Solutions to Lackluster Lashes - Dilemma of the Week

I have a disorder called trichotillomania, or compulsive hair pulling, and it has left me with virtually no eyelashes or eyebrows. People who have this disorder pull out their own hair and/or eyelashes and/or eyebrows. I'm beginning to tire of the difficulty, expense and time required to conceal my condition each day, and am considering tattooing, what do you think?

Thanks for sharing the details of your condition. I know there are others who experience the same compulsion and might be considering similar options, so it's good that you've brought it to light.

  • First, though, if you haven't seen a dermatologist, I strongly suggest you do so, just for a definitive diagnosis. And you should to make sure the area of your brow isn't bruised under the skin, extrasensitive or in any way traumatized as a result of the hair pulling.
  • If indeed the doctor says it's okay, I wholeheartedly recommend a tattoo, but only if it's done in an aesthetically pleasing way by a trained artisan, medical aesthetician or doctor.
  • I recommend having a light pigment done, over which you can enhance with a bit of brow makeup. This way, you can still manipulate and enhance the brow area yourself. And because shape and color are paramount, I also recommend consulting with a makeup artist as well as a tattoo professional. As a general rule, the most flattering brow color is one shade to one and a half shadea lighter than your hair color, and the arch is key. (*See my column on eyebrows.)
  • Start by making an appointment with a professional makeup artist. If you live in the New York City area, please contact me and I'll personally help you create an appropriate and flattering shape, one that suits your face, doesn't interfere with your overall qualities and compliments your eyes, skin and hair tones.
  • After you've agreed upon a shape and tone, you'll be ready to to see the tattoo professional, also known as a micropigmentation professional, to discuss tints and characteristic of design. At this time, you'll also make sure that she or he is licensed and accredited, and that you feel comfortable.
  • You'll need to reserve two appointments with the makeup artist and two with the tattoo professional -- one for initial consultations, and one for the procedure.(I recommend bringing the makeup artist with you to help draw the intended shape.)

I discussed and consulted with two New York City professional micropigmentation experts whom I comfortably recommend:

  • Denise DeGiulio is a medical esthetician, who owns and runs Enhanced Image Inc. in New York City. She's also the East Coast trainer for Permark, the company that makes the pigments used by micropigmentation professionals. Denise creates eyebrows using a very delicate touch in fine hairline strokes, utilizing the same lowlight and highlights techniques as fine hair colorists.
  • Dr. Michelle Copeland is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City and author of Change Your Look Change Your Life. She does micropigmentation as part of her medical practice, and was very open to the client suggesting a shape or bringing in a makeup artist as well.

Recommendations:

Enhanced Image Inc.
Denise DeGiulio is the medical expert and micropigmentation professional.
Price: from $600-$750
Contact: Enhanced Image Inc.
130 West 57th Street suite 10F
New York, N.Y. 10019
(212) 957-0777

Doctor Michelle Copeland, board-certified plastic surgeon and dermatologist
She also does micropigmentation for the areola area after mastectomies, as well as scar and scalp camouflage.
Price: Ranges from $750-$2,000
Contact: www.drcopeland.com or call (212) 452-2200

Permark Corporation
Permark brand supplies 52 different pigments, needles and all equipment for permanent makeup application.
Contact for a referral in your area.
Contact: www.permark.com or call (800) 737-6275

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