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Eyeliner Tattoo


Classic, Lash line Enhancement, and Winged Eyeliner

If you are exploring options to create longer-lasting, more defined, or maintenance-free eyeliner, you might want to consider clinical eyeliner tattoo.  Clinical eyeliner tattoo is a proven (semi-)permanent to cosmetic tattoo procedure that emphasizes and draws attention to the shape of your eyes, using clinically proven, custom-formulated pigments.

Clinical eyeliner tattoo can be an excellent choice over drawing in your eyeliner.  It's also a more cost effective option than a drawer of cosmetics. Given the amount of options and information it can often be difficult to determine which eyeliner tattoo technique is the right option for you.

If you are considering eyeliner tattoo, you likely have a number of questions, including:

  • What types of eyeliner tattoo are available?
  • How much does it cost to have eyeliner tattoo done, and what are the upkeep costs?
  • What styles of eyeliner tattoo are best for me?
  • How long will eyeliner tattoo last?
  • What are the risks in having eyeliner tattoo?
  • What are the alternatives to getting eyeliner tattoo?

This webpage provides important facts on eyeliner tattoo (e.g. classic eyeliner, lash line enhancement, or winged eyeliner) to help you be more informed, supporting you to make the right choice for your face and skin. Using these questions as a guide, this webpage describes the most common types of eyeliner tattoo, and discusses the factors involved in choosing, scheduling, and maintaining eyeliner tattoo.

Ivonne Sanchez

Picture: Ivonne Sanchez, Eyeliner Tattoo Professional

IVONNE Pigment Eyeliner Collection Vault

Intended Audience

This webpage is intended for clients who are looking for background information on eyeliner tattoo options in order to support informed decision making regarding service selection, purchasing, and maintenance.  The information provided here is general, and specific details may vary depending on your eyeliner tattoo style, technique, and service provider.  This webpage should not replace working with an individual eyeliner professional or beauty advisor, who will ensure that your eyeliner tattoo experience meets your needs and desired objectives.

A Note About Cosmetic Decisions and Our Personal Health

Eyeliner tattoo and cosmetic tattoo in general is an effective way to resolve an aesthetic concern, and to simplify your self-care routine.  In thinking about aesthetics in the context of your overall health and wellness, it is recommended that you factor in your state of mental well-being, as well as your body's ability to heal from an eyeliner tattoo procedure before subscribing to an eyeliner tattoo service.

Cosmetic products or services should never be used to mask what could be an underlying medical condition.  Please consult first with your primary physician before subscribing to any cosmetic products or aesthetic services.

What is Eyeliner Tattoo, and How Does It Work?

Eyeliner tattoo is a proven cosmetic procedure that has been used for decades, in both Canada and around the world, to efficiently recreate the appearance of liquid eyeliner around the eyes.  In fact, it is likely that you know of someone personally, or have seen someone with eyeliner, whether or not you have realized that their eyes have line tattoo in them.

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Tattoo Basic Concepts

Tattoo by itself has been a technique used for thousands of years by many civilizations to embed pigments beneath the surface of the skin, for various purposes, including tribal or cultural identification, religion, personal expression, and even by some civilizations as a form of medicinal practice.

How Tattoo Is Permanent

When receiving a traditional tattoo, a special machine with needles punches through the skin between 50 and 3,000 times per minute. The needles travel through the epidermis and allow the ink to seep deep into the dermis, where all the nerves, collagen fibres, blood vessels, and glands are.

Each time the needle penetrates, it causes an individual wound that sends an alert to the body’s inflammatory process. This calls the immune system to the wound site to begin repairing the skin. This process is what makes tattoos permanent.

Special cells called macrophages consume the invading material (pigments) to clean up the inflammatory mess. The macrophages travel back through the lymphatic system carrying the dye all the way back to the lymph nodes, but other macrophages get left behind in the dermis.

When the straggling macrophages get stuck behind, there is no way to dispose of the pigment and instead the dyes trapped inside of them remain visible through the skin.1

Initially, ink is deposited into the epidermis.  As the skin heals, the damaged epidermal cells are shed and then replaced by new dye-free cells, with the top outermost layer peeling off like a healing sunburn.  Complete epidermal regeneration happens in 2 to 4 weeks.

