Lorena Oberg Skincare

Groupon & Wowcher Semi Permanent Makeup…. Don't do it!

Many have asked for my views on Permanent Makeup Deals run of Daily Deal Websites.  As someone that specialises in the removal of Permanent Makeup, here are my views on the subject and it may not be what you expect.

It’s fair to mention that I adore both Groupon and Wowcher and we regularly run deals on them which benefit our clients and us equally.  I also buy their Spa Days and High Tea deals all the time often returning as a full paying customer.  Both of these sites are committed to customer services and do refund if you’re not happy.  Yet, you will never see us run a deal for Semi Permanent Make-up because it simply isn’t realistic.  We would not meet our costs.  So if the daily deal websites are not at fault…what is going on?

With that out of the way let’s talk about why it’s never a good idea to buy Semi Permanent Makeup on these sites.  The reason is, the numbers just don’t add up.  Well, not for those that are offering a top end service.

DermaEraze treatment for Stretch Marks Removal

Let me give you a bit of background of how much we spend before we can tattoo our first brow when we train with a reputable company such as Finishing Touches, Dermace, Nouvou Contour or Natural Enhancements (There are others that I haven’t mentioned but are equally  good so do your research).

–  £15,000 is the average initial training and machine.  The machines on the own are in the region of £3,000 to £5000.

–  Each needle we use can cost as much as £10, this is a two step procedure and the top up should always be included, so that’s £20 in needles.

–  Each of our pigments,  is £50.  The average tech has 20 or more.

–  Before we can put a needle in anyone, the council needs to come inspect the premises.  That will cost anywhere from £150 and in some places as much as £2000 per year.

BUT my biggest issue is that :

In our industry IT’S IMMORAL TO NOT OFFER A FREE TOP UP because permanent make-up is a TWO STEP PROCEDURE.  Technicians run most deals with the top up additionally paid to the technician but it’s never made clear that it’s a two step process.  I understand that in America it’s quite common to charge separately for the top up but all techs that I know that do this, make it clear that it is a two step process in the consultation.

Now, as I mentioned I do a lot of business with daily deals websites so I know they take up to 50% of the cover price, sometimes a little less. So lets say a brow deal is run at £90.  The tech will get about £50 of that, which they need to pay VAT on of 20%.

I don’t know of a single reputable technician that can do a proper consultation and a brow in less than 90 minutes.  On the basis these sites will not run deals unless you’re in a commercial premises and they check to make sure that the premises have been inspected, we know the technician is also paying for their room.  Let’s call it £10 per hour.

So how do they do it?  You can clearly see that the math is just not adding up, so how can a technician  afford to do it? The do it by cutting corners.

Many of the techs that run deals have trained overseas…and consequently have styles that although may be the hight of fashion in say….Kuwait….London…not so much.  Here is an example:

image (1)

Another explanation is the the person trained at one of these wonderful academies that charge £500 for a couple of days and then give certificates which seem to be popping up everywhere.  Here is some work I’ve corrected from these:

image (2)


Here are some examples from Daily Deal websites.

gropu3 group4

Eye treatments are even worse if not done by someone who is trained properly….I’ve seen it go wrong from experienced techs so you can imagine from technicians that are less than professional….



Another explanation is that they are using sub standard equipment and needles.  I’m not talking about used needles, but single use cheap Chinese needles and machines.  The standard in the industry are German machines…but they don’t come cheap.

One thing is clear, those prices can not be offered without cutting corners.  Sadly, this gives our wonderful industry a bad name and the clients are left in my clinic begging for laser.  It’s a lot cheaper to have it done right the first time like the examples below than to have to have me remove it.

People are quick to blame the Daily Deals websites.  They are platforms and can’t possibly be experts in every treatment they offer nor should they be.  The blame here is firmly on the technician.  I have done very well from both Groupon and Wowcher and I will defend them until my last breath.  The rule for anyone running a deal on these sites is that if you can’t afford to give voucher clients the SAME service as someone who is paying full price, you should not be running it.  Don’t put the blame on Groupon on Wowcher, do your research on the technician regardless of the platform they use to advertise.

I will leave you on a positive note with examples from Maste Permanent Makeup Artist from around the world.  Click on the photos to enlarge and see their incredible detail.

Roula Karam

Master Roula Karam from Lebanon

Work by Master Ina Bennoun-hanani from Israel

Work by Master Ina Bennoun-hanani from Israel

Work by Master Ina Bennoun-hanani from Israel

Work by Master Ina Bennoun-hanani from Israel

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