Welcome to Chicago Permanent Cosmetics Center, LLC

New Varicose Vein Treatment - As seen on The Doctors!

We now offer a virtually pain-free, quick and highly successful CoolTouch CTEV™ 1320 nm Laser Treatment for varicose veins that gets you back to your life in the same day. For more information on this exciting technology, visit our Vein Treatment page.


* Most comfortable procedure available
* Rapid relief of symptoms
* Virtually pain free
* No downtime
* No scars
* No general anesthesia
* Quick, office-based procedure

Tattoo Permanent Makeup: The Beauty Secret of the Stars

permanent makeup pictures

Permanent cosmetics, a procedure also known as permanent makeup or tattoo makeup, has long been popular in Europe and on the East and West Coasts in US. Now it is rapidly gaining popularity in the Chicago area. Applied by a gifted practitioner, permanent cosmetics can give you the polished glamour of professionally applied makeup that will never flake, smudge or run, stay with you day and night and last for years. At a fraction of the cost of plastic surgery, permanent tattoo makeup can instantly take years off your appearance, bring out and enhance your best features and correct minor and not so minor flaws and skin imperfections. Many entertainers, actresses and models, - such as Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Dolly Parton, Raquel Welch, Cher and others, - have used it to maintain their polished, seemingly flawless appearance. And yet, there still is a considerable amount of confusion and misconception about this exciting new cosmetic enhancement technique.

Hello and Welcome. My name is Elena Astor. I have started in cosmetics in 1991 as a makeup artist for Chanel and Guerlain in exclusive New York City boutiques. Since then, I have done thousands of permanent makeup procedures on every type of skin: White, Black, Oriental, Indian, Mediterranean and Latino. I have trained and mentored many new permanent makeup technicians, some of whom are now running their own successful permanent makeup practices in Chicago area. All of these experiences gave me a unique perspective on the art of permanent makeup that I would like to share with you on this page and other pages of this site. I will describe the benefits of the most popular permanent makeup procedures, provide many permanent makeup pictures of people just like you, before and after they had permanent makeup done.I will also explain how to select a competent practitioner. I hope these pages will help you decide if permanent cosmetics can help you achieve the appearance that you want.

permanent makeup pictures

What Is Permanent Cosmetics?

Similar to tattoo, permanent cosmetics is a non-surgical technique in which a tiny quantity of pigment is placed under the top layer of the skin. However, unlike tattoo, the objective is a very subtle enhancement of facial features that looks as natural as possible. If done properly, the end result of permanent cosmetics should be similar to the professionally applied makeup, except it will stay on permanently, day and night. Permanent makeup procedures are done under topical anesthesia, the recovery time is typically minimal and the results are visible nearly instantly. Once the skin heals over the inserted pigment, it seals the makeup inside. Protected by the skin, the makeup is care free, waterproof, will not smudge or run and can last for years. Sometimes touch-ups are needed to maintain the vibrancy of the color.

Typically, permanent cosmetics procedures are done on the eyebrows, eyes and lips. Changing the shape, fullness and definition of the eyebrows emphasizes and lifts the eyes, frames the face, and adds balance and symmetry. Adding a permanent eyeliner makes lashes appear fuller and thicker. Subtle definition can be added to the eyes, making eyes appear larger and more striking. Accent colors may be used to match, contrast or deepen the color of the eyes. Lips can be made to appear fuller and more defined, adding youth and sensuality. Cheek contouring with blush can add color and emphasis to the cheekbones.

Hair stroke or Solid eyebrow tattoo?

There are two types of permanent eyebrows: solid line and hair stroke. Solid line eyebrows simulate eyebrow pencil and are relatively simple to create, even for a relatively inexperienced technician. Solid line eyebrows look good when the eyebrows naturally have a lot of hair. Hair stroke eyebrows simulate the appearance of real hair and require considerable artistic skill from the technician. However, when done properly, hair stroke eyebrows are almost indistinguishable from the natural eyebrows. Hair stroke eyebrows are preferable when the natural eyebrows are sparse or missing as a result of injury, overplucking or alopecia. Hair stroke eyebrow tattoo is by far one of our most popular procedures.

hair stroke eyebrows

solid eyebrows web

How Long Does a Permanent Makeup Procedure Take?

