Feb 02 , 2024
The evolution of modern art has witnessed a rapid shift from traditional forms of artistic expression, such as painting, to more dynamic and immersive experiences, such as cinematography, structures, and abstractions. Over the years, modern science and medical procedures have showcased the evolving paradigm in expressions of art and aesthetics, opening new avenues for creative expression and artistic exploration of people’s lifestyles. In exploring this captivating and insufficiently examined domain, the field of permanent makeup (PMU) – a novel art form - exists at the intersection of art and beauty, serving as a fascinating canvas where psychographics can illuminate the intricacies of human behavior.
There is growing interdisciplinary research in the the social sciences on exploring the psychological underpinnings of artistic expression, art, and human cognition. While significant interdisciplinary research in social sciences has probed into the psychological foundations of artistic expression, a notable gap exists in understanding how psychographic factors interplay with the dynamic and evolving landscape of the permanent makeup industry. This essay examines the psychological aspects of permanent make-up (PMU), exploring how it intersects with individuals’ subjective experiences and beliefs.
The Permanent Makeup Industry: A Psychological and Psychographic Analysis
The permanent makeup industry, a form of cosmetic tattooing, has emerged as a significant practice in today's beauty and fashion world. From microblading eyebrows to permanent lip colour and eyeliner, individuals seek these procedures for various reasons. Similar to the evolution of hairstyling, where the once-practical need for cutting or maintaining short hair transformed into a global expression of individual style, the permanent makeup industry has undergone a paradigm shift. Individuals around the world now view their faces as canvases for developing unique aesthetic expressions. Even in historical periods marked by routine violence, elements of art and style coexisted, showcasing the enduring human inclination for creative expression Wafa Brows. (2021, April 21). With its ability to enhance physical features, it also deeply intersects with psychological and psychographic factors, shaping consumer behaviour and preferences.
Psychographics and Its Impact on the Cosmetic Industry
In the realm of marketing, psychographics play a pivotal role in customer profiling. It involves the analysis of values, interests, lifestyle, personality, and social status to create tailored products for specific customer segments (Kumar, V., & Sharma, A., 2009). Understanding the "why" behind a person's purchasing decisions, beliefs, and aspirations is essential. In the context of the cosmetic industry, this approach is particularly relevant, as it sheds light on the underlying motivations and influences that drive individuals to seek permanent makeup services.
The Psychological Motivations Behind Permanent Makeup: A Focus on Lifestyle and Self-Expression
The demand for permanent makeup is closely tied to the psychological and lifestyle preferences of consumers, particularly the Lifestyle and Self-Expression group, which encompasses busy professionals and active individuals. This demographic seeks practical beauty solutions that resonate with their efficient, polished, and time-conscious approach to life.
According to the APA Handbook of Consumer Psychology, consumers in this group often exhibit specific psychographic characteristics, such as a penchant for efficiency and a lifestyle that values time management (Smith, 2018). For instance, consider a corporate executive who prioritises a well-groomed appearance but has limited time for daily makeup routines. In this scenario, permanent makeup, such as eyeliner tattooing, offers a practical solution to streamline their beauty regimen and maintain a professional look throughout the day.
Opinions, Social Attitudes, and Beauty Standards
The decision to undergo permanent makeup is influenced by various psychographic profiles shaped by social attitudes. According to Crocker et al. (2003), individuals with appearance-contingent self-worth, who base their self-evaluation on meeting cultural standards for physical attractiveness, often invest significant time and effort in enhancing their appearance. This reflects the impact of social attitudes and beauty standards on individuals' self-perception and behaviour. Moreover, beauty norms and standards vary across cultures, leading some individuals to view permanent makeup as conforming to prevalent beauty ideals. In contrast, others see it as a form of self-empowerment, challenging these norms. For instance, in Japan, where the beauty standard emphasises "bigger doll-like" eyes, some individuals may consider permanent makeup as a long-lasting and less risky alternative to surgical procedures, aligning with their desire to conform to societal beauty norms (Crocker et al., 2003).
