Is a Permanent Cosmetics Career for Me?

Beginners: Please read our warning!!
Also see our “Intro to Permanent Cosmetics Careers” Presentation Online!

The field of Permanent Cosmetics is an exciting and growing industry. Electrologists, estheticians, nurses, tattoo artists, cosmetologists and physicians are among the diverse group who have added this specialty to their portfolio of services.

Visit our Trainer page for a list of SPCP Member Trainers

As is often the case with a rapidly growing field, there are a wide range of options for training. These options need to be closely reviewed as this can be an expensive investment in your future. Success in this industry is directly related to the quality and amount of training you receive.

The easiest form of training to find is a two-day school. But you simply cannot learn this skill to any extent in only two days. The best way to learn is from someone who will train you privately or perhaps with only one other person in the class. This form of training may last one week, one month or even six months to a year. (Traditional tattooists spend one to two years in apprenticeship before doing independent work on body tattoos. Consider how long you would like someone to study before they perform work on your face.)

The longer classes may be harder to locate but Permanent Cosmetic training facilities are emerging. Also check with vocational colleges to see if this field is included in their curriculum. Each course of study may have its drawbacks so do your homework before you sign up.

Beginning courses should only teach you how to do eyeliner, eyebrows and lip liner blend. If they claim you can do full lip color, camouflage and/or skin repigmentation, steer clear of them. These are advanced procedures and teachers who include them in a beginners level are not keeping up with the current developments in the field.

Inquire as to how many students are going to be in the class. All classes must include hands-on training with live models. If there is more than one student per trainer for hands-on work, you will not get the individual attention you need to learn these procedures effectively. Four procedures on live models should be the absolute minimum offered.

How long have the instructors been in the industry? How many procedures have they done? Ask to see their portfolio. Some people feel they can train on all levels after only two or three years in the industry. This is just not so.

Talk to someone else who has taken training from them. How much continuing education have the trainers taken? Look for certificates. Any good instructor should be attending continuing education courses at least once a year. This industry is advancing so rapidly that if a trainer is not keeping current, they are not someone who can teach you the latest advances and techniques. Look for a combination of work experience and continuing education.

There is no one preferable background for your trainer. Whatever their background look for a curriculum that includes skin structure, makeup artistry, sterilization, health considerations, equipment operation and maintenance, needles, autoclaves, pigment selection and color blending. Client forms, pre and post-procedure care, chart notes, consent forms, documenting with photography, and lists of suppliers of equipment and pigments should all be included. There are many of these that are good resources.

There are three types of Permanent Makeup devices available on the market place: 1. The traditional coil/tattoo machine; 2. The rotary/pen machine; 3. The non-machine/hand method. There are strengths and weaknesses to each method. It is desirable to become familiar with all of them. Which ever system you choose to begin with, be absolutely certain the unit can be heat sterilized or the entire barrel is fully disposable. Cold sterilization is no longer acceptable and following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, some states have already outlawed any system that is not disposable or heat sterilized.

Also find out what continuing support you will receive to answer the ongoing questions that are bound to arise. Can you come back to work with the trainer if you have a problem? Is there someone you can call for help?

For advanced procedures such as lip color, cheek blush or camouflage you will need to find an instructor who is qualified in those advanced procedures and who has certificates of continuing education for every year.

Visit our Trainer page for a list of SPCP Member Trainers