We hear the term SPMU (SEMI PERMANENT MAKE UP) frequently within the beauty world but does it actually mean and what does it consist of? Hopefully, this blog will explain all.


Semi Permanent Make Up

SPMU stands for semi permanent makeup, this also includes Micropigmentation which is the tattoo form of semi permanent make up. Microblading also comes under this banner but I’m going to focus on Micropigmentation for this blog.

Micropigmentation Explained:

Micropigmentation is performed using a tattoo gun, much like the ones they use in conventional tattoo shops only using different needles and ink. The inks used and much more greatly absorbed by the skin making the treatment ‘semi’ permanent rather than permanent like a conventional tattoo. The inks used will fade over time and leave the skin clear of any tattoo markings.

The needles used within the micro pigmentation treatment are only inserted 2-3mm into the skin. Again making this treatment fade over time and causing it to be ‘semi’ permanent. There are several treatments you can perform within this area of skill:

  • Powder brow
  • Ombre brow
  • Hair stroke brow
  • Eyelash enhancement
  • Eyeliner
  • Lip liner
  • Lip Blush

Powder Brow?

A powder brow treatment is where the therapists will almost ‘colour in’ the outline and content of the mapped out brow. This is performed using a specifically chosen pigment to suit the client’s skin and hair colour. The therapist will first pre numb the skin with a numbing agent and leave for around 45 minutes. The therapist will then begin to draw the outline of the mapped brow with the tattoo gun and chosen pigment. Once the outline has been completed, they will then go on to ‘fill in’ the brow with the pigment to create a block, powder brow effect. This will look like the client has penciled their eyebrow in with a brow pencil.

Ombre Brow?

An ombre brow is slightly different as the therapist will create a faded front of the brow with a different technique. The main body of the brow will be tattooed the same as the powder brow but then where the therapist gets to the front of the brow they will use a pointillism effect to create shading rather than a block effect. This is the current most popular brow technique performed.

Hair Stroke Brow?

This technique will give the effect of hair strokes but performed with the tattoo gun. This technique is not generally used a lot in the industry as now people wanting this effect will opt for the microblading technique instead. However, if you choose to do the VTCT course then the har stroke brow is a requirement for the case studies.

Eyelash Enhancement?

An eyelash enhancement treatment is where the therapist will tattoo along the lash line, in between the lashes to fill in the lash line to give a ‘line’ effect. This is a very subtle but effective look and can enhance the eye massively. Many clients opt for this choice before moving onto a full tattooed liner.


This is a full block eyeliner tattoo. Brilliant for clients who pencil their liner on daily. The liner can be tattooed thin or thick or even a funky Brazilian flick. You must be very careful and highly trained to do tattoo liner as you will be working very close to the eye and could cause serious damage.

Lip Liner?

For a lip liner, the therapist very carefully marks out the line of the lips and then tattoo’s a very thin line all around the lips with a specifically chosen lip colour. This is a great introduction to a full lip blush treatment.

Lip Blush?

This is where the entirety of the lips is ‘coloured in’ with the tattoo gun. The therapist will take great care to make sure the tattoo stays within the natural lip line and gives the client the look that they are wearing a lip colour 24/7.

Semi permanent make up is becoming more and more popular and excepted within modern society. It is great for busy people and working mums who maybe haven’t got the time to do their make up every morning. It is fantastic for holidays so there is no need to worry about your make up melting in the sun or coming off in the water when swimming. These treatments will typically need to be topped up every 12 months and will stay looking fresh all year round.

At Eclipse school of beauty, our Micropigmentation trainers have been performing these treatments for years and still do regular clients day in and day out to keep up to date with their skills and industry standards.