A Guide: Pigment Selection & Healed Results

You asked, we delivered. 

We often get asked which pigments work best for different skin tones and our top request has consistently been to show what I ❤️ INK pigments look like HEALED over time.

In a recent blogpost, How To Check the Undertone of a Pigment, we showed you how to get to know your colour inside AND outside of the bottle. Now, we take a deeper dive into identifying different skin types and tones to help you make the best pigment choices for your clients with confidence.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite eyebrow celebrity crushes and give our suggestions on what pigments might work best for their skin tones. We also show you exactly how these pigments look like healed on different skin types! 

Before we dive into it, let’s cover the basics:

Skin Tone

‘Skin tone’ refers to the general surface skin colour. Skin tone is determined by the amount of melanin (skin pigment) present in the uppermost layer of the skin. While each skin tone can consist of very different complexions, the three main types of skin tone are:

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Deep

Skin Undertone

‘Skin undertone’ refers to the subtle hue underneath the surface of the skin. There are 3 traditional skin undertones: 

  • Warm
  • Cool
  • Neutral

👉 Pro Tip 1As pigment heals and oxides in the skin, it will look duller and cooler. You always need to factor this into your pigment selection.

👉 Pro Tip 2Client undertone + Pigment = Healed Result. You must take their skin undertone and existing/old pigment (if any) into consideration.

A commonly used method to determine skin tones in the PMU world is to study the Fitzpatrick scale. This system classifies skin type according to the amount of pigment in the skin, along with the skin’s reaction to sun exposure. 

In this scale, there are 6 skin types ranging from very light to very dark. Devoted Creations put together an easy-to-use chart to assess client skin types whereby the skin type is determined by answering a series of questions and adding up the score. You can take a look and evaluate your own Fitzpatrick skin type!

Below are some examples of different skin types according to the Fitzpatrick scale and which pigments we think would work best for each example:

Fitzpatrick Type 1

  • Highly sensitive white/ivory skin which always burns and never tans when exposed to the sun. 
  • Usually has a light eye colour (blue, grey or green) and frequently has red or blonde hair. 
  • Some Fitzpatrick 1 types have naturally very dark, almost black hair (especially those with Irish descent). 
  • Skin often has a pink/cool undertone. 
  • Typically from Celtic or Northern/Eastern-European descent. 
  • Frequently, a custom combination of pigments work best for this type of skin to create a bespoke colour that’s perfect for your client.

(L-R: Jessica Chastain, Tommy Lee Jones, Judi Dench)

Jessica Chastain: Sunset

 

Sunset is a warm-valued pigment with an orange base, healing to a warm-golden finish (ideal for Fitz 1 types like Jessica Chastain). 

👉 Pro Tip: Add a couple of drops of Toffee to create a rich, warm brown that heals to a natural finish, that isn’t too light or too dark, to compliment Jessica Chastain’s fiery locks.

Tommy Lee Jones: Grey

Tommy Lee Jones has dashing salt and pepper hair with strong eyebrows that have retained their dark colour over time. As he ages, his eyebrows will continue to grow some grey/white hairs so it’s important to use a light, neutral colour such as Grey

👉 Pro Tip: Just a dash of Bold Brown will add depth to his brows with no additional warmth.

Judi Dench: Blonde

Blonde is a warm, light value pigment with a yellow base which is perfect for your clients with blonde hair and looking for a super-natural look. This pigment results in a beautiful, golden taupe colour when fully healed which would look stunning on Judi Dench. 

👉 Pro Tip: A drop of Grey can help to add some depth which will compliment Judi’s natural hair colour as she continues to age gracefully.

Fitzpatrick Type 2 

  • Can be sun sensitive and burn easily, sometimes tans minimally. 
  • Usually has blue, grey or green eyes and frequently has blonde, auburn or light brown hair. 
  • Typically from North American or Central-European descent.
  • Fitzpatrick 2 skin types can have pink undertones and light skin, especially during winter time. Choose a pigment that works best for your client’s everyday lifestyle. You may need to mix pigments to create the perfect shade for your client.

(L-R: David Beckham, Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow)

David Beckham: Ash Brown

Ash Brown is a cool, medium-value pigment with a yellow base, resulting in a gorgeous medium ash brown color when completely healed. Perfect for your clients that are looking for a neutral, natural eyebrow. This pigment is suitable for your clients with fair, beige or olive skin tones, in the Fitzpatrick 1-3 range. This pigment would compliment David Beckham’s naturally-defined brows perfectly.

