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Skin and Undertones in Permanent Makeup

Skin has its own colour, so choosing a colour for your client is ‘key’ to a perfect looking natural brow to match their undertone of skin and blend with their hair colour.

Skin tone analysis is a vital part of the consultation as your practitioner can then accurately assess what they need to use to get the correct colour balance for your permanent makeup.

It’s not just a case of mixing a colour and applying it, you as a practitioner will have the underpinning knowledge and the understanding of colour theory when pigment is implanted to different skin tones. This is to avoid warm skin tones looking too pink/orange and cool skin tones looking too blue/purple, therefore it is imperative to work with the skin tone for each individual client.

Skin colour

First it is advisable to ascertain the Fitzpatrick scale of your client’s skin, this will determine whether the pigment you choose will be light, medium or dark.


The undertones that are visible upon skin tone study falls into 3 categories

  • Cold
  • Warm
  • Neutral

The three undertones of the skin will have a huge impact on the pigment you will choose for your client. Our pigment catalogue has a great colour identification chart to help perfectly select the correct pigment. This chart can be found on page 7 of the pigment catalogue.

Identifying undertones

Hair colour – A key example in deciding the undertones of your client is to look at the client’s hair colour. If it is natural decide if you see warm, cold or neutral tones present. If the client colours their hair, determine what tones are in the hair colourant and if the tones suit the client. If a client has warm undertones in her hair then she will need a warm based pigment selection and vice versa, If the client has cool undertones then a cool based pigment.

Jewellery – Does your client wear jewellery? If so is it silver, rose gold or gold? Does it suit them? Do they prefer to wear gold or silver? Or can they wear both? If the client wears and suits silver, then they generally are cold undertones. If they wear gold, then they will generally have warm undertones in their skin. If the client can wear both gold and silver, then they have neutral skin undertones.

Paper test – It is a good idea to have two matte pieces of gold and silver card kept in the salon. When undergoing the skin tone analysis, you can hold up both colours of card one at a time, then both together at the side of the clients face and determine which colour they will suit.

Vein test – You can look at the client’s veins on their wrist in natural daylight also as a way of determining the clients skin undertones. If a client has veins that look either blue or purple, then they are likely to have cool undertones. If the client’s veins appear to look green or greeny blue, then the client generally will have warm undertones. If you can’t tell what colour the client’s veins are then they generally will have neutral skin undertones.

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