Las Vegas is one of the most exciting cities to practice as a PMU artist. There’s a big market and the potential income is lucrative! It’s also the best place to learn since it has become the microblading training hub in recent years. Whether you’re starting out fresh or previously practiced PMU procedures in other states, there are some steps you need to take to get certified as a microblading artist in Las Vegas.
Why Vegas? Women are traveling across the country to get 3D brows and several other semi-permanent cosmetic enhancements because they know Vegas has some of the most skilled artists in the industry.
But first, for those who are newly learning about this career opportunity, how different is microblading from traditional cosmetic tattooing? This will also be a good refresher for those who already have PMU experience. If you feel like this information is still fresh for you, can skip to the lower section of this post and read about the steps you need to take to practice PMU in Las Vegas.
Going the Most Natural Route: Good for Business
The evolution of cosmetic enhancements in general, from full synthetic-looking alterations to more natural treatments has been incredible.
Let’s focus on eyebrow tattooing, which has been the trend not too long ago. As you may have heard or seen on several entertainment news sites, or magazines back in the day, there’s been quite a disappointment in eyebrow tattoos’ long-term effect. In fact, disappointment is a bit of an understatement. Some women shared horror stories of how their brows ended up looking like they’ve been drawn over by Sharpie pens, having weird discolorations, and they just generally look unflattering, in the worst way possible.
This is because cosmetic tattooing techniques have not been perfected yet and that’s expected in any industry. The good news is today, we are getting as close to perfection as possible, especially with better tools and techniques continuously emerging.
Instead of using tattoo inks, microblading and its several varieties use pigment. This matters because those inks tend to fade into a bluish-green color over time while microblading pigments turn into a more natural brown even when the brows get close to the process of fading.
Here are some other key differences:
Traditional eyebrow tattooing uses, as you’ve guessed, tattoo machines, which deposit the ink a little too deep into the skin. This makes it difficult to alter the results, if at all, in cases where you are dissatisfied with the results.
Microblading treatments, including microshading and Ombre brows, use either a hand tool called a micro blade, a more sophisticated PMU machine, or a combination of both. You can read more about the different styles and how you can choose the best treatment for you here. This makes it easier to make alterations to your eyebrows over time or even bring back your eyebrows to their natural appearance. There is also less risk of scarring because the new PMU tools are designed to be gentler on the skin while still delivering spectacular results.
How it Feels
As mentioned, traditional tattoo machines go deep into the skin so the level of pain is greater. There is significantly less discomfort in semi-permanent makeup, in which, microblading treatments fall into. Note that each individual will still have unique threshold for pain so make sure to discuess this with your clients.
What this means is that people will naturally gravitate toward the more pleasant experience and this is great news for you! Instead of choosing between 1.) enhanced but unnatural-looking brows and 2.) no enhancement at all, clients can now have the best of both worlds. They can enhance their brows and still look their most naturally beautiful selves. So, why not? There is less resistance and you have greater potential of having an ever-expanding career.
With this in mind, you are making an excellent choice by going the most natural route. So, how do you get started?
Your Most Worthy Investment: Building Your Skills
As discussed in this article, Microblading 101, your focus needs to be artistry first, business second. The first step is choosing the best microblading academy and learning from experienced, highly-acclaimed artists. This is the best thing you can do for yourself to ensure your success in the industry.
MicroBladers Founder and Master Instructor, Danielle Greisen, has repeatedly said that mastering these skills take time. You need to commit to constant practice and continuous education, and make sure that you are getting support from peers and professionals throughout the learning process. You cannot stop after a basic microblading certification course.
Continuous education means learning more advanced techniques and enrolling in an apprenticeship program where you will be working with a mentor that will guide you to eventually craft your own techniques and become an independent entrepreneur.
Growing with the industry means expanding your career. Don’t stop at microblading. Learn microshading, combination brows, and even newer cosmetic enhancements like BB Glow. Doing this will diversify your client pool and you know what that means. More income – leading to financial stability.
What Steps Do You Need to Take to Become a Certified PMU Artist in Las Vegas?
Note that this applies to both new artists and artists with previous PMU experience, whether they’ve practiced in Vegas or other states.
