Attracting new clients in permanent makeup is not an easy task. Once you’ve started your PMU business and done a few successful treatments, it’s crucial you start establishing your brand.
As digital marketing experts from SEMRail explain, visual identity is one of the most important elements in branding, and along those lines, you should try to present your work in the best way possible. That’s why we’re looking into before and after images – a powerful tool for attracting new clients.
After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
Why are PMU before and after images important?
Before and after images of permanent makeup are the most effective way to show off your work – potential clients get to see the results of your services.
A recent RealSelf survey shows that 83% of consumers researching cosmetic surgery said they wouldn’t consider a cosmetic surgery practice that doesn’t have before & after photos, and the situation isn’t much different with PMU. Clients want to see what they’ll be getting, and they want to make sure you know what you’re doing.
By providing a side-by-side comparison of previous clients’ lips or brows before and after you’ve done your magic, the viewers can see the transformation, which will obviously impress them more than just the end result in isolation. Moreover, potential clients will know for sure that the images you’re showing them are your own work, rather than stock images anyone can find online. They’ll be reassured that you’re an experienced, trustworthy artist.
In short, making before and after images of your work easily accessible and showing them off on your website and social media allows potential clients to see the quality of the service(s), it makes them trust you more, and gives your salon credibility.
Image source: Instagram / phibrows_juancordero
How to take fabulous PMU before & after images?
Here are the elements of the perfect before and after pic:
Camera quality. Obviously, the first thing you need is a great camera. Professional cameras give top-notch results, but you can also use your phone, just make sure the pics aren’t grainy or blurry.
Lighting. Lighting can make or break the photo. Ambient or natural lighting isn’t the best idea for PMU pics, since it can’t provide consistency. But you don’t have to cash out on fancy professional equipment, either. Using just flash could suffice, or you can get a simple ring light and move it around.
The key is consistency; if the lighting isn’t identical in both the before and after pic, the skin tone will look different and the viewer might even think it’s not the same person.
Angles. Obviously, PMU before and after photos should be close ups, so that the strokes or the shade can be seen clearly. The best angles for attractive before and afters are either a straight out en face, frontal close ups where the client is facing the camera, or the angle is slightly decentered to the left or right, the so-called ¾ frontal.
It’s essential you get the same angle for both pics, since two different angles might make the viewer question whether the photos are staged, and the transformation can’t be perceived objectively.
Facial expression. Although PMU before and after pics generally only show the part of the face where PMU was applied, it’s still important to get the client’s facial expression right.
Image source: Instagram / nora_phimaster
Extra Tip #1
For microblading before and after images, have your client look straight into the camera, or straight into the distance. The same goes for permanent eyeliner before and after pics. Never have your client look downwards – this gives off the impression that they’re not too thrilled with the results. For permanent lip makeup before and after pics, it’s always nice to have your client smile, but a slight pout works, too.
Extra Tip #2
One thing to keep in mind, though, is the fact that although PMU results look their best right after the treatment, you should show what they look like healed. So it’s always a good idea to take some more photos once the client comes back for the mandatory touch up.
Take a photo before the touch up, and another one afterwards. Clients should know what to expect every step of the way.
How to edit PMU before and after images?
Fancy filters and the endless possibilities of photoshop might be tempting, but editing your before&after images too much isn’t a good idea. In the era of social media, clients can spot photoshop from miles away, and they’ll automatically discard you as untrustworthy.
Smoothing out the skin or whitening the teeth won’t harm, but don’t retouch the results. Also, overdoing it with the contrast feature will make the photo look unrealistic.
Finally, incorporate the pics into a collage. You can split the image vertically, so the before pic is on the left and the after pic on the right, or horizontally, so the before image is above. Generally, the latter looks tidier, but whichever you choose, stick to the format, especially if you’re making a before and after gallery.
For recommendations from fellow artists on apps to use for editing, check out our recent article on best apps for PMU artists.
Image source: Instagram / luxelipstudio
Extra Tip #3
It’s always a good idea to integrate your logo into the pic, either as a watermark or a subtle stamp in one of the corners. That way, you protect your images from being used by other artists, and you’re making a connection between great results and your brand.
Create a before & after gallery
Before and after galleries are the most viewed type of content on the websites of PMU artists, so you should definitely consider integrating it into your website. Most artists also use their social media pages as before and after galleries.
A note-worthy gallery should have at least 11 sets in order to attract a new customer. Ideally, you should post each client’s work here – even those that may not be 100% successful. That way, your clients will have realistic expectations, and you’ll seem more honest and trustworthy.
It’s also important to show a variety of skin tones, so potential clients can compare their own skin and know what can be achieved. Try to keep the images coherent – all images should have the same angle, lighting, format. Otherwise, your gallery or IG page can look messy.
It’s also a good idea to make a printed version for live consultations.
Make sure you have the client’s consent
Obviously, you should never take, post or share your client’s pictures without their consent. Always explain to your client how their pics will be used and make sure they’re comfortable with that. Most artists give their clients some type of consent form, a short statement the client should sign and confirm they’re okay with their pictures being used.