Beauty and Community with Sarah Lemke
We love talking to artists because each artist comes to permanent makeup in their own way. Last month, we had the opportunity to chat with Sarah Lemke about what moves her and what is important in this trade. Scroll down on Sarah’s take on all the things!
Tell us about yourself! Your background, history & the nitty gritty of all things you!
I have lived in San Diego for about ten years! I went to cosmetology school when I was right out of high school. I did freelancing on and off ever since. I was in the restaurant and wine business for almost 12 years. I worked front and back of the house, ran a wine program managed and worked in the kitchen. I learned so many skill sets, people and communication skills and how to manage time and resources. I am so grateful for all that it prepared me for and use what I learned every day in my businesses.
What does the word beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is really your character, and radiates to the outside. I know that is most likely the typical answer. I also want to point out that what we healthily pour into ourselves esthetically also feeds our confidence and can shift our soul health.
What makes you feel the most beautiful?
A healthy body makes me feel beautiful. A pretty jacket. Clear skin. I feel like when I get dressed in an outfit I love and combo it with a good hair day -- my productivity rises. There is something to “putting your best face forward.”
What is your self-care routine like?
Getting outdoors and being in nature honestly is number one. I love working out, running, the beach, and skin care.
How did you get into permanent makeup?
I started to be really fascinated with this new generation of cosmetic tattooing. I loved the artistic approach which to my knowledge, was a new thing. I decided to check it out, take some courses and I fell in love.
I was consulting for some acquaintances of mine, doing odds and ends. We were talking about PMU which has been around forever. The last 5 years it’s progressed so much. It started taking more of an artistic approach rather than the Sharpie brows. I wanted to dabble in it. I took some courses through Biotouch. After I was done with fundamentals, I trained with Jeanee from NaturaLook. She’s extremely generous with her time. I shadowed her a lot. And I shadowed someone else in LA. I learned a lot through trial and error and practice.
Tell us about your training!
Most of my training came from very generous PMU artists that took the time and effort to invest in me and share their knowledge and experience. I am so thankful for that. I also practiced like crazy, tried and experimented with everything I could get my hands on. I have a background in art as well. PMU was a perfect transition for me and something I feel comfortable with. It also really pushed my creative boundaries, still does.
What do you look for in a PMU company?
I look for safety, experience and quality of work and product. Community and client relations are also so important to me.
What are you currently struggling with?
Current struggle -- consistent pigment line! It’s also balancing business/personal time. I could work all day every day, it’s hard to set away, however it's necessary.
Have you ever had a difficult client? How did you handle it? What is your advice for new artists going through this?
Work your hardest to make sure they feel your intentions have their best interest at hand and that every facet is handled professionally. They are your walking, breathing advertisement and marketing. Also, draw boundaries. That’s business.
Tell us about your referral program!
My referral program is so much fun! Every client who refers a client, receives $50. I have a form set up on my website. Easy breezy. I'm a firm believer that giving love, means receiving love. Works both ways here.
What has been the most surprising lesson or thing during your PMU journey?
Biggest lesson -- Start small and build onto what you have. Then when you have more, build on that. You have to build the base of your platform wider before you can build it higher. Try new things that are different and outside of the box. There is no wrong way to what hasn’t been done before.
How do you balance work and personal?
I have to FORCE balance my work and personal life. It goes beyond setting intentions. I have to structure it to make it happen and have a follow through.
How do you structure your days? What is your morning routine?
My days are structured by handwritten list! Everything gets a list, and the things on the list get checked off as I go. It keeps me on track and helps to not feel overwhelmed. Morning routine. 4:45am - coffee, pray/meditate, work out and get ready for the day.
What do you do when you’re not working?
When I'm not working, I try to get outside as much as possible. It’s my reboot. I spend time with family. Travel. Weekend trips to the mountains, Mexico or dinners with friends.
What’s next in your career?
I am developing a curriculum and I want to start doing one on one and small group trainings. Most likely San Jose, Bay Area and summer 2020.Want to learn more? Follow Sarah on Instagram!