Reality TV Pilot for Permanent Makeup Becomes “Reality”

HOLLYWOOD, CA - Two years ago, Sandi Hammons began researching reality TV for the purpose of promoting permanent cosmetics. Her plan was to find a way to support practitioners and their businesses by increasing public awareness and marketing permanent makeup through a televised reality show. She recently relocated to the Los Angeles area to begin working with veteran film and television producers on the project.


“There is no greater tool to affect public awareness and promote permanent makeup than reality television!” exclaims Hammons. “All we have to do to convince ourselves is to look at our predecessors in related industries.”


Plastic Surgery - In its debut season, Nip/Tuck was the highest-rated new series on American basic cable, and the highest rated basic cable series of all time for the 18-49 and 25-54 age demographics. The show inspired the creation of another popular reality show featuring plastic surgery - Dr. 90210. A recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) denoted the influence reality shows have on the business of plastic surgery. According to the study, first-time patients seeking cosmetic plastic surgery are directly influenced to have surgery by the plastic surgery reality television shows they watch. The study indicated fifty-seven percent (57%) of patients were considered high-intensity viewers of plastic surgery shows, regularly watching at least one ongoing program.


Patients in the high-intensity category reported a greater influence from television and the media to pursue cosmetic plastic surgery, felt more knowledgeable about plastic surgery in general and believed plastic surgery reality TV shows were more similar to real life than low-intensity viewers did.


In addition, four out of five people reported television directly influenced them to pursue a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, with nearly one-third very much or moderately influenced.

Shows considered in this study included Extreme Makeover (ABC), The Swan (FOX), I Want a Famous Face (MTV), Plastic Surgery: Before and After (TLC), Dr. 90210 (E!) and Miami Slice (Bravo).


Tattooing - Miami Ink premiered in July 2007 and testament to its popularity is all the rival shows which it spawned, including L.A. Ink, London Ink and Rio Ink. L.A. Ink eventually surpassed Miami Ink in ratings and became TLC’s highest rated reality show.


While there is little information to indicate the specific impact reality TV has on the business of tattooing, numerous studies indicate the increase in the popularity of tattooing ever since the first reality TV show featuring tattooing aired. In 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration estimated 45 million Americans are tattooed. A 2006 study reported by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, suggested that 24% of Americans between 18 and 50 are tattooed; that’s almost one in four. Two surveys from 2003 suggested only 15% to 16% of U.S. adults had a tattoo.

“Reality television will serve as an effective tool to promote permanent cosmetics and dispel some of the myths currently surrounding our industry,” said Hammons. “And too, permanent cosmetics has all of the components that make reality television successful, including controversies, challenges, drama, niche market, beauty and the very real aspect of changing people’s lives.”


Hammons and her team of producers are currently seeking technicians, their clients and their stories, as well as plastic surgeons and other physicians to contribute to the PMU Reality project. Do you have a unique story to share that can benefit others? Did your client’s story touch you in a special way? Do you feel your talent is unique? Do you want your business to be featured on the show? Are you interested in investment opportunities related to the project? Are you interested in investing in our efforts to distribute the project? In what way(s) can you and/or your client(s) contribute to the project? The Permanent Makeup industry needs you and your contributions. Please email Sandi at