Semi-permanent make-up

Where to get make-up that really lasts in Abu Dhabi

Semi-permanent make-up
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Having a tattooed face isn’t just the preserve of bikers and heavy metallers anymore. Ladies across the UAE are turning to the needle for semi-permanent make-up procedures that leave their eyes, lips and brows ‘done’ for up to five years. It’s a big commitment, but it seems as though nothing daunts beauty-seekers in the capital, so demand for the treatment is steadily growing. We asked specialist Candice Watson (pictured, top right) to tell us more.

Can you explain how SPMU actually works?
SPMU (semi-permanent make-up) is a process that implants pigment into the skin for a lasting effect. We do not go as deep as conventional tattoos and we use safe and non-indelible pigments. Permanent tattoo inks will always have a blue hue to them and they last forever. Anyone using these permanent inks (which many do in the UAE) should not be doing so for make-up; they will always end up as a blue or green colour which is not a good look on an eyebrow!

How long does it last?
The SPMU will last two-five years, but in this heat and sun I always recommend that my clients have a top up after 12-18 months to keep the colour fresh.

What are the advantages of having SPMU?
I can’t think of anyone who would not benefit from SPMU. It saves time applying make-up each day, it will never smudge down your face in the heat or when swimming and you even wake up in the morning looking perfect. Other people who benefit are those with allergies to cosmetic make-up, wear glasses and find it difficult to see when applying make-up, or have thin eyebrow hair.

So everyone’s biggest fear – what if a mistake is made?
Mistakes are made with SPMU and with PMU (permanent tattooing) but this is due to poor quality specialists, bad pigments and low quality machines, many of which are commonplace in the UAE. I would estimate around 70 per cent of my work in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is correction or removal of other people’s poor quality work. It is amazing how bad some treatments can look and that someone can do that sort of work on someone’s face! Thankfully I use a very successful removals method which nine times out of 10 completely removes the pigment, even if a permanent ink has been used.

And is the treatment painful?
I have heard from many of my clients that when they last had an SPMU treatment elsewhere it was agony, but when I treat them they have been amazed by how there is so little pain. I even have clients falling asleep while having the treatment.

Do you have SPMU yourself?
I started doing SPMU 20 years ago and the first thing I had done was lip-liner, which I loved, and will now never be without. I also had eyelash enhancement done about three years ago, and I apply just a few hair strokes now and then in my brows. I’m not sure I could go without it now. Although it all looks very natural I don’t think I would want to wake up in the morning and see myself with nothing there at all – scary!

What kind of SPMU is the most popular?
In my 20 years of experience working in the UK it was always eyebrows that were the most popular request. But in the UAE it seems to be everything, full lip colour, eyebrows – the works! Anybody between the ages of 18-80 can have SPMU. although we use a slightly different technique for older skin to prevent bleeding of the colour.

Does the final effect look natural or fully made-up?
SPMU can look as natural or as made-up as the client wishes. I do try to encourage clients to stick to the more natural side of things, so when they take the rest of their make-up off it doesn’t look startlingly obvious that they’ve had SPMU done. When SPMU first came out it was meant to enhance your natural features, and not to be used as a complete replacement for cosmetic make-up. Over the years, however, people have started to become more confident with looking made-up all the time, so of course times change, but still I would encourage people not to go over the top….
Prices range from Dhs1,000-6,000. Contact Candice on 050 942 1722 or 04 349 2800 or email info@exclusivebeautyuae.com to book an appointment.

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