Not just anybody can pick up a tattoo machine and do permanent make up. Most states have no regulations covering permanent make up, and yes, anyone with a PayPal account can go online and buy a starter kit, but that’s where the trouble begins. It’s also why a news report once dubbed the International Institute of Permanent Cosmetics (IIPC) “The Repair Center” of Orange County, California.
“We’re so excited when a ‘virgin’ comes in, but it’s few and far between. Ninety-five percent of our work is corrections, repairs and lightning; that’s just become the nature of the industry, says Susan Church, IIPC founder and Director of Education, and former board member of the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals.
Since its inception in 1990 the IIPC has been considered the trailblazer and leader in the permanent cosmetic make up industry. Their mission is not only to fix mistakes, but also to teach the skills and knowledge it takes to be successful in the industry.
With pre-study and in class hours combined students receive 135 hours of instruction in the fundamentals of permanent cosmetic make up covering: Eyebrow Hair Simulation, Lash Enhancement, Eyeliner, Beauty Marks and Lip Liner, as well as how to execute these procedures using all four modalities – the digital machine, the coil machine, the rotary machine and a hand tool method.
Many of Church’s students are traditional tattoo artists. Because they already know how to use a tattoo machine, understand needle groupings and how to get the pigment into the skin, and to perform sterilization procedures, as well as holding certification in blood-borne pathogens, Church offers them an abbreviated course of study.
‘If a person is already a really good tattoo artist, it isn’t hard for them to learn to do this service, “Church says.
Permanent cosmetics, also known as cosmetic tattooing, micro – pigmentation and permanent makeup is a procedure in which pigment, not ink, is applied into the dermis, or middle layer of the skin. In the world of beauty, permanent cosmetics, is used to enhance the shape, and color of eyebrows, eyeliner and lips. The techniques are also used for Scar Camouflage, Areola Restoration, Hairline Enhancement and to cover age spots, and uneven skin discolorations.
Robin Soles, owner of Indian Ink Tattoos, in Jackson Missouri, has been tattooing for 10 years, specializing in coverups and permanent makeup. Where once her permanent makeup clientele were cancer patients and seniors in their golden years, they are now also young women, professionals and busy moms wanting to simply look their best without any hassle.
“We live in a fast – paced society,’ Soles says, “And what’s easiest is what people want. “
Souls background in tattooing techniques, such as shading and color blending, give her a definite advantage over the typical salon or surgical practice where the procedures are done by technicians rather than buy an accomplished artist.
“When I first learned, I was the only person in the class who was a tattoo artist, so I spent the first week watching other people figure out how to use a tattoo machine,” she says. “What sets me apart is that since I’ve done tattooing, I know skin and the aspects of dealing with it such as when to back off and thinner areas.”
“Does it make it easy? Not so much,” she adds.
“Part of the reason that I’ve done so well is that I also have a lot of knowledge about make up in general from my mom and seven sisters, two of whom were models.”
For those tattooers who think permanent cosmetics isn’t going to satisfy their creative spirit, soul says, “That might be true, but it really does create an artistic challenge. A medical professional may know science, but that does not make them qualified to perform artistic work on a person’s face. Permanent cosmetics involves a great deal of artistry and understanding of color theory.”
“You’re blending colors to match your hair color and skin tone. You definitely need to be an artist to draw the brows to match the curvature of the face,” she says, “you don’t want every client walking out with the same shape eyebrows when they all have different shaped faces.”
Few of those who come to Soles for permanent cosmetics have ever set foot in a tattoo shop. Indian Ink is an artsy shop rather than a scary place filled with skulls and raunchy music. This obviously helps the uninitiated to feel more comfortable. “I do baby them a little bit more than my tattoo people,” Sole says.
“You really need to make your shop a welcome place,” she ads, “or you will lose the permanent makeup clientele – and it’s HUGE.”
To learn more about permanent cosmetics visit the International Institute of Permanent Cosmetics.
www.PermanentMakeUpSchool.org not only offers and educational training, but is also a place you can find quality supplies, www.PermanentMakeUpProducts.com color guides and a library of Susan Church‘s articles and tips.🌟✨