The attitudes towards beauty and self-expression are pivotal in the decision-making process of individuals considering permanent makeup. These attitudes are not only shaped by personal values but also by the broader social and cultural context in which individuals are embedded. Therefore, understanding the interplay between social attitudes, cultural beauty standards, and individual values is essential in comprehending the motivations behind the adoption of permanent makeup.
The Unfulfilled Psychological Needs: Emotional Drivers and Self-Confidence
According to Berry (2007), the author of Beauty Bias, “cosmetic products are not only seen as methods of enhancement but also as a source of projecting an image of power and status.” Individuals grappling with self-esteem issues or body image concerns represent a significant psychographic segment. For them, permanent makeup is a path to emotional well-being, offering a way to enhance self-image and confidence. This segment's decision is deeply intertwined with their emotional needs and psychological health. A distinct psychographic profile emerges among those seeking permanent makeup for medical reasons. Their motivations are shaped by experiences with illness or surgery, seeking not just cosmetic enhancement but emotional healing and a sense of control over their body post-illness/treatment. In a study by Yeates et al. published in 2018, the authors reported that (88%) of patients were satisfied with the results of their medical tattooing procedure (Becker SJ, 2021). Self-confidence was reported as improved in (88%) of patients, mood was reported as improved in (76%) of patients, and the ability to socialise was reported as improved in (76%) of patients (Becker SJ, 2021).
Jade Johnson’s Permanent Eyebrows
In the case of permanent cosmetics, the target audience can also be athletes and people whose hobbies include swimming/sports. Especially as society demands attractive athletes who get attention outside their profession, it can be used as a marketing tool for both the cosmetic industry as well as the athletes themselves. According to Female First, British Olympic long-jumper Jade Johnson gets her eyebrows done by a cosmetic consultant in England. Jade was quoted saying, “I’m an Olympic athlete but I’m also a woman and I love to be feminine. I love makeup, lashes, and getting my hair done so I look good on and off the track.” (“Female Olympians are turning to Permanent Makeup to Look Their Best During Games”, StyleCaster).
Psychographics plays a significant role in the cosmetic industry as it helps in customer profiling by analysing the values, interests, lifestyle, personality, and social status of the audiences to create a specific product for each categorised customer segment. The appeal of permanent makeup extends to individuals with diverse motivations, including those with a pragmatic approach to life, individuals concerned about their physical perception, those seeking emotional well-being, and those with medical reasons. Understanding these psychographic profiles is essential for cosmetics marketers to design effective and targeted strategies for their products, ensuring that they resonate with the unique needs and preferences of their diverse consumer base. Such a nuanced understanding of consumer motivations and preferences is crucial for the continued success and growth of the permanent makeup industry.
- **Kumar, V., & Sharma, A. (2009). **Handbook of customer relationship management: Marketing, technology, and human resources. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Crocker, Jennifer & Luhtanen, Riia & Cooper, Mary & Bouvrette, Alexandra. (2003). Contingencies of Self-Worth in College Students: Theory and Measurement. Journal of personality and social psychology. 85. 894-908. 10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1994.
- Pistono, D. (2012, August 3). Female Olympians are Turning to Permanent Makeup to Look Their Best During Games. StyleCaster. https://stylecaster.com/beauty/makeup/434837/female-olympians-turning-permanent-makeup-games/
- Silverio, Lauren, "Makeup's Effects on Self-Perception" (2010). OTS Master's Level Projects & Papers. 49. https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/ots_masters_projects/49
- Becker SJ, Cassisi JE. Applications of Medical Tattooing: A Systematic Review of Patient Satisfaction Outcomes and Emerging Trends. Aesthet Surg J Open Forum. 2021 May 4;3(3):ojab015. doi: 10.1093/asjof/ojab015. PMID: 34159314; PMCID: PMC8214112.
Wafa Brows. (2021, April 21). Why Permanent Makeup is a Form of Art. Wafa Brows. https://wafabrows.com/why-permanent-makeup-art-form/