Many of us can relate to the experience of feeling unconfident in ourselves. Regardless of why, it’s important to remember that our relationship with ourselves is the most important. That is why Jennifer Phung is so passionate about the services she provides for her clients at Touch Of Beauty, a permanent cosmetic business with a focus on self-confidence.
The beauty industry has grown and expanded exponentially within the past decade alone. Nanobrows is one of the newest branches of the industry that’s become increasingly popular throughout the past few years. More individuals are turning to permanent beauty to either enhance certain facial features, combat aging, and most importantly, gain confidence in their individuality.
Jennifer Phung is the founder and permanent cosmetic technician for her business, Touch Of Beauty. Their mission is to provide quality permanent cosmetics to meet client needs, and ideally, improve their self-esteem in the process.
“With my business, I love not only helping people feel more beautiful, but giving them that sense of confidence they need to take on the world. We also provide treatments for patients who suffer from cancer, alopecia, etc. who may have lost their hair, and we’re able to provide a sense of relief for them. So it’s really all about beauty and lifting the spirits of the clients who come to see us,” Phung passionately explained.
“To be able to help people, give them a sense of confidence they never knew they had, and help the community has always been a priority of mine. Using the skills I’ve gained as a medical professional, artist, and beauty professional to benefit others is truly an honor.”
Phung has always had a deep interest for art growing up, but when it came time to go to school, she decided to choose a path that would be more financially stable. Little did she know she would be able to combine all of her skills to create one amazing business years later:
“I started in the industry about 14 years ago, however, in 2004 I was working in the Operating Room for lasik surgery, so my background is actually in science; I have a microbiology degree. Initially, I was meant to go into the medical field, even though I always had a passion for art, it just didn’t seem feasible as a career, which led me into science.
When I was working at the laser center, I did a lot of thinking about procedures specifically regarding makeup. When the concept of permanent makeup first emerged, the procedures would always end up with a very harsh and intense result, so I wanted to use my background in art and science to combine the medical aspect of beauty procedures, my love of art, and my passion for beauty to create a business.
Opening a business can be scary, so at first, around March 2007, I continued to work full-time at the laser center and then would begin to take on some clients in my off hours. Of course it started off slow but I began with the basics of doing permanent cosmetics after going to LA to learn more about how it actually works. On my way back from that trip, I also began reading about eyelash extensions, which were just coming into popularity at the time. As someone who was opening a new beauty business, seeing names like Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce next to this new beauty procedure obviously caught my attention. So when I got back home I looked into the actual process and took some courses specifically about lashes.
Again, at the time, permanent makeup was still a relatively new concept, but procedures like lash extensions were becoming more well-known due to the celebrity exposure. So for the first couple of years eyelash extensions really took over my business and gave Touch Of Beauty the foundation it needed to become what it is today.
After a few years, as permanent makeup became more normalized and the procedures became more intricate and fine-tuned, we began taking on hair stroke procedures as well; which refers to tattooing hair strokes on areas of the clients face, mainly eyebrows. At that point we were also able to help out cancer and alopecia patients who reached out to us specifically for hair stroke procedures, in addition to general clientele who were curious about it. From that point on the business really flourished, and it’s been such a dream.”
“Our business as it stands today mainly focuses on permanent cosmetics, especially when it comes to hair stroke procedures. Most people are familiar with microblading when it comes to permanent cosmetics, but there’s not many individuals in the industry to perform nanobrow procedures like we do here at Touch Of Beauty.”
Touch Of Beauty has become known for their nanobrow procedures, which according to Phung, still isn’t hugely common practice in the permanent cosmetics industry as it stands:
“Nanobrow procedures use a specific technique when it comes to permanent eyebrow procedures. Microblading is more commonly known in the realm of permanent cosmetics, and refers to using a 14-blade tool to tattoo on hair strokes in the eyebrow to make them appear fuller. With nanobrows, we use a one-point needle to create the hair strokes. So it’s less pulling on the skin, smaller hair strokes, and provides a more even distribution of pigment within the eyebrows.
Beyond the eyebrows, we do permanent eyeliner, which stays on for three to four years, lip procedures for restoration of pigment and volume, lash curling, extensions, and tinting, and I also like to think we provide a certain level of therapy for our clients as well.
