How I Went From Sugaring to Permanent Makeup With Jessica Coleman

We got honest about permanent makeup with artist Jessica Coleman at her studio in Costa Mesa last month. Jessica is originally a sugarist who added microblading to her service menu. Find out how she did that below!


Tell us about yourself! Your background, history & the nitty gritty of all things you!

I grew up in Newport and went to Newport Harbor. I got in trouble a lot as a teenager, ditching school and sneaking out. I wanted to do hair originally so I went to beauty school. I got my cosmetology license from Golden West in 2008. 

I worked briefly in a salon, which got shut down. It’s a lot to own a beauty business, not only doing the work but making your image and building clientele. My sugarist asked me “Why don’t you learn how to sugar? I’ll train you, you just need to get certified. “ So I looked up places that sugar in the area and applied to all of them. 

I would do 8 Groupon clients a day and make no money. I had 3 jobs at the time: teaching pilates, waiting tables, and sugaring. I wanted to get to a place where I was only sugaring. It took me about a year. I’ve been sugaring for 5 years now.

What does the word beauty mean to you?

For me, beauty is knowing what you want and unapologetically going for it. It’s being confident in who you are and what you want. I loved Cameron Diaz in her roles. She was so confident and really nice and caring. That’s the kind of person I want to be. 

What makes you feel the most beautiful?

I spent all my 20s worrying about other people. What makes me feel beautiful is being my true authentic self.  

How did you get into permanent makeup? 

When I had my son, I needed to add something to my menu that will let me work less and make more. The owner of this salon asked me “Would you let me microblade you? I need to build my portfolio.” That was the first time I heard about it. When my son was 3 months old, I took a microblading course through Brows Academy.

How do you structure your days? What is your morning routine?

My husband and I trade off. Three mornings a week, I wake up and go to the gym. By the time I come home it’s our son’s nap time, so I have a cup of coffee, shower, and get ready for the day. If it’s one of the days that he’s at the gym, I wake up with my son at 7. I have coffee then we hang out at the house, or go to Disneyland. 

What is your self-care routine like?

I love spin classes. We’ll ride bikes on the peninsula. If you’re happy doing something, do what makes you happy. 

Tell us what it’s like working in a salon! Do you refer your clients to each other?

We do refer clients. I use to do a rental room and watch Netflix or take a nap between clients. It’s great to be able to have a salon family. I’ve ever heard so many horror stories about salon owners / coworkers. We all refer to each other and it’s great. 

You also do sugaring.  Do a lot of your sugaring customers get permanent makeup done? 

My sugaring clients are so supportive of me. I had tons of clients be like “I want to get microbladed by you! We trust you. You let me know when you’re ready.” I wouldn't have been able to progress without them. I’m so grateful. 

Have you ever had a difficult client? How did you handle it? What is your advice for new artists going through this?

I haven’t had anyone freak out on me. The first client I had wanted her money back. If it’s on you, own up to it and be honest in the first place. She’s still my sugaring client and it worked out fine. You don’t have to take every client. Screen clients and take what you can handle.

How do you balance work and personal?

Separate your personal from business. Don’t do work that you don’t want to do. I only offer services I would do myself. People can feel that and see that. It’s a disservice to the industry and hurts everybody when you’re charging low prices. 

What has been the most surprising lesson or thing during your permanent makeup journey?

You see people on IG who are booked out and think “How do I get there?” Why is it so easy for them and so hard for me? But I’ve learned that everything takes time.

Right now I only work 2.5 days a week. I get a 4-day weekend, and work one Saturday a month. I can work whenever I want. I don’t want to miss my son being young and question why was I worrying so much about my job? I’m taking it at my own pace.

What’s next in your career?

I hope to do some kind of education in the future, like teach sugaring classes. I have sugaring down. I’m really good at it and I would love to teach other people. When I started out, I thought I barely know how to do this. Let me shadow her. Because you just learn so much in the process. 


Want to learn more? Follow Jessica Coleman on Instagram

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