Diane Neelands, the owner of Everlasting Cosmetics in New Milford, is motivated to help others.
As a cosmetologist, she has become interested in ways she might help people overcome permanent facial damage, such as burns or serious scarring.
She wanted to do something for cancer patients who had lost eye brows because of treatment or had mastectomies with breast reconstruction.
That interest led her to Canada where she studied permanent pigment application at The Center for Micropigmentology in Toronto.
"I had one-on-one training with four fantastic instructors," Mrs. Neelands said from her new studio. "I feel so fortunate. It was like this was meant to be for me."
In September, she opened Everlasting Cosmetics at 38 Church St.
There she applies permanent eyebrows, eyeliner, lip liner and fills for her clients. She plans to soon offer post-mastectomy areola repigmentation for cancer survivors.
"What I do is different from regular tattooing," Mrs. Neelands said. "Most regular tattooing uses inks. I use iron oxides. It's something our body can assimilate as it is in most foods."
If someone has allergies to cosmetics, permanent make up application is an excellent alternative, she said. There is no allergic reaction using iron oxides for pigments, she said.
Arlene Derby, 78, has had her eyebrows and eyeliner permanently applied by Mrs. Neelands. They are now deciding on the best permanent coloring for her lips.
"My eyeliner and eyebrows are now so carefree. I decided to have my lips done," Mrs. Derby said. "Diane's very gentle. There's minor discomfort but it's not bad."
Treatment starts with a consultation. Then, if eyebrows are to be done, Mrs. Neelands shapes and draws them in with pencil for client's approval before permanent application is done.
"People like to feel attractive," said Mrs. Neelands, who has had permanent cosmetics applied to her own face. "I get up in the morning, splash water on my face, towel dry, add my moisturizer -- and I'm done."
For clients paying a visit to the Everlasting office, Mrs. Neelands displays homemade jewelry she markets under the name Jehules.
Mrs. Neelands lives in New Milford with her husband, David, and two sons, Corben, 13, and Conner, 12.
The couple also has a 25-year-old son, Samuel, and are expecting their first grandchild.
Everlasting Cosmetics, at 38 Church St. in New Milford, offers services by appointment. Call 203-788-5511 to schedule. Talks to groups about benefits and techniques of permanent pigment application are available.