Tattooing winged-eyeliner or subtle liner is a great way to enhance your eyes and saves a tonne of time trying to perfect on a daily basis. Not only that, but if you exercise, swim, or cry a lot, there is a good chance your eye makeup is going to run or smudge over your face – not a good look! Permanent eyeliner can be applied to the top and bottom of the eyelids.

I have put together a guide and FAQs here to explain what to expect if you decide to take the plunge and get semi-permanent eyeliner tattoo in London or Hertfordshire, where my clinics are based.

The Treatment Process

Medical Consent

The first step is a medical consent to check you are ok to go ahead with the treatment. Some contraindications are if you are pregnant, take blood thinners or have diabetes, as some examples.

Photos and design

Once we have established you are good to go, I will take photos of your eyes before the process begins and discuss with you the final look you want, being a natural thin line to define your lashes, or something a bit bolder such as a winged-eyeliner finish. I have a variety of colours also, although black / browns are the most popular. I will then draw eyeliner on using gel to agree on the look you like.

Numbing cream

I will apply numbing cream to your eyes and leave this to take effect for around 30 minutes. I also apply this several more times during the treatment, so you are comfortable.


I use an electronic cosmetic pen which is very quick.

I hold the lids down very firmly during treatment, so do not worry about flinching or twitching. During the process, I will apply numbing cream several times so it can get in through the broken skin and have a greater effect. I will go over the eyelids a few times until perfect.

Is it painful?

The feeling is scratchy to start with and then a little stingy, but the numbing cream definitely helps. You can take paracetamol also if you wish. Do not take aspirin as this thins the blood. You can feel it more in the inner corners but generally you can just feel the sensation of someone drawing eyeliner on. Your eyes may water a little but generally it is bearable and certainly worth any small discomfort.

Any downtime?

Eyedrops are used afterwards to remove any dye that may have got into the eye and to soothe. There is likely to be some swelling and redness after which should subside within 24-36 hours.


Keep your eyes out of water for at least 24 hours and do not go swimming in chlorinated water for at least 14 days. Avoid mascara for 7 days, any other makeup on the area for 5 days, and lash tinting / perming etc for 14 days. I will give you a cream to use 3 times a day for 2 weeks which you can apply using a cotton bud. Feel free to use eyedrops if your eyes feel sore. Some products will fade the ink such as those containing fruit acids or retinoids. Avoid using these if possible. Exposure to sunlight will also fade the ink faster, so apply sunblock for longevity of results. If you wear contacts lenses, it might be best to stop those for a few days after treatment.


As the skin starts to heal, it will feel a bit tight and some scabbing / crusting is normal. Leave the skin well alone to heal. The ink will go darker, then lighter, then settle darker again over the following 10 days. Try to avoid scratching if there is any itching.

Follow-up appointment

Your touch up appointment needs to be around 4 weeks later, and this is required to get the best result. This is included in your price.


Is eyeliner permanent or semi-permanent?

This is a question that is asked a lot. ‘Permanent’ eyeliner will fade over time as your body’s immune system breaks down the ink particles. As the ink is more superficial in the skin compared to a regular tattoo, it will fade faster. Usually it lasts anywhere from 1-3 years but there will always be some residual ink left in the skin years after, just not necessarily that visible, which is why some call it ‘semi-permanent’. How long it lasts also depends on sun exposure, products used on the skin, how fast your body breaks down the ink and your skin type (for example oily skin may not take the ink as well).

Where can I get permanent eyeliner?

I am based in Rickmansworth, Croxley Green and Ware.