Meet Cosmetic Tattoo Artist Lauren Carey (LC Liveurlife Artistry)
Cosmetic tattooing is something I've heard about, but never really researched or met anyone who had it done. I remember having conversations with my mom - who is eyeliner-obsessed just like me - about how great it would be to not have to apply it every day, and wake up with it already on.
Luckily, I got to learn more about the process and meet a local artist who is doing some great work. Lauren Carey (A.K.A. LC 'Liveurlife', a nickname she said has stuck with her throughout the years) works for The Renaissance Center of Plastic Surgery and its adjacent salon/spa Age of Innocence in Shavertown. They have a ton of other fun beauty and wellness stuff going on there as well, so make sure to check out their website. Everyone is super friendly, and the interior is gorgeously decorated!
Any-who, getting to the tattooed makeup...I had a lot of questions regarding the process, how long it lasts, etc., so I went right to the source and had a Q & A with Lauren herself. She has her brows, lips, and eyeliner tattooed. She's only wearing mascara and blush in the picture on the right!
Erin Dugan: So I'm guessing having the skill and confidence to permanently tattoo someone's face comes with a lot of practice and research! How did you learn your craft?
Lauren Carey: My friend Carmella is a teacher down in Philly, she's been doing it for 24 years. Originally, I was just a client of hers, then we got to talking, we really had a connection, and she offered me an apprenticeship. I went every Monday and Tuesday for about a year, and I was there all day. I made a Facebook post, if anyone wanted to get anything done I'd do it for free in Philly under my apprentice, so I was tattooing 3-5 people per day. It was an amazing experience being under Carmella's wing. Then I brought my skills here in February and have been tattooing here at The Renaissance Center/Age of Innocence since then.
ED: What areas can people actually get tattooed?
LC: Eyebrows, eyeliner, lips, areolas, and some scar and freckle revision.
ED: What's most popular?
LC: Eyebrows, definitely. And the great thing about it is that I stick to what's natural for your face. A lot of people ask me about feathering, which is huge right now, which is basically just "scratching" small hairstrokes onto your brow area, but I do a mix of feathering and shadowing. With any sort of facial tattooing, it will fade significantly. If I were to just tattoo the feathering, you'd be lucky to get a month out of it. With the shadowing technique, filling in those gaps, you get much more longevity. You're looking at 8 months to a year before you need any color boosting. It usually takes two rounds to get the desired effect.
ED: So around 8 months before you need a color boost with the brows...how long do the other procedures last before they start to fade?
LC: Eyeliner can last anywhere from a year to 3 years to 20 years, it all depends on each person and their skin. Lip tattoos last a long time as well, anywhere from 1-5 years. I had mine done over a year ago and the color is still great.
ED: What's the recovery like?
LC: Everything will be much darker when you first get it done, don't be scared by that. They will be harsh and black at first, and just like a regular tattoo, it will scab up and peel like a sunburn. When the skin peels, it takes up to four weeks for the color to completely blossom, so every week the color will change until you have your completed look. I give you all the products and materials necessary for your recovery after the procedure.
ED: I'm sure a lot of people are scared off by the whole ordeal. Facial tattooing, permanence...what do you say to them?
LC: Almost everyone is more worried leading up to it. Once they're here, and see the comfortable and relaxing environment, they all go "I can't believe I was that nervous, that was so easy." Plus, they are topically numb, so they don't feel it. It's a lidocaine cream, so no needles to get numb. If someone's having reservations I direct them towards this great YouTube that talks you through every step of the way.
(Here's the video:)
ED: I saw that you worked on your mom, Susan, who is absolutely stunning! What does she have done?
LC: She has all three done, eyeliner, lips, and brows. Our motto is, "we woke up like this!"
I was able to grab Susan Collini, who is also the owner of Age of Innocence, for a quick interview as well. I couldn't believe just how natural the tattooed makeup looks on her.
ED: Susan, you'd never guess your eyeliner, brows, and lips were all tattooed! It looks really natural.
Susan: Thank you so much! I have found as a woman of my age it's really hard to fine-tune your makeup, especially eyeliner, getting it straight, but with the tattooed liner, I love waking up like this! And with the younger generation I see the need as well, because so many young women over-tweeze and over-pluck and are left with hardly any brows. Tattooing is now a great option.
ED: So how much time would you say you've knocked off of your "getting ready" routine?
SC: I literally am a wash-and-wear type of girl now, it's great. I save so much time! A lot of times I just put my hair up in a clip, throw some chapstick on my lips and I'm out the door.
Susan and Lauren are both really lovely! Definitely stop in to see the fabulous little boutique they have in the spa as well. Feel free to contact Lauren on her Facebook page or call her at (570) 674-5555 with any other questions or inquiries about the tattooing process.
I could definitely see myself getting tattooed sometime in my future, especially for a thin line of black eyeliner underneath my eye, as I see that as something I know I would always want. What are your thoughts? Leave me a message on my social media channels! Cheers! Xx