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How to Become a Permanent Makeup Artist

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Are you creative enough to be a part of the beauty industry? Always wanted to try something different but had no clue from where to start? Then explore the steps of how to become a permanent makeup artist and start an innovative career to follow your passion.
As a permanent makeup artist, you can set up your own business and provide services to your clients travelling around the world. Amazing, right? Not only this, you can be financially solvent too! A successful artist is capable of earning a 5 to 6 figure salary! So, if you have been thinking of this career lately, keep no doubts and set out to bring your dreams into reality!
What is Permanent Makeup
Permanent makeup is a method of cosmetic tattooing that involves permanent pigmentation of the dermis. It is achieved by inserting coloured natural pigments into the dermal layer of the skin with the help of a very fine needle.
Permanent makeup is most commonly done on lips, eyelids, and eyebrows. With this makeup, you can enhance the shape of your eyes and have artificial eyebrows. You can also get more defined and coloured lips with the help of a lip-tattoo.
This type of makeup is frequently applied to people who have lost their eyebrows because of ageing, over-plucking, alopecia or chemotherapy. It is also used to disguise scars, hyperpigmentation, birthmarks and white spots on the skin due to vitiligo.

Some of the Common Permanent Makeup Treatments are

What Does a Permanent Makeup Artist Do?

Makeup Artist Do

Permanent makeup artists apply makeup to their clients as a means of enhancing their looks. The makeup artist had to perform the enhancement or alteration according to the clients’ requirements. Permanent makeup artists are also responsible for thoroughly analysing clients’ skin so that the applied makeup does not cause skin reactions or breakouts. They also need to understand how to properly select makeup shades and mix various elements such as oil or grease to achieve colour and other special effects.

Qualities Every Permanent Makeup Artist Should Have

There are many qualities that you can possess as a permanent makeup artist. Some of the essential qualities are:
To provide your clients with the best service, always do a full consultation with each of them, perform patch tests, and maintain your professionalism.

How to Become a Permanent Makeup Artist

In order to start your career as a permanent makeup artist, you need to know about the license requirements of your state because you won’t be allowed to work as a makeup artist without a license. You should also take the necessary training and get certified according to the requirements.
Follow the below-mentioned steps to kickstart your job as a permanent makeup artist:
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Get Enrolled in a Permanent Makeup Program

If you have decided to be a permanent makeup artist, you need to find a suitable permanent makeup program to get started. You can go for a cosmetology program that includes permanent makeup courses.
It can take a few years to complete a permanent makeup program. Typically, each training session lasts from one to three days. You can also opt for short courses if you are already a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist.
A permanent makeup artist can obtain training through a course or an apprenticeship program. Some states require an apprenticeship program to qualify for licensure, while others consider completing a training program sufficient. You can gain practical experience through apprenticeship programs under the supervision of a licensed permanent makeup artist.
To qualify for a state license, permanent makeup artists may also need to complete first aid and safety training. Universities, community colleges and medical centres offer such classes. They teach students how to perform and respond to first aid emergencies.

You can now choose your desired makeup courses from Lead Academy. To avail these popular courses, click here.

Requirements for Enrolling in a Permanent Makeup Program

The requirements for enrolling in a permanent makeup program or school might vary according to states and individual programs, but the followings are some common prerequisites:

Things You will Learn in a Permanent Makeup School

Permanent Makeup School
In a permanent makeup school, you get started with the basics like personal and workplace hygiene and safety. Then you are introduced to the coil tattoo machines, rotary pen machines, the non-mechanical hand method, the inks, dyes, and pigments to build the foundation of your permanent makeup career.
Gradually, you will get to know the most common permanent makeup techniques like eyeliner, lash enhancement, and lip colour, followed by more advanced training, including skin needling and microblading. If included in your program, you can also learn advanced techniques like melanocyte restoration, burn scar camouflage, and areola pigmentation.

Tips to Choose a Permanent Makeup Training School

The most important thing to do before choosing a permanent makeup training school is to check whether the school you are enrolling in is accredited or not. You won’t be qualified for an operating license if you receive the training from an unaccredited, unlicensed school. Think and decide which permanent makeup procedure you would like to learn and do thorough research on those courses.

Remember to choose a course that covers both theory and practice, especially if you haven’t worked in this field before. Try to get enrolled in a course that offers a minimum of 100 hours of training.

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Cost of Studying Permanent Makeup

The cost of a permanent makeup program would vary according to your desired program and the school you want to get admitted to. According to Beauty Schools Directory, “the general cost of the programs is between $3,500–$7,500. A single training course of 3-4 days might cost $500–$900 per day; however, a full program including advanced techniques and certifications can cost around $10,000.”

