PERMANENT COSMETICS MY JOURNEY
In part one, I spoke about how I came to be known as Renée, my mum’s dream to make wedding dresses, and how that affected my life decisions. Part two was about Nicolerenée Couture bride – our wedding dress business and how important it became to me in time. Our struggles after losing dad and how I started practicing permanent makeup after becoming a fan following, my own eyeliner enhancement.
Part three is about Frame Your Eyes, what permanent cosmetics meant to me then and how or why it evolved into the Dermatography Clinic. Its all about my Journey and some extra stuff along the way.
PERMANENT NATURAL MAKEUP
‘Frame Your Eyes – Permanent Natural Makeup’ was the name I gave the business when I first started practicing permanent makeup. What it meant to me was very simple, that it was professionally applied, long-lasting makeup! The perfect low maintenance makeup solution for busy ladies
The result was that it made me feel more comfortable with myself. I was busy, I had no time for myself. It even made me wear less makeup. I thought, who wouldn’t want that?? This was the best money I ever spent on myself and this is every womans dream. Perfect makeup that lasts all day! That is what it meant to me at that time, based on my own experience as a customer and as a fan of the treatment so Frame Your Eyes as a brand reflected that and I wanted to share something that was great for me with my clients.
PERMANENT MAKEUP FOR OUR BRIDES
Permanent Makeup was never supposed to take over. I never knew that you could be more passionate about something else? I thought I was passionate about the wedding dresses but I discovered something different.
I first started doing permanent cosmetics alongside the wedding dresses and it was great for our bride to be customers because brides could look their best for their weddings and throughout the honeymoon. My customers were women who were busy, city professionals. They didn’t have time, but needed to look a certain standard, feel better about themselves, a little bit more enhanced when without makeup. So I thought, wow, offering permanent makeup would complement our business and it would allow me more time to be at the business rather than running around doing all these other odd jobs to support the business.
ADVANCED MICROPIGMENTATION TREATMENTS – MORE THAN MAKEUP AND FOR MEN TOO
I went on to train in advanced micro-pigmentation techniques. And as I gained knowledge and experience, I saw that it was so much more than just makeup. I’d meet a very small number of men and women along the way who needed micropigmentation as a solution to a hair loss or pigmentation issues. They had found me almost always by accident whilst searching for something else. Very randomly through desperation and just in case it might be a good solution for them, even though my advertising was very female-oriented and very makeup-y, the odd male client would approach me. My advertising was an image of a lady who was my perception of natural and a natural face that was not made up; She was coming out of the water, waterproof makeup, it was very feminine.
MEDICAL MICROPIGMENTATION AND PARAMEDICAL PROCEDURES A SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM THAT I COULD FIX
I furthered my training to do medical micro-pigmentation treatments such as areolas and scalp, which are again advanced treatments only. I learnt that micropigmentation was so so much more than what I thought it was in the beginning. I saw that some people needed to have this treatment. It was very helpful to those people and it was not just about makeup. This was exciting to me, that I could do so much more.
TEARS OF JOY NOT ONLY FOR BRIDES
It was my clients who created my path. And I’ll tell you why. When we made wedding dresses, we would occasionally get tears of joy when it was ‘the dress’, mum starts crying, and then everyone starts crying. That was a very special moment and we lived for those moments but they were few and far between. What I started to see was that there were plenty of these moments when I gave someone eyebrows who never had them for example. And these moments did something to me, they changed my path.
CAMOUFLAGE TATTOOING FOR VITILIGO
Camouflage tattooing, is, I would definitely say, the most challenging of all micropigmentation treatments. I avoided it because I didn’t feel confident. It was the last, I would say, string on my bow to learn of all the different areas in micropigmantation. I just was a little bit afraid.
One day, literally, a guy knocks on my door and he says, “I’ve got Vitiligo on my lip. I’ve done loads of research, I’ve checked into everybody, and I want you to do it.” And I was like, “Okay, I haven’t actually trained to do this treatment yet, so I’m really sorry, but I’m not trained to do this treatment!” He said, “I don’t care, I want you to do it.” So I was like, “Okay.” So there was a pause while I had a little think and said, “How would you like to be one of my models? You can help me to train and under expert supervision I can do the treatment for you?” He’s like, “Yep, great, lets do it.” And that’s how I learned to do camouflage tattooing. When faced with someone who needs it the fear is diminished.
THE REBIRTH OF CLEO’S BARBERSHOP
In 2010, a few years after my dad had passed, my uncle died, and it affected me in a way that I became upset again or I thought about my dad again more. So I created this project. It was never, ever supposed to be a barber shop. All I wanted to do was to bring dad’s shop back. When he first died, I got rid of all his stuff, I didn’t want it there because I had to see it every day and I rented the shop out to hairdressers.
I spent a whole month buried in this project trying to get back everything that I got rid of. I recreated my dad’s barber shop with a woman’s touch. It was very special, because it was done in his memory rather than, supposed to be a business. I had found the same antique models, put all the chairs back where they were. It was all antiques, the whole shop. My mum even brought me the tea set that her and my dad, were gifted at their wedding. It was decorated lovingly.
Next thing you know, “Cute little barber shop. Can I work here?” And it became a business. It was a very special time because I got to know my neighbours. Some that didn’t know that Cleo was my father. They came in and told me stories about my dad. So it was a really special, special time.
The whole family got involved, I and my two brothers, did a wet shaving course. I introduced a 12 step wet shave with hot and cold towel and really nice traditional english shaving products. It was a very special experience. We started getting guys coming in for their stag doo specially for the wet shave experience. It was a really nice little shop. We had all the guys in the area coming in and at one point and I employed two barbers when it was at its best.
I did that for about three years alongside the cosmetic tattooing. In 2014 I decided to close the barber shop. In four weeks, I totally rebranded and changed my name to The Dermatography Clinic. I took over the shop floor, no more barber shop I decorated, did everything myself.
THE DERMATOGRAPHY CLINIC MICROPIGMENTATION SOLUTIONS FOR MEN AND WOMEN
During that time I came across the word Dermatography, which I noticed on the NHS Choices website. It was used to describe micro-pigmentation as a solution to hair loss for eyebrows, and for the scalp, for people with alopecia. I’d never come across that word before. No one in industry was using it and being Greek, the word Dermatography, at that time, was the perfect description for me and what I felt about what I was doing during this next level. It was word art to me so I started using it and I became The Dermatography Clinic. That’s what I believe that micro-pigmentation stands for for me. It was a massive risk as I was super busy with ladies makeup and a very small percentage of my clients were for advanced procedures.
I SPECIALISE IN MICROPIGMENTATION SO I CAN OFFER MORE SOLUTIONS
Alot of people ask me what my favourite treatment is. For me, it’s not eyeliner tattooing, it’s not eyebrow tattooing, it’s not lip colouring, it’s not scalp micropigmentation, it’s not camouflage tattooing. It is the project, it is the client. It is what is brought before me. It is that that drives me. It’s the job. That’s what my favourite treatment is.
I practice all techniques so I can provide more solutions or options for my client and what they bring to me. The Dermatography Clinic makes it more accessible to those people who might need the treatment. Because I found in my past that people found me by accident. They didn’t know that this treatment existed. And it’s also for men.
I look forward to sharing more with you!