In the beginning
We started in the business in the early 90's when permanent makeup was still quite unknown. It was very difficult to find clients and models for our students. It was only because of the uncertainty of this new beauty treatment left people timid. Once we were able to start getting clients or models that were eager for the service they would tell all friends. Shortly our books got full and we had a waiting line for having these services done. I came into this industry from the nail business. I was at the point I wanted to add something that would help my business grow. By adding Permanent Makeup to my salon services helped increase my business. A brow service in the early 90's was about $200. Just doing one service per week in the beginning really helped my business expand. $200 service fee x 52 weeks in a year = $10,400.00 increase in my income. I would like to tell you, that I did more than one a week. Soon I was into doing all Permanent Makeup and my nail business I slowly closed. I then increased my permanent makeup services from doing service to include teaching. There was such a high demand of potential students from all over the world, I had more than I could do.
So yes, I believe this is a wonderful business and is well worth adding to your salon services. You may not want to actually do the services but you can bring in a permanent makeup technician that is working on a commission bases and it will help your bottom line.
Early on in this industry
During the infancy of the permanent makeup industry, laws, guidelines, techniques and standards were just forming. Getting an education in this new industry was by practice and watching another individual work. Sharing our info and techniques were limited because there was no social networking to connect to others with the same interests.
If you were interested in learning the permanent makeup business, the only way was to find someone that would provide or teach this service or by attending a variety of different trade shows that "maybe" you might find someone that could you connect with another individual that was providing this same service. This was usually word of mouth. No listings in the phone book Yellow Pages. The category of "Permanent Makeup" was not even in the phone book. Internet was just beginning and no information on permanent makeup could be found. Social networking did not exists. You could visit a tattoo parlor to watch how color was implanted into the skin...but they did not apply permanent makeup.
So how did we learn?
You have to remember years ago there were no permanent makeup schools. So we had to learn thru experience and sharing your findings with others with the same interest.
I had met an individual that was from Vietnam. She shared with me a technique where she used a very sharp piece of sterile glass to implant pigment color into the skin manually. Her common goal was to work on a person's eyebrows to balance them out or help with the shapes. No machine was used. She did her services in Vietnam as a street vendor at the local market. She gradually changed from sharp glass to using needles. A much safer method of applying color into the skin. She taught me how to build needles by using a series of individual needles bonded together at the base in a 45 degree angle and then attached to a bamboo stick. This technique was patterned after Tribal tattooing called Tebori, a technique used by tribesman to mark warriors skin. Tebori style of implant would be to place the needles onto the skin and tap the end of handle with the other hand or stone. This would cause the needle tips to enter the skin, depositing ink under the skin. Repeating the process would implant a more solid color. Our manual method is slightly different from the traditional Tebori method. Instead of tapping the end of the tool to implant ink, we use a gentle rocking motion to the needles. This movement softly snags the skin opening up tiny holes for the pigment to flow into the holes. We call this manual hand technique EZ-Touch. Repeating the process in the exact same place creates a solid line of color. This implanted line mimics the individual hair. We then designed our needles using a thinner (finer grade) diameter needle, so we were able to create a thinner line to more closely represent a individual eyebrow hair. The look we created can be very natural and soft to a more exotic look, depending on the customers desired request. This creative technique of applying permanent makeup can lasts for years.
The manual technique needle movement has evolved to now include "Microblading" where the needles are placed into the handle at a slightly different angle. The change in the angle placement allows for the technician to use a slicing or cutting movement to open up the skin (much like a paper cut) creating a very fine cut into the skin. This line mimics the individual eyebrow hair creating a natural appearance. The pigment rests in this fine cut in the skin. Reproducing the natural hair in the eyebrow.
