Always seeking improved standards: I’ve written about this subject before as it’s something that requires urgent attention so, I’m going to keep writing about it until something is done to improve standards pertaining to the cosmetic tattooing industry.

It’s interesting that so many of the general public want to learn how to tattoo eyebrows and many industry professionals are outraged at the lack of regulations and qualifications that apply to this industry sector.

Considering cosmetic tattooists insert a needle into the dermis it would be reasonable to expect that someone checks to ensure that the tattooist is qualified to perform this type of service. The health department is the gatekeeper to ensure that these practitioners are following appropriate infection control practices but no one ensures that practitioners are qualified.

As eyebrows are currently a hot beauty trend, many of the general public are taking an interest in tattooing and unfortunately opting for an easy entry without having any formal education. The sad truth is many of the general public are attending short one and two-day training classes. At many of these training classes on the first day, the student may have to draw an eyebrow, and then they move straight onto tattooing a real person then sent out to the real world to begin their new career.

Due to the lack of qualifications, private training companies will train almost anyone in eyebrow tattooing because there are no prerequisites as to who can learn and perform this service. The next step is someone can learn today and teach tomorrow in this unregulated industry.

So we’ve established that it’s easy to do a one day class in eyebrow tattooing. There are even people that just buy a machine and start tattooing or attend online training. Would you want to be their unknowing FIRST client?

Just as a quick teaser, on average a cosmetic tattooist charges between $250 up to $750 for eyebrows. Now you can see the dollars are attractive and this is what is luring unqualified lay people to this growing industry sector, and the lack of standards and qualifications is allowing it to happen.

There should be appropriate checks and measures to ensure your cosmetic tattooist is qualified. Would you want to be the unsuspecting first client of the woman who was working as an accountant yesterday and tattooing faces today?

Something else to consider before you undergo a cosmetic tattooing procedure. If your tech hasn’t undertaken and formal training or only a short course there is a significant possibility that they aren’t covered by any form of insurance.

The public should be cautioned to do their homework and be vigilant when choosing any cosmetic tattoo practitioner because lack of training, standards, and qualifications is prevalent.

High alerts: 1. Scalp tattooing 2. Non-laser tattoo removal 3.Skin needling (CIT) 4. Eyebrow feathering

Things you need to know:

It is illegal for your practitioner to apply anaesthetic to you at any stage.

The term “Organic Pigments” for tattooing has nothing to do with being safe, natural or chemical free. The term organic is purely a chemistry term that means the pigment contains a carbon based molecule. These pigments are synthetically made from petroleum by-products. The best way to describe tattoo pigments in simple terms is to compare them to artists’ paints because they’re very similar in composition.


Why did my eyebrow tattoo only last six months?

When we tattoo, we must penetrate through the epidermis into the top of the dermis where we will breach some capillaries. This signals our bodies immune system, and this is what makes your tattoo stay in the skin Firstly most tattoo pigments are considered nano particles which mean they will be moved out by your body’s immune system. The particles that remain in your skin will be under constant attack from your white blood cells trying to carry them away.

So if you have an efficient immune system, your tattoo won’t take long to fade.

The particles are also vulnerable to heat and light. Think about what happens if you leave a pair of jeans on the clothes line in the sun for two weeks, they fade considerably right? Well, your tattoo is the same.

Sun exposure, medications and your skin care regimen all play a role in how long your tattooed eyebrows last in your skin.
No one can predict how long your tattoo will remain in your skin, because each person’s integumentary system, sun exposure, topical skin preparation and exercise regimen are unique to each individual. However, in broad terms, your tattoo may last from 6 months to 2 years depending on the techniques being used to create your tattoo in the first place.

Why did my tattoo fade to an undesirable colour?

Poorly made pigments, poorly trained technicians putting the wrong pigment base into the wrong skin undertone or the pigment is poorly formulated.

Let’s discuss the positives:

A skilled tech can create a beautiful eyebrow shape for your face, and you won’t have to pencil your eyebrows before leaving the house.

For those of you that wear eyeliner. Let me tell you there’s nothing better than having it there 24/7, and it never smudges.

Lip tattoo is the best. I have my lips tattooed, and I just gloss and go every day but if I want a different colour for a special event I can lipstick over the top if necessary. My whole face is tattooed, eyes, brows and lips and I thank goodness every day it’s such a time-saver.

There are lots a highly trained and experienced cosmetic tattooists out there that do exceptional work.

Ask your cosmetic tattooists if they hold an Australian Government Accredited Unit of competency and how long have they been tattooing.

Christine Comans

Christine Comans is a highly respected cosmetic tattooist, trainer and educator based in Perth who specialises in medical cosmetic tattooing. Chris is a strong advocate for industry standards and is renowned for her love of learning and sharing her knowledge.

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