Every day, we hear from artists that truly touch us with their personal stories of success, motivation, and hard work. Permanent Makeup Artists come from many different walks of life, with so many different experiences that led them to where they are today. With a passion for not only brows, but client safety and making a difference in people's lives, artist Ciara Ramsden inspired us with her story, so naturally, we just had to share it with you!
I am a Registered Paramedic in Alberta and I have been working in Emergency Services for 17 years. I am trained to the Critical Care Level which is the highest level of training in Emergency Medical Services. I have been an EMS educator, manager and mentor throughout my EMS career.
As a paramedic working long shifts and night shifts doing a very challenging job, wearing a uniform, work boots and a ballistic vest, you don't have much time to feel feminine! When I first started in EMS there were very few women working on the streets. I had to be one of the boys, keep up with the boys and be very physically and emotionally tough. The last thing on my mind at work was fixing my makeup. I had to keep my girly side to my days off.
The two things I always made sure I had done were my eyebrows and my nails. I have had a life-long obsession with eyebrows. I was born with beautiful fluffy eyebrows but when the 90's trend of the skinny brow reared its ugly head, I got on board and mastered the skinny brow by tweezing my brows to death!
I was always trying to convince my friends to let me do their brows and I begged my 3 older sisters to let me tweeze their equally bushy brows (they smartly refused). I remember seeing an episode of Oprah where she featured Anastasia Beverly Hills and I remember thinking "wow, imagine making your whole profession about eyebrows". It was right then that I knew someday I wanted to have an Eyebrow Studio. I ran out to Sephora and bought every product she made. This was long before microblading was commonly known.
As soon as I heard about microblading and saw the work of Jody Stosky at Cinnamon Girl Clinic in Calgary, I was fascinated. I had my eyebrows done by her and was simply amazed at the transformation and restoration of my eyebrows. I loved knowing that even in the middle of the night at work my eyebrows looked great! I instantly thought this was something I needed to pursue. Microblading satisfied my eyebrow obsession and helping women feel confident again with their brows satisfied my nature, which is to make people feel good. I was so fulfilled by the blending of my two life-long passions.
As timing would have it, I was very lucky to become a mom late in life. At 41 years old I had my beautiful son Aidan and a massive shift happened in my life. This tiny little human changed me so much! I started to find shift work increasingly difficult, and the tragedies I was seeing at work were affecting me more. I was searching for a change so I decided to take a small step back from my full-time roll in EMS and take a risk to try something new.
Over the last year and a half, I have been building my PMU and Brow Bar Business one client at a time. I am lucky that my EMS family is so incredibly supportive and the women that I work with trust me to do their cosmetic tattooing! There are a lot of female paramedics with great eyebrows now!
I proudly support Police, Fire, EMS and Military and provide a discount because I know the challenges they face. I also specifically support a nonprofit organization that supports Police, Fire, EMS and Military who live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the effects of their work.
I am most proud of being a mom, continuing my long and successful EMS career and serving people in their worst times. Three years ago I was awarded an Emergency Services Medal which was a really nice moment of recognition. I had my son with me which was extra special.
I am also proud of how much training and learning I have done over the last year in PMU. I can honestly say I have gone "all in" and I have also discovered an interest in entrepreneurship while building my new business.
My goals and aspirations in PMU are above all to be an amazing brow artist and to serve my clients in an ethical and responsible way. I want to continue to grow my business. I have always been an educator and in the future, I can see myself blending my medical training and passion for safety to help further our industry.
I want to see an evolution of PMU in regards to standards and safety. I would love to be a part of changing the health standards in PMU and the fundamental health and safety of the products and education in this industry.
The next thing I would love to see in PMU is my favorite pigments coming in one-time use packaging. This would tie up that one last loose end in safety. Opening, using and recapping pigments really bothers me! I would also like to see an end to the two day MB courses and a crack down on artists without health inspections. I know the ethical artists in our industry all feel the same way."
By: Ciara Ramsden
Get in-touch with Ciara
Website: Flirt Brow Bar
Facebook: Flirt Cosmetics Studio and Brow Bar