What do you think about permanent makeup? Have you ever tried it or thought about it?
Well you’re in for a real treat this week as Karen Betts the UK/US permanent Makeup Practitioner, Nouveau Beauty Managing Director, founder and trainer of her own academies opens up exclusively to Alifeinbeautyam about her work, causes and all that is ‘Karen Betts’.
How did you become a Permanent Makeup Practitioner?"I trained to do permanent cosmetics and body art in 1996 with CD International and went on to complete an international training certificate at the Lemor Institute in America".
"I have spent the last fifteen years honing my skills from around the world and today, I not only have six private clinic locations but also work in hospitals alongside NHS and private medical staff to offer treatments to cancer patients on the road to recovery. I am also consultant to many professional and charitable bodies such as The Breast Cancer Haven, Alopecia Society and since 2012 The Katie Piper Foundation".
"My paramedical work has been featured on TV documentaries such as The Private Life of Harley Street and publications such as Harley Street News. In late 2011 I also contribute a full chapter on my art to the worldwide best selling book “Advanced Surgical Facial Rejuvenation: Art and Clinical Practice.” By US expert Dr Erian and his co author, Professor Mel Shiffman. The book is translated into 15 languages, enhancing my status as an authority on Permanent Make Up for both cosmetic and medical treatments".
"Realising a gap in the permanent cosmetics industry for high quality training, I established Nouveau Contour in March 2001 to offer training and supply permanent cosmetics equipment. To date, Nouveau Contour has trained over 1000 technicians worldwide in permanent cosmetics and over 300 in advanced and paramedical procedures".
Why did you become a Permanent Makeup Practitioner?
"I personally ventured into this field after a childhood friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was not content with being just a pillar of support and wanted to be able to do more. At the time I ran a hair and beauty salon and a conventional tattooist used to rent one of my rooms, it got me thinking that if you could adorn people’s bodies with such complex art why could you not develop a technique that would subtly enhance or replace facial features such as eyebrows. That is when I started my research and discovered a micropigmentation course in the States".
What are your biggest highlights you have had in your career so far?
"I feel privilege everyday that I have a skill that can help rebuild so many people’s confidence and nothing I have achieved beats the look on a clients face when I have restored a feature that they have lost through illness or an accident".
"Whilst a lot of my clients are memorable in their own rights 2 clients over the last few ears have really pulled at my heartstrings and tested my capabilities. The first is a lady named Julie who was born with a cleft lip. Julie’s cleft lip has affected her confidence for as long as she can remember, aware that the shape of her lip had held her back and prevented her from making the most of her life I wanted to give Julie the perfect lip shape she had always dreamed of. To restore a cleft lip using permanent cosmetics requires a real level of skill that does not come over night but I am happy to state that Julie was overwhelmed with the results and quoted “Karen created the lip shape I had been looking for my whole life”. Her smile and the big hug she gave me at the end of her treatment spoke volumes and I am not ashamed to say, made me cry".
The second lady many people will recognise as her recovery from a brutal acid attack in 2008 was documented in the TV series ‘Katie Piper – My Beautiful Face’. I was honoured when I was able to help Katie. Over a twelve month process, I was able to recreate Katie’s lips, brows and eye definition. Over time our personal and professional relationship developed and in 2012 I was announced as the official and exclusive permanent make-up consultant for The Katie Piper Foundation".
Have you had any low lights in your career?
"I probably have yes and I will not pretend working full time as a permanent make up artist whilst running 3 training academies with 8 brands does not take it’s toll every now and again but I am such a positive person and feel so privileged to have a team of dedicated staff and co directors that I believe anything can be turned around into some good. I also believe making mistakes can benefit you in the future as long as you understand what and where it went wrong".
How does it make you feel to be named the most trained Permanent Makeup Practitioner, Makeup Artist, Business Woman and Creative person in the UK and USA?
"Thank you. I feel proud that you recognise me in this way but also very humbled as I feel that even now every day I’m still always learning…."
What does a day in the life of Karen Betts involve?
"Gosh I could fill a full magazine with what my day covers".
"In short I am up at the crack of dawn, if I actually managed to get to sleep the night before. I do a few hours work on the computer managing my 8 brands before catching the train to one of my 3 training academies in Yorkshire, London or Milton Keynes. I absolutely hate to waste any time so once on the train the laptop is back out and I work solid until I reach my destination. I then either prepare for a training class or a full days clinic where I perform on average 10 permanent cosmetic procedures a day. Then you have guessed it, back on the laptop working on training manuals, special offers, and budgets… I could go on and on but in essence I work constantly all day every day till either my partner or very patient assistant shouts at me to eat something or go to bed. If there where 8 days in a week I would work them all".
Stay tuned for part two Wednesday on Karen’s organisations…
You can visit Karen’s website for any bookings or to support any of her projects on www.karenbetts.co.uk/contact-karen/ or tweet her @Karen_Betts