The term "Microblading" is the process of using a slicing or cutting style technique to applying permanent makeup in eyebrows. Particularly designed to create a natural looking eyebrow by implanting individual brow hairs. It is not a application technique used when creating feathered eyebrows, powdered brows, solid eyebrows, eyeliner, lash enhancement, lip liner or full lip color. The word "Microblading" has become a popular term in the general population to describe any type of permanent makeup. To be clear it is not the same style of application used for other procedures only to recreate the individual hairs in the eyebrow. The individual hairs can also be reproduced by other styles of applying permanent makeup like using the manual hand method or the machine method. The manual technique is a gentle rocking motion of the needle to implant the color pigment. Another method is to use a machine such as a permanent makeup rotary machine, digital machine or a tattoo coil machine. The needle sizes can vary for a specific result. The EZ-Touch manual hand method technique of implant is the gentlest with less damaging to the delicate facial skin. Fast surface healing, less swelling, less pain, great color retention.
I also wanted to learn how to implant color using a machine. So I paid a tattoo artist to teach me how to put together a coil machine and basic instructions of how to use this machine. I practiced taking apart and putting my machine together so I was very comfortable with the process, then moved on to improving my implanting skills by purchasing "pig skin" yes pig skin from a butcher shop so that I had something that closely resembled human skin. Once I was confident it was time to move to the next step of applying it to people. My first applications were keeping a very light hand and not applying to much. So if I was doing a set eyebrows, I only enhanced the natural brow. If it was eyeliner it was only a thin soft natural line. As it turned out the clients loved the experience and the finished result so my business in this industry grew. I changed to using rotary style machines instead of the coil tattoo machine for a more gentle implant and less damage to the delicate skin on the face and the ease of using a rotary machine. Again I found with less damage to the skin the faster the heal time and less swelling with more color retention. I myself could not wait to share with others about this great new industry. In 1995 I started teaching others everything I knew about the business. We have trained thousands of people from all around the world. If they didn't come to us we would go to them. Most everyone was trained individually not in a group setting. Anytime we had a group we had a trainer for each individual student. There were only a very few times where we had a requested group class.
How to choose a school/trainer
Today life is different, you can become a professional permanent makeup artist by attending a school. Permanent makeup schools can be found on the internet and are located in every state and all over the world. Please research the Permanent Makeup schools before deciding on the one you will be attending. Ask the school for their curriculum? What exactly will you be learning in class.
How many days or hours is the class? They should be able to provide you a detailed print-out of the class schedule and what procedures to be learning.
Ask how much hands on experience you will do? And not just be watching the teacher or someone else?
How much time working on models and how much in class room?
If you can find a "One on One" class this is the best. The trainer will be working with just you. You won't have to share her time with any other students. When properly trained a teacher will sit beside you and watch your every move. Not drink coffee and text on their phones. You want them to explain every step and why you need to do what you are doing. During the procedure the trainer should explain the process before, during and after so that you comprehend all the information. And your model will also understand completely how to take care of her new procedure for a perfect result. I advise not to go to a school that requires a non-refundable deposit. I have talked to many people who put deposits down and got nothing for it. If any money is spent before attending a class it should be for a tangible item such as educational material to study before attending your class, so that you have a good knowledge of what is expected of you on the first day of class. Or to pre-purchase your supply kit so your trainer can help you learn about all your items in your new kit and how to use them. Ask for referrals from other students or models that attended the school. Check Yelp or any other social networking sites to find out the feed back. This school should also give you continuing education either by phone, text or email. When ever anyone starts into a new career there will be questions that need to be answered. You want to know you have someone in your corner to help you to solve any problem that may occur. I have seen and talked to many students that can't get in touch with the person that trained them, and start calling anyone to help get them get answers. EZ Permanent Makeup is always happy to talk to you, even if you didn't learn from us. You have questions? We have answers!
Check the government website for your own state laws on tattoo and permanent makeup. More and more states now require a license. Some states you have to attend the class in the state you are going to be working in and have a designated amount of hours of training. Some states you can get your training in another state and have no trouble doing work in your state. Most states require insurance, and insurance providers want to know you have been certified before you start working. So research and do your homework, before spending your hard earned money.
