Getting started as a permanent makeup artist can be daunting, especially when faced with all the different needles for permanent makeup on the market! Permanent makeup cartridge needles are changing the game but understanding them can be tricky. 

All the basic information you need about permanent makeup cartridge needle types is right here. 

Find out which cartridge needle configurations you need to slay in a variety of procedures using our simple Permanent Makeup Cartridge Needle Guide 

Getting to Know All Types of Permanent Makeup Cartridge Needles 

Permanent makeup cartridge needles come in various types or configurations. The configuration simply means how the needles are grouped together in the cartridge. Below are some examples of different needle groupings. 

Kwadron Optima PMU Cartridge Needle Guide

While other factors like needle taper, diameter, and count can influence your work, understanding all types of permanent makeup cartridges needles is key for building a well-rounded setup. 

Here are some of the most common needle configurations and how many permanent makeup artists use them. 

Round Liners 

You guessed it: round liner cartridges are great for lining.  

Round liner permanent makeup cartridges can come as one needle or more, allowing for different effects. The single needle round liner is best for penetrating the skin and creating the most concrete lines. You can use round liners for procedures like lip lining, detailing, and permanent makeup eyeliner. Round liners are also commonly used for pointillism or hair strokes (also known as pixel effects). When you purchase round liners with a higher needle count, these cartridges can even be used for filling. 

Round Shaders 

Round shader permanent makeup cartridges allow you to shade or pack in pigment, making them useful for many common permanent makeup procedures. Round shader cartridge needles are grouped together in a circle; the space between the needles creates a lighter effect when filling, which makes round shaders great for filling in permanent makeup eyeliner, or lip blush procedures. Also, if you’re looking for what needle to use for powder brows, round shaders are a popular and common choice! 


If you have trouble densely packing pigment with your high-count round liners or shaders, Magnum permanent makeup cartridges offer a great alternative. 

Magnum cartridges have two rows of needles and come in many varieties. With M1 (Straight Magnums), you get a straight, even alignment. With M2 (Curved Magnums), you get a nice curvature, which is excellent for working with the natural curvature of a client’s brows or areolas. Magnums also come as M2 (Stacked Magnums), which are densely packed together, allowing you to efficiently load pigment in permanent makeup filling procedures, as with lips or bold brows. 


Square and flat, Flat permanent makeup cartridges are commonly used for achieving super-precise geometric designs. They’re great for creating the framework for permanent makeup eyebrows. They’re also ideal for tattooing clean lip lines, and permanent makeup eyeliner. 


Versatile and grouped together at an angle, Slope permanent makeup cartridges can be used for permanent makeup lining, shading, and pixel effects! Permanent makeup artists commonly use slope configurations for lip shading or hair strokes for natural-looking permanent makeup eyebrows. 


All these cartridge configurations are hot, popular, and flooding the market, coming from a wide variety of top-rated brands like Kwadron, Peak, and Vertix. With a basic understanding of these different types of permanent makeup needles, you can begin to experiment, learn new techniques, and discover which needle brands are best for you. Many other factors come into play including needle count, diameter, taper, PMU needle sizes, and, of course, your unique style. You’ll want to make sure you’re using permanent makeup machines that are right for you, such as top-rated permanent makeup machines like the Microbeau Flux S, the Microbeau Bellar, or the FK Irons Spektra XION S. 

Pro-tip: Health, hygiene, and safety are a priority for permanent makeup professionals. While shopping for your permanent makeup cartridges, always for brands that offer a membrane. PMU needles with membrane features are safer, preventing bodily fluids and ink from getting into the body of your machine or your grip. This is especially important, since permanent makeup machines are not autoclavable (you can only autoclave the grips) So check your packaging before you purchase most top brand permanent makeup cartridges will say they have a membrane on the packaging.  

We hope this guide helped provided you some more insight about all the different type of permanent makeup needles there are and about what other tools you need set yourself up for success. Ultimate Tattoo Supply sells all the cartridges brands listed and more. Check out our permanent makeup section today and get to slaying.