You have just had microblading or microdermabrasion on your eyebrows to get the perfect makeup colour you won’t have to change for three years and …aaargh! … it’s come out purple. Oh, thank god, it was only a bad dream. But how do you make sure you get the right colour in your waking life?
It’s not hard to imagine that everyone can use the same pigment colours for their eyebrows. But in fact, this can lead to serious –semi-permanent, remember – mistakes. This often happens when the microblading or micropigmentation is done by someone who is not a professional. And in case you’re wondering, the myth that having different coloured eyebrows is more sexy, was probably invented by the PR person for an extremely bad therapist.
The reality is that every person has a unique skin colour and a different combination of factors which will determine the specific colour shade which should be chosen for their semi-permanent make-up.
A crucial factor in the choice is the nature of your skin’s undertone. It is vital to know your skin’s undertone so that the pigment colours can be matched correctly.
Undertones are classified into three: ‘warm’, ‘neutral’ and ‘cool’.
If you have warm undertones your skin will tend towards being golden, yellow, peachy or orange in colour. If you have cool undertones, your skin will tend towards being red, pink or blue. Neutral undertones are a mixture of the above colours in different variations. (I know that last one sounds like a bit of a cop-out, but ‘neutral’ has to mop up whatever is left after excluding ‘warm’ or ‘cool’.
There are basically five ways to discover your undertone type. However, this is more an art than a science, and you shouldn’t jump to conclusions after just one test. You need a combination of at least two or three factors in order to decide which is your undertone.
These are the five suggested tests.
1. What colour are your veins?
Try this simple task; squeeze your wrist to reveal the colour of your veins. If they are blue, your undertone is cool. If they are green, your undertone is warm. If you cannot make out the colour, your undertone is neutral. (Note that people with warm undertones don’t actually have green veins – they’re not Martians. The green appearance is because their skin colour is predominantly yellow in colour; and the combination of blue plus yellow is green.)
2. Which colours clothes do you appear best in?
People with warm undertones will generally appear good in yellow, golden, orange and olive green clothes. People with cool undertones will look better in blue, silver, black, grey, red and pink clothes. If you can’t figure out which colour clothing best fits you, you are probably neutral.
3. The colour of your favourite jewellery
If you look radiant when you put on a golden necklace, your skin undertone is probably warm. If you favour silver, your skin undertone is cool. If you prefer jewellery which is a combination of different colours, then you tend towards neutral.
4. The sun’s effects
Make sure you use a sunscreen for this one! If you tan easily when basking in the sun, you are warm toned. If instead you burn easily and turn pink or red, you are cool toned. No discernible effect? Your tone is neutral.
5. What colour are your eyes and hair?
This is the most important, since a mismatch will give you a very adverse look. People who are warm toned tend to have red, golden, blonde hair with hazel, amber or brown eyes. On the other hand, those with cool tones tend to have black or brown hair with blue, grey and green eyes.
The colour of pigments used in a semi-permanent make-up process are divided into these same three categories: warm, neutral or cool. However, a professional technician will not just land on one of the categories and decide to use it. In most cases the right pigment colour will be a combination of two, depending on which skin undertone is more pronounced in you. It has to be the correct mix to avoid the colour looking either too muddy or too pink-ish.