PMU Talent Event 2017

So when we aren’t tattooing – we hold awesome events to support on-going education for other technicians! Here’s the promo video from our last event x

The 7 deadly eyebrow sins

Ok, so we know that brows can make or break a face. But have you ever wondered just how much?

Using our very own, and very gorgeous Michelle – we gave her brows seven different looks! Let’s see which ones we prefer.

Brow No1: The McBrows

Not quite the Golden Arches you would expect to see these days. The last time this shape was acceptable, Marty McFly was riding his Delorian time machine back in time. Let’s hope this style doesn’t come back to the future anytime soon!

 

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No 2: The Disney Villian

terrifying children all over the world since animation began, the signature baddie brow is a combination of high arch and low front. Brows like this give a pretty face a sinister look – let’s leave this to the likes of Maleficient!

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No.3: Too close for comfort

We often hear brows are “sisters not twins” but even if the were – I’m not sure conjoined twins is what we are picturing. Anything less than 2.5cm is just too close for comfort. Michelle and I are best friends – and even we aren’t this close! Like the couple that are constantly kissing and making out in public – I feel mildly uncomfortable looking at these IMG_1771

No 4: The Sad face brows

Tails that droop lower than the front of the brows drag the eye area down and make you look sad. It’s aging, and can make a happy soul look like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Thankfully this is just bad makeup and they don’t reflect our Michelle’s personality at all.IMG_1773

 

No 5: The “why so serious” brow

When Flo-rida sang about “getting low” I’m not sure this is what he had in mind. Too low and too straight makes you look pretty darn angry. I’d be pissed too if my brows looked like this…

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No. 6: The Sperminator

Tadpoles, Sperm brows, commas, call em what you want, but there isn’t a name in the world that can detract from the fact no one can successfully work this look. It’s actually pretty easy for us to fix with permanent makeup – and I guarantee it will soften your face by 100 percent!

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No 7: The goldilocks brows

we’ve called these the Goldielocks brows, because just like when she stumbled across the bears house and found a bed and some food that was just right – we belive these brows are just right for Michelle. Not too big, too close, or too high…they are just right ☺️ Showing her off for the absolute beauty that she is! ❤️

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If you need help picking a shape just right for you, then we are here to help! No ready made stencils or one shape fits all. Your brows ahould be as unique as you are and tailored to fit your own face and muscles. It’s not always easy to see where your own attempts are going wrong, so ask your very own brow lady. I bet she can help you out for the better!

Lots of love,

Mrs Makeup

xxx

How to manage skin undertones

Under eye concealer must be one of the most purchased beauty products out there. A little concealer can take us from looking Washed out to Woken up in 30 seconds flat! We call them our dark circles, but have you ever really had a look to see what colour they truly are?

When my clients walk through the door, I’m looking at lots of different things. How your face moves when you talk, which side in your face is higher than the other, and how your bone structure differs on each side.

Once ive figured all that out, I look at how your skin is. Are you oily, or dry? Do you wear your brow pencil strong or soft? All these questions have been answered in my head, in the time it took me to offer you a tea or coffee 🙂

Then my mind switches to colour selection. One of the most important questions I Wish I could ask you is “what is your skin undertone?”

Now I don’t expect you to know this – but its my job to understand it inside out, so when I lie you down on my bed, I want to remove that undereye concealer and let your skin tell me the answer.

I wish that tattooing your skin was as simple as painting on a piece of paper. I wish I could let you select a colour and it would be inserted under your skin – and stay the exact same colour you chose. But the clue is in the last sentence. I am inserting colour UNDER your skin, and not on top of it.

Whatever colour is peeking out from under your eyes will affect the healed result of your eyebrow tattoo. And depending how strong it is – it can massively effect the outcome.

Now this is probably the most complicated blog I’ve written so far, but I have tried to make a lengthy subject very easy to understand. Best still, to sit down and grab a cuppa to let this all process though :). I’ve brought in some real life pictures of what undertones look like and how we can neautralise them.

First up…

PURPLE UNDERTONES

This is probably what I see most of where I am based (Scotland, UK) We have a lot of very pale skinned clients with a lot of purple around the ring of the eye. The goal in most cases is to have a nice brown toned eyebrow. Lets imagine I took some purple paint and put it in a bowl – the colour I would need to mix in with the purple to make a shade of brown would be yellow. So purple + yellow = brown.

Anytime I see a strong purple under eye area, I need to either choose a brown that has a high yellow base content – or if in doubt, I will add more yellow mixer pigment into any colour I will be using. The worst thing I could do to any of these ladies in the picture above is select a dark brown pigment that has a high concentration of red or blue. Yellow is the only way I can mellow these purple undertones out.

If I am in doubt, a gentle stretch to the eyelid will reveal the purple veins and undertones in all their glory. Pretty cool Huh!?

