I have really worried lately about semi permanent make up treatments available from voucher deal websites…
… I keep seeing super-cheap offers on Groupon, Wowcher and the like for Semi Permanent Make Up. While I completely believe in these deal websites as a marketing tool, I know what their fees are like. I can’t imagine how a technician can offer a SPMU treatment for as little as £59.
Carrying out a SPMU treatment using regulated products, having undertaken proper training by qualified trainers and having all the correct insurances in place costs a lot of money.
A needle and sterile set-up alone costs at least £30 (including the VAT and associated charges) Groupon take 62% of the price you see when you buy a deal. On a fee of £59, that amounts to £36.58.
This is a total of £66.58 for the two treatments required to make sure your semi permanent make up is the best it can be.
Add on the insurance and training costs, operating costs such as electricity, water, consumables, paperwork printing, gloves, pigments, (around £45 a bottle by the way!) and wound care packs, £59 doesn’t even cover the cost of delivering one treatment, let alone the second top-up treatment which is required.
The total for two safe treatments will be at least £96.58. Using the figues above, this represents a loss of £37.58 which will be funded from the technicians own pocket. Would you be able to do a job where each client COST you almost £40? Nope? Me either!
Now, I like a deal as much as the next girl but I would never buy a treatment which had as much potential to cause irreversible damage as SPMU through a deal website such as Groupon and Wowcher. Incorrectly applied SPMU can scar you at best, at worst it can blind you. Even if you don’t mind having dodgy eyebrows, black pools of pigment under your eyes or wonky lips, a scarred face or having the ability to see taken away from you is a whole different kettle of fish!
This is because those websites are money making businesses first and foremost. They exist to make a profit and I do not believe they have adequate systems in place to question a technician who says they can deliver a proper, safe, regulated treatment for at least £175. Those are the costs for product and operating costs alone.
I’m not suggesting people are doing anything wrong by advertising through deal websites. I am suggesting that safe, qualified and insured SPMU technicians should be aware of what it COSTS to deliver a safe treatment and then base their discounts and special offers around that.
It’s fine to not take a profit by charging for their time and expertise, that is down to the individual technician. I have in the past offered SPMU treatments at a discount for many reasons. The last time I trained in the usage of a new type of needle, I asked for models to allow me to practice.
I offered these treatments at a large discount as it benefitted me and allows me to become a better technician.
Sometimes I want to carry out a specific treatment to enhance my portfolio or to try a new technique or pigment. It is then I will discount, but I never reduce the price so far down that I am losing money on a treatment. Mainly because that would be crazy, but also because I value the treatments I deliver and know they are safe and worth the money to my valuable clients.
After all, as much as I love my job, I still need to pay my bills and feed my kids (and the cats…!)
If you do choose to buy a voucher through a deal website, please do your research on your chosen technician.
- Ask for pictures – before, after and healed.
- Enquire as to what pigments your technician uses? Where do they purchase them from? Are they a well known, tested and regulated brand?
- Check that they have insurance and they are trained? (ask to see a copy of their policy and diploma)
- Research the training company they claim to have trained with. If in doubt, call the company! They will be able to confirm the technician is being truthful. Finishing Touches, who I trained with and receive ongoing support from, publish a list of their trained technicians on their website. Many other reputable training companies do this also.
- Watch to make sure they wash their hands before they start. Do they wear gloves? Are their needles contained in sterile packaging?
- Insist on a patch test!!!
No good technician who is properly trained and insured will ever mind you asking these questions. In fact, they expect and welcome it when it happens!
I am always happy to offer free and no-obligation advice. if you are unsure about a technician, call me! I won’t try and lure you away from a good technician, we are a close knit bunch and celebrate each others work! But I can and will be able to tell you whether their answers seem truthful.
And now for the nasty bit.
The lady offering the deal on Groupon in the image above has had so many complaints about her work that Groupon are closing her account and blocking her from trading with them. I know this as I have spoken to the management team at Groupon, I felt so strongly about this particular case I wanted to do my own research. The images below are of her work. I have also posted some snippets of the complaints which have been received about her working practices. I will leave it up to you to decide whether you’d be happy with that work on your face… Forever!
She has now been reported to The Safety in Beauty Campaign too in the hope they can speak to her to help her get the training and support she needs to practice. If you want to know which salon I am referring to, please contact me directly. Although the purpose of this blog is to inform, I am not in the business of naming and shaming publicly!