NORFOLK, Va. — Molly Zemke, a makeup tattoo artist, believes in ditching the makeup remover and going for permanence... with ink.

“Try it, I really think it changes lives,” she said.

Right now, she loves working in Virginia Beach, doing all types of permanent makeup tattooing. But she’s excited about how Norfolk city council updated an ordinance allowing their city’s salons to do cosmetic tattooing too.

On June 11, the Ghent Business Association approached city council about the topic. Full-service salons wishing to provide makeup tattooing would need to get a conditional use permit. Also, they’d have to follow the same restrictions other tattoo parlors in the city must follow.

Zemke said having an ordinance for the service in the city is beneficial for customers. “I think it’s about time and the reason why is because it makes it safer.”

She believes the change in policy helps make sure the work is done by licensed professionals. 

“It’s kind of scary the work I’ve seen coming out of unlicensed professionals’ hands.”

Traditional tattoo shop owners, like Thomas Glaser at Fusion Ink, agree. 

“Especially now that they opened up the floodgates for it. Anyone and their mother will probably want to do it, and think they can do it,” said Glaser.

Even though he believes tattoo artists at a traditional tattoo shop should be preferred over salon tattoo artist, because he said they go through more training, he agrees with Zemke in that anyone looking for cosmetic tattooing needs to do their research on the artist doing tattooing.

“Just follow up, ask, see their work. Look at pictures see what they’ve done,” said Glaser.