 

RED UNDER TONES

Next, we have clients that have a strong red undertone.

These clients have a tendency to ash colours out – so I do 3 things to make sure my brown is healed as well as I can get it.

First, whenever I see red undertones – I think about blue/grey. I know that’s maybe confusing, but on a face, red is not warm. It equals ASH ASH ASH. The redder the face, the more it will ash your selected colour.

The second thing I do is add orange to my mixture. By thinking of the red undertones as something that makes my eyebrows blue/grey – I am reminded to add orange as a counter balance.

And finally, I don’t ever pick a brown that has a high red content in it. Red undertone plus red pigment = grey eyebrows. Confused yet? Just remember red face = blue so make sure you add orange as a modifier.

If I stretch a red eye lid you can see the difference from the purple ones we saw earlier.

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NEUTRAL UNDERTONES

Neutral undertones mean that there is nothing too suspicious happening underneath the skin. You can pretty much guarantee that if you choose a colour not too dark, and place it at the right depth – then not only will you have a colour that heals pretty true to the bottle of pigment you selected, it will fade nicely over the years too.

So in short, you need to know your colour theory well in order to produce good healed results.

Remember:

“Purple needs some yellow so it can be mellow”

“if you are red, add orange I said!”

“no undertone means – you are the client of my dreams”

Its a complicated subject that can take years to master. I would encourage you all to learn from your pigment supplier exactly what each colour is made up from so you can select the best base colours for your clients. And remember, even though that eye concealer makeup may be helping you feel a little fresher – to an expert, your true colours are literally written all over your face. 🙂

Lots of love,

Mrs Makeup xxx

Hairstroke eyebrows – Expectations vs Reality

The Hairstoke eyebrow.

The holy grail of “I cant believe those are tattooed”.

But are they right for you?

What is the answer and how can we stop clients from being disappointed with what we can realistically achieve?

So first thing first. We might as well all admit right now, that in more than half the people we see, that hairstroke tattooed brows only work if a specific set of circumstances meet perfectly

Good skin + great technician + strict client aftercare= healed hair stroke brows.

But long term, even if we have a perfect set of circumstances, science just isn’t on our side. Here are some additional factors to consider:

  1. The many small details required to get a hairstroke brow, go against everything traditional tattooists know. Any tattoo, anywhere on the body that has hundreds of little lines packed closely in together, will eventually merge and spread. Its a fact and its what the body does as it heals.
  2. There is no outline to keep the hairs in place. In traditional tattooing theres a pretty good reason they love to outline. Not only does it give your tattoo definition and contrast. It keeps the colours separate and helps keep them in place. We cant outline your brows or you would look like a crazy person 🙂 but this leaves them open to movement over time.
  3. The face is like no other part of the body. We are contending with basically a pretty hostile environment for such tiny delicate pieces of tattoo. We have oil, hair follicles, wrinkles, skin conditions, makeup, UV rays, the list is endless.

 

So what CAN we do to stop clients being disappointed with their haistroke brows?

I genuinely think that the answer lies in educating your clients depending on the situation you are presented with. Every single person is worried the brows will look unnatural – and that’s why they opt for hairstroke, but more often than not, this technique alone just isn’t for them. Now – they may still be able to have hairstroke brows – but maybe you need to include some shading through it. A combination brow is usually a much better option, but how do you convince a client that is set on strokes, that they need strokes AND shading?

The first thing you can do is  –   spend more time studying skin types so that you can help your client choose the best brow for them. By being able to confidently explain the processes that the tattoo will endure, your client will start to trust you. (see our previous blog “skin vs brows”)

The second one, is take time out of your day to create cases and examples that you can show your clients so that they can also understand and build trust with you.  I am as busy as all of you, so sometimes, I need to stay late, get some models in and spend a couple hours photographing specific scenarios, so that I can show them to prospective clients.

Let me show you one that helps us out a lot.

This model was brought in for us to be able to show the differences between haistroke brow, and hairstroke plus shading. She has good skin, but has over plucked her brows over the years until they just wont come back in. There is also a big height difference.

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So we now need to spend some time drawing on templates (which can look pretty scary) and reassuring the client we will only be working inside these drawings, so as long as they like the overall shape and position, the actual tattooed brows will be smaller when we are finished .

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So we started off with hairstroke tattoo. You can see from this close up picture, that really, the strokes on their own, just aren’t enough. I will never get a good blend between her own eyebrow hair and the tattoo. The colour just isn’t dark enough for her either – but she has such a purple undertone, I’m stuck using yellow based colours (the techs will understand that last bit)

I can still see that patch of natural hair that we have kept – and although the client wanted hairtsroke – there is no denying, it looks unfinished. Lets have a look at the brow now when I add some light shading.

