3-Minute Interview: Cathy Klemz

The cosmetic tattoo artist owns A Perfect Line Academy of Permanent Cosmetics in Millbrae. Her tattooing enhances eyebrows, eyelids and lips, and she also does reconstructive work for breast cancer patients. Her academy has graduated six students.

What gave you the motivation to start this type of teaching? I love tedious work. I was a manicurist for 15 years, and I’ve been here 15 years. I saw such bad work, and I hoped to teach people correctly. It’s somebody’s face — you should learn to do it correctly.

How do your clients’ appearances change after you work on them? It’s not a lot of makeup; they’re not going to look like Tammy Faye. Less is better. It just makes everybody look younger.

What do your clients typically say after you’re done working on them? They’re sorry they didn’t do it 20 years sooner. If you do it slow and cautious, it looks natural.

How has the market for this type of service changed over the years? When I started it was slow, and people were scared of it. Now, a lot of people are doing it. Women spend money on themselves. There could be a recession, but they would find money for beauty.

Why do people come to you specifically for this type of work? I think my years of experience, totally. And doctor referrals. It’s just a convenient thing for my clients to wake up with makeup on; it’s so rewarding for me.

Any favorite experiences from your 15 years here? Oh, everything. I had an older woman recently who came in, and she didn’t have eyebrows. I gave her eyebrows, and she was so happy. I love to come to work.

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