How I Became Facial Art
By Jane Adler
My life as a cosmetic tattoo artist has been a long and fantastic quest. I started my journey in the early 1990s. When I moved to Arizona from Southern California in 1994, my world forever changed. I have spent most my life around artists, the beauty industry and animals. I have worked as a bartender, as a nail tech and in endless jobs for pure survival. I have always been somewhat unique. I do not fit into a corporate world of a 9 to 5 anything. I have simply too much creative energy and an independent spirit.
Growing up dyslexic and OCD, I struggled. However, I always had a gift for color, shapes and thinking outside of the box. Fast forward to my career that I have established myself in—I am now even considered an expert by some. How crazy is that? If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would still live to be a cosmetic tattoo artist. I guess I should buy my first ticket. Lol!
I support myself by focusing on the art of permanent makeup. I am a purist at heart and firmly believe it is the artist behind any technique. There is not one better method than another, period. It takes practice, education, skill, natural ability and years of dedication. I am often disgusted by the monopoly and greed in this industry of venders selling false dreams and putting others down. Not only is it not true; it is a travesty to all. An example is the wild ride of “microblading.” Come on—it is not a new technique and wish it would have been brought to public under the name of what it is! Yes, tools have come a long way. I wish this industry had more respect in general. Hairstrokes or even micro-strokes are what we do. The term microblading implies a medical term. It makes me so uncomfortable; we are not using blades. Ugggg. So many new names for a rich history of the same thing. A perfect example, is stippling! Literally, one of the oldest techniques of tattooing. This not a new thing! Ugggg.
With that said, skill levels have come a long way, and I am all for ethical trainers. I am not for all the money hungry people doing two-day classes. Come on—you can buy tattoo supplies on Amazon. I never thought half of my business would be corrective work. Do not get me wrong, I am thrilled I have the skill level. However, I think very few have the mindset, soul and talent to do this job justice. There are too many weekend warriors. I am also sad about so my many entitled people in this industry! So sad. Newbies come out of a single class and think they are experts. Personally, I have done hand tapping and dragging of color for a solid 20 years. My specialty is more of a textured brow. I have perfected my style of natural looking brows by combining techniques that are adjusted to the individual client’s canvas. That’s right-I am only as good as the canvas I have to work on. There is a huge difference of clients from cooler climates in their twenties getting microblading versus sun damage mature clients in AZ, CA, HI, TX and Florida.
Instagram and other social media have brought on a slew of clients with unrealistic expectations. My wish is for this industry to adapt better semantics and educate clients up front as to who is a good candidate for crisp hair strokes and who is not. I do!
I come from a different mindset. From day one I had a thousand questions. Not once did I blame it on a bad class, etc., or jump from one modality to another. I mastered the hand method and stuck with it. It made me fight to learn the knowledge I needed. I see so many people sharing misinformation; it scares me—jumping from one method to another and not mastering anything, and even bad mouthing other artists. For me, my only competition is with myself. I wake up every day trying to be better than I was yesterday. This also means I know when to say no.
In 1996, I found SofTap and Alexis Lawson. They changed my life. My mind was a sponge. I started with nothing and through years and years of practice, I have earned the self title of “SofTap Chick”! I cannot live without my 24s and 16 curves! They rock my world!
I have truly have become the queen of corrective work in Arizona, especially, when I started correcting blue brows, then add poor shape, the is game on! Rule number one for me is, just because it’s there doesn’t mean I have to follow it or cover it up. Sometimes, the reality is choices. When doing corrective work, I use at least three to four colors to prime and layer dimension which is lots of fun. I also educate my clients on the the truth about blue. I feel too many people are using lightning products, laser and camouflage as a crutch. I differ on that. My go-to color corrections colors are Amber, Caramel, Lemonaid, Orangeaid with any combination I need of these. Then, if I’m adding new work to the old design, I put the desired color in and keep working until we have one unified brow. My life changed when I figured all of this out! I am only limited by my imagination. If I cannot help then they can seek advice from a laser tech and I think that has only happened a few times. Unless the client has a bad attitude and I refuse service, corrective work is very rewarding! I work all of it out in my mind first. One has to have a plan!
So why am I successful? Simply put, I love what I do. Passion, consistency, dedication and honesty win the race. Can I be too honest? Yep! That’s how I roll. For over a decade, I was a technical advisor for cosmetic tattooing. Now, not so much. There are just too many bad cooks in the kitchen. So I stick with what makes me happy: making women beautiful! I also have a strong backing of the tattoo industry and tell it like it is. I LOVE cosmetic tattooing. My advice is simple: practice, practice, practice and have love and respect for this industry or gracefully move on.
It is in my humble opinion that no matter how much training someone has, we are also self-taught and need to spend endless hours figuring out what to do! If you cannot see the end result in your mind, do not do it!