In an instant, these brows start to transform. Look complete, blend away natural hair, and look a much better colour. The client likes these much better – and so do I!

Pictures like these really help my clients see the difference in the techniques available to them, so that we can best meet their needs.

Listening to what out clients want and making them feel heard is a skill that we have to implement every single day. But doing something that wont work just because a client is asking for it, will only end in upset for both parties. If you have a client that is insisting on hairstrokes, but you know the skin cant take it, then it is your duty to let the client know why it will not work. A good tech can always offer an alternative. Whether that be powder, or ombre or a combination brow, or sometimes even saying “No” altogether.

Making people happy is the goal. So lets help our clients choose wisely 🙂

Lots of love

Mrs Makeup xx

SKIN vs BROWS

Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ and that it makes up 18% of your body weight? Neither did I until recently 🙂

I spent the first half of my career studying brow shapes, colour theory and tattooing techniques. Always trying my very best to make my clients happy. But sometimes, no matter what I did, the results still varied from person to person. It didn’t make sense? I was so frustrated. The more faces I worked on, I started to be able to tell straight away before I had even opened the skin if the person would swell, bleed, hold a hair stroke or blur things out over healing.

And then it came to me! (at 4am) All this time, I haven’t been taking into consideration the human body and how it works.

So the first thing that’s glaringly obvious (I was too busy trying to get your eyebrows the same to think about this) is that your skin heals. Its what its meant to do. Every time you have an injury, a burn, a cut or a fall – the skin heals. I hadn’t been thinking technically about it, and had only so far considered the cosmetic side of things. So whether I like it or not – when I tattoo your brows, I am making a wound, and in turn you will heal. The skin is a living thing and everyone will heal at different rates depending on age, skin type, medications, immune systems – I could go on forever!

Over the past two years, I’ve been studying skin, and how certain conditions that affect you will in turn, affect how your tattoo heals. Now, when you read this, don’t be surprised if you have one or more of the common things I’ve listed. I would honestly say at little as 20 percent of my clients are completely unaffected…

Lets start with……

ACNE

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The short explanation for acne is that its an inflammatory skin issue that is created by the skins sebaceous glands. It can affect anyone, young or old, male or female. Some treatments for acne include strong creams  that thin the skin or medication such as Roacutane. It is impossible for us to have a good healed cosmetic tattoo on anyone who has active acne. And if you have used long term antibiotics, Roacutane or creams, then your skin will be compromised forever, even if your acne has long cleared up. Even though the tattoos on your body didn’t pose any issues, The excess oil in your face may mean you need to avoid tattooing your brows.

SUN DAMAGE

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Yes, I know its cold, and I know it feels so much better when we have a bit of sun, but if you don’t tan naturally, and have pale skin that pigments, freckles and burns in the sun, its not good news for your tattoo either. Not only with UV rays prematurely fade your tattoo, when the pigment is inserted under the skin on a sun damaged face – the colour will always be an ashy grey colour. Pale is cool! Lets learn to keep it that way.

LARGE PORES OR OILY SKIN

large pores

This isn’t a skin condition as such – but it can affect the outcome of your Eyebrow tattoo. When a technician sees this skin type, we know that hair stroke eyebrows alone wont stand a chance. As your skin heals, and the oil continues to produce, it will create a large scab that will in turn peel off and take the delicate hair strokes with it. Anything that’s left will be patchy and will continue to dissolve in your skin at an accelerated rate, leaving you (and me) disappointed. This skin type is much better suited to a more filled in powdery or ombre eyebrow.

ROSACEA

rosecea

Rosacea is a common but poorly understood condition that affects many. Some cases are mild and some much more severe. It can affect the cheeks and nose, and also the forehead and brow area, and whole face. I have done many clients with this condition and the results vary depending on the severity of the outbreak. As a rule, the redness in your face will cause the eyebrow tattoo to heal more ash, and a nice colour cant be promised. If you have this on your forehead or the redness has developed into lumps – you are not suitable for cosmetic tattoo. It has been linked to your diet, and there are treatments available from your doctor.

PSORIASIS

psorisis

Many people have psoriasis. Its not contagious, and out of all the places on your body it can appear, its not that likely to end up on your face. BUT, remember, your skin is connected all over. And if you have this on your body – there is a chance that by having your brows tattooed, you will trigger an outbreak on your face. As well as triggering an outbreak, as the skin heals at an accelerated rate and not only will you be left looking extra flakey during the healing phase – the colour will most likely be rejected.

