Chesterfield permanent make-up artist is making life better for cancer patients

Permanent make-up artist Carly Smith says the rewards she gets from her job are knowing that she’s made a difference to someone’s life.

Friday, 25th February 2022, 5:21 pm

“I do a lot of clients who are post or pre-chemo or have alopecia,” she said. “They are my favourite clients because it can be quite life-changing for them. A good set of brows can make a massive difference to their confidence and that’s what I love offering. The reaction I get from clients can sometimes be tears of joy or hugs.”

This year Carly, 38, is hoping to train in areola tattooing and offer this service to breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy and reconstruction.

She said: "I feel like it’s something I want to give back. I have strong links to breast cancer in the family – my sister-in-law was 36 when she passed away nearly five years ago. Eventually I would like to offer some free services to people who aren’t working and are having to go through chemo.”

Carly Smith is a finalist in the semi-permanent make-up category of the UK Hair and Beauty Awards.

Her services, which include brows and lip blush, are in such demand that Carly currently has a three-month waiting list.

Carly said: “I have a lot of referrals through Chesterfield Royal Hospital, I've done a lot of the nurses there and they pass the information on.

"The reactions and recommendations of clients means a lot because they put the ultimate trust in you. It’s nice to feel that you’ve made that difference to somebody.”

The biggest proportion of Carly’s clients come to her for brow treatment. She said: “Brows take up to three hours, I take about an hour drawing the shape on and take measurements to make sure they are symmetrical and as perfect as we can get them. I make sure that the client is happy before going anywhere near them with the microblade tool or tattoo machine. I explain every step of the way so they feel completely comfortable and understand the aftercare.

Carly Smith's PMU Studio is at Mansfeldt Road, Newbold. Chesterfield.

"More recently I have trained in lip blush treatment, which is not just to look like lipstick but helps redefine the lip borders and help to balance out the symmetry of the lips. It’s for people who feel like they have thin lips and want an alternative to filler, especially more mature clients who lose the definition and pigmentation in their lips as the years go on. Lip blush is a form of tattooing, implanting pigment very gently into the epidermis layer of the skin. Like the brows, this is done over two sessions six weeks apart.”

The married mum-of-two has 20 years’ experience in the beauty business and runs Carly Smith PMU Artistry at her home in Mansfeldt Road, Newbold, Chesterfield.

Her expertise has earned Carly a place in the final of the UK Hair and Beauty Awards 2022 where she is a contender in the semi-permanent make-up category. Carly said: “While I've won awards for my salons in the past, this will be my first one as an individual with my new business and it’s nice to be recognised.

“Over the years I've owned a couple of salons, most recently The Therapy Lounge in Hasland where I had quite a few girls working for me and while I loved the job, I decided I'd had enough of managing staff. I trained in permanent make-up and luckily I could do it from home so I sold The Therapy Lounge."

Her path into beauty therapy began with initial training at Chesterfield College from 2000 to 2002. Carly said: “Beauty is all I ever wanted to do . I was offered a job straight from college, did an apprenticeship at Head to Toe in Grassmoor and a year later the lady in the salon where I worked decided she was selling up and I had the opportunity to purchase the business from her, so I did.”

A qualified educator who has worked at Chesterfield College in the past, Carly’s aims for the future include setting up a training academy and writing her own courses when her children are older.