When selecting the right pigment to suit your client, you need to get to know your colour inside AND outside of the bottle. A good way to understand your colour and to examine the base tone aka “undertone” of colour is to see it in its diluted form. By creating visual swatch sheets, you’ll be able to compare and contrast your colours and easily view it’s undertone (warm, neutral or cool).
PRO Tip: Post images of your drawdowns on your social media accounts so that your clients will see how prepared and professional you are!
If you have a client who is fair with a Fitzpatrick 1 or 2 skin tone, they are considered “cool-toned”. These types of clients will always pull cooler - meaning that when pigment heals in their skin it will appear cooler than expected, leaning towards the more purple side. To compensate or to colour-correct, you will need to use a warm-based pigment.
Left: Previous PMU that turned grey over time due to cool skin undertone. Right: Eyebrows corrected with a warm-based pigment (SUNSET from the Sunset Pigment Collection).
The mass tone is the colour you immediately identify when you look at colours on a screen or swatch. It is highly concentrated and undiluted; light cannot get through. When you receive your pigment in the bottle, what you see is the “mass tone”.
Wine - Mass Tone
Undertone is the true colour you see when it becomes smeared out and diluted. From viewing the undertone, you can then identify it as cool, neutral or warm. For example, some reds will appear more orange (warm) while others will appear more blue or violet (cool).
By performing ‘drawdowns’ of all of your pigments, you’ll see the undertone of each pigment and whether it’s cool, neutral or warm. Knowing the correct undertone will allow you to make better choices when selecting a pigment for your clients.
Pro Tip: When choosing a colour for lip clients who have a cooler undertone such as brown lips, go with very warm choices such as PINK CORAL, PERFECT PINK, PEACH or ORANGE CORAL. These colours are warm-based and will cancel out cool tones. If the lip is very blue, choose FLAME for maximum warmth as this will have enough pure warm undertone to shift the client’s highly blue lips away from cool.
How to do drawdowns
Tools you’ll need:
- White Printer Paper or free printable drawdown charts below!
- An old/expired plastic card (credit card, gift card, points card or business card!)
- PMU pigment of your choice
- Cotton Swabs
➡️ 📺 Watch Tina’s Instagram Live Show where she teaches you how to do the perfect pigment drawdowns before you do it yourself! Gather the tools listed above and skip to the 12:40 mark to get started. Click here to watch.
- Shake the pigment bottle very well.
- Open the bottle and drop two drops of pigment onto your paper, at the top of the page.
- Take the short edge of the plastic card, push hard and pull the pigment drops downwards on the paper so that the ink spreads from opaque to translucent.
- At the end of the page, lift the card carefully and clean the card.
Undertone Drawdowns with Cotton Swabs:
- Take a cotton swab and dip it in water until it’s saturated.
- Dip the cotton swab lightly at the end of your first drawdown and the pigment will instantly transfer into the swab.
- Squiggle and draw down the cotton swab on the paper to reveal the undertone of the pigment.
Downloadable Pigment Drawdown Charts:
➡️ 📺 Watch Jasmine Diebelius perform drawdowns of our Lip Collection for her own clients! Click here to watch.