Obtaining License for doing Permanent Makeup:

You need to obtain a license to start your permanent makeup business. Your license confirms that you meet all the legal state requirements.
The candidates applying for a license will have to pass an examination to prove that they have the practical skills necessary to be a permanent makeup artist. The type of examination varies depending on the state and sometimes, an extensive portfolio is enough instead of an exam.
The other most important document required for achieving a license is the certificate of completion of a permanent makeup course from an accredited school. You may also be required to provide proof of your apprenticeship.

Getting Certified to be a Permanent Makeup Artist

Finally, being certified, you can complete the process to become a permanent makeup artist. All you need to do is, go through at least 1,000 hours of studying permanent cosmetics to meet the requirements along with a bloodborne pathogen class to ensure you have knowledge of safety for working in this field. As per Study.com, The Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals administers a voluntary exam for individuals to become a certified permanent cosmetics technician.

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Self-employment or Working as an employee?

Being a permanent makeup artist, you have the liberty to choose whether you want to be self-employed or work under an employer. No matter what you choose, there will always be some pros and cons in both forms of employment.
Working for an established business takes less effort to get started compared to self-employment. When you are working for someone else, you don’t have to worry about the performance of your business, its promotion, getting clients or dealing with employees. You will have regular income along with some of your insurance costs covered as well as the council license.
A downside to working as an employee can be not having flexible working hours. You need to do routine work, maintain the schedule and have to show up every day. It can be a bit challenging for someone who is not used to performing routine tasks.
Despite the extra effort to set up your own permanent makeup business, being self-employed can be very rewarding. You can be your own boss and work according to your flexibility. You will also be able to travel overseas if your client demands.
Moreover, an independent business can give you some loyal customers. As an owner, you can discuss with your clients personally about the treatments, offer instructions about which shade to choose and make customisation according to your clients’ needs. As such, you can create a bond with them and have some constant customers.

Consider these options while Starting Your Own Business

If you want to start as an entrepreneur, you need to take care of a lot of stuff related to your business. You can consider the following options to increase your customers.

1. Choose the right location: The first thing you need to consider while starting your own permanent makeup business is to choose the right location for working because the demand for your service moderately depends on the location of your salon. E.g., you would get more clients and earn more if your salon is in a metropolitan city.

2. Develop Marketing Strategies: You need to come up with new ideas to expand your business and for that, you should develop some marketing strategies. One of them can be creating a business page on social media. Update your page with the services you provide, discounts you offer and so on. You can also promote your business from your personal account.

3. Network with the industry professionals: The next thing you can do is find a more experienced professional within the industry to learn from and enhance your skills and techniques when you are an entry-level makeup artist. Doing this will not only help to learn modern designs but also get more clients.

4. Get the required certification and license: Since your clients are putting a lot of trust in you regarding their eyes and skin, it is your responsibility to be an expert in your work. Attend the training programs, sit for exams and be certified to get a license. Your clients would be more interested in taking your service if you are a licensed permanent makeup artist.

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Permanent Makeup Artist Salary Range

The income of a permanent makeup artist depends on several factors like location, client base, qualifications, and experience. You can draw more clients if your business is in a big city compared to a makeup artist having the business in a small town.

A successful and experienced permanent makeup artist can earn a handsome amount depending on whether they work independently or for a business. As per Sculptsuccess, “The average UK salary is around £30,000 – £50,000, however, earnings for a successful and dedicated artist can reach £100,000.”

The more experience you gather as a permanent makeup artist, the greater the possibility of raising your income.

Job Prospects and Growth Potential of Permanent Makeup Artists

With the advancement and popularity of the beauty industry, people are getting more familiar with permanent makeup techniques and are opting for the treatments in increasing numbers. Due to the industry’s constant innovations in permanent makeup, beauty enthusiasts and artists of the television and film industry have become regular consumers of this treatment.

As claimed by indeed.com, The BLS projects skincare specialists will enjoy a job growth outlook of 11% and barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists will enjoy a job growth outlook of 8% between the years of 2018 and 2028.” The artists with certificates or professional licenses and a record of experience have the greatest career prospect in this field.


As the permanent makeup industry is expanding, you have ample scope to establish yourself as a permanent makeup artist. You can either start your own venture or join an existing clinic or salon. The flexible working hours, decent salary and option to be self-employed makes it a great career choice. I hope you have got to know everything about how to become a permanent makeup artist from this blog.
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