How You Can Become a Successful Microblading Artist
Microblading training, or any permanent makeup (PMU) training is not for the faint of heart. A lot of students will get into it thinking that they will make quick money but that is not true. You must go into your training course with realistic expectations. Just like learning any new skill, it takes time and practice to learn and become a good microblading artist. You do not need to be an ‘artist’ to get into the beauty industry or be good at Microblading but you do need to be willing to put in the effort to practice on fake skin multiple times a week.
The biggest mistake a student can make is to go into a training class for PMU and expect to start taking clients, creating beautiful brows, and making lots of money right away. Before learning Microblading, set a realistic plan for yourself and set goals. For example:
- Complete training.
- 4 days a week, I will sit down for one hour and practice my stroke pattern on fake skin.
- I will practice brow mapping on 2 friends/family members per week.
- I will take my first live model 6 weeks after my training.
- I will book 2 clients per week, for one month, and offer them my service for free.
Having your goals strategically outlined will help you to visualize your next steps and will better set you up for success then rushing into a new skill and business. Rushing and having high expectations will only cause failure.
Misconceptions about Microblading
I think it’s very important to describe the different types of permanent eyebrows that one can receive. There is a lot of confusion between Microblading, which strictly uses a handheld tool with a blade at the end, and any form of shading, which uses a permanent makeup or tattoo machine. It’s important to note that the same pigment may be used for all of the following treatments.
Microblading – A Microblading treatment is performed with a handheld tool. A blade is placed in the end and it has a bunch of tiny needles compacted close together, in a straight line. The amount of needles can range anywhere from 7 needles and up to 18+. The handheld tool is stroked through the skin and tiny cuts are made into the brow area. Once healed, each cut will mimic the look of one individual hair. When performed correctly and the proper depth is achieved, blurring shouldn’t occur and strokes should remain crisp and thin in the skin. This style gives a very natural/no makeup look.
Powder Brows – Powder brows are given with a permanent makeup machine. So the client will hear a motor or a humming sound while their artist is performing the treatment. The end result of a powder brow is a filled in brow which will mimic the look of having filled one’s brows in with makeup. You cannot see skin through the ink like you can with Microblading. Powder brows will give one a more dramatic look and is ideal for clients that wear makeup daily and desire a very bold brow.
Ombre Brows – The definition of the word ombre is “having tones of color that shade into each other, graduating from light to dark”. Therefore an ‘ombre brow’ can be achieved by Microshading (a combination of Microblading and Shading) or strictly shading. Ombre just means that the head of the brow (closest to the nose) appears lighter than the rest of the brow. As you look closer to the tail, the brow seems darker, so it goes from lightest at the head to darkest at the tail.
Microshading – Microshading is a combination of Microblading and Shading. This is a fully customizable eyebrow and is great for most people. Microblading can be performed in just the front of the brow or even the front and the outline of the brow while the middle or in between strokes, is then shaded with the machine. The shading helps to create density while the bladed strokes help to make the brow look natural. This is a great option for most clients because most people have uneven brow hair on both brows and to make the brows look as similar as possible, artists need the flexibility to do what’s needed in each brow. A combination of blading and shading gives them the flexibility needed to create a great eyebrow shape and natural appearance. If you’re interested in this type of brow, you can learn more here or book with us here.
A big misconception that people make about Microblading is that it’s not permanent. If the pigment is placed in the correct layer of skin (ideally the bottom layer of the epidermis) then as the years go on, the pigment will get lighter and lighter and likely eventually fade out. If the pigment is placed deep in one’s skin (anywhere in the dermis) then the pigment is likely to remain in the skin similar to a ‘tattoo’. Just because special pigments are used to perform permanent makeup, doesn’t mean that the treatment is ‘semi-permanent’. The depth of the pigment in the skin will be a huge contributing factor to how long the ink stays in one’s skin.
Another myth up for debate is that Microblading hurts. Microblading is typically no worse than receiving a tattoo. Most are in agreement that it’s less painful than a tattoo. Because the blade doesn’t (shouldn’t) penetrate any deeper than the epidermis, numbing agents can be used. Whereas with a tattoo, the ink is placed in the dermis, which is below the epidermis. Because the needle is penetrating deeper, numbing agents won’t work. The thinnest diameter of a microblading blade is .15mm which is thinner than the thinnest tattoo needle. Because of the thinness, there is less trauma caused to the skin and therefore the treatment is less painful.
Microblading is not the same as a tattoo. I want to make this as clear as possible. Even though it’s considered permanent makeup and ink is placed into the skin, the words microblading and tattooing are not to be used interchangeably. During a Microblading session, a handheld tool with a blade on the end is used to create fine, crisp strokes into the skin. During a tattoo session, a motorized machine is used to distribute ink into the dermal layer of the skin.
The Ins and Outs of Permanent Make-Up (PMU)
Most women have had their makeup done at one point in their lives. It could’ve been for a school dance or a wedding. Well typically, the artist asks you a few questions and then goes to work. Your look usually isn’t revealed to you until the artist is done. With Microblading, the process is (or should be) quite different. Before your face is touched, the artist should explain the process to you and also get a feel as to what kind of brow shape you’re looking to achieve. The Microblading artist will then map on your face based on your bone structure and then draw an outline of brows. Once the artist feels good about the way they look, they will show you the eyebrow shape they drew in the mirror. It’s at this moment that you two can have a candid discussion on what you think of the drawing. Are they too thick or thin? Do they come in too close or are the tails not long enough? Maybe the arches are too high. Be honest and express to the artist what you see and what you ultimately want. The artist can then make any necessary changes. Don’t be surprised if you two go back and forth on this a few times. The outline truly is the most important part of the Microblading process. Once the outline is agreed upon, the artist will apply numbing cream and you will numb for about 20 minutes. After those 20 minutes, your artist will begin Microblading with pigment. The actual Microblading portion of the treatment can take anywhere from 30-50 minutes depending on the artist’s experience. During this time, you will likely not be shown what the artist is doing and please, don’t ask. There is blood and lymph and the brows won’t look right to you. So let your artist finish before you see the final product. After the first session, you are to return to your artist 5-10 weeks later for a touch up. At that time, the artist can go darker or even go thicker if you so wish.
