One Woman’s Passion Transforms the Bodies and Minds of Mastectomy Patients

Permanent Confidence for Breast Cancer Survivors: Rose Marie Beauchemin-Verzella Donates Areola Tattoos

By: Carly A. Sabatino

I sat down with Rose Marie Beauchemin-Verzella, internationally renowned expert in permanent cosmetology to discuss her immense contribution to the breast cancer community.

Every year, according to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, over 100,000 women undergo some form of mastectomy either to remove cancer or prevent it, every year. But once a month, Rose Marie Beauchemin-Verzella, founder of and tattoo artist at The Beau Institute in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, donates her time to performing free Areola tattoos on the women and men who have gone through the physical and emotional trauma of a mastectomy.

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Oftentimes, one or both nipples are removed during the procedure of a mastectomy, leaving these women and men feeling less like themselves, less human, even. While there is the option to complete the process of having their areolas tattooed on their new breasts, most patients opt out because of the waittime. “It breaks my heart when I see most of our clients waiting anywhere from 3-5 years before they elect the 3D or 4D tattooing,” says the artist. “They just can’t do one more thing!”

Not only do these mastectomy warriors typically postpone or dismiss the idea of the areola tattooing entirely due to just wanting to end their cancer journey and resume the path of a healthy life, but also due to the financial expense, as insurance no longer covers areola tattooing for mastectomy patients. This is where Beauchemin-Verzella comes in. She dedicates one day out of each month to perform permanent areola tattoos on mastectomy patients for no cost at all. Although she does not accept payment for her act of kindness, she gives her clients the option of donating to the Living Beyond Breast Cancer organization.

Beauchemin-Verzella offers other permanent and corrective cosmetic services to those with skin discoloration conditions such as scarring and hair loss for both men and women, but areola tattooing holds a very special place in her heart.

“What do nipples mean to people? What makes them important?” I asked her. She explained that the appearance of areolas “…is what will bring them back to life, feel feminine, feel familiar and much more confident. [Clients] even walk differently when they leave our office,” she says.

“I truly believe that those who wait for years to complete [their journey] with the tattooing, couldn’t imagine how the scars diminish, the focus changes and the once, just mound of flesh, could come to life. They suddenly appreciate their beautiful reconstruction surgery since their eyes have moved away from any scars,” she continues. But she doesn’t take all the credit for her clients’ newfound body positivity. “I must say, I feel a little guilty. The surgeon did the hard work, I just put the icing on the cake!” she says humbly.

Beauchemin-Verzella not only strives to make a difference in the lives of those who have fought so long and hard for their health, but also to instill her passion for permanent areola tattooing in others. As a leading practitioner, trainer, and speaker in the permanent cosmetology industry, she passes her knowledge onto others at the Beau Institute. She educates and certifies anyone looking for a wonderful and fulfilling career in making others feel confident and beautiful.

For more information on Rose Marie Beauchemin-Verzella, visit


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