Choosing a Permanent Cosmetic Artist Based on Price

Contributed by an SPCP Member

Many people are price conscious when purchasing anything from groceries to homes. It’s normally prudent to be so. After all, why spend money you don’t have to? Competition is good; it keeps services from being available to only those in a particular income bracket. On the other hand, there are certain aspects of doing business that are more costly than others and that also supports many product prices. The lowest price is not always the same quality, or provided under the same controlled conditions as a price that has legal requirements, and/or health and safety elements factored in.

When looking for a permanent cosmetic artist, the consumer has a greater bit of homework to do than, for instance, looking at several dealers who offer the same automobile. This is your appearance, and some artist’s work will appeal to what you may be interested in more than others. You will also want to feel comfortable and assured that your health is not at risk. Needles and cross contamination of products and body fluids spread diseases if not handled in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or similar Bloodborne Pathogens mandates.

From a legislative perspective, the general public has come to assume or depend on the government to require licensing or permitting (this language will vary per locale) for almost all consumer services. That is not necessarily a good position to take. There are many places that do indeed legislate permanent cosmetics, but some do so only from a health and safety perspective; technical training is not called out as a requirement in the law. While a few regions have legislation that include a technical training program curriculum, others do not. In other words, “Assume nothing”.

As an example of inconsistencies, the latest Microblading technique that has enjoyed widespread media exposure (Television, magazines, social media), many regions have not included Microblading in the language of their tattooing and permanent cosmetic laws. As a result, a person with literally no or little training (two-day classes are advertised frequently) can legally, in the absence of legislative language that includes Microblading, offer services under conditions not consistent with the requirements of traditional tattoo and non-Microblading permanent cosmetic artists in the same locale. One would wonder why? Good question, and this same question would apply to any region where permanent cosmetics are offered without legal oversight, regardless of the technique.

All tattooing compromises the skin by pricking it with a needle grouping to deposit pigment. So why not legally recognize Microblading as tattooing? Words such as semi-permanent, temporary, not as deep, not a tattoo, etc., all of which are confusing to the general public, have thrown some lawmakers off their game, so to speak. Currently, there are efforts to enlighten legislators who make these legal decisions, but the process is slow.

How does all this affect the average person looking for permanent cosmetic services? The price of the service, although important, should be secondary to other more important issues. The following is a list of considerations:

  1. If your municipality has laws pertaining to permanent cosmetics, does the artist have evidence of compliance?
  2. After scheduling a consultation with the artist:
    1. Does she or he share your vision of what you expect from the service?
    2. Were you able to effectively communicate with the artist?
    3. Does the artist’s makeup appear nice to you?
    4. Was the studio where the procedure will be conducted clean and esthetically pleasing?
    5. Were you offered a form to review your medical profile to ensure you are a good candidate for the service?
    6. Were you offered an informed consent form detailing out the service, the prices, the number of appointments that charge includes, and any possible side effects, and what to do in case of a medical problem?
    7. During the consultation were you offered a review of the artist’s portfolio to determine how their work appears immediately after the procedure and then after healing?

Pricing of any product or service on the market is often overhead-driven, and for a service offering, it is definitely price supported by a time-based consideration. Consider beginning with the SPCP Industry Study Vision 2015 for a general idea of what professionals have responded to what they are charging for different services. This is a good place to start.

Prices will indeed, as they should and do for all products and services, vary from artist to artist and from location to location. Some work in a medical office and commissions may be required. Some artists have lower, and some have higher, overhead expenses. Some artists have extensive fundamental and continuing educational costs.

What the consumer should consider is 1. Can I afford a well-trained artist who meets legislative oversight mandates, and one I feel comfortable will meet my expectations? 2. If I look to doing business with a person who either has no location mandates for their service, and who has little or no training evidence (typically in the form of certificates of training documents), am I at risk for not having my expectations met, or worse, risking a resulting health condition? 3. What are the ramifications of and options for poor permanent cosmetic work?

Much like everything in life, good decisions are required to expect good results. Most importantly when it comes to permanent cosmetics, the consumer should factor in a “no regrets” accommodation and be insightful and reasonable when choosing an artist for their work.

Under the right conditions, permanent cosmetics are the best thing a person could decide to do for themselves. Under the wrong conditions, the opposite is true.