We interviewed PRO Team Artist, Toni Brady, Master Artist and Educator of No Filter Beauty, Sydney to learn more about her journey throughout her career, the challenges faced and how she’s built a successful PMU business.
Q: How were you introduced to Permanent makeup?
A: I started my career in the beauty industry being involved in lashes, skin and lasers. I was getting exposed to a lot of brow and lip treatments, however, I never really gave much thought or had much interest in them due to being accustomed to that old-fashioned style of permanent makeup I’m sure we have all seen over the years. Over time with more exposure to different styles of PMU aesthetics, I discovered how beautiful and natural enhancing PMU really can be. The industry had evolved so much and I wanted to be a part of that world.
Q: When did you start PMU?
A: I started PMU in 2019 by adding Lip Blushing to my existing lash and brow services. I started from home and eventually moved into my own small and humble studio in Sydney Central Business District. With time and an increasing client list, PMU quickly took over my services. This soon allowed me to expand and move into a larger, more accommodating studio space.
I’ve always loved having a studio space in Sydney Central Business District, I’m in the middle of all the action - there’s always something to see/do on my breaks or before/after work.
Q: What training have you taken to get to this point in your career?
A: I completed lip and brow fundamentals training where I learned the basics of skin, machines, and basic techniques. The rest is self-taught through my own experience. Social media is also a great tool for learning new techniques and tips.
Q: How did you go from being a good to great artist?
A: Practice is imperative in improving your technical skills as well as your business skills. Additionally, I believe using quality tools, pigments and equipment helped elevate my work. I noticed a massive change in the work I was producing when I switched over to more reputable and recognized brands, such as Tina Davies and all of the tools, pigments and products in the Perma Blend range. I also find that Tina Davies, will share helpful technical tips on social media and even have additional educational resources, which can improve your work and take your PMU skills to the next level.
Q: How does the Tina Davies Professional line impact your quality of work?
A: Reliability and predictability! Everyone in the PMU industry knows of Tina Davies and the fact it is such a respected and reputable brand. My clients can trust I am using only the highest quality of tools and pigments with a strong history and reputation in the industry. This is highly important in the PMU and beauty industry as it is known to be unregulated at times.
Using only the highest quality of tools and products ensures my clients get predictable and reliable results and overall peace of mind.
Q: Illustrate how your business has grown over the years?
A: I initially started my business providing eyelash extensions, eyebrow waxing and tinting in the spare room of my apartment. I briefly moved on to skin and laser treatments at a clinic but much preferred the freedom that came with working for myself. I was intrigued by permanent makeup and felt it would be a great addition to my lash and brow services. I live in Sydney, Australia and at the time, there was no one solely offering lip blushing. I remember saying I wanted my business recognized as ‘the place you go to for lips’ - that, was my ultimate goal.
With what felt like constant work, long hours and weekends, I’m very proud to have my 1,184-square-foot studio & training space in the center of Sydney Central Business District, a staff member, regular training sessions and a full schedule. Something I dreamed of years ago.
Q: Take us through one of the procedures you are most proud of.
Procedure Notes: Lip Blush Tattoo
Skin type: Normal/Combination
Age: Late 20’s
Pigments Used: Tina Davies I ❤️ INK Dusty Pink 80% + Tina Davies I ❤️ INK Wine 20%
Needles Used: Kwadron PMU Optima 1RLLT 0.25mm + Tina Davies I ❤️ INK 0.25mm 7CM
Machine: FKIrons Flux S
What was the client's goal?
My client wanted to improve the appearance of asymmetry and wanted the overall lip color to be as close of a match to the natural color of her bottom lip.
How did you choose those pigment colors/mixes for the client? Why were these choices important?
My client already had quite a beautiful ‘berry-ish’ color to her natural lip and expressed to me that she gravitates to more cooler/berry tone lipstick, such as the Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk lip range. I chose the pigment ‘Dusty Pink’ because it is a neutral pink and added a few drops of ‘Wine’ for that boost of boldness and ‘berry effect’.
