My Journey To Permanent Makeup

When I first decided to train in Microblading I was worried I would spend all my time creating big, bold, over styled eyebrows for young fashion conscious girls. Was this just a fad? As a makeup artist I’ve always despised those very dark, unnatural, tattooed eyebrows, but when I was told about Microblading and started researching I could see the results were often subtle, delicate strokes in far more natural colours and tones.

“Could this be a treatment that would rid the world of awful eyebrows forever?!”

I’ve been Microblading for almost 4 years now and can honestly say it’s the best decision of my life, I absolutely love the results I’m achieving and the difference it is clearly making to my clients lives. This treatment is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for!

How did I get into Permanent Makeup?

When I was 16 years old I contracted Meningococcal Septicaemia and as a result I lost both my legs below the knee and some fingers. I spent several months in hospital, the limb surgery unit was located next to the specialist burns unit. Every night I would lay awake listening to the screams and cries coming from the specialist burn unit in the ward next to mine. I had lost my legs, my mobility, my independence, but I knew I would learn to walk again and I was determined I would rebuild my life. These poor people I could hear had lost their identity as well as their mobility and their independence. They had lost who they were.

While I was in hospital recovering from my surgery I met a makeup artist, she visited the burns unit every week, taking photos of their scarring for a film she was working on, but as a thank you she then taught them how to camouflage their scars with specialist makeup. She invited me to sit in on one of her sessions… Wow!

I could not believe how just a little time spent applying this special makeup could completely transform these poor people and give them back their dignity. It boosted their confidence beyond their dreams and regained their self esteem. Before I was ill I dreamed of being a skiing instructor and travelling the world. I was creative and loved drama, I knew I didn’t want to sit at a desk all day, but after my illness, having lost my legs I couldn’t imagine what I could do. I knew I needed to do something special, I’d survived Meningitis and been given a life so many people hadn’t had this chance, I didn’t want to waste it. THIS was what I wanted to do, I wanted to help people but I wanted to love my job too. I decided to learn to do makeup and give this gift to people.

20 years later I have built my career  around makeup, I’ve worked in film and TV for many years, sometimes even recreating terrible injuries with Special Effects makeup, but my passion has always been working with people who lack confidence, Brides who are petrified of being the centre of attention, Mums who have so little confidence they feared they would let their daughters down, and Bridesmaids who feared standing next to their perfect friends. Having faced all these fears myself when I lost my legs I always try to help people from the inside as well as visually.

Makeup however is not a permanent fix, at the end of the day that makeup is wiped away and the nightmares return. I still felt there could be more I could do for people. The makeup industry has changed so much in the last few years, peoples expectations of what they can achieve has rocketed and life has become so superficial, so focused on perfection. It wasn’t until my Mum and close friend were diagnosed with cancer and I watched the devastating effects their treatments had on their bodies that I realised just how important a simple thing like eyebrows can be. I started researching permanent makeup techniques and stumbled across Microblading.

Microblading was a technique of peranent makeup – tattooing, originating in Korea centuries ago, it is a hugely popular spa treatment in Singapore quickly finding itself  in Australia and New Zealand, in the last few years the USA and Canada have caught on and just recently it has made it’s way across the pond to the UK and Europe.

I decided to give it a go, and began my training. Since then I have worked with so many different types of people, the majority of my clients have been post Menopausal ladies and new Mums who have found that the hormone changes have caused hair loss and found their eyebrows and lashes have been effected most. Others have been girls who have over plucked their brows as teenagers and been living with completely uneven shaped brows. I have been contacted by Mums who have teenaged children suffering with Alopecia (although I can’t tattoo anyone under 18, I have helped then by teaching them drawing techniques), one girl Laura lost her sight in one eye as a baby due to a tumour and had to have reconstructive surgery so her entire brow area on one side was a scar. I have even been contacted by men who suffer with Alopecia and scarring and even people who are reaching the end of their lives due to life limiting conditions.

Microblading every day and absolutely loving it, my clients are leaving my studio with a bounce in their step and their heads held high. It’s fantastic!

“Hi Sophia, I have just returned from my hospital consultation for my Alopecia. Both my doctor and consultant dermatologist were so impressed with my new eyebrows that they would love your contact details to pass on to their patients with the same condition.
They are based in Poole and know that you are in Guildford. If you are happy for me to pass your details on I could ask them to recommend you to the dermatology dept at the Royal Surrey too!”

Receiving messages like this is what makes my job so rewarding, I am helping people, and it feels great but I know I can do more…

My next step was to train in Digital Permanent Makeup with the UK’s leading permanent makeup artist Karen Betts, which allows me to work on any skin type and offer stronger looks such as Ombre and Powder Brows, also Lip and Lash Enhancement tattoo’s. I then trained in medical tattooing which enabled me to reconstruct nipples for women who have had Mastectomy, scalp Micropigmentation for hair loss in both men and women and camouflage for people with burns and scarring, helping these people is such an amazing honour.

My career seems to have gone full circle, permanent makeup has been a life changing treatment not just for my clients but for me too!