Five top tips to think about before getting semi permanent make up

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 costerile SPMU needle cartridgesme 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;

  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Sun exposure
  • Medication
  • Skin type

SPMU hertfordshireIn 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.

Semi Permanent eyebrows Hemel Hempstead

Wow, what a Deal?!… Or is it?

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!

Semi Permanent make up Hetfordshire

Semi Permanent make up herts