The PMU Insider: A Report from the First Mega PMU Congress in Athens, Greece 2023

By Emily M.| Last updated on May 23, 2024
Mega PMU congress
⏱️ 6 min read

The permanent makeup and micropigmentation industry is flourishing. The worldwide PMU community is larger than ever, more active than ever, and it’s really pushing the envelope.

Their effort to bring the industry to a whole new level is most obvious in the busy conference schedule. And an exciting new addition to the timeline is the Mega PMU Congress & Championship in Athens, Greece!

Held for the first time ever, the organization teamed up with PMUHub as the media partner, so we were there to get the scoop, and keep you in the loop. So let’s get into it!

About the Mega PMU Congress

What better place to come together to celebrate beauty and innovation than Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, the place where European, Asian and African cultures and people meet and interact?

The permanent makeup industry is booming everywhere, and Southern Europe is no exception. So it’s no surprise that Athens now has its own international PMU conference!

Organized by Peggy Kirkou, a talented artist, trainer and a woman of exceptional energy, she decided to host an event that would provide a space for upcoming artists to meet and connect with the biggest names in the industry.

To put it in Peggy’s words:

The mission is to go, all together, one step further in our industry, because we believe that, alone you go fast, but together we go further!

 

The 3-day, 3-part event had everything you’d want from a PMU conference: a competition, a series of lectures from amazing speakers, and live demos.

The competition gave artists an opportunity to showcase their work in different categories: machine hair stroke brows, microblading, powder brows, full lip color and classic eyeliner.

The series of lectures was held by artists from numerous fields of permanent makeup and medical tattooing. They shared their knowledge, tricks and case studies with the attendees and each other, sparking discussions and inspiring exchange of ideas.

All the participants got official certificates of attendance from the main speakers.

Non-stop speakers who did live demos on models shed new light on the theory discussed in the lectures.

All these combined created an exchange of positive energy, inspiration and mutual support – the key ingredients for the growth of the industry – and made the first ever Mega PMU Congress a huge success!

Anjeza Lushaj, Mega PMU Congress Non-Stop Speaker, working on a live model
Anjeza Lushaj, Mega PMU Congress Non-Stop Speaker, working on a live model

Emerging PMU Trends Report

What better way to observe current and upcoming trends in the industry than to round up its leading experts from various corners of the globe and different backgrounds?

Here are PMUHub’s key takeaways:

Machine Strokes Are Taking Over

One major shift became obvious in 2022 and has continued into 2023 – the industry is transitioning from microblading to machine hair strokes more and more.

While microblading isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, nano brows are finally getting the attention they deserve, and the Mega PMU Congress gave space to several experts who specialize in machine strokes to present their techniques.

Just like there are numerous more or less established styles of manual microblading, we are now seeing different methods of performing machine strokes becoming recognized as unique, branded and distinctive.

Monica Ivani shared the details of her nano strokes technique. She explained how she achieves the most natural-looking classic strokes, sharing tips on how to achieve the best pigment saturation and precision for strokes that look indistinguishable from natural hairs.

Oksana Martynenko walked us through her style of doing machine hair strokes – CSHMR brows. Her work is particularly fluffy, feathery and very recognizable. Her strokes are slightly pixelated, have a special taper, and give a distinguishable statement brow.

Anna Kutsevolova chimed in online, talking us through an example of how she performs her recognizable Hyperrealism brows on alopecia patients, which is her passion and specialty. She presented a case study of inspiring work on a male alopecia patient which left everyone impressed.

Oksana Martynenko & Monica Ivani, Mega PMU Congress Main Speakers

Soft & Natural Results as the New Ideal

Permanent makeup is so versatile it can cater to all tastes and adapt to the ever-changing beauty ideals of the moment. With the beauty industry as a whole shifting more towards the natural look over dramatic and bold, so is permanent makeup.

So a number of lectures reflected this trend.

Dolores Srok shared her method of blending several shades of pigments into the softest possible lip blush, targeting certain areas on the lip with lighter pigments, and others with darker shades, all based on the unique characteristics of the skin of the lips in those spots.

Olha Yurchenko shared how she uses her signature technique, which is usually quite bold, to create soft powder brows that look like the client is wearing just a tiny little bit of brow makeup, with perfect pigment retention after just 1 session. She proved to everyone that powder brows can look natural, too.

Olha and Dolores on Mega PMU Congress
Olha Yurchenko & Dolores Srok, Mega PMU Congress Main Speakers

A Holistic Approach to Medical Tattooing

What made the speaker lineup so amazing was the presence of several medical tattooing experts who got the chance to raise awareness about the importance of a special approach to people seeking their services.

The main takeaway is the idea that people who come in for medical tattooing are patients, not regular clients who are getting permanent makeup, and need to be treated as such – with particular care, attention and compassion.

One of the pioneers of this idea is Paola Gateño, who used her lecture to point to the fact that areola tattooing requires a holistic approach that takes into consideration the mental map, emotions and expectations.

Ina Bennoun, a reconstructive micropigmentation expert with 2 decades of experience and an artist with an amazing portfolio, shared case studies of her most challenging reconstructive work, and showed us new ways in which medical tattooing can change lives.

Paola Gateño & Ina Bennoun, Mega PMU Congress Main Speakers
Ina Bennoun & Paola Gateño, Mega PMU Congress Main Speakers

Insights into Innovation

If there’s one message that is bound to stick with all who were present, it’s how powerful thinking outside the box can be.

Cosmetic and paramedical tattooing were developed as ways to improve people’s lives, and when this motivation is combined with skill and passion, the possibilities are endless.

The living proof of this is Ennio Orsini, a dermopigmentation specialist and one of the biggest innovators in the industry, who gave an introduction to his revolutionary nipple prosthesis, a revolutionary product born out of his dream to help mastectomy patients feel like themselves again.

His work presented at the congress is hard evidence of the amazing innovations the industry can yield.

Ennio Orsini, Mega PMU Congress Main Speaker, and PMUHub Team
Ennio Orsini, Mega PMU Congress Main Speaker and PMUHub Team

An Opportunity to Connect Beyond the Business

While the growth of the industry is definitely the main mission of this conference as well as all others, these social events are also opportunities to network, make friends and support each other.

So the organizers made sure to create an atmosphere where attendees can connect as people.

The coffee breaks between the lectures, the entertainment intermission with traditional Greek and Latin dances, and the gala party to celebrate a successful event were times for laughter, bonding and making memories.

As an international event with participants and attendees from 20+ countries, the value of the event lies far beyond the business insights. Celebrating unity with the people who understand the challenges and wonders of the PMU & micropigmentation industry is priceless.

And so is showing solidarity in times of crisis. The organizers took a moment to reflect on the recent disaster that struck neighboring Turkey and Syria. The love and support that flooded the room shows how strangers can come together, and how, little by little, beauty will save the world.

Gülsüm Sözen, Nurcan Tümtürk & Peggy Kirkou, Mega PMU Congress
Gülsüm Sözen, Nurcan Tümtürk & Peggy Kirkou, Mega PMU Congress

Final Thoughts

If there’s one message that all attendees and participants agree on, it’s that, in this industry, you never stop learning. The only way to stay on top is to constantly work on yourself and your skill, and what better way to keep up than to follow what’s happening at conferences and meetups around the world?

So stay tuned to PMUHub for more conference reports and we’ll hopefully cross paths at some of them!

PMUHub team & Peggy Kirkou, Mega PMU Congress, Athens, Greece
PMUHub team & Peggy Kirkou, Mega PMU Congress

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