A few months ago, we predicted microblading would become the go-to beauty treatment to achieve full brows—but there's a new trend that's taking permanent makeup to new heights. It's known as lash enhancement or invisible eyeliner, and it involves tattooing an ultra-thin black line along the lash line to create the illusion of fuller, darker lashes—much like tightlining does—for a natural, eye-opening effect.
We know what you're thinking: Who wants a needle that close to their eyes? While it sounds like an uncomfortable process, the beautiful results speak for themselves, and it can be a great solution for those who have sparse lashes or are dealing with alopecia. The treatment is very different from microblading and involves a high-tech tool to perfect the look of soft, lush lashes.
Keep scrolling to read everything you need to know about lash enhancement.
First things first: Is this the right treatment for you? NYC-based celebrity brow specialist Piret Aava, aka Eyebrow Doctor, explains that while lash enhancement is a convenient way to look wide-eyed and awake, those with Graves' Disease and glaucoma may not be suitable candidates. "You should also avoid the procedure if you have had recent eye surgery or plan to have surgery," she adds. If you're in the clear, Aava recommends avoiding products like Latisse and lash extensions before your appointment and bringing your glasses if you normally wear contacts.
Johanna Hedman, certified permanent cosmetic professional (CPCP) and founder of Hedman Method in Miami, Florida, stresses the importance of choosing an accredited professional before committing to lash enhancement. "As with any invasive skin treatment, it is important to research the credentials and training of the professional and make sure they are fully licensed and insured," she says. "I recommend finding a board-certified permanent cosmetic professional through the international industry organization Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals."
When it comes to pricing, it varies depending on the pro, but we found the average to be around $400 for the lower lash line and $800 for the top lash line, with some locations offering a package for both. Sure it's an investment, but the post-touch-up results can last three to five years, which is much longer than microblading—and just think of all the cash you'll save on eyeliner (and maybe even mascara).
What to expect: Hedman explains that pigment placement is key to achieving natural-looking results and recommends her clients get the procedure on their top lashes. "I usually recommend doing just the upper lash line. It provides definition and accentuates the eyes while improving minor asymmetries and making the eyes look larger." Lower-lash enhancement can be a great addition, but it must be subtle—a thick line can make eyes appear smaller, which is the opposite goal of lash enhancement. "Every procedure is fully customized to produce the best result based on each client's individual features," she says.
The appointment itself can take anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours, and of course, a numbing cream is involved before each of the three passes. Aava says her clients describe the sensation of the tool as a "tickle" on the lash line. According to Hedman, the eyes are closed and the lids are stretched during the treatment. "This minimizes discomfort and provides total control over involuntary eye movements and reflexes," she says. The actual device used to deposit pigment is entirely different from the manual tool used for microblading. "We use Nouveau Contour Intelligent device," says Aava. "It is the world's first computerized pigmentation device and is used for both cosmetic and medical micro-pigmentation procedures."
The aftermath: Following your appointment, Aava says swelling can occur for a few hours up to a couple of days. "Black tea bags soaked in cold water can be applied to reduce swelling a few times a day for five to 10 minutes," she says, adding, "The first week, it's important to keep the area clean and dry. Avoid eye makeup and regularly reapply ointment for proper healing."
Similar to microblading, the liner color will typically appear much darker for the first 10 days, and a touch-up is recommended four to six weeks following the initial appointment to address any client requests and ensure pigment is evenly applied for those long-lasting results. Game changer? We think so.
Would you try the lash enhancement treatment? Share your thoughts in the comments, and while you're at it, shop our colorful mascara picks.