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8 Important Factors When Picking a Permanent Makeup Artist

Once you’ve decided to get micropigmentation – more frequently called permanent or semi-permanent makeup – one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is where to get the service done. Depending on where you live, you may have quite a few providers to choose from, but the last thing you want to do is pick an artist just because of the low prices or open availability.

Micropigmentation is a delicate procedure. When done correctly, you’ll have long-lasting results that enhance your natural beauty and shave valuable time off your makeup routine. However, if you go to the wrong micropigmentation artist, you could end up with misshapen and discolored eyebrows, eyeliner, lips or more – expensive mistakes that are difficult to cover up – or worse, an infection that compromises your health.

Don’t make the decision lightly! Here are several considerations that you should take into account when choosing a micropigmentation artist.

Semi-permanent lips before & after photo

Prettyology client before and immediately after application of semi-permanent lips (micropigmentation). Lip color will appear less dramatic after healing.

1. Training and Experience

Proper training and experience is perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing a micropigmentation artist. The training and apprenticeships a provider completed often speak to how well she has mastered the craft. Here are a few questions to ask about training and experience:

  • Where was the artist trained? And by whom?
  • Did she complete an apprenticeship? What did it entail?
  • How many complete services has the artist performed?
  • How many procedures has she done in the past year?
  • Does the artist have experience doing permanent makeup on people of your ethnicity and skin color?
  • Is she involved in an ongoing training process?
  • Is there a trainer the artist turns to for tricky micropigmentation questions? What are the trainer’s qualifications?

Here at Prettyology, all our micropigmentation providers learn the art form from Julie Michaud, Prettyology’s founder and creative director. Julie was actually the first licensed permanent makeup artist in Boston, and she’s trained extensively under industry pioneers in New York, Paris and Florida. She continues to train and learn industry best practices, which has lead her to become one of the most experienced and respected permanent makeup artists in the country.

2. Certification

Don’t be afraid to ask if the artist has all certifications required by local law. In Massachusetts, micropigmentation providers and their establishments need to be certified by the local Board of Health. This certification ensures that the artist isn’t reusing needles, has proper disposal for waste, completed health-related training and practices proper sterilization techniques, among other safety considerations.

In Boston, the provider’s permit must be displayed in a public area. Don’t see it anywhere? Speak up! It might seem awkward to ask about this, but a true professional will care about your health and their own and won’t mind your queries.

3. Portfolio

You wouldn’t hire a makeup artist or hairdresser without seeing samples of his or her work, so apply the same logic to your search for a permanent makeup artist. Ask to see photos of past customers so you can get an idea of the practitioner’s style, technique and overall ability. Most artists will have a portfolio on hand and will be more than happy to review it with you.

4. Customer Reviews or Testimonials

It’s always beneficial if you can hear about the permanent makeup experience from real customers. Most micropigmentation providers include testimonial sections on their websites, but be sure to check out reviews on Facebook and Yelp too. These will often give you the most accurate, uncensored depiction of other people’s results.

5. Proper Pigments

Contrary to what some people think, permanent makeup isn’t done with the same inks as body tattoos. Instead, micropigmentation artists use iron oxide pigments to achieve a softer, more natural look. Ask your permanent makeup artist what types of pigments he or she uses.

6. Communication Skills

When you speak to or meet with the micropigmentation artist, consider how he or she makes you feel. Are you comfortable talking with the artist? Does she explain herself well? How thoroughly does she answer your questions? Clear communication is key to getting the results you want.

Prettyology client before & after semi-permanent eyebrows (micropigmentation)

Prettyology client before and after application of semi-permanent eyebrows (micropigmentation). Redness will subside within hours of the treatment.

7. Comfort Level

It may seem trivial, but your gut instinct about a service provider is usually right. If you sense that something is off or you just don’t feel comfortable with the artist, that’s a big warning sign. We recommend that you keep looking until you find the right micropigmentation artist for your needs.

8. Correction Policies

As we mentioned before, micropigmentation is a delicate practice. Results sometimes don’t come out as you imagined, so ask the provider what her policy is if you have a problem. If the color isn’t right or she missed a spot, will she stand behind her work? Or will you be charged for correction services? This will give you peace of mind when it comes time to make your decision.

What to Avoid When Picking an Artist

It’s also helpful to be able to recognize red flags when you’re picking a micropigmentation artist. Keep an eye out for any of these signs that the artist isn’t right for you:

  • Bad reviews on Yelp or Facebook
  • Heavily discounted prices – permanent makeup is in high demand, so most artists are able to stay busy through referrals and reviews. Too-low prices often speak to a lack of experience or good results.
  • Unprofessional tools or workspace
  • Lack of proper training or certification
  • Specialization solely in tattoo body art – some tattoo artists can do micropigmentation too, but they should have the proper training, experience and pigments required for permanent makeup.

Any of these issues can signal that the micropigmentation provider isn’t the best fit for the important job at hand.

Have more questions about picking the right permanent makeup artist? You can ask for expert advice here, or simply call us at 617.262.1607.


  1. Leslie DelVesco on March 19, 2017 at 2:19 am

    Do you know of a technician that you would recommend in Austin, TX .
    I have alopecia and my eyebrows hairs fell out.

  2. Duncan Lance on October 22, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    If you’re looking for someone to add permanent makeup to your face whether it be through microblading or some other process then you’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing the right artist. In order to make sure that you’re choosing a good one you will need to look into their training and certification as the article points out. You will want to make sure that they have received an education on how to properly do these procedures.

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