How to Choose the Right Permanent Makeup Artist
If you are looking for a permanent makeup procedure today the chances of getting a bad experience and being exposed to health risks are higher than finding a pro and getting a high-quality treatment. The combination of artists accepting clients that are not good candidates and the extremely high volume of new artists entering the industry after getting only 2-3-day training courses with limited education, or worse, no training, is contributing to a dramatic upswing in microblading horror stories.
Now more than ever, clients should be hyper-vigilant when selecting a microblading artist.
If you are looking for a permanent makeup procedure and you want to limit your exposure to health risks and increase the chances of a great outcome then below is a guide for how to find a high-quality artist. This is not suggested best practices or nice to haves… this is the absolute bare minimum requirements. If anything is missing from the list (and you like your skin attached to your face) - DO NOT BOOK a procedure.
1. Book a consultation and site inspection
Instead of relying on Instagram or website reviews, take the time to pick up the phone and call the artist and book a consultation. This is particularly important if the artist is not a direct referral. The consultation will give the artist a chance to understand your needs, assess your skin condition and provide answers to your specific questions. Plus, you’ll be able to do a site inspection at the same time to view the working conditions. Look for an environment that is tidy, well-lit, and sanitary. An unsanitary environment is a huge red flag when someone is making incisions into your skin.
2. Tools and equipment inspection
It is essential that all permanent makeup needles the artist uses are sterilized. This is usually a basic requirement of the local governing body. Sterilization markings should be indicated on the packaging. Subpar blades that may cause your skin harm can be bought online but contain no markings, so this is very important to watch for. No sterilization markings being a big red flag.
Make sure the artist mentions sterilization or educates all clients on their process for ensuring sterilized blades, needles and handles. You should also see a sharps container and watch that used tools be deposited into the sharps container. The SPCP advises that one-time use disposable tools are the safest for both the artist and client and reduces the risk of cross-contamination in the work area. You should also watch that the artists uses a new tool for every procedure and that she/he opens a new package. Unfortunately, a lot of artists re-use their handles and in some cases even re-use needles.
3. Copy of training certificates
Before booking an appointment or sitting in an artist’s chair, make sure they display their training certifications and any other permanent makeup courses they've taken, either in person or online. If you're unsure and don’t see this information displayed anywhere, ask the artist if you can see their credentials. Due to the recent surge in popularity of microblading and the lack of regulation for training, there are so many new artists out there who have not been properly trained, which highly increase the chances of client complications with the procedure.
4. Blood-borne pathogen completion course
You may need to do some digging and research for this one, but when someone is going to perform any type of permanent makeup procedure like this, it’s important to do your research and ensure that your artist is well-educated. If the artist has completed this necessary course, they shouldn't have a problem presenting it to you.
5. Seeing Previous Work
At the end of the day, even permanent makeup artists who are certified and use sterile needles may still be new to the industry. Make sure to always do your research on the artist’s previous work and read any and all reviews on the experience, before & after results, and interaction with the artist.
You may think this one is obvious. Ensuring that an artist is wearing gloves throughout your procedure is a given. But it’s critical that those gloves that are touching the open wounds on your face haven't been contaminated by touching reusable objects in the procedure room such as lights, mirrors, phones, or worse yet - by another client. Permanent makeup artists that are educated in the transmission of blood-borne pathogens understand and are acutely aware of not touching non-disposable items with contaminated gloves. The tiny cuts that are made on during your procedure are very susceptible to infection. If an artist is seen not taking proper precautions, think twice before booking your appointment with them.
7. Disposable Environment
Does the artist live in a disposable universe? Do they dispose of all microblades, handles, needles, gloves, and everything else that may be contaminated immediately after they no longer need them? Well-educated and professional artists will dispose of all needles INCLUDING handles to reduce the risk of transmitting disease or infection. Beware of artists that re-uses handles in order to save a few bucks. This is a widespread issue. Companies that sell handles and needles typically sell 25 needles for every handle.
8. Aftercare and Follow-up Appointment
During your consultation, it is good to take note of what the artist’s typical protocol is for aftercare, and follow-ups. Does the artist give you an ointment and send you on your way? Or do they take the time to sit down and explain aftercare, and why it’s important.
9. Do You Qualify for the Procedure
Not everyone is a good candidate for a microblading procedure. Reasons for this can vary depending on your skin type or medical conditions you may have, including medications or supplements you may be taking. A good technician will ask for and review your medical history to assure you the best appearance, healing and health for your procedure. Both clients and artists have a responsibility to research prior to any procedure so that they both understand that results may not be optimal.
10. Business License, Annual Health Inspection Report, Insurance
As a client looking to have a procedure like this done, it’s your responsibility to do your research on artists in your area. Insurance is a very important aspect to follow through on. A technician who has insurance is one who will assure that all health standards and health codes and your end results are protected. Those practicing without it are taking chances with your well-being. If you have determined that the artist and their space meets the standards listed above, there is no reason that your permanent makeup procedure can’t be an amazing experience that adds convenience and self-confidence to your life. If you are diligent enough to ensure that artists are well trained, and are following best-practices, the chances of your procedure going smoothly and successfully will increase, leaving you with awesome results that you love!
Expert Services by Teresa LLC adheres to all of the above standards and assurances. Teresa is trained both in Permanent Makeup and Paramedical Tattoos, has taken courses and received her Certificate for Blood Born Pathogens, is Licensed and Insured and uses only disposable sterilized tools while wearing Nitrile protective gloves. So please see the precare and after care forms on her website, examine her before and after photographs, and feel comfortable in booking your consultation and/or permanent makeup appointment.