Originally Published: February 6, 2009 9:23 p.m.
PRESCOTT - No longer the domain of 1930s Hollywood film sirens or 1950s biker babes, dermal graphics are mainstream and affordable.
"We call it permanent makeup," said Teri Buckingham, owner of Fleur de Lis Spa and Salon in Prescott.
"It's for women who are active or on the go, who may have trouble putting on makeup, or for someone who wants a little enhancement or touch-up to their face."
However, permanent makeup may not remain permanent.
"Colors can fade or change over the course of five to 10 years," Buckingham said. In those cases, she "warms" or changes the color depending on a client's preference.
Permanent makeup is similar to a tattoo except it is applied slowly and delicately. Buckingham does not use a machine - she prefers the touch of her hands "for a more natural look."
"The first thing I do is a medical consultation to see if the person is able to have the procedure," Buckingham said. People with bleeding disorders, keloids (scars that rise above the skin) and nervous disorders may not be suitable for the procedure.
"Someone who is jumpy or likely to freak when I get near her eye would not be a good candidate," she said.
In a quiet room, Buckingham and the client discuss the shape, size and color of the makeup design. Once the client is ready, Buckingham numbs the client's skin with a lidocaine solution.
Next, she stretches the skin around the area she is working on and stipples a 12-point needle across the skin. The stippler makes tiny holes in the skin, and the skin absorbs colored pigment through the holes.
"After about three or four passes, we decide together how far she wants to go and focus on the absolute final design," Buckingham said. The final design includes the type of eyebrow arch or the length of "tails" at either end of an eyebrow or eyelid.
Buckingham uses non-iron oxide pigments.
"The colors stay truer longer, and non-oxide pigments are safe," she explained.
Post-makeup treatment includes ice packs and antibiotic ointment to prevent possible swelling or infection.
"You can get (permanent makeup) in the morning and be ready to go out that evening," Buckingham said.
Buckingham is a graduate of the Academy for Permanent Cosmetics. She is training 27-year-old Cheryl Henry to work in the salon as a permanent makeup technician.
"I like permanent makeup because of its convenience and low maintenance," Henry said while Buckingham stippled her eyelid.
Buckingham started her cosmetics career 17 years ago in Mexico, and in 2006 opened Fleur de Lis, which translates to "flower of the lily."
"I got interested in permanent makeup because I'm allergic to regular makeup," she said while pointing to her permanent eyebrows and eyeliner.
Cosmetic historians proclaim Egyptian queen Cleopatra as one of the earliest celebrities to wear permanent makeup.
"They told us in school that she used coal for pigment," Buckingham said.
Persons interested in learning more about permanent makeup may call Buckingham at 778-1885, or visit her website at www.salonfleurdelis.com. Fleur de Lis Spa and Salon is located at 213 Grove Ave., Prescott.