The new Debate over Permanent Make Up


A news story from last week has caused some real anger and debate over the laws over permanent make up. ITV News ran a story you can watch briefly here (apologies, UK only I think), which showed a girl who is 14 up here at ITV’s Newcastle studio (yes, I live there in the background, couldn’t help but tell you all) whose mother let her get tattooed on her eyes, lips and eyebrows, as well as a tattooed beauty spot, which I can’t even seem to see to be honest.

Should this have happened? That’s what has some of us in a bit of a debate, if you will. Over at my favourite forum, Tattoo.TV, the laws regarding permanent make up and minors seem to have been cleared up a little by a friend, who goes by the name Sharkboy on the site:

I write legislation for a living. It’s not the most exciting career by a long stretch but it does make you appreciate the implications that a subtle change in wording can have. In this case, the trouble is that the artists are happily exploiting a legal loophole to allow the tattooing of this "make-up" on under 18s. The legislation states that it applies to the permanent sub-dermal insertion of ink. The loophole? Simple, they call it "semi-permanent", the legislation cannot be applied and they’re free to tattoo any age with parental consent. The 2003 Miscellaneous Provisions Act at least now allows for some control of the hygiene standards etc. required of these people.

This is a loophole many are happy to exploit to make a bit of money from minors who want to be tattooed with make up. On all accounts many of us seem to think this is extremely wrong! If someone tattooed the sole of a minor’s foot with the excuse that it’ll wear away after a few months, does that make it right? Should we be able to tattoo our children, in the name of vanity, because it will “only” last for five years? In my opinion, of course not.

Are you as appalled by this story as we are? You’ll be happy to know there is something you can do- get to your local politicians and see if they can help close this silly loophole! No one should be able to tattoo a child because of only one word in a piece of legislation, yet only we can help change it by bringing this out-dated law to the attention of those in power. Get to your local politician as soon as you can, you may help save some kid’s skin.

If you’d like help finding out how to get in touch with your local MP, I’d be more than happy to help, if I can- just pop in a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can ;)

UPDATE: Another friend has offered up a link to do with body art and the law, especially non fatal offences and consent, it’s really interesting, so I’d recommend reading it here. Page 6 onwards has some really great information, though I’d suggest reading the whole thing if you find this interesting.

5 Responses to “The new Debate over Permanent Make Up”
  1. Jemmy says:

    The world’s going mad. I cant believe this! Surely any form of tattooing should be illegal to under-18’s, even semi-permanent?

    Also, at 14 she is probably still in school and if I remember rightly school doesn’t allow students to wear make-up.

    But the saddest part has to be the mother who allowed her daughter to have the procedure, and spent that much money on her. What does that say about what she thinks of her daughters appearance? Shouldn’t she be encouraging her to love herself as she is?

    This is just another sad case of the pressure young people are under today to look glamourous, be thin, and become famous in some way, shape or form. And sadly I expect this will become a more common practice among young girls if this stupid government doesn’t sort out it’s regulations :-/

    • Mel Noir says:

      Jemmy, your smart and thoughtful comments here always make me smile- you’re right on all counts, in my opinion! It’s so sad that this girl’s mam wouldn’t let her accept who she is- I read somewhere the girl wants to pursuit a career as a glamour model or some sort, which is a right shame if it feels like even your own mam thinks it’s all you can do.

      Besides, think of all the groovy fun she’s missing out on, playing with make up and seeing what you can get away with in school or which colours look nice on her? I remember I used to love messing about with make up and those semi-permanent hair dyes when I was her age, you can get dead creative with stuff like that and have fun when you don’t have to worry about what work’s going to think, haha!

      Thanks again for reading, pet!

  2. P. says:

    I shouldn’t have been doing anything permanent at 14! Thank God I was limited to t-shirts and the odd musical fluke.. come to think of it, I actually still listen to most of the music I did at 14.

  3. productsandservicesreview says:

    Interesting addition here, but I had permanent MU done on my foot (Yes, my foot) about 7 or 8 years ago. Permanent MU is tattooing, it just doesnt go as deep as a normal tattoo, so it eventually fades. However, the tattoo of my foot is faded in some parts, and not in others and looks like a prison tattoo (Bare in mind that permanent MU is meant to fade after about 5 years). It has faded maybe 40-50% in 7 or 8 years. I would say that makes it pretty permanent!

  4. Lozza says:

    This story really has sickened me (I think i’ve made that perfectly clear on TTV). Just remind yourself how you felt about yourself at 14, were you happy with the way you looked? I know I wasn’t, something like this would just have confirmed my insecurities. To have these insecurities confirmed by your own mother!!!!!! That’s just horrific. Some people really have no sense at all.

    Also, the original article on closer (now removed) states that she wants to be a model, well, most agencies prefer their models untouched by surgery or tattoos. The larger agencies will not touch her, in all honesty (especially after this bad publicity) and she will be limited in the work she can get – unless she decides to follow her idol’s footsteps.

    I mean, aren’t we all soooooo jealous of the way Jordan looks!!!!!!!!!

    You know what, I still enjoy playing with make-up and i’m 28 years old!!!!!!

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