Pigments that remain stuck behind form the tattoo that is visible to the human eye. It stays with us for many years, subject to the influence of environmental factors like sun exposure and lifestyle during the healing process.

Eyeliner Tattoo Basic Concepts

Eyeliner tattoo is a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that embeds (in)organic pigments beneath the epidermal layer of the skin, placed with the use of a specialized electronic tattoo machine, quickly punching through the skin many times.

Why Eyeliner Tattoo Is Permanent

Eyeliner tattoo is among the most permanent form of permanent makeup and cosmetic tattoo. Due to the thinness of the skin, and the location on the face, eyeliner tattoo performed around the eyes is very permanent.  It does not disappear as easily as other forms of permanent makeup e.g. eyebrow tattoo, or lip tattoo.

At the time of writing, there are no known reliable ways of removing eyeliner tattoo pigment from the skin. It is therefore very important that the reader reflect carefully on what style they will choose, and who they will choose to perform the procedure.

Important Terminology for Eyeliner Tattoo

Here are some common terms you may come across while investigating eyeliner tattoo.

Eyeliner Tattoo Service

An Eyeliner Technician, Eyeliner Practitioner, Dermopigmentist, Eyeliner Artist, Cosmetic Tattoo Artist, is a person who performs Eyeliner Tattoo, and who may have received formal, or informal training or certification.

A tattoo ink is a pigment that is combined with a carrier, and used in eyeliner tattooing, and is generally considered to be permanent.

An organic pigment is the result of chemical synthesis and does not come from organic sources.

An inorganic pigment is a dye substance which does not contain carbon, except in its elementary form (carbon black – carbonate) or carbonate. They include mainly oxides, salts or silicates. They can be obtained from finely pulverized minerals or chemical synthesis. They are composed of other elements such as iron, aluminium, cobalt, or chromium.

Permanent makeup is the application of tattoo ink pigments into the skin to achieve a long-lasting to permanent colour effect to look like makeup.

Tattoo removal is the process through which tattoo ink is lifted or removed from within the skin. This process is sometimes performed manually with saline removal but more commonly with a laser device. Tattoo removal can be difficult, and painful.

The dermis is a layer of skin between the epidermis and tissue beneath the skin.

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin that we can see with our eyes.

Macrophages are a type of white blood cell in our immune system that engulfs foreign substances found in the human body.

The lash line is also known in beauty as the water line. This is the line of skin between the lashes and the eye.

Styles of Eyeliner Tattoo

There are various eyeliner tattoo styles, and they incorporate many if not all of the same technique.

When considering eyeliner tattoo many clients think about whether they want a simple and modest enhancement of their natural lash line, a classic eyeliner look, or something with a 'wing'.

Lash line Enhancement

For many clients the objective is to simply emphasize their lower lash line with the lightest amount of pigment. This would be the same as placing only a few strokes of liquid liner or eyeliner pencil below the eye. This is the most conservative form of eyeliner tattoo.

Classic Eyeliner

Some eyeliner tattoo clients prefer to have a more full, or done-up look, as if they were wearing a few eyeliner tattoo across the bottom and upper eyelid. A classic eyeliner can offer a more complete look across the eye. This can be lightly bolder than lash line enhancement. In this case a classic eyeliner is a popular choice.

Winged or Smokey Eyeliner

This unique style of eyeliner creates bold done-up look. It may incorporate a stardust texture, or a more daring cat-eye look. This style is really for an individual who is looking for the most brazen effect.

Examples of Eyeliner Tattoo

Before and After Photos of Eyeliner Tattoo

There are many great examples showing both before and after results for eyeliner tattoo. For a collection of exclusive examples of work performed at IVONNE please subscribe to our eyeliner tattoo newsletter.

Eyeliner Tattoo Techniques

Other forms of permanent makeup have a range of techniques to achieve a particular style. With eyeliner tattoo the techniques used are more narrow.

