Calls for regulations, consequences to avoid eyebrow botch-up jobs

A long time professional in the beauty industry is calling for urgent action around eyebrow tattooing.

Micropigmentation expert Michaella Messenger says there's been too many botched jobs and the industry needs training, regulation and penalties for when things go wrong.

The pursuit of the perfect eyebrow has fostered a growth in the industry, but it's not always a successful outcome - angry bird brows, four brows instead of two, and 'what were they thinking' eyebrows.

To avoid exactly that sort of thing, nurse Katrina Aubrey did her research before choosing what she thought was a reputable operator.

But after the procedure, she was told eyebrows shouldn't be twins but sisters.

"These are looking more like distant cousins to me," she said.

She tried laser removal, but they turned black and she's not alone.

Messenger says local and central government need to implement education training standards. 

Right now anyone can pick up a blade and claim to be a microblading specialist, leaving botch-up jobs up to experts like Messenger to try and fix.

The Ministry of Health says cosmetic tattooing can result in infection and even blood poisoning, but it's hard to know who is qualified.

"Anyone is doing courses, online, YouTube, one-day training courses and we are creating havoc out there," said Messenger.

She says the current Ministry of Health guidelines on the Safe Piercing of Skin do apply to cosmetic tattooing, but no one is enforcing them.

"No one is monitoring it. There are no blood bins, there are no gowns, there are no mop caps, there's no consultation procedure."

Some councils have health protection bylaws in place, but Messenger claims they're poorly policed.

"It is about making sure there are some consequences to actions when those standards are broken," she says.

Messenger has seen so many botch jobs, she now just wants some regulation and consequences.