Harmony™ Artist Spotlight: Tanya Masters Shares Her Story
I have been certified in Microblading for just over a year and work at The Loft Hair Studio in beautiful Canmore, Alberta.
In 2012, I came to Canada from the UK originally to instruct snowboarding, I returned to Canada for three consecutive winters after that.
I've always been a cosmetics junkie and devotee of HD brows in the UK but a career in beauty was always a shower thought, something that other people did...
Instead of pursuing an opportunity to go into hairstyling after school, I attended university to become a school teacher because that was a real job right!? Then I did my three winters in Canada and just knew I had to stay. My boyfriend and I then went through the process of obtaining our permanent residency.
At this point I was ready to take the leap into a career I knew that I would enjoy, and would allow me to stay long term in Canmore, AB. I took on the role of Salon Manager at The Loft and soon after enrolled in several esthetics courses at The Esthetics Institute in Calgary. I knew I'd focus on brows and lashes, as I didn't want to diversify too much.
The courses I took were in: brow tint, lash tint, lash perm, lash extensions, brow design and threading. It wasn’t until we had decided to have a dedicated room for brow and lash services at the salon that I decided to enroll in a Microblading course.
My training was a full week, which isn't always the case, but I could have taken 2 full weeks, as there was so much information to take in! Directly after my course, I had to complete 10 case studies in order to get my certification. As I worked through the models I began adapting my technique in stroke patterns and pre-draw method.
Now that I am working in the field, looking back I find the course was restrictive as far as allowing us to show our individual artistic flair. They tried to give us a one size fits all hair stroke pattern. Although I felt prepared enough to provide a safe service, I was not confident to fully customize brows for the individual, but that is what the model process is for.
Despite this one week of training I still felt the need to expand my research and read a lot more on the subject - especially color theory. I don't think I have ever been so engrossed in a subject and constantly in search of deeper knowledge.
I joined many online forums and read every post and comment, I searched the internet looking for products, different artist’s technique and engaging with trainers such as Tina Davies and Teryn Darling.
I feel that in our little mountain town some of us ladies feel like we have to suppress our need for cosmetics, beauty talk and allowing ourselves to spend time on our hair and makeup. Now because of permanent makeup, I am able to show my clients that they can have a very relaxed approach to their beauty routines in the mornings. Lash extensions allow your eyes to look done as soon as I wake and microblading takes away that time needed to fill your brows in each day.
I advocate this high maintenance approach to actually being low maintenance for my clients and am able to reassure them that they won’t look unnatural, as I live the same outdoor, active lifestyle as them and understand that we do these services to take the pressure off of our daily routines.
I have adapted and grown so much in the year since qualifying, I have taken inspiration from the flow like the free technique of Jody Stosky at Cinnamon Girl in Calgary and Tina Davies has shared so much of her techniques that I now hear her voice in my head as I'm pre-drawing and checking over my work! I am continuously seeking further education and knowledge. I want to be the trusted Bow Valley brow professional helping ladies feel great about themselves.
Something I have discovered as a new artist is that I love shaping men's brows and hope to have the opportunity to microblade some male brows soon. I also hope to play a part in growing a supportive community of industry professionals, I have recently started a local facebook group 'Bow Valley Beauty Professionals' in which we share work we're proud of, pick up supplies from the city for each other and share resources as needed. I don't feel we need to see others as competition, as there are plenty of clients to go around and everyone's art captures their attention differently.
My advice to other new artists, or people thinking about becoming a microblading artist, I would say be prepared to dive in head first and fully immerse yourself in the wealth of knowledge available. Take on additional training and know that there is no 'get rich quick' formula. Hard work, sleepless nights and humility will get you through the first year. Be happy to be your own artist, you're not going to do the same work as the artist on the next block and not everyone will be drawn to your style but that's ok, there's plenty of clients to go around! I also offer lash extensions and limit myself to brow and lash services only - it would be easy to diversify too much and never really master anything otherwise.
For new artists going forward, I would like to see an open channel of communication beyond the 5 days in class. I felt a little left in the dark after my course - until I turned to the forums!
I would also like all training schools to teach the use of disposable blades, I was taught to use the craft handle that you “disinfect” but have never used that outside of school.
Color theory and corrections should be covered more in-depth in the initial courses - although an advanced course is best for these it's inevitable that as soon as your clientele knows you do microblading you'll have someone ask you to hide their blue brows!
As a new artist, these are some of the things I have experienced and hope that these insights will help other new artists, or people thinking about going into this industry. You literally can learn something new every day, and that is definitely true in the beauty world! A recent “a-ha” moment was using Tina’s Pro Silk Pencil and pre-drawing strokes for my clients, they SO much more comfortable than with the box brow and able to suggest tweaks more concisely because they can see what the bladed results will look like.
As soon as I started taking models, beginning my microblading journey, and progressing from there, I knew I had made the right choice. Giving someone their confidence and a beaming smile makes it all worth it!
Website: The Loft Hair Studio
Facebook: The Loft Hair Studio