Every client is just like you. They have insecurities, some of which come in the form of scars. Whether big or small, scars contribute to how a client sees themselves when they look in the mirror. To be a successful scar camouflage artist and PMU artist in general, one must understand that a procedure is not just a procedure. It is a life-changing moment for your client.
This is a philosophy that Alicia Shapira lives by.
Alicia Shapira (@newbeautyimagebar) is an experienced paramedical artist and owner of New Image Beauty Bar based in Coral Springs, Florida. A makeup lover from a young age, Alicia has combined her dream of being part of the beauty industry with her passion for helping people. She was the first artist in the US to offer and train in Brazilian stretchmark camouflage, scar treatment, and under eye camouflage. She's also been featured in the US Healthcare Journal for her expertise.
Learn how scar camouflage has impacted Alicia and her clients and how she’s creating a space for people to heal in her studio.
What inspired you to venture into scar camouflage?
I can give you a few reasons why I chose to be involved in a procedure that’s so life-changing, like scar camouflage. Number one is my father. He has been battling stage three stomach cancer for a very long time. He has scars everywhere, and I’ve helped him cover them up in many ways. I have also been in a serious accident that I don’t like to talk about, where I have camouflaged scars on my right leg.
I’ve also met so many brave women and men who have endured some serious scars from life-threatening surgeries, life-saving surgeries, accidents, self-harm, plastic surgery, and more. When I heard their stories, I decided that this has to be a big part of my career. I want to make people feel better on their journey of healing, and I’m proud to say that I have fulfilled that many times over, and it’s so empowering!
What advice or tips would you give to artists who want to start doing this procedure?
The advice I would give to my students or any potential student that has reached out to me is don’t think about it, just do it! You will not regret it. Most people have a scar somewhere on their bodies. It’s usually an unwanted scar that makes them very upset and bothers them so much. To be able to make a change in their life will also change your life because you are doing something good for someone else. The procedure is also very fun to do and very rewarding. Just start!
What do you think is the most important thing a PMU artist should say or do to make the client feel comfortable during your scar camouflage procedure?
First off, I want to make sure every single client that walks into my pink paradise feels like they’re in a sanctuary. Not a place where they feel like a number. I never want them to be afraid to tell their story or afraid to share their insecurities, so I try to comfort them and make them feel welcome.
I recommend that you don’t book too many people in a day, so you can have quality time with each individual. Getting to know their story and getting to know them makes the client feel comfortable at a time when they feel vulnerable. So, just allow them to open up to you. It makes your job easier because you’re able to gain their trust.
Remember, some of these people have never shared their story with anyone or allowed anyone to see them naked because of their insecurities, so you might be the first person that gets to share that with them. Give the person a hug of support and let them know you’re here to help them. It really makes a big difference during the procedure or any follow-up appointments they may have with you. They’ll be so excited about their experience with you and healed results.
At the end of the day, they are just like you. We all have insecurities, so cheer them up! Offer to play their favorite music, give them a snack or talk about something that makes them happy. To me, this is not just a job. This is something that means a lot to me. Yes, making money is very important but seeing a client smile for the first time after seeing their areolas again or getting a scar covered that they’ve been hiding, is so rewarding and honorable. My biggest takeaway is to be a part of their story.
What machine, needles or pigments would you recommend for scar camouflage?
The Flux S Max wireless has been a savior for me. It never heats up, lasts so long, and clients don’t complain about the noise. They are so happy with the results. I personally feel that it’s very comfortable in my hand for scars. Since there is much scar tissue, I don’t feel like I have to use extra pressure. I use a range of different needles, for example, the 5 round Vertix Pico needle and the magnum needle from Pico as well. I love Perma Blend pigments, Evenflo and use a few other brands depending on the Fitzpatrick scale needed.