Quality Made in Germany

How much can I earn as a permanent makeup artist?

In this article, the very experienced amiea International Master Trainer Sonja Laake discusses an important aspect of PMU activity: the PMU earnings.


If you are thinking about training as a permanent makeup artist, you obviously want to know what you can earn with it. After all, the investments you make should also pay off. There is no question: it is worth working as a pigmenter. If you are good, then your investment will be profitable and pay off many times over. Before I calculate what you can earn, however, I want to write you something in the poetry album:

1. Don't become a PMU artist just because of the money. Money alone does not make you happy and it is the same with the art of conjuring up eyebrows and perfecting lip lines. Do it because you want to make people more beautiful. Do it because you want to enrich their life. Do it because you like to work with people. Do it because you want to do something that is of (relative) duration.

2. Don't think you're a millionaire tomorrow. Everything of importance takes time and costs effort. Sometimes it means sacrifice. Permanent makeup is like love. Are you just looking for a quick pastime? Forget it. You have to get involved. You have to learn. You have to accept criticism. You also have to be content with small successes. And you have to practice, practice and above all one thing: practice.

3. Don't think you're a pro tomorrow. You have to bake long buns and pay a lot of tuition. Permanent makeup is a craft, but it's also an art. You need a feeling for shapes, for symmetries, for beauty (I know it's relative). You have to have a sensitive hand - or develop. You have to know what you're doing. Never forget: you prick your customers' skin with color. This is different than using a peeling and applying a moisturizing mask.

amiea PMU artist holding amiea color Close-up einer Frau mit Permanent Make-up von amiea


But enough of the preface. After all, you want to know what you can earn. Remember that usually every treatment includes an additional appointment where you can treat the customer afterwards. The more experienced you are, the better you get, the less you have to rework. The same applies to the treatment itself: the more experienced you are, the safer, the more pleasant (and quickly over) the treatment is for your customer, the less severe the skin injury and the faster it heals.

  • Eyebrows cost around 400 to 700 euros, depending on the technology and experience (and location!). Beginners easily need two hours, professionals can be done in an hour and a half.
  • Eyeliner lines cost around 300 to 400 euros, eyelashes enhancement (half to three quarters of an hour) are available for around 250 euros, eyeliner (takes around an hour) for between 350 and 400 euros. The prices are for both eyes.
  • Finally the lips: They cost around 600 to 900 euros and you have to invest one and a half to two and a half hours. All these prices are average prices for Germany.


Wow, now you’re thinking: I just do lips once a day and then I earn 12,000 euros to 18,000 euros for about 20 working days a month. Unfortunately, no. First, the state wants to earn money, you have to pay taxes. Second, you are unlikely to specialize in lips. You will have to do everything else too. Third: As an employed PMU artist, you will earn less. And as an independent artist, you take a certain (calculable) risk. Then there is (fourth) competition. The world wasn't waiting for you. You have to fight for your customers. And there we are with the costs, fifth. You have to spend money to make money.

permanent make up on woman‘s lips by PMU artist



A beginner course costs around 3,000 euros. If you want to be really good, you should also take the second level: another 3,000 euros.



PMU devices are available from 700 euros up to 1,500 euros and more, depending on the design and what they should be able to do (and don't forget the value added tax). The more functions, the more specially equipped, the better you can work, but the more you pay. Sometimes there are offers at fairs, sometimes you can also make a bargain if you choose a discontinued model.



Another cost factor are cartridges. Again, you shouldn't save money, but in any case pay attention to quality. Be sure to choose disposable safety modules with a special membrane that prevents color and body fluids from flowing back. Otherwise you endanger yourself and your customer. Make sure the cartridges are sterile and use them only once. Please do not come up with the idea of ​​disinfecting and storing it for your customer, in order to reuse it four weeks later when she comes for aftercare. You have to try out a bit which configurations you can work with best. There is a huge selection of needle configurations. I always recommend beginners as a minimum the NanoNT for hair drawing, the 1 liner and the 3 micro for contours, lash line and eyeliner. Do you want to shade lips? Then you could take the 4 flat. For shading and powdery effect on eyebrows, I recommend Nano N2. But as I have said before: try it out! These PMU costs vary a bit and also depend on which PMU device you are using. A pack of ten NanoNT, for example, costs around 120 euros, 15 pieces of 3 micro-needle cartridges cost 114 euros - just ask your dealer. Basically, you can work on an area with one cartridge, but if you pigment lips with a contour and full shade, you may need two different cartridges.


Colors cost very differently depending on quality and provider. If you want high-quality colors with pigments that are absolutely pure and well tolerated, you could choose the Evolutionline, for example. 5 milliliters cost around 45 euros here, Organicline is a little cheaper. 5 milliliters cost 38 euros. The prices are net prices, so value added tax is added. As a beginner, that's enough for about five eyeliner lines and about two lips. If you're a professional, you can get a little further and possibly do 10 eyeliner lines and four lips. How much you need also depends on the physical requirements of your customers. Big lips - more color.



Then you need hygiene material: cotton, cotton swabs, disinfectant spray and wipes, plastic wrap, gloves, face masks and some other things to be able to work sterile and safely. You will be charged around 20 to 30 euros per customer. All of this is available in bulk packs, which of course is cheaper than buying each glove individually. But if you buy wholesale, you have dead capital in the store for now.



In addition to the consumer products, you have to equip a cabin with a couch, light and storage table. The floor must be washable. Is there a waiting area? A counter? A customer toilet? Also, don't forget that you need a camera or at least a cell phone. Do you want to advertise or use social media channels? This also takes at least time (in which you cannot earn anything) if you do it yourself and do not give this task to an expert.


So if you want to start your own business, it can be very expensive. Depending on the location, you may have to pay some rent. You have to take care of insurance and pension yourself. If you are sick or if you go on vacation, you do not make any money. This might be too risky for some. But don't worry: there are other models to work as pigmenters. Then your investments are relatively manageable.

For example, you could be mobile as a PMU artist. That means you only offer permanent makeups all day. You pigment eyebrows, eyeliner and lips and cooperate with cosmetic studios where you work on a daily basis. The local colleagues make your appointments and you are there from morning to evening to work through them. For each treatment you assign a small commission to the operator of the studio. The better they organize appointments, the more they earn.

Or you rent completely in a studio. You use a cabin, which is usually already equipped, you pay rent and you can use your landlord's infrastructure. There is someone at the reception who also welcomes your customers and every customer of the cosmetic studio is a potential new customer for you.

Last but not least and certainly not the worst option: You are an employed permanent makeup artist. You have no risk and enjoy the relative security of being an employee. Maybe you are already an (employed) beautician or makeup artist? Perhaps you could even convince your employer to finance your training or at least part of it? After all, this model also works for physiotherapists who are trained with the support of their bread roll providers and thereby become more competent and better.


You see: it can be lucrative to work as a PMU artist. If you are good and continue to practice diligently in the customer-free period, your pigmentations will become more and more beautiful. Your customers will recommend you and your good reputation as an artist will get around.

Word of mouth advertisement is the best advertisement. Even if it is difficult at the beginning of your career, you will hike through all the valleys with a little bite and persistence, so that you can then enjoy the fruits of your hard work.


Sonja Laake
amiea International Master Trainer

Sonja Laake has been working in the field of permanent makeup for over 30 years. She works as an International Master Trainer for amiea, but she also pigments herself and therefore knows what you can ask for a good PMU and how the market is developing. She does not have her own studio, but cooperates with cosmetic studios where she is treating her clients. Benefit from her experience and book a course with her today.

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