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Somers Zoning Board OKs Permanent Cosmetic Service

SOMERS, N.Y. – The Somers Zoning Board of Appeals was asked at Tuesday's meeting to interpret Section 170 of the Town Code, prohibiting tattoo parlors in the historic business district, as the code would apply to a permanent cosmetics studio.

Janet Baldasare, who wants to open Westchester Permanent Cosmetics Inc. at 332 Route 100, described her business as “paramedical, offering corrective and cosmetic procedures.”

Baldasare, a licensed dental hygienist with 30 years' experience, explained that she has recently trained to perform micropigmentation, a process similar to tattooing, on people who have had problems associated with loss of pigment known as vitiligo, loss of eyebrows and eyelashes from chemotherapy and alopecia, loss of aureole pigmentation from breast surgery, the camouflage of unsightly scars, and other skin issues.

Some of the questions the board asked were, “Does your procedure require licensing? Is it covered by health insurance? Would you be covered by liability insurance? Would you be giving Botox treatments? Is your procedure painful? Would you do decorative tattooing as well? Would you have assistants?”

“I was trained and certified by SofTap, the manufacturer of the instrument I generally use. It’s a gentle tool that looks like a pen. There’s no license required for this work,” Baldasare said.

“There is a Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals, and I’m a member of that. All my facial work is done by hand, but I use a digital machine for the breast work. There’s very little discomfort. I administer a topical anesthetic. You don’t need a license for that either, but, as a dental hygienist I’m already licensed to administer nitrous oxide and I administer topical anesthetics on a daily basis.”

She added that some health insurance policies cover the work and, “I will have liability insurance. I don’t plan to have an assistant but if the business grows, I might need someone. I wouldn’t be doing Botox. It requires a professional physician. But I would be working in conjunction with plastic surgeons.”

As for decorative tattooing, Baldasare said, “I wouldn’t even have any idea how to do that.”

The board discussed the definition of a “tattoo parlor,” agreed that Baldasare’s enterprise did not fall within the parameters and unanimously voted to recognize the cosmetic studio as “a personal service and within permitted use in the historic district.”

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