The Art of Color Theory in Permanent Makeup: Choosing the Right Shades

beauty marks color theory eyebrows eyeliner henna brows permanent makeup
PMU apprentice going over color theory for eyebrows, eyeliner and lips

Achieving the perfect look often comes down to mastering the art of color theory. Choosing the right shades for your clients is a crucial aspect of the process, as it can make or break the final result. In this blog post, we'll delve into the fascinating world of color theory in permanent makeup and guide you on how to select the perfect hues for eyebrows, eyeliner, lips, and beauty marks.

Understanding the Basics of Color Theory

Color theory is a complex field, but understanding its basics can significantly enhance your skills as a permanent makeup artist. Here are some fundamental concepts to consider:

  1. The Color Wheel: The color wheel is a visual representation of the color spectrum. It consists of primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), secondary colors (orange, green, and purple), and tertiary colors (a combination of primary and secondary colors). Artists use the color wheel to create harmonious color combinations.

  2. Warm and Cool Tones: Colors can be categorized as warm or cool. Warm tones traditionally include reds, oranges, and yellows, while cool tones comprise blues, greens, and purples. However, in permanent makeup something very important to not is that red is considered COOL!

  3. Understanding the undertones of your client's skin and the desired effect can help you choose the right shades.

Choosing the Right Shades for Eyebrows

(These ombre brows are healed one session)

When it comes to eyebrows, the goal is to create natural-looking, long-lasting results that complement the client's skin tone, hair color, and personal style. Here are some guidelines:

  1. Skin Undertones: Consider your client's skin undertones. Skin undertones mix with your target color of choice. If you choose a cool based pigment, and place that on a cool undertone client, the likelihood of that client ashing out that pigment (or it turning grey is very high).

  2. Hair Color: Match the eyebrow color to the client's natural brow hair color. However, you can choose a shade slightly lighter for a softer look.

  3. Personal Style: Discuss your client's style preferences. Some may prefer bolder, more defined brows, while others may opt for a softer, natural look.

Selecting the Right Shades for Eyeliner

(Immediately after wing eyeliner)

Eyeliner can enhance the eyes and create a variety of looks, from subtle to dramatic. Consider the following factors:

  1. Skin Tone: Match the eyeliner to the client's skin tone. For lighter skin tones, go for softer shades, while deeper skin tones can pull off bolder looks. If your client has a cool undertone within their skin, you can add a bit of warmth to your black pigment to warm it up and create a richer true tone black healed result. In this case I like to use Li Pigments Carribean Mod. 

  2. Desired Look: Discuss the desired look with your client, whether it's a classic black eyeliner or something more colorful and unique. As we know all eyeliners are customized to your client's unique eye shape, but also should show their personality.

Perfecting Lip Color Selection

(Full lip tattoo healed one session)

Choosing the right lip color is essential for creating beautiful and natural-looking lips. Here's how to make the right choice:

  1. Skin Undertones: Similar to eyebrows, consider your client's skin undertones. Warm undertones can pull off peachy or coral lip shades, while cool undertones may favor rosy or berry tones. With lips it is also important to know when to add warmth or modifiers to your pigment to achieve such results.

  2. Lip Shape and Fullness: Lip color can also be used to create the illusion of fuller lips. Darker shades can add depth, while lighter shades can make lips appear larger. Some clients even have receded lip tissue. In this case it may be ok to fill in those areas to achieve a fuller look for your client. Remember though, never tattoo outside of the natural vermillion border. 

  3. Client's Style: Ensure you understand your client's makeup preferences. Some may prefer a subtle, natural lip, while others may desire a bold, vibrant shade. It is important to know how to achieve both looks. 

Our course "Long Lasting Lippies" goes over both styles in full detail if interested check it out here: Long Lasting Lippies Course Info

Choosing the Perfect Beauty Mark

Beauty marks are unique and can add character to a client's appearance. When selecting the right shade:

  1. Natural vs. Dramatic: Determine if your client wants a natural-looking beauty mark or something more striking. Natural beauty marks often match the client's skin tone, while dramatic ones may be slightly darker or more defined.

  2. Placement: Consider where the beauty mark will be placed and how it will interact with the client's existing features. We like to draw them on first and then show the client. Have them make funny faces and be mindful of how it moves. Beauty marks should not be one solid shade, and they should not be a perfect circle. 

  3. Dilution: We like to work with dilution when creating beauty marks. We will use the same color pigment at a variety of dilutions to create a more 3-dimensional appearance giving the beauty mark depth, some areas a bit darker, and some areas softer. Adding dilution also warms the pigment up slightly, it's a win win in our eyes! 

Color theory is an integral part of the art of permanent makeup. By understanding the principles of color and considering your client's individual characteristics and preferences, you can choose the right shades to create stunning, personalized results. Remember the goal is achieving a beautiful look and ensuring their satisfaction in the end!