Rules for Permanent Makeup Released

Story Number: NNS091026-11Release Date: 10/26/2009 3:17:00 PM
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From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- An updated Navy cosmetics policy effective Nov. 1 defines requirements for female Sailors who wish to undergo permanent cosmetic procedures.

Female Sailors may get permanent eyebrows, eyeliner, lipstick or lip liner starting Nov. 1, but only after submitting a request to their commanding officer and reviewing the costs and health risks associated with the procedures.

The requirements are spelled out in NAVADMIN 304/09, which updates the Navy policy on cosmetics for female Sailors. The message also includes a link to questions and answers about permanent makeup to help Sailors and their leaders make informed decisions.

A Sailor who elects such a procedure must pay for it herself, be prepared to take leave if necessary to recover and be available for shore-based medical care for two weeks following the procedure.

The updated cosmetic policy applies to new Sailors, including prior-service veterans, officer candidates and midshipmen and was expanded to reflect the changing norms of society.

"Due to the increasing popularity of permanent makeup, the update may increase the size of the recruitable population," said Lt. Cmdr. Heather Kline of Navy's Personnel, Plans and Policy Division. "It could also help with retention by providing an option for female Sailors to always look professional and feel good about themselves while saving money on cosmetic purchases."

The policy maintains uniform standards with respect to professional appearance. Colors and styles must compliment the skin tone, the same as removable makeup. Therefore, it is important that Sailors use caution in choosing colors.

"If a Sailor notified the command of her intent to get moderate red lipstick and returns with fire-engine red, and it can't be removed, the commanding officer can recommend administrative action," said Kline.

Among the rules for permanent makeup:
- It must be in good taste and blend with a Sailor's natural appearance.
- Eyebrows must be in shades that match the Sailor's natural hair color and eyeliner must be in shades that match her natural eye color.
- Lipstick and lip liner must be the color of the natural lip or shades of pink or red only.
- In addition, a Sailor is required to submit a special request/authorization form (Form 1336/3) to her commanding officer, with a detailed description of the enhancements desired before getting permanent makeup. The commanding officer must review the request for compliance with the Navy's cosmetic policy, ensure the Sailor is counseled and appropriate annotations are made in her medical record. A Sailor's request may be turned down if the procedure interferes with the Sailor's performance of her duties.

For more information about the cosmetics policy and other Navy uniform matters, go to

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