Semi permanent make up is increasing in popularity at an alarming rate.
Many people are realising that it is now possible to look as polished as those A-list celebrities we see on the red carpet, and at a price which is affordable.
But the simple fact is that having SPMU applied is an invasive procedure which carries risks as well as benefits. Our industry remains largely unregulated and this means it is imperative to do your research before booking a treatment.
Today’s blog gives you five top tips to make choosing your SPMU technician a simple task. These tips are based on the questions I receive most often in my clinic in Hertfordshire.
Top Tips #1 – Safety and Hygiene
The first thing to bear in mind is that whenever the skin is opened, there is a risk of infection.
Infection can come from many sources and that’s why any SPMU technician who has been properly trained and is insured will stick to the following rules, every time, without question.
Sterile, single use needle cartridges, supplied in individual packaging.
Each cartridge should have a Lot number and expiry date.
Recognised, branded pigments which are hypoallergenic and contain completely natural minerals. Pigment bottles should also be printed with a Lot number and expiry date.
A fully clean and sterile set-up. Barrier film should be present on the machine and wire used to connect the hand-piece. The technician should wear gloves and a face mask.
Patch testing. You should always be offered a patch test prior to any treatment taking place. Even if you’ve had tattoo’s or SPMU treatments previously.
Insurance companies have recognised the importance of this and many warn that the technician will not be covered if they neglect to provide a patch test. This is why most SPMU technicians will insist on giving you a patch test, even if you don’t want one!
Top Tips #2 – Skin type and pigments
While most people can happily have an SPMU treatment, there are some things which should be considered.
It is not possible for a darker natural skin tone to be lightened with SPMU treatments
If a client has a lot of blue tones in their lip (for example, a client who has Indian heritage) the choice of lip colour will be limited to coral shades which contain lots of warm toned pigment. This is because, as the pigment fades over time, the cool tones remain in the skin and can give a blue-toned lip-line.
The colour you see in the pigment bottle is not necessarily the colour which shows in your skin.
All pigments, once implanted, are affected by the skin’s natural tone. This means that the final colour which remains after the healing process has taken place will pick up elements from your own skin tone.
SPMU will fade by up to 40% after the first and second treatments
Your technician should have experience of choosing the right shade for you to ensure the healed colour is what you’ve asked for. In general there are such a wide range of pigments and ranges that there is likely to be a shade which is right for you. Do ask your chosen technician whether they’ve worked on clients with similar skin tones and requests as experience is very important when dealing with complex requests.
Top Tips #3 – Lasting effects
While the general rule of thumb is that SPMU treatments last between 9 to 18 months, this varies hugely between clients. There are so many things which can affect the permanency of SPMU treatments. These include;
- Sun exposure
- Skin type
In general, an older client will need less regular colour boosts. If you protect the treated area from sun exposure by applying total sun-block or wearing a hat, your colour will last longer. Medication can have an effect on pigment retention and adhering to the after-care advice your technician gives you will help the healing process complete correctly.
The main thing to remember is that, although all SPMU will fade over time, you will be left with pigment residue in the skin for many, many years.
Top Tips #4 – Cost
(Or… ‘buy cheap, buy twice’!)
Most SPMU treatments should cost at least £200. If you are offered SPMU or microblading for a cheaper price, please, please, please ask why it’s so cheap.
A safe treatment that lasts and looks beautiful will cost the technician almost this much to deliver. If they say they can do it cheaper, they are likely to be cutting corners somewhere and that puts your safety and appearance at risk.
You may end up with a costly removal or correction bill or even worse, a serious health issue which you didn’t have before.
If you want to know more about the actual costs involved in delivering a safe and well-executed SPMU procedure, have a read of this blog!
Of course, you will always pay more for expertise and a highly experienced technician could cost up to £600 or even more. If you’ve done your research and you love the technician’s work, believe me, it’s worth every single penny!
Top Tips #5 – Experience and expertise
Finally, please research your chosen technician fully. A good technician should be able to share plenty of before and after images with you and will always be happy to answer as many questions as it takes for you to part with your hard earned cash!
The best way to be completely comfortable is to get recommendations from people you know and trust who have been treated by the technician you’re interested in.
Some questions to ask would be:
- Who did you train with and how long ago?
- Where do you buy your pigments and needles from?
- What happens if I am not happy with the results?
- Are you insured? (And can I see your paperwork please!)
A good technician will never mind you asking these things and most will welcome the opportunity to talk through your chosen treatment fully.
I am always happy to offer advice if you’ve come up against something you don’t understand or want to check, please comment below if you think I can help.