We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Mills and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, how do you think about risk?
My career began after we took a huge risk as a family. In 2016 we sold all we owned, and with 12 suitcases, 3 kids, and a little wanderlust within us, we moved from our small hometown in Arizona, across the Pacific to live the island life on Oahu, HI.
I’ve always considered myself creative and artistic, but my work background was in dental assisting. My kids were all going to be in school and I had a desperate nagging feeling inside of me that something “in the tank” that was desperate to get out. I was fascinated with permanent makeup and intrigued by the art of it. I knew I could be good at it. So, I dove all in. I was ready for yet another big change. This one was going to be in my career.
I took a course, and then another… and learned all I could about permanent makeup.
I practiced tirelessly every night for at least 6 months at my kitchen table. I was ready to begin but I didn’t know anyone on the island. I reached out to a local beauty studio I went to and asked if I could sub-lease from her on any open days or nights that she had available. I took every opening she had and asked anyone I could start up conversation with if they wanted permanent makeup done. The “coconut wireless” as they call it in Hawaii system worked great, and referrals started to come. A few months later, the beauty studio I was renting from was closing, and the space became available for me to take over. I had a schedule that was filling up, but the risk of taking on a new space was bigger than I could wrap my head around. I had so many ‘what if’s” about it. I ran the numbers and figured if I could stick to the growing clientele rate I was currently at, I could make a business in a creative space of my own. The idea was bigger than I could wrap my head around.
After starting Lure Permanent Cosmetics, I poured 100% of my creativity into my work. Helping to boost my clients view of themselves by accentuating their features with permanent makeup was more rewarding than I could have anticipated. I loved meeting the people of the island through the first 3 years of my career in the beauty business. My business really was born with Aloha. It truly blossomed at such a quick rate. I’ll never forget the cheerleaders and amazing support I felt from the people of Hawaii. What an incredible feeling it was making people of such a loving culture so happy with what I created.
Once the pandemic hit in 2020, we knew the time had come for us to make a transition back to Arizona. Just like the islands seemed to be calling to us 4 years ago; home was now calling us back. This time we shipped our belongings and relocated back to Arizona where we are here to stay. As sure as we were that we belonged home in the desert, leaving the place I had planted my business was a task I wasn’t really sure I was ready to tackle. I was ‘Over” starting over. I’m here to say that if your client tells Google they love you, Google will love you back. I feel incredibly lucky to work in a world where social media helps us stay connected no matter where our feet are planted. Upon my announcement to be moving back, As much as Instagram can feel like another full time job, it has been a giant blessing in my transition back to the Mainland.
My books filled up before we moved back, I was having a gratitude meltdown over the response. I opened my studio shortly after moving back and am so grateful for the chance I had to hit the ground running. It has always felt like a twilight zone of doors opening that I wasn’t sure I was deserving of. One thing I knew was that I loved what I do, and I want my clients to feel that from me. I’m so grateful for each and every canvas that walks through my door having confidence in me that I can capture the vision they’re hoping for. I’ll never tire of the creative challenge.
My vision for my studio has now come to fruition in my new storefront in Mesa, Arizona. Here, I can work alongside certified professionals who offer additional services such as aesthetics, botox, filler, and IV therapy… to name a few. I now have the space to continue to train students in permanent cosmetics and use this opportunity help strengthen the beauty business with like-minded women.
When I think of the risks I’ve taken, it’s not all a fun read with ideal outcomes. I’ve lost a lot. I’ve failed a lot. I still don’t know a lot. My husband and I haven’t always done the smartest things. But in every failure, there’s been one hell of a lesson learned. It’s easy to get caught up in the bubbles and rainbows of the good risk stories. But one thing is for sure, they really do shine bright enough to drown out the unsuccessful risks! Here’s to getting knocked down, and back up again. What a lucky girl I am to get to work on the lovely faces in this world and get to know the good souls inside of them. It’s pretty incredible.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Ooooh tell you about my art! Where do I start? Well, I’ve kind of always joked that part of the fun is really never knowing what is going to walk through your door! Creativity and knowledge of the skin has to be intricately applied to each client. This is art backed by science. Each face presents a different need and/or challenge! And I do love a challenge. This industry definitely comes with challenges. I’m dealing with people’s faces! And its permanent. SO stress has been heavily laced within the learning curves of learning the Art of PMU. I’ve learned a lot and used the mantra “the only mistakes are the ones we don’t learn from” to always keep me moving forward and eager to learn more. Thankfully, the beauty industry has evolved significantly in the last 5 years. From Pigments, color corrections, and techniques, permanent makeup looks a whole LOT different than it did back when your moms and grandmothers did it 15-20 years ago. Shoot even 5 years ago. I’ve asked a lot of why’s that I was taught, and tested a lot of theories that were passed from trainer to student and no everything was lining up in my head or in my healed results. I was frustrated with the answers to questions I was getting because information and outcomes weren’t lining up. It really did become like a crappy game of telephone.
As a whole, the industry now has more why’s backed by science to perfect our art. When I discovered these ‘rule breakers’ (maybe better described as rule re-writers??) out there asking the same questions I was, it got even more exciting. It opened up the “don’t ever do this” to “yes honey, we can fix that.”
For example: Dark lip neutralization & tattoo was a no-fly zone when I started this industry. Now, it’s one of the most fascinating and rewarding things I offer. The Evolution from that service alone is pretty life changing for many men and women.
I really do take great pride in creating permanent makeup that is undetectable to their family or closest friends. When “Something is different” but they can’t put their finger on it is the ultimate compliment. It should accentuate your features. Not walk in the room before you do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well I’m a little new here to the Valley Area, and Im a homebody so im not the girl to hit up for best places to eat or hangout, haha. I prefer my house and some Thai Chili take-out. Im not fancy.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Paige Hatch, Permanent by Paige Britt Wagner Ink By Britt for holding my hand along the ride of learning my craft, and for being the best friends in the business. Carla Ricciardone at Sculpted Studios for your knowledge and mentorship.
All photo rights are Lure Permanent Cosmetics