Lash line enhancement, classic, and winged eyeliner are all permanent makeup cosmetic procedures that that are permanent.

A digital machine tool with fine needles is used for the procedure. After carefully choosing a colour and style pigment is pressed into the skin. The result is an incredibly defined set of eyes.

Eyeliner Specific Risks:

Eyeliner tattoo involves the pigmentation of a very delicate, and very thin area of skin located around the eye. The pigments remain quite visible for many years. Not only is eyeliner very permanent, the risk of pigment migration to other areas of the eye (skin) is very real, especially among inexperienced eyeliner technicians. The other, secondary risk to eyeliner tattoo, is the close proximity in which a needle is used to the eye. This carries its own risks, especially to inexperienced eyeliner tattoo artists who are unfamiliar with hand positioning, and techniques.

Contraindications of Eyeliner Tattoo

A contraindication is a specific situation in which a procedure or treatment should not be used because it may be harmful to the client. There are over a 100 possible contraindications that could impact whether Eyeliner Tattoo is right for you. Click here to learn more.

Alternatives To Eyeliner Tattoo

Having our eyeliner done can be an invigorating and refreshing way to feel better about ourselves. There are however other aesthetic options that can achieve similar (although shorter term effect). These include:

  • Long-lasting Liquid Eyeliner
  • Eyelash Conditioner and Growth Serums

Eyelash conditioners and growth serums have been one of the most impressive ways to emphasize the eyes. Whether you choose growth factor based solutions or plant-based options, both have proven results in delivering longer, fuller, luscious looking eyelashes.

Examples of high-performance lash conditioners and serums include EyEnvy lash serum; or eyelash serum distributed by AnteAGE.

Another alternative to eyeliner tattoo includes a virtual proof of concept. Submit a photo of your face in natural light without any makeup to your eyeliner professional and request a digital proof of what your eyeliner could look like.

How Long Will Eyeliner Tattoo Last?

Eyeliner tattoo is a lifelong commitment. How it looks over time depends on several factors.

There are general factors that impact the retention period of your eyeliner tattoo:

  • Quality of pigments
  • Eyeliner technician experience
  • Adherence to precare and aftercare instructions
  • Exposure to sun and other environmental influences
  • Regular refreshes to keep the eyeliner looking dark.
  • Skincare and Skin health

Eyeliner Tattoo Retention and Guarantee Guidelines

Eyeliner can look great for several years.

The body's natural response to foreign material, like tattoo pigments, is to remove it. This is the natural healthy response, and so eyeliner tattoo professionals are always up against the unknown when it comes to how effective the body will be in response to pigments.  There are no guarantees, warranties, or assurance, express or implied on how long your eyeliner tattoo may last - only guidelines. Since eyeliner tattoo is impacted by a variety of factors such as lifestyle, sun exposure, and things that are generally outside of our control there are no certainties about the lifecycle of your eyeliner tattoo.

Certification, Standards, and Rating 

The Province of Ontario, through its local Public Health Units oversee eyeliner tattoo as a Personal Service Setting under O. Reg 136/18. Through annual, or period inspections, Public Health officers of a local Public Health Unit will assess a Personal Service Setting for its compliance with the regulations and report its findings to the public through the mandatory display of inspection certificates, and through its online database of inspection results.

Public health units do not assess the practitioner's skill, ability, or credentials as it relates to eyeliner tattoo. Instead public health inspectors ensure that the environment and related processes to deliver eyeliner tattoo are safe, and in accordance with the prevailing Infection Prevention And Control best practices.

Health Canada is responsible for overseeing regulation of cosmetics in Canada. Through their regulations they have set out what ingredients can, and cannot be included in cosmetic products, and at what concentration levels.

Health Canada does not have an approval process for cosmetics like tattoo pigments, and does not, as an ongoing practice assess tattoo pigments for their chemical or toxic ingredient composition.

Safety Considerations

To ensure that your eyeliner tattoo professional is complying with the established safety protocols and regulations it is recommended  to search the name of their business in any local Public Health Inspections database.

