Advice on training in semi-permanent make-up

Q: I want to train in semi-permanent make-up but how do I know if it’s right for my salon?

Semi-permanent make-up is the most difficult thing I’ve learned but also the most rewarding. The art of tattooing someone’s face can be challenging and for some is something of a doubleedged sword. Provided you have the time, commitment and money to invest in it, it can make your salon stand out and people will travel miles to see you. But if your work is not up to standard then it’s easy to get a bad reputation, or worse, a law suit.

No one should go into semi-permanent make-up just to make a bit of extra money; it should be a passion. The first thing you need to do is seek out a good course. A reputable training school will make you practice on plastic skin and will only let you tattoo on real skin when your skills have improved enough. The school will also have you submit case studies before releasing your certificate. More and more I see trainers running two-day classes and claiming that students can learn to tattoo in this time, but you really can’t.

It can take hours to tattoo on a good brow, so patience and a steady hand are must-have qualities when considering learning this technique. There is also the question of your drawing abilities. I’ve found that nail technicians seem to be able to transition into semi-permanent make-up easily and I think it’s down to their attention to detail.

If you think you might prefer to have a freelance semi-permanent make-up technician come in and work out of your salon instead, that’s fine, but make sure their work and insurance is up to scratch.

If a mistake happens on your premises, the chances are the customer will come looking for the person whose name is on the door.

Lorena Oberg is a specialist in the correction and removal of semi-permanent make-up and runs clinics in Caterham and Central London. She also lectures on the topic internationally.