Hi there! It's Natascha – founder and lead artist of Inkvictus Studios 🙂 As microblading is becoming extremely popular around the Triangle, with new artists seemingly popping up on every corner (and in every home), I wanted to share that taking the time to truly research your potential cosmetic tattooist is *incredibly* crucial!! Here are some quick tips to consider when finding the right artist for you:
- Healed work photos are just as important (if not more important!) than the original before and afters – if no healed photos are posted on the artist’s website or socials, ask to see some! As much as we want your new set of brows to look good right now, longevity is something to think about.
- The term “microblading” does not encompass all forms of eyebrow tattooing – you may also hear of powder brows/ombré brows (machine shading), combo/combination brows (a hybrid of microblading and machine shading), and nano brows (machine hairstrokes), just to name a few.
- Actual microblading is NOT for everyone – even when it is performed by an “experienced” artist. Do NOT let an artist tell you otherwise. Your age, skin type, lifestyle, and other things are all factors in determining what type of brow tattoo may be best suited for you and your skin.
- There is a difference between a cosmetic tattoo artist and a traditional tattoo artist. As cosmetic tattoo artists, we use different techniques to tattoo the skin and sometimes a traditional tattooist’s techniques can be too heavy-handed, or pack too much pigment in a small area, which equals unnatural results. Just because an artist is experienced in traditional tattooing, does not mean they are automatically a skilled cosmetic tattooist.
- Most credible studios offer complimentary consults – they’re a quick 15-30 minute in-person meeting to discuss your goals, your options, AND to see if you vibe with the artist. You’re choosing someone to tattoo your face, after all – you should like them and trust them!
- You should feel comfortable enough to ask questions! Even if you think it’s a silly one (it’s probably not), your artist should be able to answer it confidently. I always tell the artists I train: don't just listen to a trainer and take their word for it – question WHY they say or do something.
- Do NOT go to someone’s house and have them tattoo you. That is ILLEGAL. Fully 100% not okay. Bloodborne pathogens are a real thing that are a real risk once the skin is opened via any tattooing method, and in-home studios are not inspected (at all) or held to the standards set out by the Department of Health for tattoo studios.
- Ask to see permits. By law, your artist should have a Tattoo Permit through the state of North Carolina. Just like I mentioned in the last bullet, a Tattoo Permit shows that the location of the studio has been inspected by the county Department of Health and meets all safety and sanitation requirements.
- IN-PERSON trainings are much more extensive and go a lot more in-depth than online trainings, hands down. You can’t learn which layer of the skin is being tattooed or how to rectify if bad habits are forming when you’ve only watched someone tattoo on a screen. Ask what trainings your artist has taken.
- When considering your budget, keep in mind that most cosmetic tattoo services need a touch-up, meaning you come back for a second session in 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the service. Not everyone needs one, but many people do. Some artists include the cost of that touch-up in the initial price of the service, while others do not. You don’t want incomplete work on your face, so mentally build that touch-up cost into the total amount you’ll be paying.
- Trust your gut. If something seems off, it probably is. I cannot tell you how many clients have come to me with old work that they are unhappy with and said things like “the artist never mapped my brows”, or “she mapped my brows, but never showed me the shape before we started”, or “she showed me the shape and I didn’t love it, but I was too scared to say anything”. It’s your face! Trust your gut and if you don’t feel right about the artist, don’t work with them.
With all this being said, you’re going to spend a couple hours with someone tattooing your face and many more years with that work ON your face – so choose wisely. But no matter which studio you go to, Inkvictus Studios or somewhere else, we want the absolute best for you, your brows, and your skin, and I want you to feel equipped and have the information needed to find the perfect artist for you! Go get ‘em!