Why did you select these tools to achieve your goals?
Just like how a reputable fine dining restaurant uses the highest quality cooking equipment and produce, I am a big believer that in addition to your technical skills, the best, most reputable brands and products will give me and my client's beautiful results.
What choices did you make to achieve great healed results?
Regards to technique, I like to use a two-directional whipping/pendulum motion. I prefer to work at a higher speed with a faster movement. The needle is essentially ‘brushing’ or ‘grazing’ over the skin. Light pressure is imperative.
My machine movement/strides are about 2.5cm and work in sections of this size. I complete the outline and first 2-3 layers with a 0.25mm 1RL, finishing off and smoothing everything together with a 7CM. I love the I ❤️ INK 7CM’s and can’t imagine completing my procedures without them.
In addition to technical skills, tools and product choices, you always have to ensure clients understand the importance of pre and post-care. This plays a massive role in their healed results. I provide all my clients with a pre-care sheet and post-care pack with information on how to best prepare for their appointment and take care of their fresh lips post-appointment.
What are your pre-care / post-care recommendations?
Pre-care: Ensure lips are smooth and exfoliated before treatment. Use a moisturizing lip balm daily and scrub the lips 2-3 times in the week leading up to the procedure. Avoid alcohol and blood-thinning medications 24h before the appointment. If prone to cold sores, I recommend the use of anti-viral medication. Of course, do not start or stop taking any medications without consulting your health care provider first.
Post-care: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Don’t pick off or peel off any dry flakes and be patient. The more moisturized you keep your lips, the easier and smoother (literally) the healing will be. My 2 favorite aftercare products are Medicone Gel by Australian Color Technologies and the Tina Davies Aftercare Healing Gel.
Lip Tattoo Healing Stages
A: Before. Client’s natural lips with some filler present. The client wished to match the color of her inner lip and improve the appearance of asymmetry.
B: Immediately after. She is a bruiser! While we seldom have bruising on our clients, it is a possibility. Often it resolves over a few short hours. Worst case scenario, it can last about 24h. Color is bold and swelling is present.
C: Healed at 6 weeks after 1 session. At touch-up, we focused on that right hill of the cupid's bow and added a little more height and more pigment to the center of the bow. Additionally, we packed some color where the “wet part” of the lip meets the “dry part” - this is often where we see color loss the most due to the everyday motions of our mouths.
D: Immediately after touch-up. Not as intense as the first session and takes half the time. Less trauma, faster healing and beautiful results to last years to come.
Q: What are your proudest achievements?
A: It’s hard to pinpoint one particular moment and I know it sounds cliché, but I always feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment with every client I meet and student I train. When people tell me they’ve traveled for me to tattoo their lips or wish for me to share my skills and knowledge. When I get invited to attend events or represent Tina Davies as a PRO Team member - all these things make me feel proud of what I have accomplished.
Q: What legacy would you like to leave?
A: With my business name being No Filter Beauty, I am a big advocate for sharing REAL results. I hope that I can have an impact on current artists and artists of the future to be proud to share their unedited work. I understand the importance of beautiful images and agree they are necessary. But, I would love to see a shift in social media and the PMU world where we see fewer photoshopped images. Let’s be honest to ourselves, our students and our clients and be the change we wish to see!
Q: What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their career in permanent makeup?
A: Be proactive: You will learn your fundamental skills and techniques in your training, but, it is up to you to perfect your technique. It will come with practice. I suggest finding one model a week to practice on at a highly discounted rate. Do this for 10 or so weeks to build your portfolio and gain confidence.
Local requirements: Educate yourself on your local state/country skin penetration requirements. Set up your workspace and business accordingly so you can be proud of the fact that you are working in an approved space with the required certificates, qualifications and paperwork.
Thank you Toni Brady for sharing your inspirational PMU journey with us and our artist community. Excited to see what your future has in store!
I loved this story! As a new pmu artist/ mom/ new business owner sometimes I struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel. This story inspired me to keep on going and push hard to accomplish my dreams.