Just as with any other profession, the time needed for a permanent makeup procedure depends on the ability and the experience of technician. Typical time for a permanent makeup procedure done by a skilled, experienced technician using high-speed modern digital equipment is between one and three hours, depending on the procedure. Less able or inexperienced technicians may spend four or more hours trying to find by trial and error the best colors and shapes for their clients.

What Is Tattoo Hair Restoration / Scalp Micropigmentation?

Scalp micropigmentation, also known as cosmetic tattoo hair restoration, is a permanent makeup procedure which has gained popularity among men with hair loss as an alternative to hair transplant treatment. In this procedure, cosmetic tattoo covers bald areas with immitation of hair stubble. This creates a much more youthful appearance of full head of hair with fashionable "shaved" haircut. Some patients combine tatto hair restoration with hair transplant. That creates the appearance of hair density far greater than that possible with the hair transplant alone. That is particularly important in cases when the number of hair follicles available for transplantation is very limited.

hair loss treatment

Areola, Scar and Stretch Mark Camouflage and Revision

Paramedical permanent makeup procedures include scar camouflage as well as non-surgical scar and stretch mark removal, where the top layers of the scar are progressively removed until the scar is either gone or significantly diminished.

scar removalscar removal


Vitiligo is a disfiguring loss of skin color. Michael Jackson is the best known celebrity who had such condition. When the affected areas are relatively small, permanent makeup can offer a solution.

vitiligo treatment

vitiligo treatment

Acne Scars, Wrinkles, Skin Tone

One of the newest procedures is Skin Needling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), a new medical breakthrough in permanent cosmetics and skin rejuvenation. It improves a wide variety of skin conditions, such as: skin texture, large pores, sun damage, wrinkles, and scarring (acne, chicken pox, surgical). Skin needling enhances skin penetration of vitamins (A & C) and effectively increases new collagen production without damaging the skin. It focuses on your natural cell regeneration, not fibrosis (scar tissue), which is common in laser treatments and microdermabrasion. This procedure works from within - not just the surface, to create your own collagen naturally and without the risks of lasers

Questions Everyone Asks about Permanent Makeup Procedures?

The three questions I get asked most often are: "Will it hurt?", "Will it look natural?" and "What is the recovery time after the procedure?". Since we use surgical strength topical anesthetic, most people are quite comfortable during the procedure. Special techniques, such as "hairstroke" eyebrow immitation, have been develped to make permanent makeup appear as natural as possible. During the procedures, the bleeding and swelling is controlled by epinephrine, so there is no down time - in most cases you can go out right away!

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are "Before" and "After" pictures of some of my clients, taken immediately before and within minutes after the procedure. You can be the judge if it looks natural and if any additional recovery time is needed. To pause the slide show, just put your cursor over the picture. Move cursor off the picture to resume the slide show.

  • tattoo eyebrows
  • permanent lipliner
  • hair loss
  • hair loss
  • permanent eyebrows 1
  • permanent eyebrows 3
  • permanent eyebrows 4
  • tattoo brows 4
  • permanent lipliner 4
  • permanent eyebrows 5
  • permanent eyebrows 5
  • tattoo eyebrows 5
  • permanent eyeliner
  • permanent eyebrows 6
  • permanent eyebrows 6
  • permanent makeup correction
  • permanent eyebrows 5
  • permanent lip color
  • permanent lip color
  • permanent eyeliner
  • permanent eyebrows 5
For nearly fourty more "Before" and "After" permanent makeup pictures of our clients click here

Special Consideration: Ethnic Skin

Darker skin, containing large amounts of melanin, presents a challenge even for the experienced permanent makeup technicians. This is particularly the case for African and East Asian skin. If overworked, such skin is prone to hypo- or hyper-pigmentation. permanent makeup for ethnic skin permanent makeup for ethnic skin Especially difficult are tattoo lip procedures. Most pigments implanted into darker lips will either not be visible or result in unexpected and unflattering coloration.

