Colour Theory in Permanent Makeup


It would have been great to have a crystal ball. With the help of which we could have predicted the final colour result of the Permanent Makeup procedure. In fact, we wouldn’t have needed to worry about blue lips, purple eyebrows or doubt the outcome of any shades.

Unfortunately, no one among Permanent Makeup Artists owns such a magic crystal ball. 

Working on a human ‘’canvas’’ implies both possible outcomes: masterpieces as well as fatal mistakes. 

One of the most important things that every Permanent Makeup Artist has to know is Colour Theory. Full understanding of how to prevent a fiasco; what to do if the desired result is not achieved; what steps to take to correct colouristic errors.
We must know and anticipate our further actions after the colour components of the pigments have changed over time and under the influence of UV radiation. 

Choosing the right method of mixing pigments or the right combination of pigments involves evaluating the client’s skin. This includes an assessment of the degree of melanin content, the degree of blood supply, skin thickness, state of health, age, relief, the presence of scar tissue, pain tolerance level and the overall tone of the skin.
Therefore, we need to be very careful when evaluating the ‘’live canvas’’ as well as when choosing pigments for it!

There are three primary colours: red, yellow and blue.

  • These are basic colours that cannot be obtained by mixing any other colours.  
  • Second order colours are colours that are obtained by mixing the primary colours. For instance, yellow with blue gives us green.  
  • Colours of the third order are the colours obtained by mixing the primary colours and the colours of the second order. 

The source of the main fatal mistakes in Permanent Makeup is using black or white pigments.  
The extreme degree of lightness in black is blue. Adding even a tiny amount of black pigment to darken the colour will inevitably result in blue in the skin.  
As for diluting/lightening the colour with white pigment will inevitably give a yellow tint.  

In order to darken the colour a darkened shade of the same colour should be used.  

The theoretical knowledge of how to mix and get the right colour or shade is absolutely necessary for every Permanent Makeup Artist’ work. But this is not enough! It is important not only to know how colours react with each other but also how they react with skin tones and undertones as well as with the pigments that are already in the skin.

The anticipation of the colour mix behaviour in the skin is an absolutely necessary quality of a competent Permanent Makeup Artist. And, as elsewhere, knowledge gives perfection!
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