said to change color overtime. And sadly, when things does go sour for your perma-concealer, there's little you can do to remove it. "Skin-coloured and light-coloured tattoos can not be removed by lasers. So once it is there, it can naturally fade but it will stay and disastrous results will remain that way," reveals the doctor.
Given all this, should you try it in the near future? The experts say yes and no. Dr. Windie says that it could work for some, saying, "This process will probably work for younger patients with tight periorbital skin and with pigment issues to mask the area like a concealer would do. If you look at the video, that is the main age demographic of the people that went under the procedure."
On the other hand, others should probably give it a hard pass. "At the moment maybe [I won't recommend it] until we know what we can expect from it in the long run. I would recommend to try to and identify the cause of your dark circles and try a more conservative approach," Dr. Gaile concludes. She recommends skin lasers, fillers, sunscreen, lightening creams, and improving your sleep schedule over the viral technique. "Good old concealer, of course is a cheap, non-invasive option. But just like your tattoo, match the color [well] and blend, blend, blend away."
Will you ever try permanent concealer? Sound off in the comments!