What to look for when choosing your products and supply company
Products can vary depending on the style of permanent makeup technique you want to do. If you want to do just the manual hand method including the microblading technique your supply list is geared towards no machines or machine replacement parts. But you will need all the pigments, topical anesthetics, ink cups, holders, tables, facial beds, lights, etc. If just machine method is what you want to do then the reverse is needed. I find that there is a time and a place for each style of application. And you will want to be prepared to be able to do both. So when looking for a supply company that can provide you with your permanent makeup supplies look for someone that can answer your all questions, provide the items you need, provide effective delivery service all at reasonable prices. Remember this phrase: Price, Quality and Service.
How to prevent mishaps
The number one pitfall that I have come across is that the technician forgets to have the client sign a release form before the procedure. Lay out a procedural guideline for every service and follow it. This includes signing release forms, taking before and after photos, taking time to explain the procedure to the client so they know exactly what to expect. The more they know the better the end result. Answer their questions and it you have a photo album of past clients pull it out so the client can see some of the results.
Second I always say don't let greed get the best of you. When you know that someone is asking an impossible request for a special permanent makeup procedure you don't feel good doing. DON'T DO IT. Every time I have talked to a person that we are trying to solve their problem, it is usually a case when someone talked them into performing a procedure that the technician did not feel comfortable doing but the money was to hard to turn down. It ended up costing more in the long run.
How To Promote yourself in your new business
Today is so much easier to promote yourself and your product. Social Networking is great. If you are not familiar how to use social networking to your benefit then I would suggest attending a class to learn all about it or hire a professional to help get your name out there. Build a website promoting yourself and your work. There are websites that you can build your very own website for free, even if you have no experience, example check out WIX or Weebly. If you are starting out and don't have your own building and don't want to put out the expense, then you might contact salons in your area and speak with the owner asking if they have a space to rent on a percentage basis. example: If you earned $300.00 for a service you preformed in their salon you would pay the salon a percentage (like 30% = $90.00) . A salon would love to have a person that paid $90.00 to the house. The more you do the more the salon makes. You may eventually more onto your own salon, or you may find this works out very nicely for you. Many salons have a facial room not being used on certain days. Ask to rent it on those off days. This will give the salon income on the days their esthetician is off. The facial room is already equipped for you. You would just have to bring your supplies with you in a carrying case. You can find more than one salon to do this exact same thing alternating your work days at different locations. Your overhead will be based clearly on what you earn. If you have no customers, then you pay nothing. You will find the salon owner would like to make money from you so they are going to suggest your services to their clients. Another promotion you can do is to provide a free service to either the owner or one of their busiest and chattiest stylists. So you should provide very good quality permanent makeup service so the stylist will recommend you to all her clients and friends. Promote yourself by always taking the time to make sure your makeup looks good. Everywhere you go people will ask you how your makeup always looks so perfect, and this opens the door to tell them about permanent makeup and how wonderful it is to have it. This is effective at locations you frequent like health clubs, espresso stands, restaurants, stores, sporting events, kids functions. Advertisements in newspapers, local publications, internet ads like on Craigslist or Market Place. Joining groups on Facebook or networking groups in your community where you are constantly socializing with locals in your area.
How to set your prices
Pricing for the service is regional. Best way to set prices for your services in your area is to sit down and call the salons in your vicinity. You could say you are shopping around for a gift for your mother. Ask what price for each service and do they have any specials if you have more than one service done. Don't forget to ask how soon they have an appointment available. If they are booked weeks in advance then note that they are a very busy salon. Are they busy because of the price of the services or is it the quality of the service. Note how you are treated on the phone, are they helpful and friendly. Here is a clever way to set your procedure prices: I would suggest you don't go to low or to high. Lets say you called 5 salons and each price was different, I would then add up each of the different prices and divide the total by 5 (number of salons called) and that would be my price. With this price I would make sure to create a cute and simple gift bag for your new client to take home. It would include aftercare ointment, instructions, homemade ice pack and a nice thank you for your business note along with your business card. Offer incentives to those that recommend you to friend. example: Bring in a friend and get 30% off.
Remember a referral is the best compliment.
If you have more questions please call, email or fill out our contact form. And we will be happy to help you any way we can.