27 Feb

As a PMU artist, you will come across all sorts of eyebrow cases in your career. In the beginning, you will have new cases on virgin skin, which you will do and provide maintenance on after 1-2 years. You will also see a multitude of people come through your door or contact you to "touch up" their old faded PMU. These can be new clients or even your own returning clients. I know there are a lot of artists that will “not touch up” other artist’s work, but unless you start to tackle these cases, you will never be able to learn how to do them, and become a well-rounded artist. Imagine if your hair colorist couldn’t/wouldn’t change your already dyed hair color. Well, you would not consider her an expert colorist and be taking your business elsewhere quickly!

Because permanent makeup can oftentimes be a semi-permanent cosmetic procedure, your client will need to come back to you after about 1-2 years. Over time, the pigment will begin to fade in the skin due to the breakdown of cells, exposure to the elements and the subsequent breakdown of the pigments themselves.

This timeline will vary based on many factors including:

  • their skin type; such as oily skin (the body metabolizes pigment faster)
  • thyroid, autoimmune, hormonal imbalance etc (pigment will fade faster)
  • the initial amount of saturation;
  • the ink brand/type used;
  • their lifestyle, such as regular sun, excessive sweating, chemical exfoliants, etc
  • how well the initial pigment retained in the skin.

These touch-up appointments serve to give your client a ‘color boost’ to freshen up both the color and design.

One of the most common faded colors I see is a range of faded grey eyebrows. Initially, when the pigment color went into the skin, it was a shade of brown. After 1-2 years, it faded to a grey color that can look dull and aging.

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Why did this happen and what can you do? 

First, you need to understand that this remaining grey is basically a light wash of one of the main colors that made up the original color, which most likely is black. Faded black = grey. Grey is a very ashy cool tone.

When it comes to a grey, ashy color, adding warmth back into the original artwork with warm colors that have warmer undertones is IMPERATIVE to bring it back to brown.Warmer undertones work to cancel out the coolness of the grey. If you don’t cancel/neutralize this cool color effectively with the right technique and color, it will never improve and come back to haunt you and your client. Know that you cannot cover-up a very saturated cool color with a straight brown target color. You may risk it healing more saturated and cooler, worse than you started off with. The fact remains that the cool undertone needs to be corrected and warmed first in order to get to neutral.

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