Permanent Perfection


As spa professionals, you offer your clients the luxury of looking and feeling their best without having to do any of the work. And in this ever-evolving industry, it is still possible to find new avenues to help your clients attain the results they desire while improving your bottom line. A growing trend sprouting up on spa menus is permanent makeup services, which offer clients the time and freedom to focus on more important things during the day than applying makeup.

According to Jeanee Lusby, founder of NaturaLook Institute of Permanent Cosmetics, permanent makeup is the ideal option for almost any client looking to simplify their lives by looking their best without having to invest too much time. “This is a great service for anyone who wants to restore lost color or definition to their face,” says Lusby. “It is also great for women who have difficulty seeing up close, have allergies to conventional makeup products, who are very active outdoors, and those who struggle with asymmetric facial features.”

Among the most popular permanent makeup procedures being offered at spas are eyeliner, eyebrows, and lips. “Permanent eyeliner is a must for women with allergies to conventional makeup, and who wear contact lenses, have poor eyesight, or shaky hands,” says Gina Gheldof, founder of Forever Young Cosmetic Spa (Glen Ellyn, IL). Gheldof helps clients attain varied effects on their eyes depending on their desires, be it a soft, subtle look or a more dramatic eye. When it comes to eyebrows, Gheldof’s goal is to define the client’s face by creating a natural look with a custom blend of pigment shades that match the client’s natural hair shades.

According to Gheldof, lip procedures can correct asymmetry, add definition and fullness, and either enlarge or minimize the lips’ appearance. It can also reduce the appearance of lines around the lips and prevent lipstick from “bleeding.” Another popular permanent makeup offering at Spa Gregorie’s (multiple locations in CA) is the application of a beauty mark. According to Livia Abrudan, permanent makeup artist at Spa Gregorie’s in Newport Beach and Rancho Santa Margarita, clients request this for a number of reasons, such as to add a dramatic flair to their look, as well as to cover up imperfections such as scars or freckles.

In addition to aesthetic enhancement, permanent cosmetic services are also being used medically. “There is a growing need for permanent makeup services that go beyond eyebrows, eyeliner, and lip liner,” says Robert Waters, vice president and general manager of Nouveau Contour North America, a manufacturer and educator of permanent makeup. “This includes creating areola pigmentation for post-breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, as well as helping accident or burn victims by creating eyebrows or defining the lip or eye area. It provides not only a new avenue of revenue but also a rewarding service that offers a permanent solution for those afflicted with bodily flaws.”

If you are considering incorporating permanent makeup services into your spa menu, it is imperative to ensure that your provider is properly trained, says Lusby. “Make certain that he or she has completed enough practice procedures on several different canvases and is confident in his or her skill level before offering any services to clients,” she says. “In our center, we offer a 100-hour course, including a combination of didactic and practicum. Our students have one year of support and in-clinic hands-on proctor opportunities available to them.”

Nouveau Contour offers both fundamental and advanced training for those looking to administer permanent makeup services. The fundamental training includes 35 hours of self-study prior to the course, followed by 40 hours of in-house instruction and hours of homework per night, totaling 85 hours of study. The company’s advanced courses are designed for current practitioners who want to improve their existing techniques and learn ways to obtain better implantation of pigment and reduce trauma to the skin.

In addition to ensuring your permanent makeup technicians are thoroughly trained, Lusby points out that it is important to educate your entire staff. “Because there is much to do when incorporating this service into your business, we also teach a marketing course so the entire spa personnel is educated on the benefits of this service,” says Lusby. “For example, it is critical that the person answering the phones is well educated in fielding questions and counseling potential clients on the topic.”

According to her, now is the ideal time to incorporate these services into your spa’s menu. “This industry is continuing to grow and improve quickly in the areas of pigments, devices, techniques, and design trends,” says Lusby. “There has never been a better time for spas to incorporate permanent makeup. It is a big-ticket service with a very low set-up cost, so everyone wins.”