Microblading Basics - Choosing an Artist
When I decided to start Altered Aesthetics, I knew that I wanted to offer my clients the highest quality experience available. This includes high quality tools and pigments, continuous education for myself and ensuring all of my clients are properly informed on Microblading.
One of the areas that I feel very strongly about researching and choosing a microblading artist. Everyone interested in getting microblading done should conduct proper research when choosing a cosmetic tattoo artist. There has been some of the recent bad publicity surrounding microblading and I felt it was necessary to create a series of blog articles surrounding Microblading Basics. By creating this series, I hope to give all potential microblading clients as much information on microblading as I can, so they can choose the right artist, understand the process and take care of their freshly microbladed brows. Our first post of this series is all about Choosing an Artist. Being informed is necessary to ensure that you to find the right professional and get the highest quality treatment available.
Choosing an Artist
Below is a guide that will guide you to choosing your microblading artist. Not only do you need to find someone who is qualified, but someone you feel comfortable with. We feel the list below is the bare minimum requirements when choosing an artist. If someone you meet with goes above and beyond, like we do at Altered Aesthetics, then you have more than likely found your golden artist! Do not choose an artist solely based on price or convenience, find choose that adheres to each and every one of the guidelines below.
Book a Consultation
Whether you have found your artist via social media or a google search, its is always best practice to book a consultation. More than likely these consultations are free, so you really have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Booking a consultation prior to your procedure allows you to see the artists certifications, workspace and just get an overall feel of them as a person. Do not rely sole on online reviews, Instagram pics or how many followers this person has. Rely on their qualifications and how you feel after meeting with them. During your consultation you will be able to gauge their professionalism, customer service, ask questions, see their working environment and allow the artist to understand your needs. You should always look for a studio that is well taken care of, clean, food/pet/smoke free, well lit and sanitary.
At Altered Aesthetics, I will not directly book a microblading session until you have had a consultation with me. Consultations are FREE, last 30-45 minutes and you are under no obligation to book a session during or after your consultation.
Tools and Equipment
One of the most important items is to ensure that all of the needles the artists uses are steriIized. This item is non-negotiable and if you feel they are not meeting this requirement, then walk out immediately. Ask to see their sterilized tool packages, sterilized reports and ensure that you see your artist take the new needle or blade out of the package prior to starting the procedure. You should also ensure that when the session is over, that your artist place the needle/microblade in a red sharps container. Make sure the artist mentions sterilization or educates you on their process for use of sterilized microblading needles and handles.
At Altered Aesthetics, we ONLY use disposable tools. I will show you a brand new packaged microblade (a Harmony Microblade created by Tina Davies) and ensure that you see me open it and dispose of it in a sharps container when I am done with your session. We also keep all sterilization reports on file for the tools that we use and we can show you these during your consultation or prior to your session.
Every artist that is performing microblading should have done proper training in this field. During your consultation, ask to see their certification, if it is not displayed. You should also feel free to ask any questions about the training that your artist received.
I myself was trained in a small four day group setting in April 2017 with a microblading & micropigmentation instructor that has been in the industry for 10+ years. Since my initial training I have continued to practice and hone my craft daily. I also feel that in order to best serve my clients, that I continually educating myself in cosmetic tattooing and microblading procedures, which is why I have three additional training sessions book this year. If you would like to see my training certifications, please feel free to ask.
Blood-Borne Pathogen Course
When someone is going to perform any type of blood-related procedure (medical services, tattooing, piercing), it is highly recommended and sometimes required that the person has completed a Blood-Borne Pathogen Course. This course is designed for those who risk on-the job exposure to blood and other bodily fluids, and it teaches how blood-borne pathogens are spread. During blood-borne pathogen courses we learn how to avoid exposure and what to do if exposed to infectious material.
In the past I worked in tattoo shops in California and this course was required yearly for us, so I am highly aware of the need for blood-borne pathogen certification. I have been certified several times (it is required to renew yearly) in California and completed another course prior to opening Altered Aesthetics. If you would like to view my certification, this can definitely be done.
Healed Work Photos
Immediately after pictures are truly amazing. They look so fresh, crisp and clean and they are works of art. True skill and talent is shown once those brows are healed.
Seeing healed work is crucial to choosing your microblading artist. During our consultation I will show you pictures of before, after and healed work from all our clients.
Microblading in many states falls under tattooing. As with any procedure that involved blood, glove are REQUIRED. Not only is it critical that your artist wear gloves, it is also important that they do not touch areas within the studio with contaminated gloves. You should see your artist change their gloves quite frequently throughout your procedure. If you, at any time, see your artist not following this, call them out or do not proceed with the procedure.
Well-educated and professional artists will dispose of all needles INCLUDING handles to reduce the risk of transmitting disease or infection. Microblading isn't cheap, so the tools that your artist uses shouldn't be either. No artist should be re-using handles (unless they have an autoclave on the premesis for sterilization), needles or any other supplies. Your artist should be disposing of everything that may be contaminated during the procedure. Everything I used is disposable and properly disposed of once your procedure is over. You will see me set up the station and break down the station. Please ask any and all questions while this is being done and we will be happy to answer.
Aftercare and Follow-up Appointment
Aftercare is one of the most essential things to do after your microblading procedure. Ensuring proper aftercare will ensure the proper healing process and outcome of your brows. During your consultation make sure to ask your artist about aftercare and how they handle this. They should explain the aftercare, provide you with a product and written instructions and offer to answer any questions via phone, text or email once you get home. All clients will receive Aftercare Instructions during their session. I will go over these instructions and give you all of the necessary aftercare products to heal your brows properly. Should you have questions we are happy to answer them. We also list all of our Aftercare instructions on our website and I am always available via phone, text or email should you have any questions.
Your artist should also inform you during your consultation that microblading is a process. I think of it more as a three step process. First step is your consultation, second step is your initial procedure and third is your perfecting session. A professional artist always care about their clients satisfaction and safety first and foremost. After your initial session, we will schedule your 4-6 week follow-up in order for us to see your brow retention/results and perform a touch-up.
Do You Qualify for the Procedure?
Everyone deserves amazing brows, but unfortunately not everyone is a candidate. Reasons for this vary depending on skin type, medical conditions, supplements and procedures you may have already done (botox, chemical peels, etc.) Your artist should be able to review your skin and determine if you are a good candidate for microblading. During a consultation at Altered Aesthetics, we will go over this in our Client Information Packet. In this informational packet, we list out who would not be a good candidate for this procedure and we will review this information at your consultation and determine if this procedure is right for you.
Business License, Annual Health Inspection Report, Insurance
With the current popularity of microblading happening, it is important that you ensure the studio you are going to is a legitimate business. You should confirm that they have a business license (if applicable in their area) and that they are permitted to perform this procedure by their local or state agency Make sure the place you are going for your procedure is a legitimate business. It also would not hurt to inquire if they have insurance. Basically, you want to ensure the person who will be microblading you and cutting into your skin is a legitimate professional business. Altered Aesthetics meets all of these! We are permitted to perform tattooing in Wake County North Carolina, we are an LLC and have all the proper government paperwork to perform as a business and we also carry personal and general liability insurance. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about these via email or during your consultation.
Remember that proper research and education is a crucial part of finding the right microblading artist for you. The above is just the bare minimum requirements that you should have when choosing an artist.