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Color Correction

I just returned from a wonderful AAM Convention. Conversations always seem to lead to color corrections and asking how I would correct certain residuals. Every practitioner is faced with corrections, since there is so much work out there that requires it, today. We actually teach this in our Primary Training at Beau, for this very reason.

Black brows that need to be corrected to brown, gray brows that need to be corrected to a mid-range, warm brown, blondes that have dark brows that need to be made lighter and warmer, purple brows and even several shades of pink and coral are common. Although, green and turquoise eyebrows are rare, they may still present themselves to you.
Although correction may seem overwhelming, let’s break it into 3 categories to correct: Warm, Cool or Purple.

Correcting Warm
In my mind, warm is not a correction. To me, it’s a simple cover-up with a cool or taupe shade. I refer to taupes as being cool shades that range from light blondes, such as Face Inks Sandy Blonde to dark brunettes, such as Coffee Bean. Taupe has no warmth in it…no red or orange and may range from light to dark beiges through brows. It is safe to consider all taupe shades as being cool.

To cool down a warm shade, take a cool color and tattoo over the warmth. I generally use a 3-Slope or 3-Micro and with this cooler or taupe shade, I will create hair strokes through the warmth. If I see too much warmth showing through, I will shade in between the hair strokes with either the same color or a lighter version of it. I generally use the same color with a dilution and swipe the 3-Slope side to side to shade between the hairs. If you don’t use a Slope, use a 5 or 7 round or a 5-Magnum to shade. Move quickly, to avoid a solid eyebrow unless that is what your client is looking for. It’s that easy!

Now, let’s discuss the intensity of the orange or warm residual. If it is just a hint of warmth that may present itself due to a long overdue touch-up, I will ignore it. I will still add a small drop of warmth the taupe, especially, if I am using Face Inks Soft Ash. I may choose Butternut or Butterscotch for this small drop for my light to medium brunettes. I like to see a little gold in my taupes when they heal as opposed to tones that are too cool.

If the warm residual is very orange, red, pink or coral, I may choose to leave out any additional warmth. I let the residual work for me.

If I am using a darker brunette shade, I will warm it up since the darker taupe shades tend to be much cooler. I may choose a drop or two of henna or cocoa.

~ With all corrections….Smear your correcting color over the area you intend to correct. Allow it to dry! You should be able to see a preview of your outcome right then and there. If you cannot, adjust your formula until you do.

Correcting Cool
As I said, above, I don’t see warm residuals as a correction. They are a cover-up. However, cool tones are a different story. They must be corrected.

Let’s start with blondes with gray eyebrows. This cool residual appears harsh and lacking harmony with their skin tones and you will find that your eyes will continue to bounce back to these disturbing brows as much as you wish they wouldn’t. All they need is some warmth and voilà…you will suddenly see this person’s eyes and no longer see her brows first.

I generally correct them with Face Inks Butternut and Butterscotch, starting with half and half for simplicity, in the event I need to repeat this process. I smear it over, allow it to dry to see if it dries to my desired color, stamping out the gray.

If not, I will adjust it. Perhaps, I need more Butterscotch for more orange or more Butternut to lighten and warm. Once I see the correction I am looking for, I proceed with a 5-round and lightly go over just the area I wish to correct. If this client wants a fuller brow, I will add once I get her color corrected and not before. If she has areas of her eyebrow that are unflattering, such as; a low tail or a low front, I will perform a salt removal at the same time on these areas.

I do not apply the same pressure on a correction as I would an initial procedure. This would make the correction less effective. The idea is to place the corrective color over the color to be corrected and not get down into it.

The salt removal is the opposite. You want to get under the color you wish to lift out so there is more depth required for this procedure.

Brunettes that present gray eyebrows may need gold if they have medium brown hair or they may want or need red tones if they are more auburn.

For the gold, I will use Butterscotch and a small amount of Butternut. For Auburn or warmer hair that is naturally warm, I will choose, Cocoa and Butterscotch, or Henna and Butterscotch. I recommend trying them both to see the effect you are looking for.