Julia Roberts: Toffee

Toffee is a warm, medium value, reddish-brown pigment with an orange base. It is ideal for your clients with red hair looking for medium definition and lots of warmth, resulting in a beautiful reddish warm brown. This pigment would heal beautifully on Julia!

Gwyneth Paltrow: Blonde

Gwyneth’s beautiful blonde hair needs a taupe brow to complement her bright blue eyes. Blonde pigment would achieve a light, golden finish for her.

👉 Pro Tip: A drop of Dark Brown can add some extra definition for blondes who like more oomph in their everyday brows!

Healed Results: Fitzpatrick 1 & 2 Skin Types

See how Tina Davies x Perma Blend I ❤️ INK Pigments heal on these skin types! 

Fitzpatrick Type 3

  • Can have sun-sensitive skin, sometimes burns or freckles, slowly tans to light brown. 
  • Skin colour before sun exposure is usually fair to beige with golden undertones. 
  • Usually has hazel or light brown eyes and often has dark blonde, light or medium brown hair. 
  • Sometimes has very dark hair (especially those with Mediterranean descent). 
  • Typically from Mediterranean, South American or Oceanianic descent. 
  • This skin type is ideal for PMU procedures in general, as pigments tend to heal beautifully without any risk of ashiness. Choose your pigment based on your client’s everyday eyebrow preference, lifestyle and goals.

(L-R: Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Joe Jonas)

Jessica Alba: Dark Brown

Dark Brown is a neutral/warm, dark value pigment with an orange base. Perfect for clients wanting a more defined look, resulting in a beautiful dark brown color. It is suitable for clients with fair, beige, caramel & olive skin tones, in the Fitzpatrick 1-4 range. Jessica’s golden skin & hair combo make her the ideal candidate for this shade.

Sofia Vergara: Medium Brown

Medium Brown is a warm, medium value pigment with an orange base. Perfect for clients such as Sofia who are looking for a rich, natural brown color that is not too light nor too dark.

👉 Pro Tip: Add a drop of Dark Brown to intensify the colour. 

Joe Jonas: Bold Brown

Bold Brown is a neutral, dark value pigment with an orange base. Perfect for your clients looking for a bolder, stronger look. Results in a flat dark brown with no warmth, making this the ideal shade for someone like Joe Jonas who has naturally bold brows.


Fitzpatrick Type 4

  • Minimally sun-sensitive skin, rarely burns, always tans to moderate brown. 
  • Skin colour before sun exposure is usually golden, olive or light brown. 
  • Usually has dark brown eyes and dark brown hair. 
  • Typically from Asian or Middle-Eastern descent. 
  • This skin type generally needs pigments with rich or intense dark browns. Depending on their hair colour, eyebrow preferences and lifestyle, choose a warm dark brown or a neutral dark brown.

(L-R: Zayn Malik, Priyanka Chopra, Lucy Liu)

Zayn Malik: Bold Brown

Bold Brown is a neutral, dark value pigment with an orange base. Perfect for your clients looking for a bolder, stronger brow. This pigment heals to a flat dark brown with no warmth which is ideal for a client like Zayn.

Priyanka Chopra: Dark Brown

Dark Brown is a neutral/warm, dark value pigment with an orange base. Perfect for clients wanting a more defined look, resulting in a beautiful dark brown color. It is suitable for clients with fair, beige, caramel & olive skin tones, in the Fitzpatrick 1-4 range. Priyanka’s golden-olive skin, warm brown hair and amber eyes makes her the perfect client for Dark Brown.

👉 Pro Tip: Add a few drops of Bold Brown to intensify the healed results if your client prefers a bolder look.

Lucy Liu: Dark Brown

Lucy’s olive skin and jet-black hair would easily suit a range of shades, but her natural everyday eyebrow looks, even when wearing makeup, make her the ideal client for Dark Brown - a neutral/warm, dark value pigment with an orange base. 

Healed Results: Fitzpatrick 3 & 4 Skin Types

See how Tina Davies x Perma Blend I ❤️ INK Pigments heal on these skin types!

Fitzpatrick Type 5

  • Sun-insensitive skin which rarely burns or freckles and always tans easily. 
  • Skin colour before sun exposure is dark brown. 
  • Eye colour and hair colour are typically dark brown to black. 
  • Typically from South American, East-Asian, African or Aboriginal descent.
  • This skin type can easily tan up to 4 shades deeper during the summer months, so choose a pigment that will contrast the skin nicely no matter what time of year. Bold Brown or Ebony tend to be the best choices for this group depending on your client’s eyebrow goals and natural hair colour.

