Finding a qualified Microblading/PMU Artist

5 things to look for in your Microblading/PMU Artist

The time has come! You have finally decided to take the big leap and get your eyebrows or other permanent makeup done! But then comes the biggest and most important question – who will you trust your face with? 😳 If you have a family member or friend that got their permanent makeup done and you are happy with their results, then you’ve been saved from a lot of research! If this is not the case and you have no idea who to go to, then keep reading to learn what you should be looking for in your artist.

1. Licensed Tattoo Artist

This may seem like a no-brainer but surprisingly many looking to get work done overlook this critical qualification.

Obtaining a tattoo artist license requires the artist to take a bloodeborne pathogen certification class which teaches them about sanitation and how to avoid cross contamination. Further, it teaches how to properly dispose of all contaminated tools/equipment and the course even educates on various skin conditions that shouldn’t be worked over. At the conclusion of this training, an assessment is taken which must be passed before being awarded the certification. 

Once the artist has this certification in hand they apply for the tattoo artist license with their local health department which requires them to provide the tattoo establishment license number of the salon/studio they will be working in. To make a long story short, a tattoo establishment license is a license given to a salon/studio that has successfully passed inspection and complies with all Health Department regulations. 

Why is this important? Well, a tattoo artist license not only shows that an artist is complying with the law, but also shows they are educated in terms of sanitation – they will ultimately be working with open skin so sanitation is key to avoiding infection or other complications. The tattoo establishment license is another factor that should not be taken lightly as it ensures the salon/studio being worked in has passed inspections and is suitable for working with open skin. If the artist you are looking at going to works out of a house or other living space, you should definitely be weary as the sanitary conditions may not be up to par with health department standards.

2. Certification

 

 

You may be wondering what is the difference between licensed and certified. Well there is a huge difference! Licenses are state regulated but unfortunately the process of obtaining a tattoo artist license is far too simple. In fact, the same license is given to your traditional body tattoo artists as permanent makeup artists. The license simply affirms that the artist possesses the minimum knowledge necessary to carry out a SANITARY procedure. I emphasize sanitary because that’s merely all it qualifies one for. But what happens to technique? Would you walk into a body tattoo shop and ask one of the body tattoo artists for Microblading? I hope you said no!! 

While they may be very talented in the art of portraits or Polynesian/tribal sleeves, this in no way qualifies them to do Microblading! In fact, they most likely underwent a specialized training to learn the body art they do regularly and you must understand that the working depth and tools used for the body and the face are VERY DIFFERENT.

Think of certifications as specializations; if you are looking to get Microblading done, look for an artist who is certified in Microblading. This means they underwent a training specifically for Microblading and know the ins and outs of the entire process. If you’re wanting to get a lip blush technique done, look for someone certified in lip blush. 

Same applies to other techniques such as eyeliner, scalp micro-pigmentation, and ombre powder brows. Ultimately you want to see that the artist you go to is trained specifically in the technique you are wanting to have done. You can even go a step further and look into the work of the artist who trained them and see if it’s the style you like.

Now you may be asking yourself “what if they have certification and not license”? This is also a possibility as certifications are not as government regulated so the artist providing training may not require the license to take the certification course. I highly recommend you to look for an artist that is both licensed and certified as it shows they take their career seriously as well as have the knowledge necessary to carry out a safe and sanitary procedure.

Keep in mind that the tattoo artist license is required by law while the certification is not. It is very possible for someone to self teach any technique by watching YouTube videos or taking a quick online basic training. In this case you will want to look very closely at their before and after images which brings us to my next point; portfolio.

3. Portfolio

Every qualified artist in this day and age promotes themselves on social media, especially instagram. Instagram acts as a portfolio for many artists (myself included!) as it showcases our work and reaches many potential clients by use of hashtags and promotions. In all honesty, before and after images should probably be the first thing you look for in an artist. Not always, but usually, an artist with phenomenal work has taken the necessary steps such as obtaining licensure and some form of certification to get to where they are now.

If you haven’t already started looking at before and after pictures, a quick hashtag search on Instagram will do the job! For example if you’re in Miami search for #microbladingmiami or #miamimicroblading. Adjust the search as you see fit with your city and desired technique and you will find many photos of local artist work to sort through.

Something to be on the lookout for is artists who steal work and try to use it as their own. If the pictures seem unusually up close, it may indicate that maybe they were trying to crop out another artists logo. Take this with a grain of salt though as there are artists that like to show up close images of their work – unfortunately detecting frauds is very difficult.

4. healed Photos

Aside from before and after images, look for healed work. Before and after images typically show the work immediately after the procedure which is not how they will look post healing. 

Many times the work immediately after looks spectacular and the color looks great. However, healed results will show how the color healed on that specific skin tone which ultimately reveals the artists color theory knowledge. 

Healed results will also show you how much retention is expected but of course it is important to keep in mind that retention varies from person to person because of differing skin types. 

If the artist does not show healed work on her page I would specifically reach out and ask if they have any healed work they can show. If they don’t respond or say they don’t, I would be very weary of going with them.

Above is a healed ombre brows and lip blush on my (Geneva) client 😍

5. Reviews/Testimonials

Another vital thing to look at are reviews. If the artist you are considering comes up with a google search, you’ll be able to see their google reviews. If they work at a large salon where there are several artists then scroll through the reviews or put in a search for reviews containing their name. However, if they’re primarily present on social media or have a very very small business, they may not have a google listing or yelp page set up. In this case, they may have an instagram highlight called testimonials or client selfies where clients have made a post and they have reposted. Any indication of happy clients is always a good sign!!

This concludes the five most important things to look for when searching for a Microblading/permanent makeup artist! Always, as a general rule of thumb, if you’re getting your hair, nails, or other unrelated service done, and they tell you they do permanent makeup in the back room for very cheap, DO NOT DO IT 😩 I cannot stress how important it is to find a specialist in your desired technique and please PLEASE do not base you’re decision on pricing. There are many other factors that are far more important than price and if you have to save up a bit before going to a qualified artist, the wait will be worth it and your face will thank you!!! 😁

2 thoughts on “Finding a qualified Microblading/PMU Artist”

  1. Thank you for the information! It touches on important points to look for in a permanent makeup artist and is very thorough. I will definitely do my homework before I hire one.

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