To correct black eyebrows, I generally select Pumpkin and Henna and sometimes a drop of New Pumpkin. This eradicates the black and you will see this as you allow it to dry over the black area.

Correcting Purple
This is easy! Goldfinch straight or mixed with Milk Chocolate or try our new Purple Corrector. The difference in correcting purple tones as opposed to gray tones is purple already has red in it. Red and blue make purple. Avoid any corrector with red. It must be a green-yellow and not an orange yellow since orange is red and yellow. Our Purple Corrector has the green-yellow in it for an effective correction or use the goldfinch and a brown with no red. Soft ash and Goldfinch is another great purple corrector.

Correcting the Occasional Turquoise or Green
The opposite of green is red so although this is shocking when it presents itself, it is not difficult to correct. Adding Face Inks Henna to a warm brown generally does the trick. Do not use Taupe shades as this may bring you a deeper green tone. Be sure your selection is warm and smear it over the area and allow it to dry. It may not be as intense as you think and you don’t want to over-compensate the red tones. You surely don’t want to give her red brows if she needs a neutral shade.

Please Say NO to Mucosal Tattooing!

It is disturbing to see how many permanent makeup educators are still teaching mucosal tattooing or wet-line tattooing. I was fortunate enough to have Dr. Charles Zwerling, an ophthalmic surgeon, as my mentor when I began my career in permanent makeup. He warned the American Academy members of the dangers and contraindications of performing this procedure. He explained that each blink that we blink is assisted by a lacrimal system, which is our tears and a sebaceous system which is provided by the Meibomian Glands that line this mucosa or wet-line. 

There are approximately 35 Meibomian Glands that line each eyelid. They spread a sheath of oil across the globe of the eye with each blink. Once tattooed, they are scarred over and ultimately can produce dry eyes. They will never recover. As women mature, oils lessen, overall, especially in the eyes. The Meibomian Glands tend to dry up so any production of these precious oils become more necessary. 

I urge my fellow practitioners and my fellow trainers not to perform or teach this. Once I explain to my clients that request this procedure what can and will occur, they are over it. Sometimes, women want what they want and I find I must place some degree of fear in them and I do. I explain how necessary these glands are and how miserable women are that can no longer wear contact lenses or watch a movie without requiring eye drops. I tell them how dry eyes itch and burn and the discomfort is constant.

Pacemaker ALERT

Pacemaker ALERT

I recently had a client that came in for a unilateral areola tattoo, following her mastectomy and had pacemaker placed under his skin, approximately 5 inches from where the tattoo needed to be placed.  

Fortunately, we require medical clearance prior to areola tattooing and her cardiologist called to speak to me to explain that he was concerned that there could be interference from the machine so close to her pacemaker and called a medical supply company to deliver a magnetic donut that was to be placed over the pacemaker while I performed the tattoo procedure.

I had never come across this before. I feel compelled to share this information since this presents a significant risk. The medical clearance we require was a blessing. I would not have been able to proceed without getting such clearance.

Medical Clearance happens to be the law in NJ but I encourage everyone to do so. It is so simple. I just ask my client to bring one sentence from their doctor or surgeon on letterhead or prescription pad stating they are cleared for areola tattooing.


Rose Marie Beauchemin

The Hidden Power Of Color

The Hidden Power of Color

I love color! I love testing my eyes to color and even staring, not obviously at someone, but noticing what is so right about the colors they are wearing along with their jewelry, nail polish and hair color, or what is wrong. What my eyes are seeking is harmony, color harmony, seeing if the colors they are wearing are in harmony with their skin. 

We can look at someone and immediately notice they appear to be glowing. What is it that makes them glow? Their hair style may not be extraordinary, their clothing may not be outstanding but there is no denying they are simply glowing. 

We may look at the next person and notice they appear sallow, pale, bland or even worse yet, barely visible. What is it that is making them appear this way? They may be wearing a trendy and attractive outfit but why doesn’t it make them glow? 