(L-R: Dev Patel, Zoe Saldana, Amandla Stenberg)

Dev Patel: Ebony

Ebony is a cool, dark value pigment with a yellow base. it is perfect for clients wanting a very bold eyebrow, resulting in a flat black. Dev Patel’s natural brows are dark and full, so Ebony would blend perfectly with his natural brow hairs.

Zoe Saldana: Bold Brown

Bold Brown is a neutral, dark value pigment with an orange base. This pigment heals to a flat dark brown with no warmth and will be dark enough to contrast with Zoe Saldana’s skin tone, even when she has a tan during the summer months.

👉 Pro Tip: Add a few drops of Dark Brown to keep this pigment warm for caramel-skinned clients like Zoe.

Amandla Stenberg: Bold Brown

Amandla keeps her bold, fluffy brows throughout the year, even on makeup-less days. With her naturally black hair and black/brown eyes, Amandla is the perfect candidate for Bold Brown eyebrows.

👉 Pro Tip: Add a few drops of Ebony to intensify the brows in any sparse areas.

Fitzpatrick Type 6

  • Sun-insensitive skin which never burns and is deeply pigmented. 
  • Skin colour before sun exposure is dark brown to darkest brown-black. 
  • Eye colour and hair colour are typically brown-black. 
  • Typically from African descent. 
  • This melanin-rich skin type requires a deep-toned pigment such as Ebony in order to reveal each and every hair-stroke. 

(L-R: John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Duckie Thot)

John Boyega: Ebony

Ebony is a cool, dark value pigment with a yellow base. it is perfect for clients wanting a very bold eyebrow, resulting in a flat black. John’s natural eyebrow hairs are dense and dark so Ebony would blend perfectly and heal naturally.

Lupita Nyong’o: Ebony

Lupita’s melanin-rich skin would be gorgeously complemented by some defined, powdery eyebrows. Ebony would provide the perfect shade for this look.

Duckie Thot: Ebony

Duckie’s chocolate complexion is cool-toned, so Ebony, a cool, dark value pigment with a yellow base is ideal for her. It is perfect for clients wanting a very bold eyebrow, resulting in a flat black.

Healed Results: Fitzpatrick 5 & 6 Skin Types

See how Tina Davies x Perma Blend I ❤️ INK Pigments heal on these skin types!

The Special Cases - Rainbow-Coloured Hair

Regardless of skin tone, many clients nowadays are adventurous with their hair looks and often arrive at our studio with blue, red or green hair! Some of your clients with colourful hair may request for eyebrows to match. However, we strongly recommend that you encourage your client to choose a natural eyebrow shade that works for their skin tone. Remind them that they may not be a red-head, mermaid queen or unicorn princess forever! 

Bright-coloured hair is hard to maintain and if they ever decide to go back to their natural colour they may regret having candy-coloured brows. Plus, bright red eyebrows at the gym with no other makeup isn’t the most flattering look… 

Here’s what we would suggest to these celebrities to compliment their eye-catching locks:

(L-R: Rihanna, Katy Perry, Billie Eilish)

Rihanna: Bold Brown

Rihanna’s caramel Fitz 5 skin type and naturally-black hair colour make her the perfect candidate for Bold Brown, which would heal to a neutral-dark brown shade to compliment her Barbados-cherry hair.

👉 Pro Tip: A few drops of Dark Brown will warm up her eyebrows to compliment her sun-kissed skin.

 Katy Perry: Medium Brown

Katy’s Fitz 2 skin type, naturally blonde hair and blue/green eyes would lead us to choose Medium Brown for her eyebrows.

👉 Pro Tip: A few drops of Dark Brown will intensify the colour if your client prefers a bolder look.

Billie Eilish: Bold Brown

Although Billie has naturally porcelain Fitz 1-type skin, her natural eyebrow colour is a very dark brown with fluffy hairs that require a dark, neutral shade such as Bold Brown in order to blend with the hairs she was born with.

Remember: As always, our guidance should be taken as a suggestion - not bible! Use your judgement and trust your knowledge. Consult with each and every client, listen to their needs and think critically when choosing a pigment. You got this!

3 comments

Great information and very helpful.

Jennifer Carillio-Biggin March 25, 2021

So helpful. Thank you!!

Michelle September 10, 2020

Thanks you
This is very helpful

G marlen Almendares September 10, 2020

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“I set out to design a microblade that I knew would put our needs first as artists.”

- Tina Davies