THE BLOG

Why I'm Considering Permanent Makeup

08/14/2012 08:56 am ET | Updated Oct 14, 2012

I recently caught sight of myself in the mirror and didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I was wearing a white Gap maternity t-shirt that was stretched, wrinkled and stained with baby food (never mind that my baby was born over seven months ago). My once perfectly coiffed hairdo was flat on one side, thanks to my son's drawn-out bedtime routine, and sticky on the other side from the baby food that never made it into said baby's mouth. My blonde highlights are now grown out, and my brown "natural" color (aka roots) is making a major comeback. Evidence of my attempt at putting on makeup that day was obvious thanks to the mascara that was now smeared under both eyes.

I was proud that morning that I was taking the time to put makeup on at all. But just as I applied the liquid eyeliner, I heard a loud crash followed by a shriek from one of my three boys. I quickly ran out to see my two older sons attempting to use foil (all of it) to make a robot out of themselves, the dog and my seven-month-old son. So, that was the end of my very short-lived makeup session.

I was never an over-the-top kind of girl: You won't find pictures of me in heavy makeup. My hair was always well-kept, but it was never big, poufy or stiff. I never needed a large cosmetic bag; on the contrary, a few staple Trish McEvoy products and I was good to go. So now, as I look at myself, I wonder how hard it can really be to find five minutes to just put the most basic cosmetics on. But, each morning, as I face the day with new resolve (and a big mug of coffee), I am sad to say that those five to ten minutes are nearly impossible to find. I have looked everywhere for the quick fix and for the magic solution to my rushed and frenzied days.

I was recently in the waiting room at the pediatrician's office, and as I looked over at a fellow mother, I was shocked (and envious) to see her perfectly made-up face. Furthermore, I was even more surprised that she was five years older than me, and a mother to young twin girls. I had just met her, but I put my manners on hold and went in for the kill. I flat out asked how on earth she managed to look so well put-together. Not only was her face evenly and carefully made up, but she also had nice long eyelashes and big full lips. I felt like the ugly stepsister in a Disney movie.

At first she was shy, but as she got more comfortable and realized I was desperate for some help, she opened her purse, and handed me a business card. Apparently, it does pay to have friends in high places -- her good friend is the owner of a cosmetic surgery center. Permanent makeup (and some Botox) had seen this mother-of-two (I quickly found out her name was Cindy) through the best and worst years of her life.

Up until this point, I always thought of permanent makeup as a bad decision made by women trying too hard to look too young. More than once, I noticed mismatched skin with lips, or eyebrows done in colors that were overly bold for the occasion. I can barely decide on what shoes to wear, so the idea of having anything permanent on my face completely turns me off. But after talking to Cindy, I can appreciate that a veteran technician can make permanent makeup really work in your favor.

Cindy explained that after having her twin daughters, she couldn't find a single moment in her day to apply makeup. She had a mid-life awakening of sorts, and decided to do something, that, at the time, was a radical idea: She went in and had permanent eyeliner and lip liner applied. She explained that permanent makeup is done by carefully implanting colored pigment into the skin. A double coil tattoo machine, the same instrument used by traditional tattoo artist, is used for the procedure. Cindy smiled and pointed at her twin daughters, she said that compared to the pains she deals with every day (from her children), the permanent makeup didn't hurt in the least.

She went on to explain that the name "permanent makeup" was actually misleading, as the makeup does fade and lighten from sun exposure and over time. She stressed that the most important part is to make sure you have a good technician. Cindy said that since her first dabble with permanent makeup, she has gone back and had other areas worked on. Just as I was about to ask for more details and specifics, her name was called by the nurse and off she went into the office.

I was happy to have some time to reflect on our conversation. I looked at my reflection in the large window, and just as I was considering permanent makeup on myself, I looked down and noticed I had two different shoes on. I couldn't help but chuckle at the mere ridiculousness of my situation: I had more to worry about than which color of lip liner I would choose. Instead, as a young mother of three wonderful boys, I decided to start small, and just try to find some peace, order and routine within my own crazy life. I crossed my legs, and tried to hide my shoes under the seat. I'll revisit the idea of permanent makeup when I have mastered the art of dressing myself.