Where To Get Eyeliner Tattoo

When choosing an eyeliner professional for eyeliner tattoo consider the following:

  • Am I comfortable with them? Can I communicate my expectations clearly and do we understand each other? Do we have a good rapport?
  • Am I comfortable with their work? Can I envision myself with "their eyeliner" on my face?

Other Selection Criteria

Apart from safety and inspiring results, several additional qualifying factors should be considered when choosing an eyeliner tattoo professional:

  • Professional Contributions and Development: Does the professional maintain their certifications, as well as teach their skill? Through sharing their techniques with other students is the professional helping to contribute to the ongoing development of locally talented resources?
  • Review Rating: Choose a professional with recent, consistent client reviews and recommendations in an established review platform.  
  • Calibre: Choosing an eyeliner tattoo professional who specializes in the service is an important distinction over those who moonlight, or weekend warrior. Eyeliner tattoo is very much a full-time commitment and requires an ongoing concerted effort to produce consistently great results.

Planning Your Eyeliner Tattoo Service

Eyeliner tattoo should always be performed by a qualified provider. Consult a local permanent makeup or skincare clinic to understand your options. You should choose a provider that is located close by so that you can access them easily for follow-up appointments, or to receive any additional skincare or aftercare support.  While out of town and fly-in clients are increasingly common we recommend choosing a professional that you can work with for years to come.

The cost of having eyeliner tattoo depends on the style, quality of equipment and supplies, the experience and setting of the professional, and of course your objectives and budget.

Great eyeliner needs to be refreshed about once every few years. It's a good idea to keep your eyeliner appointments scheduled according to the touch-up schedule that your professional sets.

Scheduling Your Eyeliner Tattoo Service

It is recommended to first request an official cost estimate request ("quote") and/or a virtual consultation with your eyeliner professional before proceeding with any service. This can be done several months before scheduling your appointment.

Once you have made the decision to proceed with eyeliner tattoo be sure to schedule both your initial appointment and your first follow-up about 6-8 weeks later. Doing so ensures that you have access to that critical touch-up appointment to perfect your new eyeliner.

During the scheduled appointment your eyeliner tattoo professional will perform consultation where you will:

  • Review the colour, shape, and style options
  • Receive the initial eyeliner tattoo treatment

Your initial eyeliner tattoo treatment will take approximately 2 to 3 hours. It's a great idea to plan your day by having a snack before your appointment and using the toilet when you arrive.

Eyeliner Tattoo Precare Instructions

Thank you for choosing IVONNE as your Permanent Makeup clinic. We know that you spent a lot of time researching the best provider for you. The instructions in this booklet have been prepared specifically for clients of IVONNE who are considering or preparing for Eyeliner Tattoo treatment at our clinic. The instructions below have been set out chronologically, allowing you to follow along according to the timeline in your eyeliner treatment. It is strongly recommended that you read through the instructions completely at least once prior to your appointment. Following these instructions prior to your procedure will help ensure a more relaxed, comfortable, and enjoyable experience.

The precare instructions for IVONNE eyeliner tattoo are proprietary information, customized to our unique blend of pigments and processes, that are only available upon scheduling your lip tattoo appointment. You may download a copy of the IVONNE precare and aftercare instructions from the appointment confirmation email, or you may also request a copy of the IVONNE precare and aftercare instructions in advance by emailing us at reception

Follow These Important Steps Before Your Eyeliner Appointment

1 Year Before Your Appointment (If Possible)

Avoid those products as set out in the downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

6 Months Before Your Appointment (If Possible)

Due to the potential for unknown ingredient concentration levels please avoid using any cosmetic or skincare product with criteria as indicated in your downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

30 Days Before Your Appointment

Generally avoid the use of any skincare treatment that causes symptoms as indicated in the downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

2 Weeks Before Your Appointment

Avoid those activities, and instead adopt the habits set out in the downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

1 Week (7 Days Before Your Appointment)

Temporarily stop using any of the following products listed in the downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

48 Hours Before Your Appointment

Avoid those substances and activities set out in the downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

24 Hours Before Your Appointment

If you are taking medication then follow the instructions set out in the downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

Day of Your Appointment

Avoid any of the substances or activities as indicated in the downloadable IVONNE Precare Guide.

