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How to become a permanent makeup artist in California?

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

California is a state where beauty and appearance are extremely important in most professions. So it only makes sense that many individuals are interested in pursuing a career in permanent makeup.

The process or technique is similar to what tattoo artists do, which is to create a permanent mark or design under the surface of the skin. As such, it is only fitting that regulations and certifications are put in place so permanent makeup artists are legally allowed to practice in California.

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So this begs the question, how do you become a permanent makeup artist in California?

The General Requirements

In California, the regulation requirements depend on each county's Department of Health. But generally, there are a few things that most counties will ask for, such as:

  • Proof that the practitioner is 18 years old or older (driver's license or other identification)

  • Proof of Training or Certification

  • Certificate of Bloodborne Pathogen Training

  • Certificate of Hepatitis Vaccination

  • A completed state licensure application issued by the county

  • Payment of License Fee

  • Business Operator or License (if you wish to open your own business)

Once these requirements are met and submitted, your county will issue a body art practitioner permit so you are now legally allowed to render services or operate.

How to Complete the Requirements

Aside from your proof of age, you will need to complete the other requirements. Here is a guide on how to complete them.

Proper Training

There are a good number of schools in the state of California that offers permanent makeup training. Training usually lasts up to 6 months or a total of 300 hours. Over the course of your education, you will learn a number of techniques, such as applying topical anesthetics, as well as the permanent cosmetic application for eyeliners, lip liners, and beauty marks.

In addition, you'll learn how to create permanent eyebrows, enhancement of eyelashes, and proper client consultation methods.

Other things you can learn at your training include Color Theory, which involves the mixing of colors and facial anatomy.

Other topics and courses will depend on the school or institution you decide to enroll in.

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Bloodborne Pathogen Training

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all workers who will be exposed to blood while on the job must receive safety training. This training program teaches aspiring permanent makeup artists the techniques to handle infectious materials and involves proper hand-washing and waste disposal methods.

You can find private entities that offer Bloodborne Pathogen Training that is licensed by OSHA. This regulation provides training that ensures safeguard methods to protect workers against the health hazards brought about by blood exposure.

State Licensure Application

A completed state licensure application must be submitted to the state licensing board of California. You may be required to pass an examination that tests your knowledge of sanitation and safety techniques.


Aside from these requirements, you may also apply for certification. The Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals administers voluntary examinations for individuals who want to become certified in permanent cosmetics.

Among the requirements for certification include:

  • at least 1000 hours of studying or training in permanent cosmetics

  • Bloodborne Pathogen Training

Further information may be acquired from your county's Department of Health. It is best to consult with this department to guarantee what other requirements may be needed.

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