What we are seeing is the profound effect of their color undertone.  The glowing woman got it right and happens to be wearing colors that have the same undertone as her skin or complexion and the sallow one did just the opposite. She wore colors with the opposite undertone and missed the boat entirely. 

When you bottom line color, there are only two undertones that encompass every color…Warm (Golden) and Cool (Blue).

Understanding and recognizing warm and cool colors is all the information we need to be able b to begin duplicating that glow, every single day.

How does that pertain to us and our practices?  Recognizing and selecting the correct undertone when we select our pigment colors for our client’s permanent eyebrows and permanent lip color is critical. 

Another great example is when you first see the color of the eyebrows or lips on a woman as opposed to seeing her entire face or eyes. We should always notice someone’s eyes first.  We may think it has everything to do with the brightness or the depth of the color but it is basically the undertone. Have you noticed your eyes keep going back to that color that is not in harmony? Now that I said this, you will notice it even more. 

If her eyebrows are too warm or too cool for her complexion and in the opposite undertone, that feature becomes dominant and keeps your eyes bouncing back to it. You cannot help it. This also occurs when a woman is wearing a lipstick that has the wrong undertone. Your eyes will be pulled to her lips even during a conversation and you can’t stop! Nothing is more frightful than a blue based burgundy or plum lipstick on a woman with a warm complexion. It is like nails scraping on a blackboard. Once your eyes become keen, it will actually almost hurt your eyes. Yes, I am exaggerating but you get point.  

This is not a judgmental exercise! This is simply how you sharpen your eyes so you can select the right PERMANENT eyebrows and the right lip color for your client. Our clients are entrusting us to know better than they know what looks well on them. We are the artists!!!   

To figure this out, it is simple, Take yourself to the nearest fabric store or you can even order small amounts (1/2 yd.) of the following colors online. Look for polyester that doesn’t fray on the edges or need to be hemmed. 

These following colors are considered Determinant Colors. These may not be what your client will run out to buy but they are extremely effective in figuring out if your client is Warm or Cool.  Your client will love this exercise! 

You will be amazed how many people make random purchases and countless, expensive makeup and wardrobe mistakes. This information is life-long! We are born with an undertone and it never, ever changes. We may respond to the lighter and brighter colors of our spectrum but it remains the same. Oh, and no one is both!!!!  One will always be dominant. It’s either Warm or Cool. So, you can see how valuable this information will be for your client.  

It only takes a few minutes! It’s quick and fun and often surprising to your client and even you. It happens to me, all the time. We can never make a guess! I always want the fabrics spread from shoulder to shoulder, across their chests to show me their skin response. Then, we can proceed with the most flattering of pigment color selection and have our clients invested in this decision. 

Work these sets of colors, one at a time across your client’s chest, shoulder to shoulder, right under their chin.  Take each set and one at a time compare the set of colors. Where does their complexion glow? Where do they get shadows and or dark circles? Is it Black or Brown? If you can’t tell, just move on. There will be a set that will quickly indicate whether your client is Warm or Cool. 

Cool vs. Warm

  • Jet Black vs. Chocolate Brown (be sure the brown is warm as opposed to a dark taupe) 
  • Light Pink vs. Light Peach
  • Stark White vs. Yellowish Ivory
  • Hot Pink vs. Pumpkin
  • Banana Yellow vs. Buttercup
  • Blue Red vs. Orange Red
  • Burgundy vs. Rust

If you happen to carry a makeup line in your salon or practice, ask your clients to return with all of their makeup and have a Dump Your Makeup Bag event. It is a great wine and cheese event and you will sell them the correct makeup. They will love you, forever. This is simple yet life changing since they now have direction when they shop. 

I hope you have fun with this tidbit of information. We would love to hear your comments!!!! 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!!!

When to Correct a Color Residual and When NOT to!