However, as these "before and after" pictures illustrate, excellent results can be achieved with careful consideration of color interactions. Here, lips with natural dark bluish tint and hypo-pigmentation blotches have been transformed by permanent makeup to a warm, even-colored tint.

vitiligo treatment

Can Permanent Makeup be corrected?

permanent makeup corections Yes! I often receive inquiries about permanent makeup removal. I do not advise this except in the most extreme cases.

Despite the name "permanent", permanent makeup can often be corrected and restored faster, at a lower cost and with better results than with the removal.

A very typical case may involve permanent makeup done with cheap, low-quality pigments, which changed color with time. As the picture to the right illustrates, even blue eyebrows can be corrected into a flattering, natural color.

Additional examples are posted on the permanent makeup corrections page on this site.

Selecting the Right Practitioner

permanent eyeliner pigment migration

Popularity of permanent cosmetics procedures has attracted not only highly skilled professional make-up artists but also many opportunistic practitioners without any background in make-up or much formal training in permanent cosmetic techniques. Armed with a cheap machine, a set of "one-size-fits-all" stencils and a limited choice of pigment shades, such hacks often crank out work that does not compliment client's face and may look totally out of place. Although the hack's prices are frequently cheap, the correction of their embarassing results is neither cheap nor easy.

Many of my clients come for a correction of such substandard work done elsewhere. Picture on the right is one example of such "cheap" work. Additional examples are posted on the permanent makeup corrections page on this site.

How can you tell if your permanent cosmetics technician is a qualified professional or a hack?

1. Ethics

Ethics of your technician should be one of your most important considerations. Why? Because unethical technician can and will lie about her credentials, experience and sterility of her procedure room. Unethical technician may present as her own pictures of work done by other technicians or use Photoshop to make pictures of her own shoddy work look spectacular. Unethical technician may write herself or have an acquaintance write false testimonials and post them on the web or she may write disparaging reviews about competitors or make other misrepresentations. Unfortunately, most of the time a client is not in a position to evaluate technician's ethics. However, sometimes there are indirect clues. Here, in Chicago area, I could not help but notice how a relatively new technician, Chicago Permanent Makeup by Lana Schluter, has imitated the content of my site. While such imitation is the highest form of flattery, posting photos of my work on her site without giving me credit for my work is unethical and misleading. One day after I contacted her about copyright infringement, a slew of anonymous reviews appeared on the web disparaging my work. None of the "reviewers" were my clients. Coincidence? You decide.

2. Total Commitment to Medical Grade Sterility

I can not emphasize this enough! The most important consideration is permanent makeup technician's total commitment to maintain medical grade sterility of the operating environment. The procedures require puncturing client's skin. Infection, caused by unsanitary or non-sterile equipment, can cause disfiguring scars or worse. Hepatitis and HIV can be transmitted if needles are re-used. Unfortunately, strict compliance with the health code regulations is often missing among shadier operators, for whom permanent cosmetics is frequently just a sideline business. Lack of required license from the Illinois Department of Public Health is a good indication that the establishment does not follow the sanitary codes.

In my practice, located within the surgeon's office and licensed by the Illinois Departement of Public Health, I use only single-use disposable needles. All other equipment used during the procedures is sterile and disinfected between each client. Only MRI-safe pigments with FDA-approved components are used.

3. Professional Level Skills Both, as a Make-Up Artist and as a Micropigmentologist.

Permanent makeup is still, well.., a make-up. "Beware when cobbler bakes your pies and baker cobbles your shoes", observed once Ivan Krylov, a famous 19th century Russian poet. Unless you are the type of person who goes to a dentist for an eye exam, you probably should consider whether a nail salon is the best choice for a permanent makeup. A skilled manicurist, electrologist or a tattoo artist is not necessarily a skilled make-up artist. If you would not trust her to do your conventional, temporary make-up, you definitely should not trust her to do your permanent one, which will be a part of your face for a much, much longer time. Permanent cosmetics is not just a technique, it is an art where client's face is painter's canvas. Artist's ability to draw free hand, keen eye for color and facial symmetry as well as thorough knowledge of conventional make-up techniques and its uses in altering the overall appearance is what distinguishes the professional from a hack.
In addition to skills as a professional make-up artist, your practitioner must be thoroughly trained in the latest micropigmentation techniques, tools and procedures. A well-trained technician should be able to recreate individual hairstrokes and match natural colors and shading variations. To avoid unexpected shading, she must be able to anticipate interactions of pigment color with skin color and avoid such known problems as pigment migration, which can lead to "smudged" appearance. Permanent cosmetics is a rapidly evolving field. New pigments, techniques and procedures are continually developed and continuing education at the professional conferences and seminars is a must.

