Choosing The Right Pigment Shade For Your PMU Client

As PMU artists, we need to understand shapes, methods, techniques, skin types, clients’ lifestyles and habits... The list is endless... But one thing that can stress any PMU professional is colour.

Brown, black-brown. Dark brown, light brown, medium brown. Warm brown, cool brown, neutral brown.

It’s a lot, right?

That’s why we’re here to help you understand how to best choose and customise the perfect pigment shade for your client and leave them with bespoke results that they will love.

Shop PMU Beauty has broken down key factors to follow when considering what pigment colour to use on your client.


1. Understanding your clients’ skin overtones and undertones

The term ‘skin overtone’ describes the overall surface skin tone or skin colour. The quantity of melanin, the pigment that gives skin, eyes and hair its colour, in the epidermis is what determines skin tone. The four main types of skin tones are light, medium, dark and deep.

Skin undertone is the term for the colour that lies beneath the skin’s surface - something we already often refer to when picking the perfect shade of foundation in makeup! We often refer to skin undertones as either cool, warm or neutral.

If a client has cool undertones, we can use a warm-toned pigment to balance out any blue tones to achieve natural results or add warmth to a pigment using orange. Those with neutral skin tones are lucky enough to suit both warm and cool-toned pigments.

From what we’ve seen in our clinic, 99% of people over 18 years will be a cool-skinned person for permanent makeup.


2. The Fitzpatrick Scale

The Fitzpatrick Scale, AKA a PMU artist's holy grail, was invented by Thomas Fitzpatrick in 1975 and is great to follow for choosing the right shade of pigment for your client.

The Fitzpatrick Scale is a widely used reference that consists of 6 skin types from very fair to very dark, basing its classification on the amount of melanin in the skin.

Developed exclusively by our very own Training Director, Naomi O’Hara, the Tones of Perma Blend range is designed to help PMU artists create the perfect shade of brown for any and every client. Perfect for microbladers and permanent makeup artists at every level: beginners, experts and training academies alike can get the best results from this collection.

Available in 3 sets of 6 pre-modified pigments, the Tones of Perma Blend range has been designed with the Fitzpatrick Scale in mind. We also developed a Colour Ruler to work alongside this range to make pigment selection even more simple.

As well as taking your client’s skin tone and type into consideration before choosing the right pigment shade, it’s important to consider each client's genetic disposition, reaction to sun exposure and tanning habits, as these are also factors that can affect the healing process and longevity of PMU. This leads us nicely to understanding your client's lifestyle...


3. Understanding your client and their lifestyle

One of the first things we should be asking our clients when they have their consultation is what look they want to achieve with PMU. Are they after bold and glamorous? Do they want to achieve a more natural result? Once we’ve understood that, we can then ask what their day-to-day life looks like.

Do they already love wearing full glam on a regular basis or do they want to wake up with makeup to save them time in the morning for work? Understanding their current makeup habits will help you determine how saturated to go when choosing your pigment colour.

Great idea: Have your client visit their consultation with makeup on, or how they would normally like to appear, so you can get a better understanding of how they already do their makeup. Get them to bring some inspo pics too!

Their lifestyle can also affect what pigment colour you choose for your client. For example, if your client is a pro swimmer and loves visiting the gym pool on a weekend, chlorine and salt water over time can affect pigment retention and colour - we recommend our clients cover their recent PMU treatments with Vaseline to help create a thin barrier!


4. Colour after PMU healing

Remember to think about the future... Once PMU is healed, especially on the brows, the colour will tend to look duller and ashier with cooler hues such as blues and greys. It’s important to consider this when initially choosing your pigment shade and that slightly warmer-toned pigments might just be your best friend!

Although we sell ready-to-go pigment shades from industry-leading brands such as Perma Blend, Tina Davies, Goldeneye, SofTap and more, it’s worth experimenting by mixing some shades together and even dropping in a couple of warmer drops or modifiers to create the perfect mix of the same brand.

Remember point 1? That’s why we should avoid using cool pigments on cool undertones to stop any of our clients from turning extra cool due to the healing process.


5. Top-up sessions & mixing pigments

Within the top-up session, assess how the original pigment shade healed and if there are any alterations you need to make going forward.

As mentioned in our previous point, use this time to add or take away any extra pigment drops. Did the PMU heal too light? Add a drop or two more than the first treatment.

Has your client healed with unwanted undertones? A lot of top pigment brands offer correctors or toners for when this happens. Firstly, determine what those undertones are - blue, grey, red or orange. Then, compliment those colours within the top-up session, for example, use an orange corrector to offset the blue/grey undertone.


6. Choosing the right pigment brand

Choosing the right pigment brand that works for you and gives you the healed colour results you’re after is so important.

We stock a great range of pigments here at Shop PMU Beauty. We trust the quality of all the pigment brands we stock and believe they all give great true-to-colour healed results. Some particular pigment brands we recommend are:


If you’re still struggling in choosing the right pigment brand and shade for your client, our product experts are here to help!

Contact us today via email, phoneWhatsApp or simply use our live chat on your screen with your concerns and our product specialists will suggest our most recommended product for your clients’ needs.