Permanent Makeup Artist

How To Become A Permanent Makeup Artist?

So, you want to become a Permanent Makeup Artist or a PMU artist for short. Becoming a PMU is an exciting career choice that allows you to do something creative while working in the beauty industry. 

There are several paths you can take while embarking on this journey - you could embark on the entrepreneurial path and open your own business, or you could try to get in at an established salon or business. Either way is totally fine, and you can achieve this with some hard work and determination. 

Permanent Makeup artists can either do many different applications - lips, eyebrows, and eyeliner, along with other forms of tattooing for some medical applications. Or, you can specialize in one area - like doing ombre powder brows. There are many artists that only focus on eyebrows. 

In this article, we will go over some of the most commonly asked questions about getting your certificate in Permanent Makeup Artistry and some steps you can take to start your career path.

How much do permanent cosmetics make?

Specifically, some people also want to know “How much do permanent makeup artists make in Canada?” 

This can really depend on if you are wanting to start your own business or if you are wanting to work in a salon. 

If you are wanting to start your own business, then this can depend on how many clients you can take per week. Some people report making a minimum of $1000 per week. If you think about it, when you’re starting out if you charge $200 per session, then you only need 5 clients per week. If you are determined, you can really scale your business up quickly once you have enough practice and social proof.

On the other hand, you may want to work at a salon or business that is already established. This takes off a lot of stress for you, but you may not make as much money. You have to consider what is most important for you and your work-life balance. 

Many people report making between 17-30 per hour working under someone at a salon. Another option is similar to a hair salon where you rent space from the salon/business owner plus get a cut of the client’s purchase. 

Either way, both options are neither right nor wrong. It all just depends on how you want to learn, grow, and conduct your own business. 

Building Your Portfolio

No matter which career path you take, you will want to take lots of pictures for your portfolio. This includes all of the before and after of any procedures you do, as well as different stages of the procedures when they are healed. 

This also means you will have to build up your customer service skills. You don’t want any clients to not come back or be unresponsive. Provide helpful feedback to them and check in on them. If you genuinely care about their well-being, they will appreciate your services even more and be willing to come by for some pictures as well. 

What schooling do you need for permanent makeup?

There are many courses out there offering Permanent Makeup Artistry as well as specific courses for either ombre powder eyebrows, microblading, and everything in between. Unfortunately, some of these courses are not of the best quality and there are some things that you should look out for. 

When choosing a class, you will want to pick one that is the most comprehensive. If you can, you also want to attend a class in person. This will provide the best learning experience for you and you will be able to ask a lot more questions. 

There are a couple of questions you should ask your instructor and some red flags to watch out for.

You should ask your instructor how much experience they have and ask to see a portfolio if it’s not readily available. Any instructor will be happy to answer this information and give you their portfolio - if they are hesitant, it might be better to skip this class. 

Any instructor should have a significant amount of experience working with clients. A good rule of thumb is that an instructor should have at least 3-5 years of experience minimum working with clients. 

You should also ask to see testimonials from other students. If this isn’t readily available, the instructor should be able to point you in the direction of past students. Reach out to them and ask what their experience was taking the class as well. They could provide some valuable input about their experience. 

If your class is quite large, it could be hard to get some one-on-one time with the instructor, which is extremely valuable. If the class only has one instructor, they shouldn’t have more than 6 students at a time. 

Class length is another important thing to consider. There are many short courses out there promising results in under 2 days. This is unrealistic and should be avoided. Learning any Permanent Makeup Artistry techniques and business practices takes time. Aim for a class that is at least 5-7 days long or more. This way, nothing will seem rushed and it is usually well worth the investment for the longer time frame. 

What can permanent makeup artists do?

Permanent Makeup Artists can do a number of tattoos. Most commonly you see procedures for the eyebrows, lips, and eyeliner. Sometimes you also see PMU artists do another cosmetic tattooing, like tattooing areolas for patients who have had any procedures done with their breasts either cosmetically or as post-cancer procedures. 

Do you need a license to do permanent makeup?

Unfortunately, this isn’t a simple answer. It all depends on where you live as the regulations change from province to province and state to state. 

No matter where you live, you will have to find out what type of health regulations you need to adhere to. Different health sectors within a province or state can relate to food and drink, tattooing, cosmetology, or it could be under a blanket health and safety act. 

You will want to become very familiar with these regulations and pass them with flying colours. Also, inspections usually have to occur once a year. If it is not required to happen once a year, it may still be in good practice to get an inspection done once a year. This is something that you can show your clients and it will give them peace of mind while giving you an authority in the PMU space. 

As far as certification goes, this is also dependent on the path that you are wanting to take. PMU can be a part of a cosmetology certificate which can take up to a year if you are wanting a full course that includes makeup and hair. Or, if you are wanting to specialize in only PMU, there are courses that last from 2 days to several weeks. 

No matter what course you take, you will want to get as much practice as you can. This is why we highly recommend in-person classes instead of online classes. You need to be able to practice in person with someone who is very experienced with clients. The more you can practice with a trained professional, the better your craft will be.

Many people, unfortunately, think that they can take one short course and then jump right into applying needle to skin. This should be avoided! You should really try to get as much practice in with a trained professional, and if at all possible get an apprenticeship. 

An apprenticeship will be the best way that you can learn. You need hours of practice before you can hone your technique. It is like playing an instrument - it takes hours and hours of practice before you are even an average player. 

Bloodborne Pathogen Training

Any PMU artist needs to have a bloodborne pathogen training certificate. This training is extremely important not only for your client’s safety but for your own safety. In many areas, it is also mandatory to have this certification and to renew it once a year. 

Bloodborne pathogens are diseases that live in our blood like HIV and Hepatitis A and B. You can easily transmit these diseases when you are working in PMU because you are working with needles, broken skin, and blood. 

Many PMU courses do not offer this certification, or it is only very briefly mentioned in their course. If this is the case, you will want to seek out a professional Bloodborne Pathogen training course. This course should at least be 4-6 hours long, and if possible should be completed in person. In-person is always the best choice as you can ask any questions along the way and you’re able to get them answered. 


Becoming a Permanent Makeup Artist is a fun and exciting career! There is potential to make an excellent income while working in a field that is creative and can literally change people’s lives. 

You will need to obtain a certificate of some sort either online or in person. We always recommend in-person if possible, and someone who hosts with smaller class sizes so that you can get one-on-one time and ask questions. 

You will need to get as much practice as possible! While there are definitely naturally talented PMU Artists, you still need to perfect your skill and this takes time. If possible, you should try to get an apprenticeship and work under a skilled professional for a while. 

You will also need to follow health and safety regulations for your area and take a Bloodborne Pathogen training course. 

We hope you found this article informative and that it answered any questions you may have had! This is the beginning of your career with Permanent Makeup Artistry so get excited! And if you are looking for a PMU supplies, look no further! We can help there.

For more information on what the difference is between microblading and Ombre Powder Brows click here!

For information on the aftercare of your ombre powder brows, click here!

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