4. Investment in Quality Equipment and Broad Range of Pigment Shades.

shady permanent makeup technician To better accomodate client's preferences and in order to achieve the most natural looking results, reputable practitioners will maintain a large selection of high quality, expensive pigment colors and tints. Less reputable practitioners are often reluctant to make such investment and try to cut costs by using a few popular pigment shades for all skin and hair colors.

I hope you will find the information about permanent makeup on these pages helpful in deciding if this exciting procedure is right for you and look forward to being of service!

Elena Astor

Collagen Induction Therapy

Safest, Most Effective, Least Known Procedure for Skin Rejuvenation, Stretch Marks and Acne Scars

Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT) has been developed and used by plastic surgeons since 1990s for skin rejuvenation and resurfacing. skin rejuvenation Its effectiveness has been confirmed by quite a number of clinical studies. CIT is the most effective way to treat such conditions as acne scars and stretch marks.

The mechanism of CIT action is similar to that of the more widely known IPL and Laser Resurfacing: diffuse trauma induced in deep layers of the skin stimulates skin to regenerate and repair itself. In the process, the blemishes present on the skin surface get replaced by healthy skin cells.

Laws of physics make CIT both, safer and much more effective than the laser or IPL in stimulating the deep skin layers. skin rejuvenation However, - unlike expensive lasers and IPL machines, which are promoted by the equipment manufacturers, - CIT remains one of the least known treatments confined to the offices of very few providers. For more information on this procedure visit our Collagen Induction Therapy page. For more information on skin rejuvenation, visit our Skin page for the information on the latest skin care treatments today!

more permanent makeup content

Stuck On You

By Megan Deem | Excerpted from the article originally Published in ELLE on December 16, 2007

permanent eyebrows

Caroline Kim heard about it from her hairstylist. A different woman was tipped off by her facialist. Cosmetic tattooing-inked-on brows, eye - and lipliner heretofore associated with sun-dried retirees and Michael Jackson - is becoming a time-saver as indispensable to young female power brokers as international roaming on their mobile phones.

Call the procedure what you will (and many do, dubbing it everything from "permanent makeup" to "micro-pigmentation"), going under the needle means not worrying about smudged eyeliner at a last-minute presentation - among other benefits.

more permanent makeup content

The Beauty of Permanent MakeUp


"Professionally applied make-up can radically transform your appearance, add glamour, restore and bring out                your beauty"


"Most women have neither the skill nor the time necessary to create and maintain the professional                  makeup"


"Permanent makeup is investment in yourself that lets you always look your best. Anytime. Permanently"

We serve Wilmette, Glencoe, Northbrook, Northfield, Morton Grove, Evanston, Lake Forest, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Niles, Winnetka, Skokie, Glenview, Highland Park , Chicago, Deerfield, Kenilworth, Wheeling, Buffalo Grove and other north Chicago suburb communities. Call for a free consultation 773-706-9531 today!

Click here for our Policies and Prices


Our Med Spa Staff

Our staff includes estheticians, cosmetologists and makeup artists, certified and licensed by the State of Illinois.

They were thoroughly trained and mentored in the art of permanent makeup by Elena Astor and work under Dr.Syed Naveed's supervision.

Our Award-Winning Service

Click here for the US Commerce Association's press release about our award-winning service.

