How to Avoid Bad Cosmetic Tattoo Artists

Once you’ve decided to get a permanent cosmetic tattoo, one of the next decisions you should make is finding where to get the services done. You may have a few options, but how are you going to pick the right one?

Permanent makeup is a risky procedure, but when done correctly, you’ll have long-lasting results that can improve your natural features and save time with your makeup routine. However, if you go to the wrong cosmetic tattoo artist, you could end up with a discoloured eyeliner, poorly shaped eyebrows, or worst, an infection that compromises your health.

Thus, choosing your makeup tattoo artist is not an easy decision! To help you make the best choice, here are few factors you should take into account so that you won’t end up with a bad cosmetic tattoo.

They should have adequate training and experience.

The first thing to consider is the artist’s training and experience. Their apprenticeships and proof of competency from reputable training agencies can give you a rough idea of how well the artist mastered their craft.

You should know where and who trained the artist, what training the artist invested in, and the legitimacy of the trainer. Ask these questions before booking an appointment and do further research about the validity of any information they’ve provided.

You should also know how long the artist is doing the services. It’s also important to ask if the artist has any experience doing permanent makeup on people of your ethnicity and skin colour.

The industry of permanent makeup and tattooing continually innovates. A true professional will always strive to do what is best and provide the safest service to clients by continuously investing in training and seminars. When an artist continually educates themselves, it is a good sign that you are not ending up with a bad cosmetic tattoo.

Certifications are visible.

Aside from training and experience, you should also not hesitate to ask if the artist has all certifications required by local law. Depending on the state, cosmetic tattoo artists and shops need to have certification from the local Board of Health.

Certifications ensure that the artist follows the standard heath procedure like proper waste disposal, obtains health-related training, updated bloodborne pathogen certificate, adequate sterilization techniques, and other safety considerations.

These certifications and permits should be visible inside their shop. If you don’t see it, try to ask and speak up. It might be awkward, but a true professional cosmetic tattoo artist will look after your health and won’t mind your inquiries.

Also, keep in mind that any medical professional who offers permanent cosmetics should have certifications proving that they have hands-on and specialized training in cosmetic tattooing. Just because someone is a doctor does not mean they have artistic mastery or in-depth information to execute permanent cosmetic procedures.

It can take many years to master and understand the skin’s composition; thus, a cosmetic tattoo artist should have enough certification to prove it.

You’ve gone through their portfolio.

Never hire a cosmetic tattoo artist without seeing samples of their work. You should see photos of previous clients so you can get an idea of their style, technique, and overall skill.

Most cosmetic tattoo artists will have a portfolio on hand and will be more than delighted to review it with you. If they can’t provide it, consider it as a bad sign.

Also, be aware if they’ve provided stock or stolen images. Do your research and ensure that the photos they’ve provided are their actual work.

You’ll have a customized experience.

Another thing to consider is if your preferred artist will treat you as an individual. They should calculate the placement, shape, style, and colour of any cosmetic tattoo procedure following your facial proportions and morphology. It is particularly true, especially with brow tattooing.

If your preferred artist applies a stencil to your face to do the tattoo, walk away because there’s a good chance you’ll walk out of there with sharpie eyebrows. Using stencils is one of the most crucial indicators of a sloppy or inexperienced artist.

Your eyebrow tattoo artist should know that every pair of brows is different. Thus, the experience should be unique to every client. This ensures that your brows will look fabulous, but most importantly, natural.

For the best result, include yourself in the design process, ask plenty of questions and show some inspirational photos. The artist should also allow you to have any input and stay firm on distinct points that they feel are non-negotiable.

While some artists have impeccable artistry but, it is always wise to have a customized layout of the tattoo. Having an initial visual will give you an overview of what outcome you should expect.

The artist should also inform you about the pros and cons of the tattoo procedure that you want and what may or may not be suitable for you.

They have unbiased reviews and testimonials.

You should also hear experiences from real customers. Most artists will have testimonials and reviews on their websites, but be sure to also check on third-party places. These will give you a more authentic and uncensored review.

Also, consider that artists don’t necessarily need 5-star rankings for them to be great, but they shouldn’t have a handful of negative reviews as well. Try to read some of the negative feedback and make your judgement.

If the negative reviews warn about an underlying problem or malpractice, then have second thoughts about the artist. It’s also a red flag if the artist has reviews turned off.

The price is right.

In cosmetic tattooing, you’ll always get what you pay. Thus, any good tattoo artist will charge a reasonable rate for their work.

Incredible tattoo artists will invest in training courses and high-quality equipment; thus, they may charge an adequate fee rather than complying with a standard rate. Their processional cost will usually indicate the level of training and experience they invested in their clinic.

Any ‘too good to be true’ prices or promotions will often result in more expensive touch-ups, so it’s best to invest with qualified professionals than fixing mistakes made by an amateur.

They are using the right pigments.

Permanent makeup uses special ink different from inks used with body tattoos to achieve a softer, more natural look. So, ask your artist what types of dyes they’re using.

Your preferred artist should also use high-quality pigments that are sterile, organic, hypoallergenic, and will give a more realistic result. Lower-grade dyes can have toxic ingredients and may oxidize over time. Some pigments also fade quicker, requiring more touch-ups.

The types of dyes used with cosmetic tattoos can make a tremendous difference in the results and longevity of your permanent makeup. So, always inquire which brand your artist will be using and do your research.

It’s spanking clean.

Cosmetic tattoo artists should follow the most strict health and safety restrictions. Keep in mind that there’s a high risk for infections and transmission of bloodborne pathogens when going through any tattoo procedure.

Aside from having certifications and licenses related to health standards, ensure that your artist exercises proper sterilization techniques before, during, and after every procedure. You should visit the clinic before booking an appointment to evaluate the working environment and cleanliness standards of your preferred tattoo artist. No matter how good an artist is, if their clinic is unhygienic, back out.

They offer fair correction policies.

As we mentioned, cosmetic tattooing is a delicate practice. Outcomes can sometimes don’t result in what you are expecting. Therefore, you should know your artist’s correction policies if in case you have a problem.

If anything goes wrong, you should know if they are charging for correction services, especially if the result is subpar to what they’ve promised. A fair correction policy will give you peace of mind when it comes to making your decision.


Remember that all of these factors should be your consideration; neglecting one or two may still result in an undesirable makeup tattoo. So, have this list handy before choosing your cosmetic tattoo, and you’ll be on your way in getting the best permanent makeup.

Author’s bio:

Lexi is a student and freelance writer who loves all things beauty related! Her side job at Ulta keeps her up-to-date on many of the trends in make-up, hair and skin care and she enjoys sharing her knowledge with her customers. Hoping to grow her online presence in the wake of COVID, Lexi has also begun writing blogs and articles to develop an audience and help women outside her social circle to recognize that, while true beauty comes from the inside, it’s easy and fun to reflect your inner beauty on the outside! When she isn’t working, studying, or creating make-up and skin care tutorials for her friends, Lexi enjoys skiing and visiting amusement parks to find the best roller coasters, or curling up with her cat, Mandu, a great cappuccino, and a good romance novel.

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