Pretty In Ink Makes Its Mark

Stacey Byford is the only licensed permanent makeup artist in the Hudson Valley.

After the birth of her second child, Stacey Byford shifted from her law practice of 15 years to providing the public with everlasting flushed faces and bedroom eyes.

Byford is now a permanent makeup artist for her own business called Pretty In Ink.

She has several locations throughout New York and New Jersey and all of the equipment is portable so she can work out of her clients’ homes. However, Byford said she is proud of her new storefront which opened nine months ago.

Moving from her New Jersey living room to Plattekill Avenue in New Paltz, Pretty In Ink is one of only three board-certified permanent make up shops in New York.

According to Byford, artists must be board-certified and have studied as an apprentice to be licensed in New Jersey. Byford studied as an apprentice for a year and a half to become certified while working toward her law degree.

“In New York state you don’t have to be certified,”  Byford said.

Permanent makeup, or micro-pigmentation, is a two-part treatment process. First sterile, single-use, needles are used to tattoo the dermal layer of the skin. Then after three to four weeks clients are expected to return for the price-included touch up session. Touch ups are usually done to ensure that the lines created are symmetrical, continuous and the right shade and thickness, Byford said.

“Eighty percent of clients need touch ups two to four weeks after the initial treatment,” Byford said. “Depending on your skin’s chemistry, the makeup can last anywhere from five to 10 years.”

Byford said one of the major reasons she became interested in the makeup treatment was so she could wake up looking refreshed and awake throughout the day.

“My goal is not to create the appearance of makeup, but simply to enhance my client’s natural beauty,” Byford said.

One client who received this treatment is Bonnie Costas, owner of Costas and Tate Insurance Agency Inc.

“I had done work at another place and Stacey had to fix it,” Costas said. “I’m busy and I own my own business, so it’s great to just wake up and go out.”

Costas said Byford’s process is painless because she uses a numbing agent while at the other place she went to the pain was nearly unbearable.

Byford said the pain levels vary from person to person.

Others clients who have received this treatment have done so to replace hair that was lost due to illness or to reintroduce the proper pigment into skin.

“There are no average amounts of customers per week,” Byford said. “There are peaks and lulls and anywhere from 10 to 15 people a week.”

Pretty In Ink offers treatments in eyeliner, eyebrows, lips and beauty marks. The shop provides a range of treatments from $100 for a simple beauty mark, to $600 for a full-lip coloring. SUNY New Paltz students are offered a 25 percent discount.


Maria Jayne