ECZEMA/SEBORRHEIC DERMATITIS

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This would be the most common thing that we see. I am often asking clients if they have ever been diagnosed with Eczema as I can see inflamed or dry looking skin on the face. Some of you have – but for those of you that haven’t ever been officially diagnosed, you will usually agree that you have also seen dry patches in your scalp, brows, and at the side of your nose. Usually people that have been diagnosed with eczema, find that their triggers can be cosmetics, stress, detergents, cleaning products and they have a general sensitivity. For those of you never diagnosed, but do notice the dry patches, it may be worth while still having it checked. Often a condition called Seborrheic Dermatitis goes untreated for a long time. It appears on the body where there are a lot of oil producing glands, or folds in the skin. So the hairline, eyebrows and sides of the nose are tell tale areas that your skin is affected. Out of all of the conditions we have discussed so far – this is without a doubt the most difficult to tattoo eyebrows on and have a good result. The colour rejects time and time again, and its a constant battle to get anything in there long term.

So the moral of the story is, sometimes, its not me, its not you – but it is your skin. That wonderful living organ that keeps you safe, dry, free from infection, and stops you from dying, can be the very thing that stops you having the brows of your dreams!

We always recommend that you have a consultation prior to booking a treatment so that we can identify any of these things upfront, to save you being disappointed. Any questions – as always, we are right here.

Lots of love,

Mrs Makeup xxx

SISTERS NOT TWINS ?

HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE SAID – “BROWS ARE SISTERS NOT TWINS”? FOR EVERY CLIENT I’VE HAD WHO SAYS THIS, I’VE HAD ANOTHER ONE WHO PANICS THAT ONE BROW SITS SLIGHTLY HIGHER THAN THE OTHER.

USING SOME VERY FAMOUS (AND BEAUTIFUL) SISTERS, WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHY ACHIEVING PERFECT SYMMETRY IS DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE!

WHENEVER I’M SHOWN PICTURES OF BROW INSPIRATION, ITS MOST LIKELY TO BE SOMEONE ALONG THE LINES OF MEGAN FOX, OR ONE OF THE KARDASHIAN CLAN. TO BE HONEST, THESE LADIES ARE PRETTY HIGH UP ON MY PERSONAL BROW GOAL LIST. WHEN WE LOOK AT THESE WOMEN, WE SEE A FULLER BROW, A NICE ARCH, TAPERED OFF TAIL, AND A SMOOTH TRANSITION THROUGHOUT. THERE IS NO OVER PLUCKING, NO MCDONALDS ARCH STYLE BROW, AND THEY AREN’T TOO CLOSE TOGETHER OR HARSH. BUT LETS LOOK A LITTLE CLOSER. WHAT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE BEAUTIES HAVE – IS QUITE CLEARLY – ONE BROW HIGHER THAN THE OTHER!

I SPENT YEARS AND YEARS TRYING TO GET BROWS EXACTLY THE SAME. I USED TO SPEND A LONG TIME DRAWING MINE ON, CONVINCED THEY WERE EXACT – ONLY TO THEN LOOK AT MYSELF IN A PICTURE – AND SEE ONE PEAKED AND ONE FLAT. NOT ONLY ARE WE NEVER THE SAME ON BOTH SIDES – OUR MUSCLES WORK INDEPENDENTLY ON EACH SIDE OF THE FACE. OUR “ACTIVE” SIDE WILL RAISE UP AND DOWN MORE THAN THE OTHER. SOME OF US ITS A SUBTLE CHANGE, BUT FOR OTHERS ITS PRETTY BIG!

I’VE FOUND THAT THE MORE ACTIVE SIDE IS LIKELY TO RAISE UP WHEN YOU ARE TELLING AN EXCITING STORY. YOUR FACE LIGHTS UP, YOU SMILE AND LAUGH, AND YOUR BROWS RAISE UP AND DOWN. ITS WHAT MAKES US ANIMATED, LIKEABLE, AND KIND OF CUTE 🙂 IT ALSO RAISES UP WHEN SOMEONE POINTS A CAMERA AT US – OUR CAMERA FACE ENGAGES, AND SO DOES THAT DAMN BROW. AND FINALLY, WHEN WE LOOK IN THE MIRROR…UP IT GOES AS WE CHECK OURSELVES OUT TO SEE THAT WE ARE LOOKING AS GORGEOUS AS USUAL.

IF YOU HAVE A SIDE THAT IS MASSIVELY DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER – THEN SEMI PERMANENT EYEBROWS CAN ABSOLUTELY HELP EVEN THINGS OUT. BUT IF YOU GO HOME, AND PUT A RULER ACROSS YOUR HEAD, THEN THE HIGHER ONE, WILL STILL ALWAYS BE A LITTLE HIGHER.

BUT DON’T STRESS OUT, BE LIKE THE KARDASHIANS. BE DIFFERENT ON ONE SIDE THAN THE OTHER, LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN BEING IN THE WORLD, AND ROCK YOUR IMPERFECTIONS – PERFECTLY!

XXX