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Pre-Procedure Tips: Minimizing Pain on the First Pass

With over 31 years of experience in cosmetic tattooing and thousands of clients and procedures, we have learned a few tricks to ensure your client is comfortable not only throughout the entire procedure, but through the dreaded first pass.

We offer the best available numbing out there but the product is only part of the pre-procedure experience.

Much of what makes a great Permanent Makeup or Microblading experience is the preparation by your client. Over the years we found things your clients can do to ensure a pain-free experience.

Have your clients follow these steps so they can get the best experience with our Candy Numb products.

Eat Food 30 Minutes Before Procedure

Eating starch-based foods like cheeseburgers, peanut butter, or crackers will provide protein and carbs. When your client has food in her system, it regulates blood sugar and will make her less sensitive to actue pain from the first pass.

Avoid Caffeine Before Appointment

We usually say to avoid caffinated beverages at least 2-3 hours before procedure. Longer is better. Caffeine is a stimulant and will increase sensitivity. Tell your clients to drink water instead of coffee that day before showing up for their appointment.

Certain Antibiotic Medications

This one might not apply to most people, but we had experiences so it's good to know.

Ask your client if he or she is required to take antibiotics before dental procedures. If so, your client should do the same before a permanent makeup or microblading procedure.

Avoid Blood Thinners

This is important. If your client is taking blood thinners, it means he or she will bleed more than normal. To avoid this, ask your client if his or her doctor permits them to go 24 hours without blood thinners. If the doctor says it is okay, then ask your client to do so. This will make the procedure easier on both you and your client.

Avoid Tanning Beds

Tell your client to avoid tanning and especially tanning beds for 2 weeks prior to the permanent makeup procedure. Tanning beds emit UV rays that sensitize and damage the skin. That is the exact opposite of what you want for a PMU or microblading procedure.

Your client's skin needs to be healthy so that it can properly retain pigment during and after the procedure.

2 Week Patch Test

If your client is especially nervous about getting the color right or having a reaction, you can schedule a patch test 2 weeks before the procedure.

It will help both you and your client determine the perfect color to use for brows or eyeliner. And if your client is known to have allergic reactions, a patch test can help determine if any reaction may happen in the future.

Know that a patch test does not solve all problems. It does not guarantee anything.

Bruise Easily

If your client bruises easily, we recommend taking Arnica before procedure and after. Arnica is available at most health food stores. Arnica will help calm bruising which is good for both you and your client.

Avoid Contact Lenses

This one is specifically for eyeliner procedures. If your client wears contact lenses, he or she must wear glasses to the studio instead. Your client should not wear contact lenses for 24 hours after the procedure.

Avoid Latisse

This one is also specifically for eyeliner procedures. If your client uses Latisse, she should avoid using it for 2-3 days before and after the procedure.

Avoid Alcohol and Nicotine

Just like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine should be avoided before the procedure. We recommend abstaining from alcohol and nicotine for at least 48 hours before any permanent makeup or microblading procedure.

These agents can increase sensitivity and slow the healing process.


It seems like a long pre-procedure checklist, but it can be simplified. Eat food before the procedure and avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and blood thinners. There are some special cases with medicines and eyeliner procedures, but it's not too much.

We've found that clients who adhere to our pre-procedure checklist have a much nicer experience than those who don't.

Like we said at the beginning, the numbing is only part of the process. So to make sure you create the best experience for your clients, try our Candy Numb products.

We have a Cream which is for pre-procedure and a Gel which is for during the procedure. They both work very quickly and are amazingly effective. Read our reviews and watch our instructional videos to learn more!