How do you find a good semi permanent makeup technician?

I don’t know about you, but when I decided to have Semi Permanent Makeup (also known as micropigmentation or abbreviated as SPMU); I wanted to know who was going to be putting a needle into my face. I wanted to know what their qualifications were, whether the equipment and products they were using were safe, who had trained them and what their style was so I’d have an idea of what the outcome was likely to be so that I could determine whether I would trust them to tattoo my face.

I was lucky enough to know someone who was a qualified SPMU technician. Not only did I know her personally; I’d seen plenty of her work, been recommended her by word of mouth, as well as having read reviews on social media, and after doing a quick online search into her training company, knew that she would have had high quality training and the equipment and products she were using would be safe.

But not everyone knows a qualified SPMU technician, so if you don’t, how do you find a good Semi Permanent Makeup technician to suit you??

Personally, I couldn’t just pick a name off the internet and put myself under their needle without learning a bit more about them. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen what can go wrong… If you get a dodgy eyebrow wax it’s not the end of the world – the hair will grow back within a few weeks and in the meantime you can use pencil or powder to hide the mistake. A bad cosmetic tattoo isn’t always so easy to disguise and you have to live with the consequences for so much longer…

What could you be risking from going to an unqualified, untrained, uninsured or unlicensed technician?


Infected eyebrows, eyes or lips are not a pretty sight, but there are wider implications to be aware of… An infection can lead to scar tissue forming, which is much more difficult (and sometimes even impossible) to implant colour into – you could be left with areas of skin on your face which will never accept colour so the treated area will be left patchy, not to mention sore and unsightly until it heals.

This shows how scarring can cause patchiness when healed
Eyeliner infection close up
This is an example of an infected eyeliner procedure – as you can see it looks unsightly and extremely sore

Aesthetic appearance:

You could be left with SPMU that simply looks awful – and no one wants to walk around with unsightly SPMU! Unless your technician knows what they are doing, it is very easy to make a mistake – to place a line where you don’t intend to place a line, to implant the colour too deep (which can lead to scarring or SPMU lasts longer than designed), or to use an incorrect colour or needle. Now don’t get me wrong, anyone can make a mistake, but a trained technician will be far less likely to make that mistake in the first place, and if the worst happens, they will know what to do to fix that mistake quickly, painlessly and probably without you even knowing!

These are examples of when a technician has not known how to fix mistakes and left the clients with unsightly eyebrows

As an example, did you know that if pigment is placed too close to the inner or outer corners of your eye, the colour can migrate down into the delicate area under your eye, which is impossible to remove? No, I didn’t know that either until I did my training. It ends up looking like this…

These are examples of when eyeliner has been incorrectly implanted and has led to migration of the pigment

Nope… I wouldn’t want that either.

Furthermore, any natural hair you have should not be completely removed for the treatment – so if a technician says they wax or thread your eyebrows off first – run like the wind!! The technician should be working with your natural hair growth to create something natural and realistic for you. If they remove all of your natural hair before beginning the procedure they may not be able to tell where your natural hair grows and you could end up with something like this…

This shows what can happen if a technician removes all of the clients natural hair during the procedure

I know, how horrible for these ladies! Even if you like the tattooed eyebrow itself, it would mean constant removal of your natural hair, which is time consuming, costly to maintain and not very attractive during regrowth. That completely defeats the point of having semi permanent makeup – to save you time and money, while giving you perfect-looking and easy to maintain eyebrows!

So what should you do to find a great semi permanent make up technician to suit you?

The first and most important thing is… to research.
The second most important thing is… research.
The third most important thing is… Yep, you’ve guessed it… Research!

Photographs:  Any good SPMU technician will have a portfolio of their work; many will have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and websites on which you can view their work.

Reviews:  But do remember, photographs can be manipulated or plagiarised, so if you are able to speak to past clients, or read their reviews, that is even better – unbiased reviews are an important source of information.

Speak to them: A good technician will be happy to spend plenty of time on the phone, talking to you via emails or face-to-face to answer any questions or queries you may have before you decide to go ahead with the procedure or not. Your correspondence with them will demonstrate their knowledge and expertise.

Check their credentials:  Check the technician’s qualifications, insurance and licensing. Any good technician will be happy to show you their Diploma and evidence of their insurance cover.  Some technicians are required by their local councils to be licensed to practice, and those that aren’t required to be licensed will be able to show you evidence of this too. If someone tells you they don’t have to have a licence, insurance or training to practice, ask to see the paperwork to prove this. If they can’t or won’t show it, walk away.

Check equipment and products:  Check which pigments, anaesthetics, needles and machines they use. There are EU regulations on the type of anaesthetics and pigments which can be safely used, so you should ask about the origin of them. Every product used should have an information leaflet which lists ingredients, if it doesn’t then you should question why and if you’re not happy with the answer, don’t take the risk.

Pigments should be purchased from well-known and respected suppliers – BioTouch, Precious Pigments, Li Pigments, Golden Eye and Amiea Pigments are all names which you can trust.  Each pigment pot should have a Lot and Expiry number.

Each needle should come in its own sterile blister pack with a Lot and Expiry number.

Patch testing:  Patch tests for SPMU are optional and you will be able to waiver it if you choose. If you opt to have a patch test this should be done at least 24 hours before your treatment takes place.

Paperwork:  During the consultation part of appointment, your medical history should be taken and discussed. A treatment plan should be created for every appointment which lists the outcome you require, the colours used, their lot and expiry details, the needle/s used and their lot and expiry details. You should have before and after photographs taken too in order to keep a visual record of the course of the treatment.

Treatment rooms: The place the technician works from is also important to take a look at. There are strict rules, laid down by insurance companies and Environmental Health Departments, as to where SPMU treatments can be safely carried out. Most insurance companies will not cover technicians for carrying out home treatments at client’s houses due to the laws around clinical waste products and used needles. Technicians must work in a place which allows them to maintain a sterile environment – treatment rooms should have washable work surfaces, floors, walls, stools and couches to minimize the risk of blood and associated blood-borne infections being allowed to remain on surfaces which are used by many clients; technicians must have access to a sink with hot and cold water, and ideally elbow operated taps; and technicians must have appropriate arrangements for clinical waste and sharps storage and removal.

This is your face we are talking about, and it just doesn’t make sense to take risks. If you’re interested to see what I do before, during and after a treatment, you can read my ‘What will happen during an appointment?’ section on my FAQ page.

So there you have it, all the information you need to help you make an informed decision on how to choose a fantastic semi permanent makeup technician. I really believe it is worth researching when you are thinking about having this type of treatment.  After all, they cost a fair bit of money and you want to receive a treatment which will heal well and look beautiful for many years to come.

Cheap SPMU doesn’t look nice, and nice SPMU isn’t cheap…