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These Paramedical Tattoo Before And Afters Are Magic Right Before Your Eyes

"There are usually a lot of tears, and sometimes they are mine!"

For 18 years, Jody Stoski worked as a makeup artist in TV, print, and fashion. But when she saw the permanent makeup industry start to take off, she decided she wanted to be a part of it. Permanent makeup — also known as micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing — is a cosmetic procedure used to replace or enhance coloring on the skin. For example, here are some of Jody's patients with alopecia (an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss) who had micropigmentation performed on their eyebrows:

"When I trained as a permanent makeup artist, I trained with two doctors who also did paramedical services," Jody told BuzzFeed. "I was fascinated by the work they were doing and decided to train from day one on both cosmetic and paramedical services, which I began offering in 2008." Paramedical tattooing is the art of using skin-colored tattoos to cover up scars, burns, and other types of marks on patients.

Jody's first job in the paramedical tattooing field was at a cancer clinic, where she rented out a space and offered eyebrow and areola restorations to clients going through cancer treatments. "I saw a lot of varying cases and gained excellent experience as a result. I also worked out of a day spa at the same time, where I focused almost purely on cosmetic tattooing, which is rewarding as well, but I found the paramedical procedures so much more rewarding," she said. "When I eventually moved into my own clinic, I offered services for both markets. I now have a team of artists that provide a mix of cosmetic and paramedical services."

Jody smiling in a headshot, resting her hand on the side of her neck

Jody is now the CEO and founder of Cinnamon Girl Clinic in Calgary, Canada. At this clinic, Jody said she and her team "can camouflage scars, burns, skin grafts, cleft lip surgeries, mastectomy scarring and areola/nipple revision, top surgery patients (gender affirming) scar and areola/nipple revision, vitiligo, and stretch marks. Scars can be from surgeries (tummy tuck, facelift, C-section) or from self-harm injuries, and, of course, accidents. Not all scars can be camouflaged, but many can."

a before and after of a lip scar

Jody has started sharing a lot of the clinic's work on her TikTok account, where she now has nearly 50,000 followers. When asked about the feedback she typically receives from her patients, Jody said, "With paramedical clients, they are often just seeking some degree of improvement and are typically blown away and so very thankful when they see the results which are achieved with this type of tattooing. I think they are really as surprised to experience the service as many who’ve viewed my recent viral TikToks are to learn that it even exists."

We wanted to know what made Jody fall in love with this line of work. She told us, "Without a doubt, the ability to be a part of a client’s healing journey and really help them close the final chapter on the book of illness or trauma. It’s really emotional when they aren’t able to see the signs of their past trauma when they look in the mirror for the first time. There are usually a lot of tears, and sometimes they are mine!"

Jody has not only worked miracles on other people — she's performed the art of camouflage on herself as well. "I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had a full thyroidectomy in 2013," she said. "I felt very self-conscious about my scar and felt everyone was looking at it. Within a year of the surgery, I began a series of scar camouflage treatments on myself. I had been tattooing for more than 5 years at this point, so aside from having to work in a mirror, I was more than comfortable working to conceal my own scar."

A before and after of Jody's thyroidectomy scar

One patient Jody thinks about often is a teenage girl who had a cleft lip scar. "I re-created a natural lip line and softened the scarring to learn that she later found work as a model and had regained a TON of self-confidence," she said. "Recently, I’ve been moved by many of the transgender patients I see who have undergone top surgery procedures and have literally waited so long to be able to take their shirt off at the beach or the pool — they just beam with joy when they see the results."

For more of Jody's work, check out her Instagram or TikTok. And if paramedical tattooing is piquing your interest as a career possibility, go to her website — she runs her own tattoo academy!