How to become a Microblading/Permanent Makeup Artist
Congratulations on considering a career as a microblading specialist! You’ll be entering the world of permanent cosmetics — a stimulating and rewarding profession.
You might remember from our post on the differences between permanent makeup and microblading that microblading is only a technique, a form of permanent cosmetics. As such, in order to become a microblading specialist, you must study permanent makeup, otherwise known as permanent cosmetics.
Here we will try to answer all of your questions about becoming a microblading/permanent makeup artist.
First off, what are permanent costmetics?
Permanent cosmetics (microblading, or permanent makeup) is a practice that uses tattoo-like machines to deposit pigments under skin in order to replicate a natural makeup look. To anyone who doesn’t know much about it, cosmetic tattoo may seem like a vanity, but really, it transcends it — many people with alopecia, vitiligo, scars, baldness, genetic anomalies or cancer often resort to cosmetic tattoo to help them feel better about their appearance. Older age women and women with parkinson’s disease also often opt for permanent cosmetics when applying makeup has become an impossible task. Permanent cosmetics is also a recourse for women who want to skip applying makeup every day and enhance their appearance in a more permanent way.
Why should you consider a career as a permanent makeup artist?
There are many benefits to choosing this highly specialized profession. First of all, the fact that it is a highly specialized profession means there are fewer people out there who are good at doing this, thus, there is less competition. For example, there are far fewer permanent makeup artists than there are hair stylists. As a result, permanent makeup artists can charge more for their services and as a result have higher incomes.
Additionally, this profession allows you the flexibility to become your own boss, either from the start or when you feel ready, but the possibility is there, as opposed to many other career fields. According to a 2016 survey from the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, 87.1% of permanent makeup professionals who took the survey are self-employed and almost another 20% are independent contractors.
The following estimates are moderate, given that we are going by the lower spectrum of average microblading prices. We are also only focusing on Eyebrow Microblading. Permanent makeup artists also do eyeliner and lips, among others.
What is the average salary for a permanent makeup artist?
Average salary statistics for permanent makeup artists are not easily found for several reasons:
1. It’s a very specialized field
2. Income depends on how much the artist charges per procedure and how many procedures he or she does.
3. Salaries are not the norm, as most permanent makeup artists are self-employed.
Remember, permanent make up artists usually do several procedures, most commonly eyebrows, eyeliners and lips. Some estimates online say the average salary is between $55,000 to $80,000 a year. These estimates can vary greatly, but it is important to note that even the lowest of that range is a very decent salary per US standards.
For the purposes of estimating how much you could earn as a permanent makeup artist, it would be more accurate to discuss income and profit. Income is the total amount of revenue that you will pocket immediately after a procedure, and profit will be whatever is left after you pay for expenses such as: material, rent, licenses, insurance, etc.
Let’s start with just microblading. Microblading prices vary greatly depending on location and the esthetician’s experience. We have seen prices go as low as $400 and as high as $1500 for eyebrow microblading. You are welcome do to do your own math, but here’s what we came up with for possible income generated:
AVERAGE COST OF EYEBROW MICROBLADING
CLIENTS PER WEEK
EXPECTED YEARLY INCOME (NOT INCLUDING TIPS)
Now, that’s just the income you could potentially earn if you only worked eyebrows. Let’s run some more numbers, based off the data supplied by the SPCP 2016 study.
Point #30 of the study asks surveyors to list how many NEW procedures they preform a month, excluding touch-ups. Let’s take eyebrows, eyeliner, full lip color, and lip liner. Point #33 lists the average fee for each procedure based on the surveyors’ individual answers.
Average # of NEW procedures per month
Average price per procedure
Here are the estimated monthly earnings you could make if you had this number of procedures per month and if you charged these prices:
Full Lip Color
That amounts to
Keep in mind, these are just estimates, and they are based on several variables. We have not deducted possible expenses from these figures.
All Business Start Small
Rome wasn’t built in one day and just like that you should know not to expect this income right away. Microblading and permanent makeup are an art that takes years to master. It will also take time for you to build a clientele and become recognized for how well you do your job, as it would with any other business. So while we do believe it is very possible to make a very good income with this career, it is up to you to drive it to the ends you want.
Location, as well as experience, play a huge part in how high you can price your services. If you wish to go into business for yourself, there will also be some start up costs: training, certification, licensing, machinery, rent of a facility, furniture and advertising are just some of the costs you will come across when setting up your own practice.
What certifications will you need?
The process to become a licensed permanent makeup artist varies by state. Some states require very few hours of training, while others will require anywhere from 300 or more with an apprenticeship program approved by the state’s board of cosmetology, or whichever board regulates permanent cosmetics. The spectrum is huge — some states don’t even regulate permanent cosmetics! In others, like in Florida, it is only necessary to pass a 3-hour communicable diseases course.
What training will you need?
Whether or not training is a requirement for you to have a license will depend on your state’s regulations, but you should invest even if it is not. Your main responsibility with your future clients will be to provide the best service you can and in order to do that, you need to learn from a professional and perfect your art through practice.
You may choose to start by taking a general permanent makeup course that would generally teach the most common procedures (eyebrows, eyeliners and lips). Or, you could start by focusing on one specific technique, microblading, for example. There are many excellent schools offering permanent makeup training programs all throughout the United States. Most of them will cover the following:
- Microblading Hair Strokes Method for Eyebrows
- Safety, Sterilization and Sanitation
- Previous Permanent Makeup Correction Techniques
- Skin Anatomy
- Color Theory & Mixing
- Facial Structure & Eyebrow Design
- Client Consultation
- Needle & Equipment Selection
What are some professional associations you can join?
You don’t have to join an association in order for you to be able to practice permanent makeup, but it is always a good idea for a professional to belong to an accredited institution in their field. Being a part of an association will keep you connected to the industry and give you an additional stamp of trust your clients will appreciate. Most associations organize meet ups and conventions for their members, which provides a good opportunity for a professional to be up to date with industry breakthroughs and news and network with others in their field.
These are two of the industry associations you could join: