Colour theory and pigments used in semi permanent make up

Understanding pigments and colour theory…

… is a huge part of a semi permanent technicians life. It is impossible to create beautiful semi permanent make up which suits the clients colouring perfectly without having a well rounded understanding of the range of individual skin tones and how the pigments we implant will look once they are healed.

Humans have used colour to decorate their bodies since time began. In order to create vibrant colours, pigments were dug up from the earth in sand and rock or sourced from berries and even insects. These compounds were mixed with water to create paint. We still use these pigments in semi permanent make up today although you won’t find me grinding up charcoal to create a black eyeliner!

A good semi permanent make up technician will only use pigments from well known companies such as Precious Pigments, Golden Eye, Bio Touch and Amiea for example. These pigments are all organic, hypo-allergenic and derived from natural sources and it is worth checking with your technician where they have sourced their pigments from.

There are plenty of fake pigments on the market, especially for sale on eBay and if a technician has sourced their pigments from there, it is worth considering whether to go ahead with your treatment. No technician worth their salt will mind disclosing where their products come from if they are using a well known and respected brand.

Semi Permanent make up pigment

It might not seem to matter if the technician has a beautiful colour that you want implanted, but when it causes a reaction in your skin, migrates beyond the area you originally wanted it implanted into or fails to hold properly, you will have wasted an awful lot of money on an unwanted result.

When it comes to deciding on a colour for your eyebrows, lips or eyeliner, your semi permanent make up technician should discuss your options fully. This is where colour theory comes in.

Conventional make up is applied onto the skin and covers the skin tone. Semi permanent make up is applied under the skin so the final result is a combination of pigment and skin tone.

So, if you particularly want a very red, blue based lip colour but you have a lot of natural cool tones in your skin, you may find your technician steers you towards a warmer, even orange based pigment mix which will avoid the final colour fading to blue.

Semi permanent make up colour theory

You will generally find that during a consultation, your technician will spend a lot of time staring at your face. While this can be a bit uncomfortable, it is a very necessary part of the process to ensure the correct pigment mix is chosen. Your technician will be assessing lots of elements of your skin tone. They will consider the colour of your eyes and look for underlying colour tones, such as red or blues or yellows They may ask what colours you think suit you the best and what colour clothes are most prevalent in your wardrobe.

It is quite usual for a technician skilled in colour theory to mix a rather unusual colour into the final pigment choice. This can sometimes be a strong green or orange which might well look rather scary in the bottle, especially if you need existing semi permanent make up correcting. This is why it is important to research your technician thoroughly, trust is a huge part of the consultation process and you should be comfortable that your technician knows what they are doing.
It is always a great idea to take along your favourite pieces of make up to a semi permanent make up consultation. These favoured colours are usually most loved for a reason. They will have been complimented on the colour many times before and this is generally because they are the ‘right’ colours for the clients skin tone.

Whichever pigments are finally used, it will most likely be a custom blend, created especially for you.

This is why so much semi permanent make up is referred to as ‘bespoke’… because when it comes to semi permanent make up it really is not the case that one size fits all.

Semi permanent eyeliner hemel hempstead

Semi Permanent Eyeliner – How it’s done

If you would like semi permanent eyeliner to highlight your eyes beautifully…

…but are a little nervous about the process, today’s blog should help put your fears to rest.

The application of semi permanent eyeliner is actually a fairly simple task. It is one of the fastest treatments which you can have done, a top liner usually takes just 20 minutes and if you’re having the bottom liner done too, you’re usually ready to go in about 40 minutes.

Semi permanent eyeliner is a fantastic choice for those of us with busy lifestyles. Being able to swim or go to the gym without the fear of smudging your liner is great, especially if you like to do those activities before work or in your lunch break.

Being ready to head straight back to your desk with just a quick sweep of your powder brush is certainly a plus point.

Correctly applied semi permanent eyeliner really helps to define the eyes. In addition, it usually resists fading the best of all semi permanent make up treatments.

However, many of my clients tell me that, while they do want the procedure done, they are nervous about what happens and how much it might hurt.

Most people know that we use topical anaesthetics to numb the area which is to be cosmetically tattooed, pain isn’t really the issue here.

It’s the sensation of the needle vibrating close to the eye and the way in which your skin must be stretched during the treatment which is sometimes a little difficult to get use to.

Having carried out many semi permanent eyeliner treatments, I am aware of these two facts. I always explain to my clients what I’m doing, well before I actually do it. I know that lying on the couch with your eyes closed can make you feel a bit vulnerable and my aim is always to make the treatments as relaxing as possible.

Once my client has had their eye drops administered, I ask them to close their eyes. They then keep them closed for the duration of the treatment. I apply anaesthetic to the lid and under eye area and allow several minutes for it to begin to work.

During this time I usually chat to my client and tell them what I am doing. When I begin the treatment, and before I touch the skin with the needle, I explain that I will place pigment in the first lash or two so that my client can feel the sensation before I get going properly.

I encourage my client to tell me if they’re uncomfortable, have any concerns or if they need a break. I find this approach means my client is as relaxed as possible and I can complete the application of the semi permanent eyeliner more quickly.

Of course, there is no substitute for actually seeing how semi permanent eyeliner is applied so I’ve added a short video to this blog so you can see for yourself exactly what happens!

You will notice the technician uses a combination of side to side and tapping motions to implant the coloured pigment into the lash line. The lid is stretched and held taut to help keep the line straight and occasionally the client is asked to open her eye during the procedure. All these techniques are completely normal and are necessary to ensure a nice crisp, symmetrical liner.

I hope you enjoy the video :)

Semi Permanent Eyeliner

Semi permanent eyeliner – A world of possibilities

It goes without saying that having semi permanent eyeliner applied means…

…no more smudged lines or make up that rubs off during the day. Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and having your eyeliner still looking as crisp and freshly applied as when it was first implanted!

However, one of the best things about having semi permanent eyeliner applied is the sheer number of possibilities open to the client when choosing the final look. In today’s blog, I’m going to take a look at the different types of liner you can have applied and the pro’s and con’s of each.

Lash Enhancement

Semi permanent eyeliner - eyelash enhancement








Many of my clients are looking for a simple enhancement to their lashes. This is a thin line added at the base of the lash-line on the top and/or bottom of the lids. It looks very subtle and is barely noticeable. In fact, it simply looks as though the natural lashes are thicker and darker. The pigment line starts at the first outer lash and ends at the last inner lash.

The Pro’s

  • Very natural and subtle
  • Enhances the natural lash line meaning daily mascara application is unnecessary
  • A great choice for clients who want to try semi permanent eyeliner for the first time, it can be made more dramatic in the future

The Con’s

  • Not particularly dramatic
  • Limited colour choice – usually matte black is the way to go

Thick or Latino 

Latino semi permanent eyeliner








The next step up from a simple lash enhancement is a thicker liner, sometimes called a Latino semi permanent eyeliner. A thicker line is implanted in the same place as a lash enhancement, but the line is made thicker and extends more deeply onto the top lid.  It is possible to extend the tail of the liner beyond the final outer lash but this must be done with care and consideration as it can look a little too dramatic for daytime wear.

The bottom liner is usually kept simple and fine to provide balance and symmetry.

The Pro’s

  • Gives a more dramatic look
  • Only requires a simple eye shadow application to change the look from day to night time wear
  • Extends the size of the eye, great for smaller or deep set eyes when applied to the top only

The Con’s

  • Best suited to daily make-up wearers
  • More maintenance required, regular top-ups are needed to keep the top line crisp
  • Colour can migrate further into the top lid giving a smoky finish


Colour semi permanent eyeliner








Coloured eyeliner is a pretty big step to commit to when considering to have semi permanent eyeliner implanted, but it can be the perfect choice to really make your eyes pop. For those of us who prefer a more subtle look, choosing a dark liner with a hint of colour can be a good compromise. It is possible to add a drop or two of complimentary colour to a black base to give just a hint of your chosen shade.

Brown eyes look stunning with a navy blue liner while green eyeliner can make green or blue eyes stand out. If you do choose a black liner, there are choices to make here too. If you are you looking for a soft smoky look or a glossy black liner, both of these effects are possible if the correct pigment is selected.

In general, try and steer clear of brown semi permanent eyeliner as this can fade to red which can make eyes appear tired, a look which is best avoided!

The Pro’s

  • Coloured eyeliner can really make your eyes stand out
  • Very suitable for day time wear, the colour can be highlighted with a liquid liner applied just above the tattoo
  • Is very good for opening up a smaller or more deepset eye

The Con’s

  • Not great if you like to change your make-up look regularly
  • Best to avoid fashion shades, choose a colour which will always compliment your natural eye colour
  • Can fade more quickly and require more regular top-ups than black liner

And finally…

Whatever look you choose, make sure you research your procedure fully before you commit. Take plenty of time to discuss things with your semi permanent make up technician who should be able to answer any questions you have before you begin.

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Bollywood Eyebrows – Wow Brow!

These fantastic Bollywood eyebrows were created especially for my lovely client…

And I love them!

She came to me asking for a dramatic change from her sparse eyebrows and we worked for a long time to create a striking new look for her. She described the type of brow she wanted as ‘Bollywood eyebrows’ and by that I took it to mean dark, sleek and arched.

The initial consultation took longer than usual. Of course, this was absolutely fine as I always book plenty of time for an eyebrow appointment. Its important to take plenty of time drawing the brow on and getting it just right when making such a big change.

Once the shape and colour had been decided, I used a combination of techniques, powdered brow and hairstrokes, to give a strong look that will definitely last well for several years.

As with many of my clients, she was quite surprised at how dark her eyebrows were after the treatment and looking at these pictures you can see why… what a transformation!

Bollywood eyebrows are a big commitment so, I was thrilled to get the following text from her a few days after her second treatment.

Bollywood Eyebrows - client text

Another happy customer!

If you are looking for dramatic Bollywood eyebrows then doing your research is so important. I always encourage my clients to spend a good amount of time looking at the type of eyebrow they think they want. If you want to bring pictures to the consultation or even email them to me before we meet, this is great too. I can make sure I’m fully prepared to give you the look you’re after.

Once you have explained the look you want to achieve and we’ve discussed your options, I will take some measurements and photo’s and draw the bows on with pencil so you can check what they will look like. We don’t tattoo until you are completely happy.

With this type of treatment for you eyebrows, it is really important to come back for the second treatment. Its a two step process, the first treatment will define the over-all shape and placement and the second will add the detail for the finished look.

Cara Delevingne and her beautiful eyebrows

It is really not possible to work with peoples eyebrows

and not consider Cara Delevingne and her utterly gorgeous brows.

Lots of clients refer to Cara’s brows when I first see them and I’ve even tattooed the odd brow which would certainly give Cara’s a run for their money.

The main thing about this type of brow is that they contrast so dramatically with her colouring and her blonde hair. If this is the type of brow that you’re looking to achieve, it certainly takes commitment and a leap of faith! Known as a powdered Brow, this treatment would take at least two sessions to achieve and a whole lot of consultation before we got started.

Powdered eyebrows are great for longevity. They involve implanting a wash of pigment into the skin which takes longer to fade than a hair stoke brow for example.

With Cara’s bows, she has a more sparse area at the blub of the eyebrow which stops them from looking too ‘blocky’. This is certainly an attractive feature of her eyebrows and one I try an emulate when creating a powdered eyebrow for my clients.

The other aspect of Cara’s eyebrows which makes them so striking is the heavy contract between her blonde hair and the darkness of her eyebrows. When working with my clients, it is an important consideration to make when deciding on a pigment colour to use.

I spend a considerable amount of time discussing colour options and I use a very small palette of standard colours which I then mix to create a bespoke colour completely tailored for my client. It really is a case of one size NOT fitting all when it comes to creating a beautiful new brow for my clients.

While Cara’s bold brow won’t be suitable for all my clients, there are elements of them which I will take and use in the design process. Of course, if it’s dark, dramatic and Cara-esque you’re after and you’re happy with the consultation, then that’s what I will create for you!