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Beauty talk with permanent make-up genius Karen Betts

Karen Betts

Karen Betts is the UK’s most esteemed permanent cosmetics and microblading artist, and one of the earliest pioneers in the highly specialised art of paramedical tattooing.

The leading authority in her field, Karen really is the ‘professional’s professional’ – she’s a regular speaker at international conferences (USA, Russia and China to name a few), and she’s the go-to expert for British journalists and documentary-makers alike.

Our style and beauty editor Melanie Kruger had the recent opportunity to sit down with the ‘Queen of Brows’ to talk about everything from her signature scent to her evening skincare routine.

What is your signature scent?
I love all of the Tom Ford range but Neroli Portofino is still my favourite.

Which three beauty products couldn’t you live without?
Heliocare SPF 50, Nouveau Lashes Strip Lashes and High Definition Fluid Foundation.

Talk us through your morning and evening skincare routines. How are they different?
Most of my skincare is prescribed by the fabulous doctor I visit and other than one or two products my routine from morning to evening does not differ that greatly, my day products protect against pollutants and environmental factors and my evening products help repair and hydrate.

How does your skin type affect the sort of makeup you wear?
Because skin health is important to me I tend to not wear a lot of makeup unless I have a very glamorous event. I like my skin tone to be even so I do wear foundation daily but I also like my skin to still look like skin. I am not a fan of anything too heavy and a little foundation goes a long way for me.

Karen Betts
Karen Betts is the UK’s most esteemed permanent cosmetics and microblading artist

Talk us through your everyday makeup routine.
I would love to say I spend an hour each morning perfectly applying my makeup before I leave the house. The reality however is my laptop and phone are out by 6 am every morning so I often have to apply my makeup in-between calls and emails on the train or in a taxi on my way to meetings or my clinic in London.

Strong eye or strong lip?
Strong lip every time.

What’s the best piece of beauty advice you have ever been given?
Wear SPF everyday all year round and smile, it implies confidence and nothing is more attractive than someone who feels comfortable in their own skin whatever their preferred makeup look may be.

Everyone loves a Sunday night pampering session. Talk us through yours.
As Managing Director of Karen Betts Professional, K.B Pro Permanent Cosmetics Training, High Definition Beauty and Nouveau Lashes – the pioneer of the LVL Lash Lift, I spend most of my Sunday evenings prepping for the week ahead. Being so busy it is a hard act to juggle my immense workload and look perfectly polished every day. Having subtle permanent cosmetics applied on my brows, eyes and lips helps make this possible.

What is your most decadent beauty product?
Not exactly a product but I regularly attend a fantastic clinic in Leeds called Aesthetic Health, they have a holistic healthy approach to medical anti-ageing and believe in treating the underlying cause as opposed to just ‘papering over the cracks’. Dr Julia Sevi, is a perfectionist, with a passion for patient care, safety and attention to detail, she judiciously prescribes aesthetic treatments with an artistic eye, often in combination with integrated medical care to achieve the most natural looking, long lasting and healthy results – I listen to what Dr Julia advises and change my products according to what my body needs at that time.

What’s your favourite hairstyle for a glamorous night out, and how do you achieve it?
Day to day I wear my hair in a pony or pinned up during clinic therefore when I am attending a glamorous event I like to wear it down with a loose wave. I am very lucky that a lady I trained over 15 years ago and who worked in my hair and beauty salon from the age of 16 is still on hand to do my hair today. All I have to do is show her the outfit and she knows exactly what hairstyle will compliment it.