I have wanted to share my opinions regarding discolored eyebrows for some time. I am basing these opinions on my more than 25 years of experience, using many different pigment companies and analyzing how they heal in the skin.

We receive calls almost daily with questions regarding residuals left from previous procedures. What does one do with this stain or leftover color?

I first want to say that permanent makeup pigment colors, after several years, will leave some stain or residual. A great metaphor I use is, imagine you colored your hair just once, one single time.  It would first begin to fade and then the color would continue to change over time until it no longer resembled the original color that was used. It would be unrecognizable and this process is called oxidation. The base color of the hair dye, your climate, your lifestyle and your hair products will affect how this one-time hair color faded and also how it would oxidize.

Permanent Makeup colors will eventually behave in this same manner after years, if not touched up. There will be some residual color remaining that may not even resemble the original color that was tattooed.

There are some residuals that are of concern and some that are not. The residuals that hold no concern for me are: shades of red, orange, coral and pink. In other words, warm residuals.

I do not see these residuals as an issue. I either utilize the warm residual or simply do a cover-up with a taupe shade. I utilize it by adding a taupe shade of hair strokes and allow the warmth to remain in between them. This technique heals out beautifully. If it is a powder brow, I may not add warmth to my selection. This would depend on the amount of warmth I am working over and if there is enough residual to warm my pigment selection.

If we receive a call from a client, regardless of where she had her procedure done and she says her brows are turning orangey, we just tell her it’s time for a color touch-up. We do not make a big deal out of this since it is anything but a big deal!

We are often asked by practitioners if our Face Inks pigments heal red. If you choose a warm base that is too warm, this will occur with any and all pigments.

Light gray residuals can often be ignored, as well, if you are tattooing a darker color than the light gray residual over it.

The more difficult residuals are the darker gray, darker blue, blackish tones and purple. These are not a cover-up. I consider these a color correction and they generally take a minimum of 2 visits.  I make no commitment of how many return visits will be required with these types of corrections, although it is rarely more than 2.

Face Inks Goldfinch is a fabulous purple corrector. I will often add some Milk Chocolate to it, since it has a golden brown base.

For the darker grays and blues, I use Henna and Butterscotch.

Turquoise and shades of green simply need red.  Adding Henna or Cocoa to your selected brown will help stamp this out. However, if migration has occurred, it may require a salt removal in addition to the color correction.

For correcting color, I always use a 5-round and do not travel nearly as deeply in the skin as I would a regular procedure. My goal and my visual is to place the color on top of the color to be corrected and not place it as deeply as it was initially placed.

We must keep in mind there are many factors that affect how a pigment color wears or fades in the skin. What is their overall complexion? Some very fair people can heal on the cool side while some hold onto the warmth in a color. Ruddy complexions can heal with cool tones, as well, since the pink or redness translates and adds blue to the healed color.

Where are they on the Fitzpatrick Scale?  The more color in the skin, the more blue. Deeper skin tones and higher on the Fitzpatrick Scale can tend to heal cool if some warmth is not added to balance the blue in these higher numbers.

What is their skin undertone? The undertone of the skin also affects how color will heal over the years. Warmer undertones often hold onto the warmth in a brow shade while olive tones can eventually oxidize with a cooler tone.

What is their lifestyle and where do they live? Those that spend a great deal of time outdoors will fade more quickly and you will see your pigment residual sooner than those that do not spend time outdoors. Warmer or tropical climates will often tend to pull warm tones.

What skin care products are they using? Retinols and Glycolic Acids can affect the way color ages, matures or oxidizes in one’s skin.

So, all of the above can and will affect the amount of time color will last in the skin and how it will fade out. Do not allow anyone to tell you differently about their pigments!!!  Skin is a live organ and is always changing and moving. Skin exfoliates, tans, peels and we expose it to various conditions and chemicals.

So, in conclusion, keep your words sweet, since you never know when you will have to eat them! In other words, be careful not to criticize someone else’s residuals, especially if they are the typical warm or cool residuals, since you will one day be touching up your own!