Permanent Makeup, Digital Perms and more

Hey guys! I’ve been away for a while. I have so much on my mind about my past month in Africa from both my mission trip with Matanya’s Hope and my family’s vacation in Kenya. But I am still processing. So in the meantime, I thought I would update you on something more superficial…  Makeup and Hair!

I went a little crazy in the vanity department, preparing for my Africa mission trip. In my preparation to work in remote villages with no plumbing and little water, I wanted to be (on a daily getting ready basis), as low maintenance as I could – without sacrificing a healthy looking face and good hair. After all, I was documenting the whole trip on video and would be constantly in front of the camera. Vain? Yes! But unless I am working out, I am not a bare face/hair up kind of girl!

About a month before I left for my trip, I received a number of procedures, all with the purpose of saving me daily time in “getting ready.” Isn’t it cool that I was your guinea pig for all these treatments you may have been curious about but were nervous to try? Ok, let’s get to it!

Permanent Makeup

Eyebrows- Do it.

Microblading is the most popular method of brow tinting these days. It’s a form of tattoo using a hand held tool where hair-like pigment strokes mimic natural hairs on your brows. It’s semi-permanent so I need to go back for touch ups every 6 months. I love my brow tint. My advice is not to over-do it. Go for a more natural look which matches the shape of your eyebrows. If you feel after a few weeks you want a fuller look, ask for a bit more at your two week touch up appointment (should be included in fee).

Cost: $300 (note: All prices may be more. These are the prices where I received my services.)

Eyeliner- Do it.

Having a thin layer of liner on your waterline (line just beyond your eyelid on the inside) and top lid accents your eyes. If done right, it will not look like makeup but rather, very natural. It is important to go to a professional who does this with precision. Many don’t do the waterline which in my opinion, is the most important part of the procedure.

Cost: $350

Lipstick: Don’t do it.

I suffered after getting the lip tinting procedure a few months ago. My purpose for getting it was to have a blush tone without lipstick as my lips are naturally pale in color. Big mistake. 3 days after the lip tint, huge blisters formed, worse than cold sores! Due to the blisters being so deep, the lip tint came off with the peeling as my lips healed. Usually the lips need a touch up tint 2 weeks after the initial procedure, but once blisters form, the touch up cannot be done for at least a month.

It was explained to me after I got the blisters that I need to take Valtrex (oral cold sore medication) for a few days before and after my next tip tint. Hmmm, no thank you.

I need to deal with the beauty place now about the money I shelled out for this painful procedure. My advice if you’ve ever had a cold sore- don’t do this procedure. If your lips are not sensitive, go for it. But it’s not a fun process while they are applying the tint. It takes about an hour and you need to take several Advil to numb the pain.

Cost: $600

I receive all my permanent makeup services from Sheri Makeup (locations in Los Angeles and Anaheim). Despite my lip debacle, I would NOT go anywhere else. Let Sheri know I referred you!

Here is my 2.5 minute video of my permanent makeup journey.


“Beach Wave” Perm – Do it if you have healthy but limp hair.

My hair has natural curl but gets frizzy without the help of a curling iron to shape my curls. I heard a Digital Perm would give me “beach waves” without the frizz in an air-dry setting. Knowing I would not have access to a blowdryer for a month, I decided to give this a try.

After letting your hair half air dry, you put the hair into Princess Leia buns. When you let your hair down after a few hours, the hair has a loose curl/hot roller finish. If you have time to blow dry, dry in 4-5 parts while twisting the hair. Once dry, put your fingers through your hair to separate the strands.

Although its been fun to have bouncy curls with a beach curl affect (I can make hair curlier or more loose depending on my mood), this perm killed the health of my hair. I have really thick, wiry hair which can get very dry, so this type of perm was not kind to me. In hindsight, I would rather have worn my hair up in a messy bun or pony tail for my month in Africa.

With that said, for people with very healthy hair with little or no body, the Digital Perm may be a good option.

Cost: $375

Where I got my Digital Perm: Edgy Salon (note: Korean salons best for this type of perm).

Here is a 1 min video of My Digital Perm.

Here is how to style a Digital Perm.

Regular Makeup

Sunscreen Base Coat for Face – Get it.

Do you use a base coat sunscreen with high SPF? I bought this IOPE base coat face lotion for Africa but now can’t believe I spent all these years without it.

We are constantly exposed to the sun, and it’s important to use a high quality, high SPF lotion on our face to prevent sun damage and the premature aging of our skin. No more Laura Mercier SPF 30 for me.

Sunscreen Cushion Foundation with SPF 50 – Get it.

I love my Sulwhasoo Cushion Foundation! I covered it in My Favorite Things  post. It’s a great way to touch up my face throughout the day and gives me an extra layer of sunscreen.

Eyelash Extensions – Do it!

This is my one beauty regimen I am addicted to. It’s important not to get lashes too long or thick unless you are going for the artificial look. Also, the longer and thicker your extensions, the more obvious it will be when they start to fall out. I get my lash extension touch ups every 4 weeks.

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Cost: $150 for first time extensions.  Refills every 3-4 weeks are $50-100, depending on type and amount of lashes needed (ex. if most have fallen out since the last time, price likely $100. Or if you would like extra full “double” lashes, price likely $100).

Where I get my lashes: Misun Skincare (213)798-1527 

So there you have it. Vanity showcased in one post! Let me know your thoughts and what YOU “swear by” for beauty treatments/products!

Flavor Your Life with an Ounce of Salt. A lifestyle blog by Jen Oliak.