A Bend woman is suing a permanent makeup artist for botching her eyebrows.

Heidi Sausser said she now doesn’t leave the house without covering the dark blotches over her eyes with makeup, and she’s teased online by people who tell her, for instance, “Sharpie pens are for writing on paper, not on your face.”

“They look awful,” Sausser said. “They’re totally uneven. They’re blurry and blotchy. They’re gray … This was never supposed to happen.”

Sausser has filed a suit in Deschutes County small claims court accusing Totally Polished owner Jenny Day of owing her $10,000 — the maximum that can be sought in small claims court.

In her salon Friday on NE Second Street in Bend, Day would not discuss Sausser’s claims.

“I’ve been advised not to talk to you,” she told a Bulletin reporter. “She’s only trying to slander the business, that’s all.”

Sausser first started going to Totally Polished to get her nails done. One day she asked if Day could somehow fill in her eyebrows and help give them a more “natural look.” She said her eyebrows have fallen out due to an unknown skin parasite.

“I’m a natural person. I don’t like to wear makeup,” Sausser said. “I don’t even know how to do makeup very well.”

According to Sausser, Day said she could help her, with her tattoo gun.

Four sessions were needed and cost Sausser between $275 and $350 each.

When the scabs produced by the tattoo work fell off, Sausser said she was “horrified.” She said Day offered to touch up the work but hasn’t acknowledged any wrongdoing.

Sausser, 37, has two children and works for a Bend short-term rental company.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday.

On Sausser’s side is Susan Gruber of Bend’s Permanent Makeup by Susan, who wrote a letter supporting Sausser’s case.

Sausser had gone to Gruber soon after her procedures.

“She wanted help, but there was no way I could help her out, as much as I hate to turn anyone away,” Gruber wrote. “Personally, in the 25-plus years I have done permanent makeup, I have never personally seen such a horrendous job.”

According to Gruber, Day drew two differently shaped eyebrows on Sausser, as well as used two different black pigments. She said black is never a color used in eyebrows.

“If that was my work on her face, I would not be in business anymore,” Gruber said.

This was several months before Sausser learned about microblading, a popular form of permanent makeup involving a tool called a “blade” that contains tiny needles that implant ink under the skin. The technique originated in Europe and has been around the U.S. for about three years, according to Melanie Kehoe of Monolith Tattoo in Bend.

“The word ‘microblading’ is really popular right now,” she said. “And a lot of clients don’t understand that it’s a tattoo, or that it’s the same as permanent makeup.”

Kehoe said she regularly sees clients asking her to repair the subpar work of other artists, some of whom go too deep or use the wrong tools. She says it’s important for people interested in permanent makeup to research possible artists before choosing one — to make sure they’re licensed and look at samples of their work, especially their “healed work.”

“Everyone wants a natural look,” she said. “Ideally, they should. It’s on your face.”

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, gandrews@bendbulletin.com