If you have Microshading done, as opposed to just Microblading, the full appointment time will likely be closer to 3-4 hours. The mapped outline will also look a bit different and will likely include some concealer around the brows and setting powder so the concealer stays during the first pass with the blade and/or machine.
Let’s go over some words or phrases you may hear during your appointment:
Hair Strokes – The art of Microblading uses a blade with tiny needles which is drug through the skin. This technique gives the appearance of hair strokes. It’s subtle but a natural enhancement to one’s brows.
Color Theory – Make sure your artist has color theory knowledge. This is important because it’s imperative that your artist knows what color(s) to use on your brows that will best match the color of your hair and also complement your skin tone. If you’re nervous about the color being used, go lighter during the first session. You can always go darker at the touch up.
Aftercare – When you artist refers to ‘aftercare’ it means there is a specific way you should care for your brows after your appointment. Typically this involves keeping the brows dry, free from sweat and water for 2 weeks. There is no picking of the scabs, no direct sunlight, no sauna/steam, etc… Follow their aftercare perfectly, you are paying a lot of money for your brows after all. (Check out the FAQs in the link for aftercare directions)
Taking a Microblading Course
At Covet Beauty Studio, the PMU training courses we offer are Microblading, Microshading, and Tattoo Removal. Our Microblading training is 3 days. The first two days are consecutive and then you will return 4-8 weeks later to work on a live model. You will observe your trainer Microblade a live model on day 2. You will be given access to our in-depth online training in which you can watch and rewatch videos as you practice your stroke pattern and blading technique on fake skin, mapping on your mannequin head and/or friends, and continue to dive deeper into all things related to Microblading. Between the second day of class and when you return to work on your model, you will stay in constant contact with us via text. You will send us photos of your work, we will critique it, and you will make the necessary corrections. Microblading is all about muscle memory so the more time to practice you are willing to dedicate, the better off you will be. Before working on your live model, you will take an online bloodborne pathogens course which takes about 2 hours and you will apply for your permit through San Diego county. We suggest completing these two items 1 week prior to your live model day. You will receive a large Microblading kit in this class. Some, but not all, items you will receive are the following: Pigments, blades, handheld tools, 2 numbing agents, water wipes, mascara wands, lip wands, q-tips, a mannequin head, inkless skins, pigment rings, mapping string, mapping ruler, alcohol pads, etc… There are very few items you would need to purchase on your own after class. After your first 2 days of training, you will receive a certificate of completion for the theory portion of our class. After you work on your live model, you will receive another certificate that states that you completed the practical portion of our training and 100+ hours. The second microblading certification is what you’ll show your insurance agent when you apply for insurance.
Microshading is another training program we offer. It can be taken after a Microblading class is completed. It is a 1- day course.You will learn how to use a permanent makeup machine and how to shade properly. We will teach you how to fully customize one’s eyebrows by utilizing both Microblading and Microshading. You will practice on fake skin and observe a full live model. Knowing both Microblading and Microshading will give you the upper hand when you start taking on clients as you will be able to offer your services to a wider range of clientele. Not everyone can receive Microblading but almost everyone is suitable for Microshading so it would be in your best interest to learn both techniques. You will receive a kit for this course that includes, but is not limited to: a permanent makeup machine, 2 boxes of cartridges, 2 numbing agents, setting powder, concealer, machine covers, machine wrap, etc…
Another PMU certificate course we offer is Tattoo Removal. It is one day and it may be taken at any point. You will learn how to use a permanent makeup machine and the technique used when performing a removal session, as it’s different from the shading technique you will learn in the Microshading class. We will briefly cover all types of removal so you are familiar with the options clients have when searching for this type of treatment but we will ultimately teach you the alkaline removal method of removal. It is very similar to the saline removal method as the only difference is the solution that is used. The technique is the exact same. You will work on a live model during this class. Removal is a fairly easy treatment to learn and perform, therefore it’s a great training to take if you are interested in making money right away. A lot of people have old tattooed eyebrows or poorly Microbladed eyebrows and their ink must be removed prior to working on their eyebrows again so it’s great to get in with these people through the removal process as you will build a rapport with them and they will ultimately be your client when they’re ready for beautiful brows! You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of this class. In your kit, you will receive: a permanent makeup machine, 1 box of cartridges, 2 numbing agents, a bottle of alkaline removal solution, and a few other small supplies needed.
A career as a Microblading artist, or permanent makeup artist for that matter, can be extremely lucrative. I’m sure you have seen a lot of blogs and ads on google promising that you can make six figures. The truth is, you can, but you need to be willing to work hard. Getting good at microblading isn’t easy. It takes practice and you must commit to doing that on your own time as you aren’t getting paid for it. At the end of the day, a career in permanent makeup offers you flexibility when it comes to your time. You can work the hours you want to work and work as little or as much as you wish. What’s great is that because you can get to a point of making hundreds per hour, some artists are comfortable taking 1 client a day or 4 clients a week and PMU is their only job. If you’re curious about a career in Microblading or permanent makeup and wondering if it’s something that will work for you, email us or book a call and we’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.