In terms of how long all of the cosmetics last, most of our procedures can last on a clients face for two-to-three years. Every client is different, and it does also have to do with how sensitive their skin is, how well they take care of their skin, sun exposure, etc. So at the end of those two years they can come back in, get a quick refresh, and then be on their way for another few years before we see them again.”
Beyond all the amazing and innovative procedures that Phung provides with Touch Of Beauty, it’s her ability to make every client feel comfortable and well-informed through every step of the process that makes her business truly unique.
“One of the things I pride myself in with Touch Of Beauty is how personal, detailed, and committed we are. From the first moment a client calls in they will be working with me, the actual business owner, and the artist throughout the whole entire procedure. I additionally do all the social media, marketing, phone work, etc. and it creates a much more intimate experience between us as a business and our clients.”
“Having our clients see that we are with them through every step of the process creates a level of trust that’s integral for any sort of business and their customers. We have some of the best clients and it makes us so happy to provide what we do for them.”
I then wanted to know more about how Phung has been able to give back to her community as her business grew, and she explained to me how her experience in the medical industry allowed her to give back in ways she could’ve never imagined at first.
“At Touch Of Beauty we also have a big emphasis on giving back. Supporting cancer research and children in general has always been a passion of mine. Cancer runs in my family so it’s always been a cause that’s been close to my heart. Initially, when we were first getting started I had a cancer patient reach out to me and ask if I could help them through our procedures. As someone who worked in the medical field before, I knew I wanted to be as safe as possible when it came to helping this particular client so I made it a point to reach out to her doctors, get information regarding her treatment, and explain to them what I would be doing to ensure that the beauty procedures we provide wouldn’t hinder her cancer treatment or immune system in anyway.
This is a common practice we do with all cancer patients who reach out to us, and I’ve heard about a lot of other professionals in this field who don’t take that extra step of reaching out to the doctor. When it comes down to it, permanent cosmetics consist of procedures that do impact the body, and its internal systems, directly, so why wouldn’t you want to make sure your client is getting the safest possible option, especially if they’re in a position where they may be immunocompromised to some extent?
After I helped that initial patient with her hair desires, I felt so good that I knew it was something I wanted to incorporate more heavily into the business. She was also so helpful in the way that she spread the word that as a business we welcome any client with a medical issue that may cause their hair to either thin or fall out, and we’re committed to providing them with their ideal vision.”
“Clients come in and they feel like they can tell me anything. That trust honestly makes it easy to help guide them on their beauty journey to find the best possible procedure that they want, which I also believe is professionally the best option for them.”
Phung then explained to me how while the pandemic definitely put a damper on the business at first, she was able to help an even wider pool of clients who were dealing with self-esteem issues for the first time in their life due to the transition of being at home all the time and looking at yourself through a computer screen.
“Opening the business back up after Covid was one of the greatest experiences, if you can believe it. We were forced to be closed for nearly three months, and when we reopened I was fully booked for weeks. I find that more individuals have spent their time at home focusing on the parts of their lives that they want to put energy into to improve. My business began booming when we all learned about the importance of masks, because suddenly you have a multitude of people who want to make sure the top half of their face is as presentable as possible since they no longer can show the rest of it.”
Phung concluded our interview very proudly, speaking about her passion and dedication she has for each of her clients:
“I’m very personal and professional. I pride myself in the welcoming atmosphere we consistently provide to our clients. I’ve always been a great listener, and that’s helped me immensely when it comes to this business and building trust among my amazing clients. Clients come in and they feel like they can tell me anything. That trust honestly makes it easy to help guide them on their beauty journey to find the best possible procedure that they want, which I also believe is professionally the best option for them.
My clients say I’m flexible but not flexible at the same time. My schedule is often fully booked, however, I’ve built up such an amazing relationship with a majority of my clients that we can all work together to ensure everyone is satisfied, and can come into the office when they need.
Being able to help people feel good about themselves, boost their self esteem, and have a good time with them while doing it, tells me everything I need to know in regards to my success. I love what I do, I love what I provide, and I hope to continue to expand and continue to help raise the esteems of the community around me.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.