Eyeliner Tattoo Aftercare Instructions

Your permanent make-up has been applied with sterile, single-use needles with the highest quality clinical pigments available. The quality of your results is dependent on you giving the proper care during the healing process from this point on. A few days of simple care will make a noticeable and permanent difference!


For the next few hours and before bed, gently wash with water according the instructions in your downloadable IVONNE Aftercare Guide.


In the morning, wash with water again using the instructions, products, and techniques in your downloadable IVONNE Aftercare Guide.

DAY 2 Until Healed

Do nothing but clean gently with the products and instructions as indicated in the downloadable IVONNE Aftercare Guide.

Next 4 Weeks

Absolutely avoid those activities and sources as set out in the downloadable IVONNE Aftercare Guide.

Lifelong Care to Maintain Lasting Colour

The way you keep your colour fresh and new is to follow the instructions and anticipate those changes as set out in the downloadable IVONNE Aftercare Guide.

Aftercare Don’ts of Eyeliner Tattoo

Avoid these activities or habits which will have a negative effect on the healing process. You may

continue these once the tattoo has healed:

  • See the complete list in your downloadable IVONNE Aftercare Guide.

What To Avoid for 7-10 Days Following Your Eyeliner Tattoo

(These activities may resume 7-10 days after your last Eyeliner Tattoo service.)

Eyeliner Tattoo Maintenance Considerations

You should take note of several important things to maintain your eyeliner. Remember:

  • Find a Skincare Routine. Great skin is the best foundation for any permanent makeup service. Adopt a consistent skincare routine and tackle any skincare concerns before investing in permanent makeup.
  • Maintain Your Skincare Routine. Adequately protected and hydrated skin that balances any excess oil is critical to support longer-lasting eyeliner tattoo.
  • Schedule Your Appointments Around Botox, Fillers, or Surgery. Be sure to leave yourself enough space on either side of a Botox or filler service (2 weeks) and up to a month before or after any plastic surgery or (laser) eye surgery.
  • Temporarily Set Aside Exfoliants and Active Skincare. For the week before and after your eyeliner tattoo avoid any skincare services or products that require the skin to undergo controlled injury and healing. Be sure to consult with the precare and aftercare instructions provided by your eyeliner professional.
  • Avoid The Sun. Prevent from burning and prolonged exposure to sun to the skin around your eyes for the few weeks before and after your eyeliner tattoo appointment. Support your eyeliner tattoo pigment retention by avoiding sun tanning/burning altogether.
  • Plan Ahead. Great eyeliner tattoo professionals are often booked for months in advance. Be sure to pre-book your touch-ups and regular colour boosts.
  • Schedule Your Eyeliner Annually. Be sure to schedule your annual colour boosts in advance. This will keep your eyeliner looking fresh, and protect your investment.

How To Fix Bad Eyeliner Tattoo

It might seem like a good idea to choose a lower-cost, or first-available option when scheduling eyeliner tattoo. This can sometimes lead to unexpected or undesirable results. Receiving bad eyeliner tattoo can be emotionally difficult, time consuming, and cost considerably more than if you had made a different choice.

If you or someone you know has recently had a bad experience with eyeliner tattoo then please consider these options:

  • Immediately make contact with your eyeliner professional so that they can hear your feedback, and provide you with guidance and instruction. If they are unwilling to work with you then reach out to their master trainer, or certifying body in case they can refer you to an alternative resource.
  • If your eyeliner professional is no longer available, or you do not feel comfortable working with them again then you can also ask your social network for recommendations for a new provider, sending them the criteria from this webpage.
It goes without saying that the best way to fix bad eyeliner tattoo is to avoid bad eyeliner tattoo. It is recommended not to subscribe to eyeliner tattoo that is applied too far outside the usual margins of your regular eyeliner. Eyeliner tattoo is not plastic surgery, and should never be used to shift the appearance of your facial features.


1. Claudia Aguirre, "What makes tattoos permanent?," Ted Talk, July 2014, educational video,