Getting Started as a Cosmetic Tattooist

Getting Started as a Cosmetic Tattooist

Cosmetic tattooing, also known as permanent makeup or micropigmentation, has gained significant popularity in recent years. It involves the application of pigment into the skin to enhance features such as eyebrows, lips, and eyeliner. As a cosmetic tattooist, you have the opportunity to help clients achieve their desired aesthetic enhancements while enjoying a rewarding career in the beauty industry. However, embarking on this journey requires careful planning, skill development, and obedience to regulations.


Understanding Cosmetic Tattooing

Before exploring the practical aspects of becoming a cosmetic tattooist, it's essential to understand the nature of the profession. Cosmetic tattooing is a specialized form of tattoo artistry that focuses on enhancing facial features and creating long-lasting makeup effects. Unlike traditional body tattoos, cosmetic tattooing requires precision, attention to detail, and an understanding of facial anatomy.

The key procedures in Cosmetic Tattooing are:

Eyebrow Microblading/ Tattooing:

This procedure involves the manual application of semi-permanent pigment to create natural-looking eyebrows by mimicking hair strokes. It is designed to enhance and define the eyebrows, providing a fuller and more structured look.

Microblading is a semi-permanent technique that involves manually depositing pigment into the skin using a handheld tool with fine needles. These needles create hair-like strokes that mimic the natural brow hairs, resulting in a natural and realistic appearance. The microblading itself takes about 2-3 hours. Results can last from 1 to 3 years, with touch-ups recommended to maintain the desired look.

Eyebrow tattooing, on the other hand, is a permanent method that uses a machine to implant ink deeper into the skin. Unlike microblading, which creates individual hair strokes, eyebrow tattooing usually results in a more solid, filled-in appearance. This method is ideal for those seeking a more defined and long-lasting solution. The procedure also starts with a design consultation and numbing, and typically takes about 1-2 hours. Because it penetrates deeper layers of skin, eyebrow tattoos can last several years, although fading and colour changes may occur over time.

Both procedures require aftercare to ensure proper healing and colour retention, such as avoiding excessive moisture and sun exposure immediately following the treatment.

Eyeliner Tattooing:

Eyeliner tattooing, also known as permanent eyeliner or cosmetic tattooing, is a semi-permanent cosmetic procedure that enhances the appearance of the eyes by applying pigment along the lash line. This technique aims to create a defined, symmetrical, and lasting eyeliner effect, reducing the need for daily makeup application.

The process begins with a consultation to determine the desired eyeliner style, thickness, and colour. A numbing cream is then applied to the eyelids to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Using a fine needle or digital machine, the technician deposits pigment into the upper and/or lower lash line, creating a precise line that can range from subtle enhancement to a more dramatic look.

The procedure typically takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the complexity of the desired outcome. After the initial application, a touch-up session is often required 4-6 weeks later to perfect the result and ensure the pigment is evenly absorbed.

Post-procedure care is crucial for optimal healing and longevity of the tattoo. Clients are advised to avoid touching the eyes, swimming, and excessive sweating for a few days. Initial swelling and redness are common but subside within a few days. The results of eyeliner tattooing can last between 1 to 3 years, with occasional touch-ups recommended to maintain the desired appearance.

Lip tattooing:

Lip tattooing, also known as lip blush or permanent lip makeup, is a cosmetic procedure that enhances the colour and shape of the lips. This semi-permanent technique involves depositing pigment into the lips using fine needles, resulting in a fuller and more defined appearance.

The process begins with a consultation to choose the desired lip colour and shape. A topical numbing cream is applied to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Using a specialized tattoo machine, the technician carefully applies the pigment, creating an even and natural-looking tint. The entire process typically takes about 2-3 hours.

Immediately after the procedure, the lips may appear more vibrant and swollen, but the colour will soften and settle over the following weeks. The initial healing period lasts about a week, during which clients should avoid certain activities like swimming, excessive sweating, and exposure to direct sunlight. It's also important to keep the lips moisturized and avoid picking at any flaking skin.

Lip tattooing results can last from 1 to 3 years, depending on factors such as skin type, lifestyle, and aftercare. Periodic touch-ups are recommended to maintain the desired colour and shape. This procedure not only enhances the natural beauty of the lips but also reduces the need for daily lipstick application.


Now that you have an understanding of what kind of procedures you would facilitate in your business you now need to look at the education and training. Becoming a skilled cosmetic tattooist requires comprehensive education and training. While there are no formal educational requirements, aspiring tattooists should seek training from reputable institutions or experienced professionals. Also depending on your location certain council may require you to have an Infection Control certification to begin your set up


Gaining a Qualification

As part of your training in Cosmetic tattoo you will cover the following:

The Fundamentals of Cosmetic Tattooing: Understanding skin anatomy, colour theory, and how to avoid cross contamination with infection control practices.

Hands-On Practice: Mastering techniques such as microblading, machine shading, and colour mixing through supervised practice on artificial skin and live models.

How to Maintain Infection Control: Learning sterilization techniques, infection control, and bloodborne pathogens training to ensure client safety.

Client Consultation and Aftercare: Developing communication skills to understand clients' needs, discuss expectations, and provide comprehensive aftercare instructions.


Licensing and Certification

In many regions, cosmetic tattooing is a regulated profession that requires licencing or certification to practice legally. It's essential to research the specific requirements in your area and comply with all regulations. By contacting your local council, you can obtain the relevant information for your area on what is needed by you and as part of your set up.


