How to Become a Permanent Makeup Artist

Anyone that has ever had to fuss and muss with makeup day in and day out knows what a chore it can be. This is where the permanent makeup artist comes in. Most women have to reapply their makeup at least once a day, often more. With permanent makeup these women are freed from the necessity of constant application. If you become a permanent makeup artist you will be doing a great service. You’ll not only be helping women feel better about their appearance but you will be freeing up hours of their lives each week. The service you will be performing is nearly priceless since you will be giving them more time for themselves and their families.

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Permanent Makeup Schools

To become a permanent makeup artist you should possess a natural inclination for balance and esthetics, an interest and excitement for the latest trends in the fashion and beauty industry, and of course, an interest in permanent makeup. Permanent makeup is a fantastic field to enter as it is currently gaining in popularity. The women that are generally drawn to permanent makeup are the ones that feel they would like to look a certain way all of the time. Perhaps they want permanent lipstick, eyebrows, or eyeliner. Permanent makeup was first introduced nearly 30 years ago but it is truly in its heyday now.

What is a permanent makeup artist?

A permanent makeup artist is a unique area of cosmetology. In this profession you will be tattooing makeup onto your clients in a way that defines and/or enhances their natural facial features. You will consult with your customers to discuss their wants and desires and in most cases you will be able to use your expertise to advise them on what would be best for them.

While working as a permanent makeup artist you might also hear people refer to you as a tattoo makeup artist. They are the same thing. You will be tattooing specific facial and other body features in order to achieve the look of cosmetics. You might also have the opportunity to work with individuals that want you to tattoo areas to improve imperfections such as scars, burns, breast work for women that have had reconstructive surgery or mastectomies, and any number of other areas.

Some of the most popular permanent makeup services will include:
• Eyebrow enhancement
• Eyeliner
• Lip color including full lips or liner
• Nipple and/or areola pigment
• Scar minimization through re-pigmentation and camouflaging techniques
• Tattoo lightening
• Eye shadow
• Blush

Permanent Makeup Artistry – Origins and Beginnings:

The history of permanent makeup dates back to the 1980’s. Throughout the years it has had a variety of names including permanent cosmetics, derma-pigmentation, micro-pigmentation, tattoo makeup artist, and permanent makeup artist. Permanent makeup has remained similar since it began and still involves tattooing in a fashion that inserts colors pigmentation into an individual’s skin so as to create the appearance of makeup. There are a number of devices that will be used including the same tattoo coil machine guns that other tattooists use, pen and/or rotary machines, and other hand devices. Similarly to the 1980’s, women just want to look their very best and you will be helping them to achieve their favorite look. While in most cases your clientele will be women, it is not unheard of for some men to seek treatments as well.

Who usually does permanent makeup?

This may seem like a fairly straightforward question but in reality it gets a little complicated. There are a number of professions that work well with additional training in permanent makeup. As much as 37 perfect of permanent makeup artists also work as licensed cosmetologists. Estheticians make up 30 percent, and as unusual as it seems, 18 percent are nail technicians. Conveniently 12 percent work as regular traditional tattoo artists. As you can see there are a number of avenues available to you. You can also just work as a permanent makeup artist though you may find yourself working on a more part time basis. If you round out your work as a permanent makeup artist with other areas in the beauty profession you will not only be more versatile and sought after but you will find work easier overall.

How do I become a permanent makeup artist?

To become a permanent makeup artist you will need to research the requirements for your state. There is no set national requirement so you will need to know what is required for where you plan to work. In most cases you will need to become licensed with at least one of the following: your local cosmetology board, the department of health, or the tattooing board. You may also find that your state has chosen to leave particular regulations and licensing to the particular county you will be practicing in, or even the particular city so it is important to do your research.

The particular requirements for attaining your license can also vary depending on where you will be working. As an example, if you wish to pursue becoming a permanent makeup artist in Rhode Island you will not only need to have a cosmetology license but you will also have to hold a tattoo license. However, if you wish to practice in Nevada you will only need to complete a 6 month apprenticeship in order to qualify for your license with their state cosmetology board. In other states you may find that you need to complete a full program of at least 1500 hours, or others only 380. As you can see requirements can be quite simple, or rather difficult. You shouldn’t let these requirements detour you, they simple mean that you need to make sure you are on the right track for where you want to work.

Keep in mind that no matter what the licensing requirements for your area might be, nearly all states have a requirement that you complete a training program or other formal education that encompasses the study of health and safety protocols. These protocols will include education on blood borne pathogens. As a permanent makeup artist you will come in contact with blood so it is imperative to know proper cleaning techniques. This will not only keep you safe but will ensure that your current and future customers remain safe and healthy as well.

Some other minimal requirements to become a permanent makeup artist could include certain testing such as for hepatitis or other communicable diseases and first aid with CPR training.

What kind of courses can I expect from training?

In the very least your training should include some, if not all, of the following courses:

• Anatomy, particularly of the skin and skin types
• Disease and blood borne pathogen training
• Anesthetics and preparation of the skin
• Color theory to help guide customers with their choices
• Technical machine and needle selection including operation
• Additions and removal of blemishes and beauty marks
• Aftercare
• Training in the application of the permanent cosmetics

If you are truly serious about becoming a permanent makeup artist you may wish to enter a specialized program that focuses on tattoo makeup. Through these specialized programs you will gain a greater depth of knowledge and will come out a better artist. Better artistry is good for both you and your clients. In the beauty industry word of mouth can be invaluable and the happier your customers are the more likely they are to refer their friends. You will also come away with more confidence and self-assuredness knowing that you are highly skilled and will make your customers proud.
You can often take further specialized courses through these programs if you are interested in medical micro-pigmentation, tattoo alteration or removal, and medical tattooing. The more you know the better you will be able to serve your customers and employer.

Upon completion of your training you will most likely have to take and pass an exam. The questions asked during the exam will demonstrate your skills and knowledge. You will want to make sure you select a school that you feel confident in. No one wants to go through training only to find out that they did not learn the necessary skills. Pick a school with a good reputation so that you can pass your test with flying colors. Once you pass the test you will be licensed and can begin your job search.

You may find work in a variety of environments including beauty salons, medical offices, or even self-employment. Many permanent makeup artists choose self-employment as it allows them to work by their own schedule. This can be beneficial when working with your customers as you can alter your schedule to suit their needs. As nice as self-employment may be, you might want to work in a salon setting for a while until you get your bearings and some true hands on experience. The experience you gain you will be able to bring with you to your own business.

Choosing to become a permanent makeup artist can feel like a big leap but if you are passionate about the field you will be doing yourself and your customers a great service.

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