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Meet Elsa Milani of Flawless Permanent Makeup By Elsa in Lincoln Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elsa Milani.

Elsa, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always had a true passion for people, art, and beauty. I grew up with a very artistic set of British grandparents. My grandmother was a painter, and my grandfather; Tony Hepburn was a respected Ceramic Artist. They always encouraged me to be creative, true to myself, and go after what I love. I transmitted my artistic ability into the beauty industry. I attended Beauty School during High School and earned my Cosmetologist License. Although I had aspirations to be a famous Cosmetic Makeup Artist and Colorist in NYC, fate had a different plan for me. I had been attacked by a dog when I was 12 and endured 30 stitches on my face.

After 2 reconstructive surgeries, I was still left with an asymmetrical lip line and visible stitch line scars. After covering it for years with topical Makeup, and being fed up with the constant struggle of smears and smudges. I did some research and discovered Permanent Makeup. I went to a Permanent Makeup Artist in Manhattan, who I later trained with. She realigned my lip with pigment and did scar camouflage to blend in the scars to my natural complexion. The final results were night and day. I will never forget going home, looking in the mirror, and just crying about how amazed and happy I was that I looked like me again. That sparked my interest and passion for Permanent Cosmetics and Medical Tattooing. It changed my life, and had that not happened to me I may not have gotten into Permanent Cosmetics. I always knew I was meant to work in an artistic setting, with people, and beauty.

However, the Hair industry just didn’t do it for me. I really liked it, but I did not love it. When you land that dream job working at a Premium Salon in the Plaza Hotel on 5’th Avenue in NYC and you still don’t love doing hair- you know it wasn’t meant to be. I then attended school for Psychology, Philosophy, and a separate institution for Permanent Makeup in attempts to find my calling. I had many interests and wasn’t sure if I would enjoy doing Permanent Makeup, as much as I enjoyed receiving it. Sure enough, I loved doing Permanent Cosmetics and could not get enough! I since have traveled all over the world to train an apprentice with top artists in the industry for a multitude of procedures that I now offer. I truly love what I do. I love the artistic aspect of it, and the helping people, and empowering women aspect of it. When you go to work, and it doesn’t feel like “work” what more could you ask for?

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Of course, there have been some struggles along the way. Mastering techniques, learning about the different skin types, and how pigment behaves differently in those different skin types. The biggest misconception and struggle is getting the public to understand that for instance; Microblading is not ‘Semi-Permanent.” It is a Cosmetic Tattoo, all Permanent Makeup are Cosmetic Tattoos. I am implanting pigment designed for the face with needles into the upper layer of the Dermis like a Traditional Body Art Tattoo. The difference is the technique in which we implant the pigment, and the ink is designed specifically for the face/PMU, therefore fades more so than Body Art Tattoos.

We want to be able to manipulate the shape as the face ages and changes. Yes, it fades, but it doesn’t necessarily go away. Everyone’s skin is different and retains pigment differently. Giving the client the false perception that this will be GONE in 18 months is in my opinion unethical. We cannot guarantee when or if the pigment will ever go away. On average touch ups due to fading are every 1-3 years. I don’t know how many corrections I have done coming from untrained artists with clients crying in my chair because one; the brow is a hot mess, and two; they were told it would go away in 18 months and that it was “Semi-Permanent.”

Luckily I can fix or remove most unfortunate brow jobs, however, people need to be more educated before they tattoo a person’s face. I am a member of the SPCP (Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals) and it is a great organization to help set standards and a code of ethics for the Permanent Makeup Industry. I am very transparent with my clients and let them know that Permanent Makeup is a process, not a procedure. The biggest thing I have taken away from my struggles is to pay attention to them, learn from them, do not repeat them, and keep it moving. Everything happens for a reason, mistakes will be made but that is part of life. It’s what we do after the mistake that matters. I truly believe when you do right by people, people are going to do right by you, and everything comes full circle. I have been blessed with amazing clients!

Please tell us about Flawless Permanent Makeup By Elsa.
Flawless Permanent Makeup By Elsa, Inc is all about Permanent Cosmetics and Medical Tattoos. I strive to make every client feel more beautiful and confident. I am a Certified Permanent Makeup Professional and Licensed Cosmetologist in NY & IL. I have accumulated certifications for all of the services that I provide. Education has always been really important to me because I take altering anyone’s face or body seriously. I offer all Permanent Makeup Procedures and different variations of each; eyeliner, eyeshadow, smokey eyeliner, eyelash enhancement, winged eyeliner, full lip color, lip liner, blush lip, beauty marks, 3D hairstroke microblading, powder eyebrows, combination eyebrows, and ombre eyebrows.

I also offer Medical Tattoos including; scalp micropigmentation, scar/skin/stretch mark camouflage/corrective treatments, and 3D areola micropigmentation reconstruction. I do corrective work and permanent makeup removal as well. I love and have trained intensely for all of the procedures that I offer, but I would have to say that lips, scar camouflage, and brows are my top 3. I think what sets me apart is the amount of training I have done, the finished product that I produce, and the level of care I have for my clients. I am very proud that Flawless Permanent Makeup By Elsa is a member of the SPCP (Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals), Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, and Safe in My Chair, for the LGBTQ Community- everyone is welcome at my shop! I’m also proud that in October my business donates 3 Areola Micropigmentation Reconstructive Procedures for Breast Cancer Survivors as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Flawless will be doing this every year!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory? I would have to say it was before my grandparents got sick, every Summer I would go to Michigan and spend the Summer with them at Cranbrook where my grandfather taught a Ceramics Graduate program. I would spend countless hours hanging out with him and his students, watching them create stunning works of art. I would usually get inspired and whip out my Barbie Makeup Kit and go around offering free makeovers. They kindly participated as I smeared pink all over them- including my poor grandfather. They were great sports!


  • I offer Free Consultations for all procedures.
  • Brows start at $460, Eyeliner $350, Lips $450

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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