Why would you want to be a permanent makeup artist? The permanent makeup industry is among the top income-earning careers in the US. Permanent makeup artists can earn just as much as doctors, architects, and lawyers. But not all PMU artists make a lot of money. Like any career field, there is a wide range of incomes, bringing the average down, but those who become the best at their craft also become the highest paid.
If you’ve got drive, determination, and skill, you can enter this career field with a lot less financial investment and more upside than other careers.
Unlike other mainstream professions, cosmetic tattoo artists typically work a 3 to 4-day work week (on clients), which offers an amazing work-life balance.
You can also choose your specialty, including, but not limited to, microblading, lip blush tattoo, eyeliner tattoo, nano brows, and ombre powder brows, scar camouflage and areola restoration. We always suggest that an artist focus on one, possibly two techniques, so they can become a master at their chosen focus.
How do you know if you’ll be good at permanent makeup?
Not everyone is cut out for cosmetic tattoo, it takes artistic ability. Here are some other qualities you should possess:
- Natural ability to see symmetry.
- Desire to provide natural results through great attention to detail.
- Committed to perfection.
- Have great people skills.
- Willingness to constantly train and improve skills.
- Desire market yourself appropriately with social media.
Is there room for more permanent makeup artists?
Absolutely! Permanent makeup is an increasingly prominent segment of the highly profitable beauty industry. There’s a considerable demand from consumers, often leading to master artists being fully booked for months in advance. Consumers are willing to wait for the best, and there simply aren’t enough highly skilled professionals available.
More important than quantity [of artists] is quality [of artists]. Permanent makeup may be a relatively easy field to enter when it comes to access of training, but true talent is still important. While most people may be able to get good at the technical aspect of permanent makeup, we believe, that raw talent and an eye for symmetry is often more important. Whether you aspire to be an artist or are already one looking to enhance your skills, you should aim to excel in your field.
Why is this imperative? Because you’re essentially creating permanent work on a person’s face, and much like other professions, not all cosmetic tattoo artists are excellent, or even competent. If the market of artists feels ‘saturated’ to you, take a closer look and see who excels in their service specialty. Strive, with intention, to be amongst the best artists in your area and you will succeed.
Those who achieve mastery in this field can attain financial success while delivering outstanding results to their clients. It’s a mutually beneficial situation.
Permanent makeup varies from other career fields in one major way.
Other professions involve lengthy, expensive college educations, tough board exams and long internships. For better or worse, cosmetic tattoo is different. You can become a permanent makeup artist, in most states without any training.
Very few states impose strict standards on cosmetic tattoo, offering easy to get licensing mostly focused on health and safety protocols. Oregon is the only state that requires a lengthy tattoo school diploma to be able to practice cosmetic or common tattoo in the state.
Disturbing but true, permanent work is being done by people who may not have had a lengthy training or practice period. Therefore, if you are or want to become a cosmetic tattoo artist, you must do it right.
Learn from the best, spend hundreds of hours practicing on fake skins, hone your skills as well as your ‘bedside manner’ and create a powerful presence on social media.
How does an artist learn and prove their skill when there is no required accreditation for schools?
You will spend between $3000-$15000 learning a single service category in permanent makeup. How do you sift through the marketing blitz and figure out who the true artist trainers are? Do some research and find the best!
The treasured cosmetic tattoo artists that also teach are prevalent on social media. They are superstars, sought out by consumers and other artists alike. They proudly display their work and share their secrets.
Seek them out and see how their work is compared to others, how strong is their personal business, and how are their customer reviews? Are these people you want to learn from and people you want to emulate?
What should you look for in a class? Small class sizes may be more expensive, but they offer one-on-one time with the master artist whereas larger class sizes often mean that the master artist is unapproachable, or not even there.
- Do they offer ancillary methods of teaching, like online courses and lifetime support for questions?
- Do they share their stroke techniques and shape design?
- Do they teach people how to practice on fake skin and how to implement in real life on real models?
- Do they share the vendors they use for product and supplies as well as how they approach social media marketing?
The best teachers love the craft; they are the pioneers who have brought cosmetic tattoo mainstream, and they want the craft to thrive.
Once you do the work to become a cosmetic tattoo artist you are going to have some business decisions to make: Do you want to be an independent contractor, or do you want to be an employee? Do you want to work alone, or do you want to work with other artists? There is no wrong answer but knowing the result you’d like will help you start down the right path.
A little-known fact: Not everyone is cut out to be an independent business owner. An artist can make the same take-home income working for a large studio, while working less days per week than if they operate as an independent.
You can choose the path that best fits you and you still have the same income earning potential!
Read the next post in this series: Part 2: Start Your career in Cosmetic Tattoo