Health Matters, Newry Reporter, Thursday, 9th August 2007
She reconstructed the face of a woman tortured by Saddam Hussein and boosted semi-permanent make-up into the cosmetic and medical spheres. Heather Simpson talks dermographic with Kelly Forshaw.
Cosmetic make-up has become a billion pound business with fashion houses and cosmetic companies battling it out to find their way into your beauty bag.
But how often have you been disappointed that your lipstick hasn’t created a pout akin to Angelina Jolie’s or no one will bat an eyelid at your long lashes.
Rarely do these products deliver the dramatic results they promise. Recently cosmetic company L’Oreal was rapped by OFCOM that it’s ads for microscopic mascara were misleading after spokesmodel Penelope Cruz used false eyelashes.
A life without smudged eyeliner, non existent eyebrows and other beauty dilemmas could become a thing of the past as permanent make-up becomes one of the most sought after treatments in the beauty business.
Thanks to celebrity spokespersons such as Jade Goody, women are slowly swapping the cosmetic brush for micropigmentation in the quest for the perfect visage.
So it’s no wonder that the new beauty treatment has come to Newry thanks to dermongraphic artist Kelly Forshaw.
Kelly who is the Director of Medicos, runs a Clinique in Younique, Newry. She laughs, “When people think of tattoos they think I am going to be this big grungy person with tattoos down my arm. The difference is I am a dermongraphic artist who used semi-permanent make-up to enhance what you have for a natural look.”
Semi-permanent tattooing uses fine needles to penetrate a few millimetres below the skin using iron oxide as a pigment. Lasting one to six years the technique can create thicker brows and eyelashes and improve the appearance of scars, vitiligo and burns.
Kelly said women who were fed up with daily make-up application were turning to the technique.
“Women in Newry like to look good at all times. When I come here from London they look fabulous with highlighted hair and full make-up. Due to their careers and families women are always on the go and would rather save half an hour in the morning and wake up with their make-up done,” Kelly said.
“Everyone has problems with make-up smudges or they find it hard to apply make-up. I have seen many beauty disasters where women, stuck in their ways, have been drawing their eyebrows on for years and they look a bit odd.”
“Dermographic art is fantastic for women who don’t want to continually pluck their eyebrows, hair sparse eyebrows or fair eyebrows. By tattooing top eyeliner it gives the appearance of longer and darker eyelashes and also gives definition to make lips look larger.
We don’t want you to look like Coco the clown, it’s about enhancement to create a natural look. People come in with unrealistic expectations and ask for lips like Angeline Jolie but I am a technician not a magician,” she said.
Not only is micropigmentation celebrities’ secret weapon but the technique has bee heralded for its medical benefits.
Semi-permanent make-up can improve the appearance of burn victims’ scars and restore lip definition for those with a cleft lip.
One of Kelly’s outstanding memories is helping a woman who was tortured by Saddam Hussein.
“Her scars were horrendous and she was badly disfigured. She was saved by an Iraqi surgeon who paid for her surgery. She has no eyebrows, no eyelashes and her skin was all one colour because of skin grafting. We did her lips to begin with and she looked fantastic,” she said.
‘I also has a burns victim who had 90% burns to his body. He had lots of reconstructive surgery but looked fantastic considering what he had been through. He had skin grafts and his lips were bright pink and had no shape. Using an advanced technique we created a three-dimensional lip which change his life.”
Kelly has also worked with breast cancer patients, self harmers and people suffering from alopecia. She explains; “Breast cancer patients who have had a mastectomy lose their areola. Often the areola is grafted on and your eyeliner is immediately drawn to the area of scarring. We can tattoo on a three-dimensional areola which completely takes scarring away and makes a huge difference to a woman.
“For someone with alopecia it is life changing. These ladies are so happy they don’t have to pencil in their eyebrows everyday. I have had testimonials from sufferers who said they couldn’t go swimming with their chidren for fear their eyebrows would rub off but now they can dive bomb in and have a better quality of life. “
To find out more about micropigmentation contact Kelly on: 07879 413889