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How to Properly Identify Your Client’s Skin Tones

I get a lot of questions about how I choose the right pigment color for each client. This is something that gets easier as you gain experience in the permanent makeup industry. 

Color theory is something that a lot of new artists don’t get trained on starting out, or they get very little education on this topic, it’s briefly discussed, or not discussed at all. Not all colors are created equally, hence the importance of being able to choose the right color for each individual client.

In today’s post I am going to discuss how to understand your client’s skin tone and type to be able to identify how to correctly choose what color to use.

First things first though, you have to understand skin tones. The best way (in my opinion) is by having a sound understanding of the Fitzpatrick scale. This is a skin tone scale that describes skin tones from the very lightest to the very darkest. This is scale has been made into a number system to more easily understand who is classified under each category. (see image below) The scale starts with number I and goes to V with I being the lightest skin and V being the darkest. I will explain the Fitzpatrick scale in more depth in a later post.

Once you understand the Fitzpatrick scale you then need to understand skin undertones. This is suuuuper important so that you can make sure the pigment doesn’t heal too ashy/grey or too warm/red in the skin. How to understand skin undertones is easiest by looking at the veins in your clients wrist. What color do they appear to be?

Blue/Purple veins = cool undertones

Green/Olive veins = warm undertones

Blue/Green veins = neutral undertones (neither warm nor cool)

Once you can understand how to properly identify what your clients skin tone and undertones are, then you can move on to what pigment color is best for them. I will be discussing pigments and tones in my next post, so stay tuned!!!

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