“If you are not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback”
– Brene Brown
As more and more educators start offering training on the Brazilian stretch mark camouflage tattoo technique, I wanted to share what I wish I had known first, before I got trained to help those who are considering entering into this field make a wise decision and investment.
1) I wish I had researched for more photos and reviews
A lot of trainers aren’t actually offering this technique consistently. They’re not in the “arena” as I would say and unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of them post before and after photos that aren’t actually their work, or they post very little content because they haven’t actually worked on a lot of clients. There’s a lot of money to be made in training and so that’s why a lot of people begin to train fast without much experience.
I took a year to test out “training” to see if I enjoyed it and limited it to 5 students for that entire year before committing to it. In addition, I’m still in the “arena” and limit trainings to 2x/per month because I’m still performing camouflage tattoos on clients weekly.
Working on clients, while training, affords me the ability to continue learning, experimenting and tattooing different types of scars, stretch marks and skin tones, giving me a wealth of personal knowledge in color matching, color theory, ink blending, etc.
This is a very technical technique and though it may look simple to do, there are a lot of risks and variables to consider before you permanently alter someone’s body. I wish I had dug further into my first educator’s portfolio to really get a full picture of her experience on this technique and her online reviews.
2) You can’t be great at everything
The longer you’re in an industry, the more skills you’ll naturally acquire. With that being said, you can’t acquire in-depth skills when you’re spread too thin and offer many services. Some educators are trained in brows, lips, scar and stretch mark camouflage, body contouring, brow lamination, scalp micropigmentation, permanent eyeliner, etc.
The list goes on and on and from my experience, we, as humans, are not efficient when we’re multi-tasking because we can’t put 100% of our focus in developing certain skills if we’re constantly pulled in many directions. I would be mindful in choosing an educator who specializes and invests his/her time in developing their skill and experience in their chosen niche because they’ll become “masters” of their craft than someone who has a bit of knowledge in a variety of things.
3) Color theory is no joke
My first 3 trainers taught me nothing about color theory. I had to seek out that information on my own and I continue to learn about it to this day. It’s one of the most complicated subjects of all permanent make-up and cosmetic tattooing, so it doesn’t surprise me that most people skim through it.
When you don’t understand something, you aren’t confident enough to teach it. To this day, I still research and order color theory books, have consulted with other experienced Artists and shadow them using color theory in their line of work.
In my training course, we do go over color theory in depth, but I also let students know that they will need to continue researching and learning it – and a lot of that will come forth through gaining experience while working on skin and identifying many skin tones in real life.
4) I’ll never train how to camouflage tattoo ONLINE
This is a very technical technique and learning it online is out of integrity for my standard of business. I’ve actually done quite a few online trainings just to see if I could learn anything new and without a doubt, always walked away feeling like if I was completely new at this, how confused and hesitant I would feel after my “training” vs. confident and capable. Some of these trainings certified me in scar/stretch mark camouflage over breakfast, which I feel is not enough time to grasp the theories of this technique.
Now, this could change in the future – someone may invest in launching an in-depth training online that’s great and informative, but you’ll also need to consider what type of learner you are? Are you hands-on? Do you need that interaction? Do you like getting your questions answered immediately? So for now, offering training online is a hard no for me.
5) Support after education
Does your educator offer support after you’re done training? If so, how and for how long? Two or three days of training will hopefully set you up with a solid foundation to begin, but it may take month or two to actually work on your first client. Inevitably, you will have more questions or may need a boost of encouragement that you have this!
I started a private Facebook group to help support students even after they’re done training, which is important to me personally as an Instructor, and will be launching an online educational series to help teach Artists how to generate leads, perform their consultations effectively, market and strategize their business.
Side note, I am an advocate for continuing education. Each training (including my own) has its strengths and weaknesses so determining what kind of learner you are, will help you choose which instructor is best for your learning/personality style.
In addition, my own students have access to me as I continually test out inks and post-care products. Most notably, I created my own color swatch in helping match skin tones, which I share with all past and new students. This came from a visit into Sephora and sampling a variety of foundation pigments onto a paper towel, which I then went home and custom blended with tattoo inks to match the same color variations. What I discovered is that all foundations and concealers are the same – they’re just packaged differently per make-up brand.
All in all, I discovered that I love teaching others a new procedure that brings so much fulfillment and joy to the clients we serve as Artists. My training manual covers a solid base of information that a student can continually go back to for reference, the Facebook group is growing and has proven to be an effective resource of information to test new theories, get opinions and suggestions from other Tattoo Artists. All my students work on live models which I feel is the best way to truly practice the technique of color matching and camouflage tattooing. You really need to feel the tattoo pen on real skin…stretch marks and scars, and unfortunately, online programs are limited at this capacity.
If this is something you’ve been researching and contemplating in doing, my only advice is to actually do your due diligence. Make sure you like the instructor, have seen their portfolio, online reviews, and have spoken to them over the phone to make sure your investment is going towards someone you vibe with and can start a new career or service with.
Any other questions, I’m happy to answer them. Listen to my podcast on this topic.
Wishing you best of luck,
Jayd Hernandez, xo