Tips For Choosing a Permanent Makeup Technician

If you are one of the many women who want to stop wasting so much time in the morning putting on their makeup or maybe you've gotten to the age where shaky hands have resulted in it becoming too hard to apply your own makeup then you should consider getting permanent makeup from a skilled and qualified technician.

Seeing as the field of permanent cosmetics has varying levels of regulation by state and getting a tattoo on your face isn't something to take lightly, you want to make sure you choose the right permanent cosmetic technician...

The American Institute of Permanent Beauty & Rejuvenation (AIPBR)

Things to Consider When Choosing a Permanent Makeup Technician:


The permanent makeup technician you hire should meet all the training and license requirements of your state. Each state has different requirements that a technician must fulfill in order to be allowed to perform permanent cosmetics procedures. In some states, the license for permanent cosmetics falls under the broader license regulations for tattooers.

Ideally, you'll want to seek out a permanent makeup technician that has gone above and beyond the state's minimum requirements and sought further education from one or more of the leading training institutes. Additional certificates can be earned that enables the technician to further specialize in specific procedures or techniques and shows they have the competence to perform at the highest levels. 

Permanent Makeup Licensing in Michigan

Public Act 375, which was enacted in December of 2010, indicates that individuals shall not tattoo, brand, microblade, or perform body piercing on another individual unless that tattooing, branding, microblading, or body piercing occurs at a body art facility licensed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).  
Owners or operators of body art facilities will be required to apply for a body art facility license through MDHHS. NOTE: Individual artists are not licensed by MDHHS only the facility where the procedures are done must be. 

There are three organizations in the country that govern the field of permanent cosmetics the AAM, SPCP, and the AIIC. Each organization provides board certifications to technicians and promotes appropriate legislation for the industry.

The American Academy of Micropigmentation (AAM) 

The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP)

The American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics (AIIC)

Each one of these organizations provides technicians with continuing education, testing, and certification. Once technicians get their basic training and are in business for a while they can join any of these organizations. To get their credentials they must pass written tests, practical testing, and depending on their level of membership must be in business for a certain number of years, then they can become certified through these organizations.

Kendra Bray of Better Brows & Beauty tells Bustle. "Permanent makeup, semi-permanent makeup, cosmetic tattooing, [and] micropigmentation are all names for the same thing — implementing pigment into the papillary layer of the dermis (skin)," Bray says. "The confusion comes into play when artists use different names for essentially the same treatments.
Regulations [for these type of procedures] in the U.S. vary from state to state and, of course, regulations vary from country to country.

"According to Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa magazine, a trade publication for estheticians and spa owners, traditional training for micropigmentation or permanent makeup (this includes microblading) generally should include at least 100 hours of curriculum and procedures taught by certified instructor from either the American Academy of Micropigmentation (AAM) or the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP). Instructors should require students to have a state-approved Blood Borne Pathogen certificate. 

When it comes to specific state regulations, though, the details vary. For example, in New York, there was no statewide regulation for permanent makeup as of January 2017, according to the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, although the New York Department of Health website does list a permanent makeup fact sheet and guide to resources on its website. In San Francisco, California, however, the Department of Public Health states that one must obtain a Body Art license if they are offering services of tattooing, body piercing, and/or permanent cosmetics.



Price is definitely a factor that you should consider when choosing a permanent makeup technician. The average cost of permanent makeup procedures can range between $400-$800. If the technician you are considering is lower than that it should send up some red flags. 

It may be tempting to go with the cheapest option you can find or chase the latest Groupon deal but often times the prices are lower due to the technician not using the proper sterilization techniques or using cheap equipment. This can also be an indication of a lack of experience.

Going the cheaper route will often time be more expensive in the long run when a botched procedure can lead to you having to spend even more money having a more qualified technician fix their previous one's mistakes. 

Additionally, the price of your procedure should include the cost of over-the-counter anesthetics which are used to minimize any discomfort associated with the procedure. 

You will also want to ensure that the price of the procedure includes the cost of at least one follow-up visit. In most cases, you will need to return to your technician to perfect the look after the initial procedure no matter how skilled they are. 

Work Enviroment

You'll want to make sure that the environment the procedure is to be performed in meets the safety requirements for hygiene and physical cleanliness set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These include:

  • Both hot and cold running water in more rooms than just the restroom
  • Performed in a private room especially for permanent makeup procedures
  • No contaminates in the room that may be able to circulate in the air. (e.g. acrylic nail dust)

Additionally, you'll want to ensure:

  • The technician is clean and neat in appearance
  • New gloves are put on before the procedure
  • New sheets are put on the chair before each client
  • Nails should be clean and short
  • Technician uses sterilized equipment
  • New needles for every single client


And lastly, of course, you will want to take a look at their portfolio. The portfolio should include both "before" and "after" photos of the procedures they've done. Ideally, the "after" photos should be after the healing process has completed as the appearance of the work will change over time during the healing process. 

Does your technician have an eye for symmetry, detail, and use of color?

Are the results in their "after" photos similar to what you are looking for? If not it may be worth looking elsewhere. 

Do they have testimonials they can provide you? If they do you should be mindful that no one is going to hand you negative testimonials so you should also take some time to read their reviews on Google, Facebook or Yelp.

Do they have mostly positive, detailed reviews? Negative reviews are often hard if not impossible to remove from your listing but keep in mind that sometimes people post reviews by mistake and are not even relevant to that business. Do they respond to their reviewers? 

You may even want to reach out and talk to some of their previous clients to see what their experience was like. 

As you can see there is a lot to consider when choosing the right permanent cosmetic technician for you as there is a lot at stake, it's not just your looks but also your health. 

"Getting permanent makeup doesn't have to be scary.

As long as you do your research and find a qualified permanent makeup technician." - Karin Downes

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Karin Downes is one of the most highly trained technicians in the industry.

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Karin Downes is the founder of The American Institute of Permanent Beauty & Rejuvenation and is Michigan's only board-certified fellow of the American Academy of Micro-pigmentation, AIIC Master, Certified Trainer, and Para-medically Certified.




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