On September 22-24 2017, I had the honor and privilege of being a presenter at the 2nd Annual Worldwide Eyebrow Festival in Rotterdam Netherlands hosted by Yevgenia Aytas, a leading trainer and veteran on the European PMU circuit.
Me with me ;)
For three full days I met with eyebrow experts from around the world, and for three days straight all we talked about was eyebrows, eyebrows and more eyebrows. It literally non-stop eyebrows... so it's safe to say I was in Permanent Makeup heaven.
There were 30 masters from all over the world and they shared their secret techniques for making eyebrows beautiful; making them full or wispy; making textured, arched and ombré brows; and even how to make eyebrows disappear. They covered all sorts of techniques and used cutting-edge machines, needles, pigments and tools. If you're into eyebrows as much as I am, it was a magical event. The energy and passion of artists pursuing their dreams was so palatable that you could smell it in the air. You could feel the buzz in the room.
Worldwide Eyebrow Festival Program
Besides Vegas-worthy food and entertainment for three days straight, a robust and enriching program of live demonstrations and presentations had all 250 attendees glued to their seats.
Here's the lineup of speakers:
- Alisson Paes Schuster- Reducing Pain for Satisfactory Results
- Olga Kravchenko- Natural-look eyebrows with Nano Thin Hairstrokes
- Milena Kacavenda- Microblading with Ombre
- Yevgenia Aytas- Working on Fitzpatrick type 5 & 6 Skin
- Toni Belfatto- Hyper-Realism
- Alec Kurucz- Regrowth of Brow Hair
- Ennio Orsini- Designing Eyebrow with the Principles of Perspective
- Alejandro Ciarlo- Combined Craft Technique in Brows
- Дмитрий Татуажев (Dmitry Tatuajev)- Precision Matters
- Alexey Khvesenya- Working without Anesthetics
- Tina Davies- Pursuit of the Highest Health and Safety Standards
- Francesca Marta Froio- Long lasting eyebrows with Biotek Brows Intense Line
- Nataliya Vladimirovna Kaldoja- ABC Advanced Brows Creation: Powdered Brows
- Nikolay Alekseev- 10 Scientific Facts about Laser Tattoo Removal
- Maud Ravier- French Touch Technique with the 3-Slope Needle
- David Zhang- Combined Microblading Technique
Here are the top things I took away from the conference:
1. The Skill Level Of The Presenters Was INSANE
Every single master/presenter demonstrated an immense amount of SKILL and knowledge of working with different skin types, differences between needle choices, and how to change your hand speed or pigment dilution to create a variety of results. Their knowledge was deeply rooted and built upon a solid foundation of education and experience. What was most obvious was that they really earned their stripes before teaching and have the portfolios to back it up.
Nataliya Yeremenko onstage
Also, on Saturday, Sept 23, we also had the opportunity to watch over 20 masters in action with live demonstrations of more eyebrows, eyebrow, and eyebrows at special event called NON-STOP EYEBROWS. This was a rare glimpse and wonderful opportunity to see each master perform their craft up close and personal.
Non-Stop Eyebrows Feature
2. Microblading Skills Are On The Rise
Microblading, like any other permanent makeup skill, takes many years to master. This is especially true in microblading as it is a manual technique whereby the artist is in control of every little movement and a tiny slip in improper technique makes the difference between good and great results. I really think that people are starting to hit their stride as they enter their 3-4th year of experience and are starting to produce great work.
Also, during the judging of the eyebrow competition, all the jury members agreed that the skills of the competitors had greatly improved from the previous year. The entrant's design and technique were on point and competition was so close. The gold, silver, and bronze winners all scored within a few points of each other.
3. Strong Fundamentals Win EVERY Time
Each master had a unique style and approach, but the fundamentals were all exactly the same. The overall basic rules of tattooing were constantly present such as:
1. Stretching the skin properly
2. Holding the needle at the optimal position for direct penetration into the skin
3. Working consistently and smoothly.
These are the same technique fundamentals that I talk about in my blog to ensure artists know how important it is to nail the basics.
4. Success Takes A Lot Of Hard Work
I'm sure you've heard this before but the most successful people in any industry are also the hardest working. They are there early, they are the last to leave. They show up and they don't complain. Each speaker was on their A game with amazing presentations filled with insightful videos, pictures and valuable wisdom that has taken them years of experience on the skin to master. Another thing that I noticed is that the pros keep it professional and stay humble. They show up to work and get things done. So if you want to be a pro, you need to develop the same incredible drive and work ethic of the people who are really rising above in the industry.
Onstage with all the Non-Stop Eyebrow Presenters
5. Networking WORKS
In this digital age, it’s so convenient to connect on social media and through our smartphones but NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING beats meeting someone face to face, having a handshake, exchanging smiles, and creating conference memories. At this conference, I was able to give so many people private lessons, get feedback on how people use my products and gain many new customers as well.
L-R with friends Joanne Lee, Sheila Bella, and Libby Bowker
6. They really know how to party in Europe!!
The level of refinement and elegance at this event was unforgettable. Not only was the venue worthy of the Oscars awards, everyday we had amazing lunches that were full of variety such as antipastos, meats, cheeses, and fresh veggies. The espresso and wine was always flowing, keeping everyone well-energized with happy bellies. Also, the fashion stylings of both the men and women attendees was top-notch. People arrived dressed for success and put on their dancing shoes at the end of each night. Yevgenia and her team really put a lot of thought into making sure every event detail exceeded people’s expectations.
L-R: with friends Libby Bowker, Joanne Lee, me, Trudy Trinh, and Sheila Bella
Being a permanent makeup artist is quite a lonely profession as we mainly work by ourselves in a room most of the time, unlike other beauty professionals such as estheticians or makeup artists who commonly work together. Going to a conference not only puts you in a circle of like-minded professionals, it also invigorates you beyond any social media stalking or forum diving that you connect with online. Besides, nothing says "professional" more than attending a professional conference does! The Worldwide Eyebrow Festival is an event I would recommend to all artists with the next one taking place in Spring 2019 and I hope to see many of you there!
Here are some highlights from my good friend and colleague Sheila Bella from Beverly Hills!
Stay tuned for a recap of my presentation at the conference, bringing to light some major issues in our industry.