The art of permanent makeup

As we in the beauty industry are well aware, the public dictates the popularity of a treatment and there is no question that women have embraced the idea of having their facial features enhanced with long-lasting cosmetic make-up. I am finding the demand for treatments is overwhelming and would invite therapists to consider introducing micro-pigmentation to their clients as there are many advantages. Clinic income can be increased because you can earn more in an hour and a half doing an eyebrow tattoo than you can from a leg wax or a manicure. And, your clients become walking billboards for your service. The main advantages for your clients are money, time and convenience. The cost of buying make-up is greatly reduced, which is one of the reasons they love long-lasting make-up. Even though they may need to have touch-up treatments every two to five years, it is still worth the investment. Not having to put on make-up every day saves valuable time in a busy woman’s life. Properly tattooed make-up looks very soft and natural to the extent that no one should be able to see that the brows, for example, have been tattooed on. Skills required The skills required for the successful practitioner are patience, the ability to listen, a good eye for balance and a steady hand. You must also be a good communicator. As beauty therapists, we develop these skills over years of practice in a demanding industry. Beauty therapists also have the level of knowledge required to understand the skin and dermatology. Every year, the interest in the treatment of micro-pigmentation grows so we need more practitioners to meet the demand. From the age of 35 brow hair growth starts to slow, so brows become finer, with less hair, especially on the tail ends, and sometimes even bare patches appear. As ageing progresses, the hair and skin tones lighten, ageing a face. Re-pigmentation of facial features gives a tremendous boost to a woman’s confidence and the added colour gives back her attractive glow, taking years off her face. Alopecia sufferers, especially, are delighted to receive brows and eyeliner, as are those who have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Women who wear glasses love the convenience of cosmetic tattooing, as do others who have eyesight problems. As well as the visually impaired, the physically impaired also are grateful for this treatment. Applications range from lip-lining, full lip creation, eyebrows, eye-lining to medical procedures such as the covering of scars or areola re-pigmentation. The range of available pigment colours is extensive. Pigments are implanted into the dermal layer of the skin using special tools. The equipment required for micro-pigmentation treatments have changed greatly during my 22 years in the industry. Gone are the bamboo rods with needles poked into the ends and bound up with cotton, replaced by today’s digital machines. The quality and safety of the pigments is important and critical ingredients have been banned. Most manufacturers follow the strict guidelines of the FDA and bodies governing cosmetic standards and good manufacturing practice. However, there are pigments in the marketplace that are not up to the required standard, so care must be taken especially when purchasing via the Internet. Generally, five days training is needed for all facial procedures and it is important to train with an experienced instructor. The instructor needs to be able to give you a certificate, must have a manual and be an importer of products so you know you are getting the best available equipment and not purchasing from an unknown source. It takes about three years to become proficient at facial work, and you will not become experienced unless you are constantly treating clients. While it may be cheaper to have a friend who has just been trained show you how to do the procedures, you will be short-changed by their lack of experience, not having a manual or the best equipment available. Years of practice Another advantage of proper training is learning colour technology. It takes years of practice to learn to recognise skin undertone and be able to make the correct colour choice for your client. It is necessary to learn about the ingredients in the pigments, how they fade and why they fade out to a different colour over time and how that can be prevented or corrected. Also, it is necessary to learn about allergies that may occur and the different reactions to the various products used. Micro-pigmentation treatments require high levels of concentration and there is a lot to consider during the procedure. Accuracy and attention to detail are vital as the pigment cannot be wiped off so you can start again. However, it is very satisfying and worth the effort. Those who enjoy a challenge love cosmetic tattooing.

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