Success Mondays: Interview with Selen Shenalp
Last month we started our monthly series “Spotlight Mondays” with none other than Julia Anne Milin with the 10 business lessons we learned from this entrepreneur, founder of Brow Design International.
This month, we are featuring another successful permanent makeup artist who was actually #15 in our Top 30 Most Influential Micropigmentators on Instagram post.
Her name is Selen Shenalp, the semi-permanent makeup expert founder of Selen Beauty and international trainer.
We corresponded with Selen via e-mail. Here are some of the questions we asked her.
Microblading Hub: Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into PMU?
SELEN: I was born in Cyprus. I attended London College of fashion in the eighties, from where I graduated with a diploma in Art and Design. My passion has always been in creative art.
SPMU makeup gave me the opportunity to practice my passion and develop my artistic talent in eyebrows. I have been living and working in London since 2012 and have involved with SPMU for over 12 years.
I am an international trainer on semi-permanent makeup eyebrow application techniques mainly concentrating on detailed work with Nano needle.
I enjoy creating beautiful natural looking eyebrows and like to work within the natural growth direction of the eyebrow hairs.
I have created my own technique either blending the finest hair strokes with powdering, creating natural looking eyebrows or using different colors to achieve the 3D look, to complement and enhance each individual face. It is a system of “interlocking hair strokes.”
MH: You specialize in Nano needle and don’t do microblading. Why do you not do microblading and why do you prefer Nano needle?
SELEN: I have tried Microblading but my technique is more suited to the Nano Needle. One can create a more fine detailed 3D effect with a Nano needle.
Also at the follow up appointment it is easier to target tiny little areas with one fine needle compared to multiple needles of microblading.
The results of machine work are longer lasting and there is less trauma to the skin. But we have to bear in mind that both techniques can be dangerous to skin if it is done in the wrong way. Unexperienced or under skilled technicians can form scars for life.
Microblading is normally preferred because of the fine lines one can create on skin. But with the right technique one can draw equally fine or even finer lines with Nano Needle.
On the other hand it is very quick to finish microblading treatment compared to Nano Needle work, which takes about 2.5 hrs.
MH: How do you define success?
SELEN: Fame and success are not necessarily coexistent. Fame can sometimes be achieved by being at the right place at the right time.
Success is achieved by being a consummate professional with passion for your work, dedication, knowledge in your field and a lot of experience.
MH: You do Nano needling for brows and also travel the world as an international trainer. Which do you do more – training or SPMU? Do you have a preference for either?
SELEN: Over the past three years there has been a growing interest for SPMU eyebrows. As a matter of fact, eyebrows have been the highlight of beauty enhancement.
There are periodic trends in the beauty field. First it was the hair extension, then artificial nails followed by eyelash extensions. Now it is the time of eyebrows.
For this reason there is a growing demand for SPMU eyebrow enhancements with exponential growth in the demand for SPMU eyebrow technique training.
I have decided to share my expertise with newcomers who have the same passion in their hearts for creating fine work. It gives me great pleasure to travel around the world to help them perfect their skills. That’s why I concentrate more on training and in any spare time I have I accept clients.
MH: What is a successful SPMU treatment in your understanding?
SELEN: We have to understand that besides our client’s wishes we are dealing with their psychology, too.
We need to analyze their frame of mind and their wishes. Then, we need to put in our expertise to do what’s best for their face anatomy.
The best treatment is the one which goes unnoticed after healing and naturally blends in with her natural eyebrow anatomy.
MH: What do you think has been the ONE factor that has most accounted for you success in your career?
SELEN: As a child I had a scar in my eyebrow. This made me very conscious to look and study everybody else’s eyebrows.
I tried to use pencils to camouflage the scar with no real success. In later years I even tried to make my organic pigment from fresh walnut peels to stain the skin in that area.
Unknowingly, this was the first step to my desire to do something to help others who were not happy with their eyebrows. I suppose this was my first unconscious step into SPMU.
MH: You currently have 47.3k followers on Instagram. Are you the only person managing your account? And if so, could you talk about how you achieved such great number of followers and in how long?
SELEN: I manage my Instagram, Facebook account, e
I set up my Instagram account 3 years ago. I do not have many posts, only around 650. My Facebook and Instagram accounts are linked and in total I reach out to 55K people.
I have managed to gain organic followers by posting SPMU detailed pictures. I don’t post irrelevant pictures to my profession. I don’t post blurred images. I share clear work. When they hashtag it is in their interest what they see.
MH: What do you think is the most important thing a newbie PMU artist needs to do in order to succeed?
SELEN: It has become very competitive for newcomers to reach success. As I said, passion and dedication comes first than knowledge and experience.
When I started, there was very little information and training available. Now there are too many trainings offered. People need to realize that they should invest in good training.
There are a lot of latex and flip chart artists around. Working on paper and latex alone will not help to master real skin applications. People should choose a trainer who teaches techniques and they can practice on live models. Afterwards it’s practice and practice which makes everything perfect.
MH: How do most of your clients find you?
SELEN: Most of my clients find me by referral from satisfied previous clients. Also Instagram helps a lot of people to find an artist whose work they like. I do receive a steady stream of clients through Instagram.
MH: What has been the hardest thing in your career? The easiest?
SELEN: The hardest thing was in the early years not having access to materials and information. I learnt largely through trial and error. But looking at the positive side of this, this has helped me to create my own style without following in anyone’s footsteps or developing in anyone’s shadow.
Nothing has being easy until I reached a certain level of knowledge and experience.
Alright guys, hope you enjoyed the interview.
Until next time.