Permanent Makeup Award

Our Videos

Permanent MakeupClick here for our video on YouTube

Permanent MakeupElena talks about permanent makeup

Permanent MakeupBeauty & Benefits of Permanent Makeup

Permanent MakeupTour Zukowski Center for Plastic Surgery

scar fadingWrinkles, Scars, Stretch Marks, Acne Scars

Scalp MicropigmentationScalp Micropigmentation (Hair Tattoo)


"Dear Elena,

I would like to start this letter by thanking you for all you've done for not only my appearance but my confidence level as well. Your professionalism and beautiful , artistic attention to detail is immeasurable and incomparable to all others who try to compete with you in this field. I researched and consulted with several other permanent cosmetic artists before I decided that you were the absolute best top of the line expert in permanent cosmetic application. My eyebrows, eyeliner and full lip color look so amazingly natural, people compliment me frequently, when I tell them its permanent cosmetics they are "blown away" by the precision of your work. you have my permission to use any photos of me that you would like . Again Thank you so much for everything you've done for me. You are a true friend Elena !"

                            - Tricia Hill Amaya,
                              Chicago, IL

"Thank you for making my mornings so much easier! Although I enjoy make-up, you have taken of the time out of the basics for me. Now I can actually leave the house without spending the time to apply eyeliner and lipstick!

You gave me a very natural permanent eyeliner and took the time to listen to my specifications. You did a great job subtly modifying the shape of my upper lip to make it more symmetrical. The permanent lip color is just bright enough to go shopping with just a little lip gloss, but subtle enough that I can embellish it for a more formal evening look.

Not only do I love what you did for me, but you made the process so much fun. "

                            - Karen Dorman,
                              Wilmette Chamber of Commerce

"hello I just want to let you know I am very pleased with my eyebrows. I have told quite a few people how wonderful you are and the amazing work you do. They look perfect and I couldn't have asked you to do a better job. "

                            - Shana T,
                              Bensenville, IL

"My name is Brenda Flores and I am 26 years of age. I got permanent eyebrows done and it was a wonderful experience. I went into this experience very nervous. Immediately upon arrival to the Chicago Permanent Cosmetics Center everything changed.The hospitality of Ms.Astor and the warm home felt feeling while at the center made me feel so at ease. I am very happy with the results of my procedure at Chicago Permanent Cosmetics Center. I feel and look great. Thank you Ms. Astor."

                            - Brenda Flores,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"Thank you Elena for being so patient with me always. I know it's difficult with my tearing and bleeding but you always do a perfect job. I appreciate everything so much. "

                            - Linda H,
                              New Lenox, Illinois

"Hi, I just wanted to let you know how wonderful of a job Marina did on my eyebrows. Every morning when I wake up and look into the mirror I am so grateful to have natural looking, beautifully done eyebrows. I always recommend your services and I will also be back again! Thank You so much. "

                            - Kathy F,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"Dear Elena,

Just a note to say hello and I wanted to thank you.

My face and lips look great, I can't hardly wait until we finish, the camouflage seems to be working. Elena, the work you do with the corrections scar camouflage is wonderful. The corrections you have made on me make me feel and look so much better, all is good. I'm so happy and I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your work.

See you soon"

                            - Elizabeth Bergos,
                              Madison, Wisconsin

"I honestly thought there was no hope for improving the appearance of my stretch marks until I met Elena from the Chicago Permanent Cosmetics Center. I came to her with extremely bad stretch marks on my upper thighs and rear, which were light in color and deeply ridged. As an African American women, I was always told that nothing could be done in a case like this because laser surgery (which I thought was the only treatment for stretch marks) is risky for women of color. Yet, after only two sessions with Elena, the improvements are nothing short of remarkable (no exaggeration)! The ridges are gone and the lightness of color within the stretch marks have faded substantially - I haven't even completed my treatments. As Residential and Corporate Concierge, reputable recommendations are the success of my business. Elena is extremely knowledgeable and professional and I highly recommend her business."

                            - L. Smith,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"I have always been interested in permanent make-up to save time and also to give my face definition after my make-up was washed off. When I noticed on the Chicago Permanent Cosmetics Center ’s website that it was licensed with the IL Dept of Public Health, I immediately called and made the next available appointment. I met Elena and found that she is super sweet, professional, and made me feel comfortable which eased my nerves. She has a vast knowledge of permanent make-up and thoroughly explained the procedure to me. I am extremely thrilled and very pleased with the results on my lips and eyebrows. Now I don’t have to constantly reapply lipstick throughout the day especially after eating/drinking and I also don’t have to worry about penciling in my eyebrows every morning which I wasn’t very good at :-). Elena has applied my make-up for me, permanently and expertly. The colors she selected were absolutely perfect for my skin tone. She is a true artist and master at her craft. There is no doubt in my mind that Elena is the best. I trust her with all the services that she provides and highly recommend her. I’m very grateful that Elena truly cares about her clients. Thank you so much Elena."

                            - TAM ,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"Good morning Elena:

I wanted to send you some feed back on my eyebrows--- I LOVE THEM! I can not imagine how I lived so long without them! So a very big hearfelt THANK YOU."

                            - Bahar Azari ,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"I've been to a few different places trying to find the best people for maintenance of my skin. Not only is Elena highly educated but she explains everything in detail and is extremely knowledgeable. She also has a great "bedside manner" and is very good at what she does. I've only been to her 4 times but I can't imagine trusting anyone else now that I found her."

                            - Melissa ,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"... BTW, my breasts look fantastic with your micro-pigmentation work"

                            - Jessica Garabedian ,
                              Boston, Masachussetts

"Hi Elena. I really love what you did with my eyes. There is so much more color than before, especially the lower lids"

                            - Amy D. ,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"Elena - you did it!!! My eyebrows are perfect, both of them! These are the brows God didn't give me but you did. I love them! I tried to take a pic for you - it was hard to get it. Trust me - they are perfect!"

                            - Judy K. ,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"Hello Elena,

I am sending you pics of my front part of my arms. As you can see your treatment has really improved my skin and the stretch marks are almost all gone.

I hope more people will take more advantage of your services. Thank you so much for giving me more confidence about myself"

                            - Shalini Reddy ,
                              Austin, Texas

"Good Evening Elena and Michael,

My daughter, Chazz and I were in your center about a month ago for scar removal treatment. We are very pleased with the results so far her scars are fading beautifully. She is more outgoing these days and optimistic about her future in broadcasting. Thank you both for your professionalism and compassion."

                            - Dania J. ,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"Hi Elena,

I just wanted to thank you for your kindness as I go through this new process. I spoke far too soon when I frantically contacted you as my eyebrows changed. Even before the second session they are beautiful! I can't tell you how they have already changed my life! No more wondering how I look after profuse sweating during a workout or when I wake up in the morning (or even if I awaken during the night to use the bathroom). No more discomfort at the thought of a swim or time in the sauna. No more pre-occupation with my brows when it's time to take pictures! Thank you a million times over for being so good at providing such important work and making so many lives easier and more pleasant!!
I look forward to part 2 in a couple of weeks!!"

                            - Angel A. ,
                              Chicago, Illinois

"My eyebrows look great and they haven't even healed yet... Meanwhile, I've already gotten two compliments on how great my brows look. One compliment came from my husband:)
Elena, thanks again. Catch up with you later."

                            - Robin Walker, Host of Tailored Edges™ Chicago's Online Radio Style show

"I still can't believe how good my skin looks ! I have several surgical scars on my face and chest, the result of basal cell. I cover my scars with makeup every morning, because they are fairly obvious.

I'd thought about tattooing over them, to make them less visible. That's when I reached out to Elena. She suggested dry needling treatments to improve the appearance of my scars. I'm so glad I gave it a try !

After just one treatment on two of my scars, they were visibly smaller because fresh skin grew in as the new scars healed. After the second treatment, one scar has virtually disappeared. It blends in so well with the skin surrounding it that I don't even bother to put makeup on it anymore. The other scar is still visible, but smaller than it was before.

I look forward to having my other scars done, now that I know how good they will look. Thanks to Elena, my skin looks better than I even thought possible."

                            - Rose,
                              Elk Grove Vlg, Illinois

"I got my stretch mark removal procedure from you several weeks ago on both sides. Although, there is still some hyperpigmentation i am extremely happy with the results... the right side has onle like two small ones left."

                            - Maryam N,
                              Chicago, Illinois

Frequently Asked Questions:

permanent makeup procedure