While practicing optometry, Olga Lucia became interested in permanent eye makeup to benefit her patients that desired to look good, but were unable to apply make-up.
Her innate artistic ability motivated her to study the field of permanent cosmetics.
She began her new career in 1993 and since then she has been changing the lives of many people not just with permanent makeup, but also with Micropigmentation for breast cancer survivors.
“I started to see that there was a need for this type of procedure. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer go on a physical and emotional journey and I wanted to help them get through it”, Lucia said. “Years ago, not that many people were having this type of procedure. After the radiation, chemotherapy, and surgeries, women were unaware of the options available to them. They didn’t understand. I wanted to let them know that they could change their appearance.”
She added that “For a breast cancer survivor, there is a disruption of body image. She wants to look and feel normal again, feminine again, and after the surgery there is a renewed spirit.”
Now a popular option, Nipple Tattooing, also known as micropigmentation, derma pigmentation or aramedical tattooing, is when the technician implants pigment into the derma layer of the skin.
Diseased tissue inside the breast is removed and often so are the nipples and areolas.
By using before and after photos and working with the plastic surgeons and other breast cancer specialists, Olga is able to create the illusion of a full breast with shading and highlighting.
“I create a three dimensional breast. I camouflage the scars so that when a client looks in the mirror she is no longer reminded of cancer,” she said.
Many clients schedule appointments with Lucia right after their surgeries while others have the procedure done years after their diagnosis.
“It is an individual experience and everyone goes at their own pace,” she said.
Using topical anesthetic, the procedure time can range from 30 to 90 minutes. There is no maintenance once the initial procedure is done.
Both women and men undergo this procedure.
“Men are happy that they can once again take off their shirt on a hot day and not be self-conscious about their appearance,” Lucia said.
Over the years she has perfected her technique and is a certified instructor with apprentices of her own.
“I have so much compassion for these survivors,” Lucia said. “I am completing their transition and it is a rewarding experience for me bring a smile to their face after such a long journey.”
Olga Lucia’s compassion, matched with her talent and skills in art, is making a difference one survivor at a time.