The eyebrows frame the face and give us extra definition, symmetry and an extra boost without needing to wear much makeup. For those of us who know what a difference having great eyebrows makes, we understand how important it is to find a really great brow stylist. This is particularly true if you are considering semi-permanent makeup (cosmetic tattoo), which is currently a very popular procedure.
Recently I had a beauty editor ask me what advice I would give to someone who is looking for a stylist to do permanent makeup eyebrow tattoos. What should you look out for? What is important to ask before you go ahead with a procedure? I came up with this list of 8 points and I thought I would share them with you here.
How much experience does the stylist have? It’s critical when choosing your semi-permanent makeup specialist that your practitioner be an expert in natural eyebrow shape and design. If they do not have extensive experience and talent with natural eyebrow shaping, they will not be able to give you excellent results with permanent makeup.
Does the stylist have an artistic eye for detail? With eyebrow shaping of any kind it is important that the practitioner / technician be very familiar with different face shapes and be able to choose styles of eyebrows that are going to suit that particular face. Any design work with shape requires this level of artistry, which comes with both experience and simply having that eye for detail and style–something that is not easily taught (but not impossible).
Does the stylist offer design consultations? When you are having an initial consultation, which I think is very important before work commences, make sure your practitioner draws the eyebrows in first. That way you can see how they will look on your face and make adjustments until you are happy with that look. It’s important to see how the eyebrow design works with your overall style, not just on paper, before any cosmetic tattooing begins.
Does the stylist shape brows in stages? I prefer to do eyebrows in stages, but not all practitioners offer this level of service. I think creating the perfect look can take time, as our ideas of what we like and what suits us also changes with time as we get used to the new shape or color. Ask your practitioner if they offer the work in stages. At The Art of Eyebrows, this is just the way I prefer to do things, unless a client has a particular time constraint or just wants it done as soon as possible, then we accommodate those wishes.
Always ask to see before and afters of work they have done. This is very important. In this industry many clients don’t want their faces used on a website, but are more than happy to have their before and afters shown in person on a per client basis. We have many more before and afters available to show in the salon that we are not able to present on our website online for privacy reasons.
Ask to speak with past clients in person to assess their experience. This can give added confidence if you have any concerns or doubts about the procedure or the practitioner. A good practitioner should have plenty of happy clients to put you in touch with.
Enquire if your practitioner uses a variety of styles and techniques. It demonstrates the degree of their specialisation and knowledge, and also the experience they can offer you. For example, a range of techniques include hair strokes, embroidery, criss cross, shading, a combination of all or some of these plus variety in texture and color. Sometimes the end of an eyebrow is lighter than the beginning or vice versa, or the middle section may have a change in depth of color. Multiple techniques are needed to create a unique and individualized look that also helps balance the face.
An excellent practitioner will have a solid grasp of all of these techniques just like a painter or artist uses a variety of techniques to create the desired artistic results. In my experience, the type of machine used is nowhere near as important as the artistry of the practitioner. Digital machines can create very fine work, which is great, and personally, I mostly use a digital machine, but the quality of my work does not depend entirely on the machine. Eighty percent of creating great eyebrows comes from my experience and personal artistry. I can do that with a manual machine perfectly fine as well, and indeed some of my clients prefer manual work.
Last but not least, ask about the techniques and procedures the stylist uses to maintain the hygiene of the tools they use for cosmetic tattooing. Do they use new (disposable) needles for each client? Do they follow all the best practices for keeping their studio or salon clean?
I hope these suggestions help you find the perfect eyebrow tattoo stylist for you. Remember, just one hair removed from an eyebrow can make or break the perfect brow line or shape. That’s the kind of precision work we are doing. It never fails to amaze me just how incredibly responsive the brows are, hair by hair to styling. This makes it even more important for the person styling your brows to know what they are doing and have that experience plus that unquantifiable talent for shape and design.
Finally, after your semi-permanent makeup session you should feel comfortable to go out to dinner with friends or family and not have them comment “Oh my goodness, what have you done with your eyebrows?”. We strive to have our work feel and look effortless. It won’t be ‘invisible’. It should just be a change that contributes to your overall beauty, freshness and appearance so your husband or partner tells you how great you look, but can’t quite put his finger on what you’ve done.
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