How To Become A Permanent Makeup Artist: The Ultimate Guide 2023

Have you ever wondered or imagined what life would be like if you were to become a permanent makeup artist? If you have answered “yes”, then you’ve come to the right place! 

You will learn the ins and outs of this industry and how you can get started! There are many different paths you can take to become a permanent makeup artist but the most important thing is to find what interests you and then pursue your dream career.

What is Permanent Makeup?

Permanent makeup, also known as micropigmentation, is a type of cosmetic tattoo.

We use modern techniques to create eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips so we can enhance your natural beauty.

Permanent makeup is most commonly done on the face, but it can also be done on other parts of the body such as the scalp or areola. Clients who refer to permanent makeup often feel more confident and may look more youthful!

What Is It Like To Be A Permanent Makeup Artist

Starting this career like any other profession takes dedication, motivation and lots of practice to master your craft. It’s not only a skill set but you have to keep in mind that you are permanently tattooing your clients face so there is absolutely no room for mistakes (although it can occur). It takes a lot of practice to develop the skill set necessary to create beautiful, natural-looking makeup.

The good news is - all your dedication will be paid off with a business that will allow you to have more control of your life. One client can be paid the same pay as a full 40 hour work week! Imagine the opportunity?

Personally, being a permanent makeup artist has given me the flexibility and freedom to raise a family, pick the hours I work, and still live a lifestyle I love. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to put in the effort to start something new.

Get Educated and Certified In Permanent Makeup

Becoming a Permanent Makeup Artist is not as hard as you think, but it does take dedication, hard work, and plenty of patience in the beginning. First, you'll need to get educated. There are many different academies that offer extensive programs in Permanent Makeup, so it's important to research which one is the best fit for you. 

However, not every training program is created equal. Make sure you check the reviews, the trainers, and the trainers work. Just because they are an amazing artist, does not quite mean they are qualified educators. 

Call, or if you can, visit the academy and go with lots of questions! It is normal to have many questions since you will be starting a new career and this is not a cheap course! If the trainer seems annoyed or short tempered, this may be a big red flag because a qualified trainer should be supportive and make you feel comfortable. 

You should pick a trainer that will give you a good foundation. When you have found the trainer that is most fit for you, sign up for their class!

Tools and Supplies For A Permanent Makeup Artist

To create the most realistic results, you will need a range of quality tools and supplies!

Here are some essential items:

  • Pigments: this is crucial. These are the pigments that will be deposited into the skin, so you want to really ensure that these pigments are highly rated by artists and have been out in the market for decades. Check to see if the manufacturer has a website;  a simple Google search can be very helpful. Some reputable companies include: Permablend, LI Pigments, and Beauty Angels.

  • Machines: whether you are manual shading or with a machine, you will need a good quality pen or machine. The needles also play a big role in your artistry (taper, needle diameter, company).

  • Disinfecting Tools: your artistry is important, but hygiene is more! Please make sure you are using hospital grade wipes (Cavi Wipes, Sani Wipes) to disinfect your work station, machine, bed and other things you might have come in contact with. If you feel like you will be touching things often, please make sure you are disposing of your gloves properly and also using barrier tape.

  • Designing Materials: do you need mapping tools? Some of these include: calipers, ruler sticker, string, and high quality pencils, pens or markers!

  • Clean Studio: please make sure your area is welcoming by tidying up! You don’t want your clients to walk into a messy studio which can say a lot about your work ethics. Also it is important you are working at a professional working space. You cannot perform permanent makeup at your home, and in our state of New Jersey it is illegal to rent a chair, or work at a nail salon, barbershop and/or hair salon. Don't worry though, it is not as hard as you think to find a place. There are many places that will rent studios to permanent makeup artists without a long term lease.

Practice, Practice, Practice Your Permanent Makeup Skills

If you want to become a permanent makeup artist, the key to success is practicing! Like anything else in life, practice makes perfect and this industry is no different. Some people might think this is easy money but it will only come to you if you can master your craft. There are no shortcuts when it comes to permanent makeup!

What I’m trying to say is.. don't be surprised if you find yourself sitting for hours drawing hundreds of eyebrows! The more time you invest, the better your results will be. Hard work ALWAYS pays off and the more you practice, you will shorten your actual service time which means you can take another client!

Market Yourself As a Permanent Makeup Artist

Now comes one of the most important, seemingly difficult, but worth it steps. Once you're ready to take on clients, it is time to market yourself. Now this may sound challenging, but it is easier than you think!

The first thing you need to do is create a name for your new business. With that, you can now create your various social media accounts, website and start to run ads! You can also reach out to friends and family to see if they can send you over referrals. 

When I started out, I needed photos for my online portfolio so I shared a post on my Facebook stating that I will do 10 free eyebrow models and after that started gradually increasing my prices. (Free -> $100 -> $250 -> $350)

In today's world, social media is very important and will be where you communicate with your current and potential clients. The best part is that  it is free! You can grow organically as long as you're willing to put yourself out there.

Eventually, you will need to create a website to help make you look more professional. People like to visit some place with more information and perhaps to see who you are as an artist. 

Lastly, you will need to start running online ads. It is the best way to grow in a predictable manner. Once you can figure out an ad system that works, you can turn $1 into $10.


How To Become A Permanent Makeup Artist in New Jersey

New Jersey may be few of the strictest places to work legally as a permanent makeup artist.

Here in our state, you must first complete the 100 Hour Fundamentals Course that is approved by the American Academy of Micropigmentation (AAM) or Society of Professional Cosmetics Practitioners (SPCP) by an accredited trainer or an academy, so please make sure you do your research before registering! 

During the course, you will be learning all about what micropigmentation is which includes an extensive amount of theory (skin anatomy, muscles, color theory, Fitzpatrick scale, undertones, machines, needles, history of PMU, contraindications, bloodborne pathogens, topical anesthetics and much more), and will be working hands on while doing 6 procedures which includes: 2 eyebrows, 2 eyeliners and 2 lip tattoos

After you are finished with the course, you will also be required to take an Apprenticeship Course which will require you to work on 9 additional procedures (3 eyebrows, 3 eyeliners and 3 lip tattoos) all performed directly under a supervisor. 

Here at Hudson Beauty Bar, we are a Platinum Trainer with the AAM, and also a Trainer Member with the SPCP! If you are looking for an upbeat, energetic, fun but yet knowledge packed academy in New Jersey, look no further. Visit our training page for more information (Linked to Fundamental Course)

In essence, becoming a permanent makeup artist can be a lucrative and exciting career choice! With hard work and dedication, you can live the life you have always wanted. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to take the leap of faith!

Have questions? Feel free to fill out the from at the bottom of the page.

If you have ever thought about becoming a permanent makeup artist yourself please visit our training site here to learn more!

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