Tatoo nightmare - eyeliner version
October 5, 2013 8:18 PM   Subscribe

My partner got an eyeliner tattoo today and it didn't go well. Needless to say she hates it, refuses to go out in public, and is edging pretty close to depression over this. It doesn't look that bad to me, but I'm the first to admit I'm fashion blind. Basically, the technician overdid it on one side resulting in the liner extending past the eye with a slight curl up, it's not a style that's unheard of, but it's not my partner's style at all.

So what can she do now? She's convinced that it's permanent and there's absolutely no fix for it. The internet seems to suggest that laser removal is an option, does anyone have any experience with eyeliner tattoo removal? Is it safe? Does it work? Also, is there maybe some kind of makeup she can apply that will hide it? I *think* she'd be ok with just covering the part that extends past her eye. Though, at this point she might want to cover up as much as possible.
Any other ideas? She's really taking this hard.
posted by forforf to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Can you post a photo?
posted by saradarlin at 8:36 PM on October 5, 2013

Dermablend would cover it up.
posted by artychoke at 8:39 PM on October 5, 2013

The Kat Von D Tattoo Concealer at Sephora gets good reviews at Makeup Alley, if she wants to go that route.

A cheaper option is Hard Candy Glamoflauge, which is only sold at WalMart
posted by rewil at 8:42 PM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Short-term solution: serious cover-up make-up, like Covermark -- look for stuff designed to cover birth marks, tattoos, vitiligo, etc. Theatrical make-up (try Graftobian might have some good stuff.

Medium: what's the licensing for that like where you are? For some reason I am of the belief that people doing cosmetic tattooing need more by way of license/training/etc than regular tattoo artist? Anyway, I would talk to the governing body for the profession, and see an attorney. "Overdid it on one side...!"

Long: laser, yeah, probably horribly painful there; maybe good local anaesthetics can be involved. Expensive. So, sue the tattooist for at least the cost of repairing it. I would get a consultation with a second cosmetic tattooist, too, just to get their take on it.
posted by kmennie at 8:47 PM on October 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

Dermablend Quick Fix is absolutely eye-safe, very opaque, and easy to apply.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:57 PM on October 5, 2013

And laser removal is absolutely possible, and the person who messed up the tattoo should pay. I would consult a dermatologist first, and use a provider they recommend.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:01 PM on October 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

honestly if it were me I would have the other side extended so it's symmetrical, and I bet in a week the appearance won't bother her once she gets used to it.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:28 PM on October 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Dermablend is awesome, so that's definitely something she can do in order to feel comfortable leaving the house. She will need to practice with a bit, though, and it's not completely rub-proof, so she'll have to use the setting powder and do touch ups throughout the day because of the moisture and oils that accumulate in the eye area.

I would set up a consult about having it removed, but it's important not to have super high expectations about the results. You can still see tattoo shadows on lots of celebrities, and I'm sure that they're probably paying for the best. Ask to see before and after photos. The ones I examined after a brief search on Google were pretty good, but many of them still had slight ink shadow remaining, especially in the corners of the eyes.

And yeah, probably you'll want to see a lawyer about having the consults and possible surgery paid for by the errant tattooist.

It sounds like your partner feels mutilated and self-conscious; and right now it's crisis-mode-oh-my-god-this-needs-fixed-now. It's possible that things will seem less dire as time passes and she explores her options for dealing with the situation. (Of course there are worse things than uneven permanent makeup, but it's probably impossible for her to comprehend that at this moment.) Hell, I've seen my mother go absolutely insane over a bad dye job, and she only had to put up with it until she could get to Target for a bottle of Nice n' Easy.
posted by xyzzy at 9:40 PM on October 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

The tattoos are going to be much lighter in a week or so after they peel, so maybe the contrast between the two eyes isn't going to be as bad as it seems now once they heal.

If she's really sure she wants to get rid of them via laser removal and/or cover them up, she may want to apply Neosporin. From what I understand, you're NOT supposed to put Neosporin on tattoos as it draws out the ink.
posted by macrowave at 9:43 PM on October 5, 2013

Best answer: Whoa whoa whoa, tattoos look REALLY different after they've healed. Tell her to give it a week, minimum, and see if there's still a problem.
posted by Specklet at 10:04 PM on October 5, 2013 [10 favorites]

I don't have any tattoos but I would let it heal before making any decisions. I probably would not want a laser near my eye for tattoo removal, but I also wouldn't let a tattoo needle near my eye either so I have a different level of comfort.
posted by radioamy at 11:19 PM on October 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure permanent make-up fades so just encourage her to use one of the above mentioned products to conceal it until then and it'll be fine after a few months ... or years. Oh, and definitely sue/confront the tattoo 'artist' to avoid other people going through the same thing! Taking active steps even if it won't change her own situation might still enable your partner to start feeling a little better.
posted by mrsh at 1:44 AM on October 6, 2013

Best answer: Your question sent me down a rabbit hole of Googling about permanent makeup. Conventional wisdom is that the make-up fades about 40% within a few weeks. Your partner certainly shouldn't make any rash decisions before the color stabilizes. If you poke around on this website, you'll see a number of "before"/"immediately after"/"after healing" pictures. Things do tend to look pretty over-the-top and raw right after the procedure is done, but it seems to settle down quickly. The asymmetry--and the makeup in general--will probably become much less noticeable with time.
posted by whitewall at 3:47 AM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I don't have a picture, but here's some ASCII art that fairly accurately shows the asymmetry:
___    ___,

The comma on the right represents the little extra extension that some people will add to their eyeliner to add a bit of flair. It's the added extension that's bothering her, not the asymmetry, so making it even isn't really an option (I still appreciate the suggestion though).

I think the first order of business is to wait and see how it heals and go from there. I still am curious if anybody has had experience with laser removal, but that won't be an option now until after it heals.

I'll also pass on the product recommendations.

Thanks all, it's very much appreciated.
posted by forforf at 6:05 AM on October 6, 2013

IANATA. When I had eyeliner tattooed about a year ago, my eyes itched terribly for a few days. I tried not to rub them, but I did. A lot. The result was that I rubbed off a portion of the tattoo on both inner lower eyelids. She might try using a Qtip with Neosporin on the comma part of the tattoo.
When the swelling goes down and the tattoo lightens, it will look much better.
posted by Linnee at 11:44 AM on October 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

If she decides on laser removal, make sure she picks the best possible laser guy out there. With it being near her eye, they need to know their stuff, use the correct shielding and have a steady hand.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:47 PM on October 6, 2013

I second the advice that making them symmetrical will probably go a long way toward making her feel better about it. She'll have to wait for her eyes to heal in the meantime, so that's a good opportunity for her to shop around for a different professional who can correct the asymmetry.
posted by elizeh at 4:01 PM on October 6, 2013

My friend's grandmother had her eyebrows tattooed and was unhappy with the result. She went to a different tattoo artist and they were able to correct it with white ink, if I remember correctly. If your partner's skin is light enough, maybe this is a possibility?

I you are in Southern California I can try to find out the name of the tattoo artist who did the correction.

She could also post this question to the MakeupAlley cosmetic procedures message board. A quick search turns up a lot of messages from people who have had permanent makeup done.
posted by fozzie_bear at 5:22 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hi all,

A followup for anyone else running across this thread. Like many mentioned above, waiting a couple weeks was the absolute right choice. The tattoo faded considerably and is much, much more in line with what my partner wanted.
posted by forforf at 12:27 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

So glad it worked out!
posted by whitewall at 6:34 AM on February 13, 2014

Me too! Thanks for the follow-up!
posted by Specklet at 8:22 AM on May 24, 2014

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