Are you an artist interested in becoming a trainer? It’s a question that many artists ask themselves once they feel solid about their permanent makeup skills. PMU artist Brittany Wallins, who was a medical assistant and later joined the beauty industry, became a trainer with the help of Amanda Grebinsky. It’s no surprise that it takes partnerships and a combination of skills on your team to become a trainer. Let’s hear what Brittany has to say about making the switch!
Tell us about yourself! Your background, history & the nitty gritty of all things you!
I was homeschooled so I graduated at 16 and went straight into the local college. I finished the medical assistant program and worked for a couple of years in pharmaceutical research and sleep medicines. When I moved from Arizona to Calgary, I found a job in sleep medicine and I did that for 6 years. It was awesome but it was shift work that wasn’t nurturing the artistic side of myself, so I decided I needed a change.
How did you first get into the beauty industry? The PMU Industry?
A lot of my family members are hairdressers and nail techs. I had a girlfriend that did lashes and she said she would train me. I loved it but it was very hard on my neck and my back. My sister had gone to school to do permanent makeup and told me she thought I'd be really good at it. I said no, I could never tattoo someone's face. Back then you had to do the whole permanent makeup course: eyeliner, lips, brows, everything. Then later microblading came out as a solo course.
My first training was a disaster, but my sister started teaching and she was also an LPN, so she had a medical background with knowledge in skin healing. She mentored me, then I became certified with her company.
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
Because I am a mom, I like when I actually get to wash my hair and blow dry it. Also, I would say when I’m at home with my family and I’m able to be myself and be comfortable in my own skin -- that’s when I feel the most beautiful.
What motivated you to make the switch to training?
I was doing a client’s lips and it went horribly. I was mortified because I looked up to her so much as an artist. We got to this one quadrant of her mouth that was not numb at all and she was in so much pain. Her color wasn’t showing up at all.
I spiraled off of that and did my research on lips. I nailed it down to what I found to be effective. Later on, Amanda from Boujee Brows reached out and told me she really liked my lip course. I told her I didn’t know anything about teaching an online course, and she said she could help me. We decided to do this together: I put together the curriculum, she’s great with her videography skills. Out of that, my training course blossomed.
What skills & tools do you need to be a trainer, that’s different from being an artist?
I think patience is huge and having a child helped me with that. Also, because I’ve experienced bad training, I knew what I wanted my training to look like. It shaped me into a better educator.
For artists who want to become trainers, what steps do you suggest they take?
I've taken a lot of classes with people I admire and a big thing is understanding why you’re doing something. That’s lacking in the industry a bit; people show their technique but they’re not going into why it works the way it does.
In your opinion, what should students look for in a trainer?
I would say experience is huge. Ask the person how long they’ve been doing it and even ask for proof. You need to make mistakes so you can teach people whatnot to do. Find an educator whose work you admire. Talk to who else they’ve trained and reach out to those students and tell them you’re considering working with this person. Do your research.
What is one piece of life advice you would give to your 18 year old self?
I would go back and tell myself to embrace who you are. You’re going to get where you need to be. There’s no need to rush it -- just be you.