State regulations around permanent cosmetics vary per state but you are almost always required to have a certification. For already practicing artists, depending on which state you came from, you may or may not already already be certified to perform PMU procedures. Regardless, if you want to bring your practice to Nevada, you would have to comply with the state’s body art regulations.
Some states have little to no regulation at all, resulting in plenty of dissatisfied clients who’ve had a bad experience at the hands of unskilled artists. For those of us who take our profession seriously, we want nothing but the highest level of safety and excellent results. It is a good thing that the state of Nevada now has licensing and certification requirements to prove that an artist is qualified to perform PMU procedures.
Body Art Regulations
Semi-permanent makeup is considered by the state as body art. The Southern Nevada Health District regulates and inspects all body art establishments including tattoos and body piercings. Below are the requirements to start practicing as a microblading artist in Vegas.
Body Art Card Requirements
Previously, you would need a Health Card to practice as a microblading artist in Nevada. That has now been replaced by a Body Art Card.
The requirements to receive the card include having a minimum of six months experience or training, a score of 80% on a written examination, and a certification in infectious diseases training provided by the American Red Cross. Nevada artists are also required to carry a BBP (Bloodborne Pathogen) Certificate. This will be discussed further below.
If you are a new applicant or an apprentice, you must also get an Apprentice Card which you will get after a Sanitation Exam. Failing to comply may result in the suspension of your permit.
It’s important that the microblading establishment that you choose are well-aware and can guide you through this whole process. Take a look at their curriculum. What’s included in the training? What kind of guidance do they offer in terms of securing your license and operating your business? These are all important questions you need to ask. Are these even stated on their website? Legitimate and well-respected microblading academies will have this information available for you.
Does Your Existing License Apply to the State of Nevada?
Though online resources don’t clearly state it, your license from another state does not automatically qualify you as a licensed PMU artist in Nevada. One of the reasons for this is the validity of your certification. These certifications are usually valid only for one year and if your license is about to expire, you would need to acquire a new one from the state.
This applies to the required trainings mentioned above as well. The only thing that might be recognized is your six-month training or experience, which means you don’t necessarily have to repeat another six months of training. However, it’s still best to invest in an apprenticeship that is provided in the city where you want to practice, like in Vegas.
Blood Borne Pathogens (BBP) Certificate
Working in this industry means having exposure to blood and other bodily fluids in the workplace. The State of Nevada considers professionals in this environment as being at risk of exposure to infectious diseases and this is why they require training on a precautionary course called Bloodborne Pathogens Training before you can practice.
Here’s more information to help you understand why this is important.
What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?
Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) are infectious microorganisms in the blood that can cause the spread of diseases. Since PMU artists use needles or blades that cut into the skin, they and the materials they use may be at risk of exposure.
Some pathogens you may already know about include Hepatitis B, HIV, and other diseases that can be spread by blood. Being injured by a sharp object that has been exposed to these pathogens puts you at risk of infection.
The BBP certification is not only for tattoo or PMU artists. Workers in other fields like first responders, healthcare professionals, and housekeeping personnel in some high-risk facilities are also at risk to these pathogens.
Who Provides These Trainings?
The American Red Cross provides the BBP Training and grants a certificate to those who have completed it.
You may sign up for the course online which will teach you how these pathogens are spread and what you can do to avoid exposure as well as what measures to take in case of infection. This training is required by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) of the United States in order to protect workers against occupational hazards.
How Long Is the Certificate Valid?
The Bloodborne Pathogens Certificate is valid for one year but it’s important to discuss with your employer their specific policies about how this training applies to your workplace.
Is There A Fee to Sign Up for the Course?
The American Red Cross website states that you need to pay a $30 fee to sign up for the training. You can take the class online and work at your own pace. The course is interactive and you will also be provided with class materials.
Get these things right and you are on your way.
Final Note: Learning from Master Instructors in Las Vegas
For those with previous experience, your knowledge of certain techniques and PMU tools may not be similar to what is currently being used in Las Vegas. Your future clients would want to ensure that you are indeed qualified to perform the procedures before they choose you as their artist.
The best way to be recognized as a trusted artist is to be affiliated and learn from renowned industry leaders in the city.