Setting Up Your Practice

Once you've acquired the necessary education and licencing, you can begin setting up your cosmetic tattooing practice.

Some things to considerations for Practice Setup:

  1. The Workspace: Creating a dedicated workspace that meets health and safety standards, with proper lighting, ventilation, and sterilization equipment. You want to ensure you have minimum 2.5m square room and any additional requirements set out directly by your council 
  1. Equipment and Supplies: Investing in high-quality tattooing equipment, pigments, needles, and disposables to ensure optimal results and client safety. It’s recommended to shop around, request sample etc to find the right fit for your practice. 
  1. Legal and Insurance Considerations: Obtaining liability insurance and ensuring compliance with local business regulations, including permits and certificate requirements. 
  1. Marketing and Branding: Developing a strong brand identity and marketing strategy to attract clients, which may include building a professional website, social media presence, and networking within the beauty industry. We recommend taking a look at our Beauty Profits book to assist you in building the best brand for your clientele.

Building your business

Building a loyal clientele is crucial for success as a cosmetic tattooist. Client Retention and word of mouth is crucial to growth and development of the business. Here are some strategies:

Consistent Quality:

Consistent quality is the cornerstone of growth in a cosmetic tattoo business. Delivering reliable, high-standard results develops trust and satisfaction among clients, which is crucial for building a strong reputation. Ensuring consistency involves several key practices.

First, continuous education and training for practitioners are essential. Staying updated with the latest techniques, tools, and trends ensures that services meet the highest standards. Investing in high-quality pigments and equipment also contributes to better, more reliable outcomes.

Second, maintaining infection control practices is non-negotiable. Adhering to health and safety regulations not only protects clients but also enhances the credibility of the business. Clean, professional environments reassure clients of their safety, encouraging repeat business and referrals. We recommend units in HLTINF005 Maintaining Infection Control course.

Third, personalized client consultations play a significant role. Understanding each client’s unique needs and preferences allows for tailored treatments, leading to higher satisfaction. Clear communication about the procedure, aftercare, and expected results builds client confidence and trust.

Finally, consistent follow-ups and touch-ups help maintain results and client relationships. Offering periodic reviews and adjustments ensures long-term satisfaction and loyalty.

Exceptional Customer Service:

Prioritizing outstanding service begins with creating a welcoming and professional environment where clients feel valued and comfortable.

Personalized consultations are crucial. This tailored approach helps build trust and ensures clients are confident in the services they will receive.

Clear and empathetic communication throughout the process is important. Providing detailed explanations of procedures, aftercare instructions, and addressing any questions or concerns promptly can alleviate client anxieties and foster a positive experience. This transparency helps clients feel informed and cared for, contributing to their overall satisfaction.

Follow-up care is another critical aspect. Checking in with client’s post-procedure to monitor their healing process and offering touch-up sessions when needed shows dedication to their long-term results and well-being. This continued support helps build lasting relationships and encourages repeat business.

Finally, creating a feedback loop where clients can share their experiences and suggestions allows for continuous improvement. By actively listening and responding to client feedback, a business can refine its services and maintain high standards of customer satisfaction.

 Follow-Up and Maintenance:

Offering follow-up appointments and maintenance services to ensure long-lasting results and client satisfaction. After a cosmetic tattoo procedure, providing detailed aftercare instructions is paramount. Clear guidelines help clients understand how to care for their new tattoos, promoting proper healing and optimal results. This reduces the likelihood of complications and enhances the overall client experience.

Regular follow-up appointments are crucial for monitoring the healing process and addressing any concerns that may arise. These sessions allow practitioners to make necessary adjustments, ensuring the tattoo meets the client’s expectations. Offering complimentary touch-ups as part of the service package can enhance client satisfaction and demonstrate a commitment to quality.

Maintenance programs encourage clients to return for periodic evaluations and touch-ups, ensuring their tattoos remain vibrant and well-defined over time. By scheduling annual or bi-annual maintenance appointments, clients are more likely to maintain their results, fostering long-term relationships.

Client Education:

Educating clients empowers them with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions, enhances their overall experience, and builds trust in your services.

Effective client education begins with detailed consultations. Providing clear, written information about pre-procedure requirements and aftercare protocols helps clients understand how to achieve and maintain optimal results.

Demonstrating your expertise through educational content, such as blog posts, social media updates, and informational videos, positions your business as a trusted authority in the cosmetic tattoo industry. Sharing insights about the latest trends, techniques, and products can attract potential clients and keep existing ones engaged.

Incorporating education into follow-up appointments is also essential. Reviewing aftercare practices, addressing any concerns, and explaining the importance of maintenance helps clients feel supported throughout their journey. Educated clients are more likely to adhere to aftercare instructions, resulting in better outcomes and higher satisfaction.



Embarking on a career as a cosmetic tattooist offers the opportunity for creativity, artistic expression, and professional fulfilment. By investing in education, obtaining licencing, and providing exceptional service, you can establish yourself as a trusted practitioner in the growing field of cosmetic tattooing. Continuously honing your skills, staying updated on industry trends, and prioritizing client satisfaction are essential for long-term success in this rewarding profession.

Whether you're passionate about enhancing natural beauty or helping clients regain confidence through cosmetic enhancements, becoming a cosmetic tattooist can be a fulfilling journey with endless opportunities for growth and creativity.


Need help to get started?

Why not check out our Cosmetic Tattoo Courses and our Infection Control Training.

Chat to our team at EZE Training to learn more.

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