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Small Business Saturday with Lidia Gudyasova: Top Business Tips and Her Brand-New Lip Course

Small Business Saturday with Lidia Gudyasova: Top Business Tips and Her Brand-New Lip Course

Small Business Saturday with Lidia Gudyasova: Top Business Tips and Her Brand-New Lip Course

As part of our Small Business Saturday series, we’re partnering with PMU artists to shed light on the reality of running your own PMU business and bring you resources, so you can level up your skills.  

Today, we’re spotlighting Lidia Gudyasova (@lidiagudyasova), the founder of iContour, a leading PMU studio and academy in Philadelphia, PA. She is also an organizer and judge for WULOP USA. Lidia recently launched a brand-new Lip Blush online training on her signature technique Royal Lips, a stunning combination of the aquarelle technique and old school lipstick effect.  

Click here to sign up and get 10% OFF using our code: MICROBEAU10 

Royal Lips Online Training Discount


When and how did you decide that it was the right time to start a business?   

When I came to the United States, I was always working for someone else. I didn’t really like it, so I started trying different industries, such as healthcare, jewelry and real estate. I'm the type of person who isn’t afraid to try something new or take risks so when I saw a permanent makeup training in Russia, I jumped at the opportunity. It was the first time that I thought this is what I love, this is my passion.

I immediately rented a small office and started juggling my old business as well as PMU. I was taking two clients a week and for a year I did both jobs while also raising two kids. I started to gain my clients’ trust and build up my name in the industry. I also never stopped learning. When I started my business 7 years ago, there weren’t any online trainings like there is now, so I used to go back and forth to Russia and take 2-3 trainings in person. I also didn’t have a mentor, which could’ve helped me avoid a lot of mistakes.  

And then COVID hit. PMU bloomed in the United States, and I started getting more and more clients. That’s when I felt like I needed my own place, so I stopped my old business and found this studio. I renovated it, worked on my own for about two years and then I hired my first artist. 

Lidia Gudyasova


What is something you wish you would've known before starting your PMU business? 

Marketing was probably the hardest part, and something that I didn’t expect, especially when it came to promoting my artists. I had a lot of clients who wouldn’t go to my artist at first because they didn’t know her. I had to take the time to explain to clients that she was really good. I also had her learn additional services, such as tinting, brow waxing, and brow lamination, that don’t cost much but make a big difference. I would send my clients to her for lamination services, and that’s how she was able to gain their trust and eventually, they became her PMU clients. 

We also created an overall Instagram for my studio @icontourpmu to showcase everyone's work. We were running ads on Facebook and Instagram and participating in different beauty groups. We would also ask clients to recommend us on social media. But one of the best marketing tools was word of mouth. I really believe if you give a client amazing service, a good environment, and answer all their questions, you will leave a good impression and they will want to come back.  


What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your own academy? 

You can be an amazing artist and still not be able to explain things properly. When I started my academy three years ago, I struggled because the information that I thought was easy to understand was difficult for my students. Obviously, it’s easy for me because I’ve been working for many years. My students are only with me for seven days. They’re not going to retain 100% of the information, so I created my own way of giving information. With every training, I saw more and more progress. I learned that it’s very important to be patient and answer all their questions even if they’re repetitive. Teaching is definitely a skill that you have to keep practicing. You have to love it and I love it! 

Lidia Gudyasova with her PMU students


What are some tips you can provide to artists who want to start their own business?  

Just do it! It’s better to do something and fail, than to not do it and regret it for the rest of your life. This doesn’t mean you’re going to fail, but when you’re opening a business there is always risk. You’re going have a lot of failures and a lot of successes, but if you work hard and believe in yourself, there’s no way you will not succeed. In almost every group I teach, there is always one or two talented artists, but they are lazy. They don’t use their talent. Then there are one or two mediocre artists that keep working and practicing, and now they’re amazing successful artists. Persistence is key.  

Start small. To grow your business, you have to do it step by step. Invest in one artist first. Build a relationship with that artist, teach them and make sure they are confident before you move on to the next one. Don’t hire 10 artists who are going to do below-average work. At the end of the day, it is your face and your business. Start with one artist and once you feel like you can’t handle all the work between the two of you, hire a new person. You’ll start to see that every artist has their strength. For example, I have an artist that loves to work on areola and another that does a lot of hairstroke appointments. Slowly you’ll start to build a team that is strong in different procedures.  


Tell us more about your brand-new lip blush online training, Royal Lips. 

Lip blush used to be my least favorite procedure. I couldn't understand why I didn’t have a lot of retention and I had so many questions. But I never gave up. I kept learning and practicing, constantly doing trainings and taking what works for me. In my Royal Lips course, I use my experiences and mistakes to teach my students. I am seeing now that even students at the fundamental level are picking up the information faster and lip blush is becoming their favorite procedure. 

Royal lips is my signature lip blush technique. It is a combination of the aquarelle technique and the lipstick effect. The results are a beautiful velvet finish that heals evenly.

We put our hearts into this course, and we hope you love it!  

Royal Lips Online Course

Royal Lips training

Training Program Modules

PMU Business Module



Artist Small Business Saturday with Lidia Gudyasova: Top Business Tips and Her Brand-New Lip Course