How to Choose the Right Permanent Makeup Needle

You may have read our "Best Permanent Makeup Machine 2022" blog post, once you have chosen the machine that is suitable for you, the next step is to choose the right PMU needles. Most permanent makeup and micropigmentation artists keep stock of many different types of cosmetic tattoo needles for different procedures, from liners to shaders to magnums, and having the right tools allows you to provide your clients with the best service.

We know it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the needle types on the market, that's why we've prepared a complete shopping guide for permanent makeup cartridge needles, taking you through the needles you need to get the perfect brows, eyeliner, lips, and more!

Please see our shopping guide and check out 3 key features for choosing the right PMU needle cartridges for different types of procedures.


1. Needle membrane

Make sure to use PMU needles with membrane. Membranes prevent ink and blood from backflowing into the grip of your PMU machine and causing cross-contamination. Never skimp on investing in security. PMU needles with membrane not only ensure safe and hygienic procedures, but also minimizes risk for your clients and your beautiful PMU tattoo machines.

2. Needle size

Permanent makeup needle size refers to 3 aspects: diameter, taper, and needle count.

Needle diameter:

This refer to width of the needles before they taper to a point. Thinner needles are ideal for delicate skin layers such as the face, as they are gentler on the skin and can result in less trauma to the delicate facial skin. Typical diameters used in PMU include

  • 04 – 0.18mm(smallest)
  • 06 – 0.20mm(small)
  • 08 – 0.25mm(medium)
  • 10 – 0-.30mm(wider)
  • 12 – 0.35mm (widest)
How to Choose the Right Permanent Makeup Needle

Needle taper:

Taper is the measurement of the needle point length, which is one of the most important aspects of size, because the taper length of your needle is the key to deliver the pigment!  Here is a list of typical taper sizes:

  • Short Taper – 2.5mm
  • Medium Taper – 3.5mm
  • Super Long Taper – 5.5mm
  • Extra Long Taper – 7.0mm

Permanent makeup needles with a long tapered shape easily deposit pigment into the skin while those with a shorter taper are duller at the point. This makes them ideal for shading techniques. Use them for microshading brows or scalp micropigmentation.

Needle count:

This is how many individual needles are within one configuration. For example, single needle has one needle and is suitable for delicate linework on the face while a triple shader cartridge for shading in permanent makeup eyebrows.

Using the right combination of diameter, taper and needle count will help you achieve amazing results.

3. Needle Configurations

The needle configuration indicates how the needles are grouped together. The most common pmu needle configurations are Round Shader (RS), Round Liner (RL), Flat (F), Slope, Magnum (M1,RM,M2).

Round Liner needles come as one or more needles grouped together in a tight round formation. Oftentimes, round liners come as one single needle. Single-needle round liners are best for penetrating the skin and creating the most concrete lines, so they are perfect for fine detailing work like lip lining, detailing, and permanent makeup eyeliner. Round liners are also commonly used for pixel effects like pointillism or hair strokes.

Round Shaders are also round needle configurations, however grouped together in a loose round formation, which makes it easier to fill in a shaded area. Round shaders are commonly used for micro shading, areola reconstruction, powder brows and permanent makeup lip blush.

Flats are simply grouped together in a line formation so that there is an exact space between needle points. Flat permanent makeup cartridges work great for creating geometric designs, just rely on them to create eyebrow frameworks and permanent makeup eyeliner.

Slope permanent makeup cartridges are grouped together at an angle, can be used for lip shading or hair strokes for natural-looking permanent makeup eyebrows.

Magnums are grouped with two rows of needles arranged in three variations: M1 (Straight Magnum), RM (Curved Magnum), and M2 (Stacked Magnum). When it comes to fill large areas and shading, Magnum permanent makeup cartridges offer a great alternative. Straight and curved magnum needles are interwoven with more space between needle rows, which makes them gentler on your client's skin. While Stacked Magnum is more suitable for customers with stubborn skin, the needles are packed more densely together, making it easier to pack in the pigment.


3 Permanent Makeup Cartridge Needles Worth Trying

Charme Princesse PMU Tattoo Needle Cartridge

Charme princesse focuses on Round Liner configuration with 0.18mm, 0.20mm, 0.25mm, 0.30mm and 0.35mm diameters, especially 1RL cartridge needles are loved by permanent makeup artists. The PMU tattoo needles are thinner than other needles in the market, feature an excellent system of stabilizing ultra-sharp needles, which ensures their durability and strength, ideal for eyebrows, eyeliner, thin lip lining, and hair stroke effects, the smallest size 01RL 0.18mm can even be used for scalp micro-pigmentation. Just like most brands on the market, Charme princesse cartridge needles come with a safety membrane to prevent ink leakage to the tube or machine.

Compatible with most brand rotary tattoo machine.


Kwadron PMU Optima cartridges

As a leader in the tattoo industry, Kwadron has years of experience in creating and producing the highest quality cartridge needles. Optima cartridges are Kwadron’s first needles designed exclusively for permanent makeup. Optima's flexible, sharp, extra-long tapered needles are perfect for permanent makeup eyebrows, eyes, and lips.

Complete with a stabilizing mechanism and safety membrane, these needles are 100% professional-grade. Additionally, they’re made of medical-grade pink plastic. Kwadron come in round liner, round shader, mag shader, flat shader, and sloped configurations with up to 6mm long tapers. They also come in 0.20mm up to 0.35mm diameters for a variety of procedures. 


Vertix Cartridge Needles

Its ultra-thin profile makes Vertix Nano Cartridge Needles stand out from the competition. Not only do the thinnest needles result in clear, fine lines, they are also super gentle on your client’s facial skin and usually leads to faster healing. We all know clear lines are essential for stunning lip liner, permanent makeup eyeliner and brows. That means less trauma for beautiful healed results. Vertix permanent makeup cartridge needles are known for their elongated, see-through hummingbird tips, so permanent makeup artists can see where you are implanting better. Moreover, the needle tips are detachable so you can make small adjustments during working. You can try Vertix Nano Cartridge Needles  in round liner, tight liner, round shader, and curved magnum varieties with 0.20mm, 0.25mm, and 0.33mm diameters. All cartridges come with a safety membrane.


In conclusion

With a basic understanding of these different types of permanent makeup needle cartridges, you can start experimenting and discovering which needle brands are best for you. Again, health, hygiene and safety are a priority of permanent makeup professionals. Please buy PMU needles with safety membrane. With the right size, configuration and safety membrane, you are ready for the best permanent makeup procedures.

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