women with dark skin

What You Need To Know About Permanent Makeup & Darker Skin Tones

Not every permanent makeup professional understands the special considerations that need to be taken when working with clients of various ethnicities and heritage who have darker skin tones. At Fabulously Flawless, we are expertly trained in the art of permanent makeup application for all skin tones. We understand the special qualities of different types of skin and how they may affect the outcome of our client’s permanent cosmetics. It takes an expert and an artist to understand how to work with these subtleties to achieve the perfect look.


We often see darker skin clients come to us for corrective procedures because a less experienced technician neglected to take critical steps and precautions to avoid unwanted results. Unfortunately, not all permanent cosmetics procedures can be corrected. This is why it is so important to find a Certified Cosmetics Professional who knows what they are doing.


There are distinct differences in the properties of skin tones in women of color. African American skin is 60-70% higher in lipid content than Caucasian skin and has larger sebaceous glands. African American skin is denser, and the oil glands are larger, making it much more prone to lesion formation through follicular impaction. When the skin is injured or diseased, as it is healing, the cells at the bottom layer of the skin do one of two things:

  • Hyperpigmentation — where the skin will produce more melanin, creating darker pigmentation areas.
  • Hypopigmentation —where the skin will produce less pigment, creating white areas.


Not all looks are realistically achievable or advisable either. As an example, African American women’s permanent lip color should only be created using a darker color due to the high likelihood of hyperpigmentation occurring. We have encountered clients who have had inexperienced technicians attempt to create a lighter/pink lip color on African American women, which resulted in a purple color due to hyper pigmentation.


We also see many African American women whose eyebrows have been microbladed, and the color has migrated causing a blurry looking brow. Because African American women’s skin tends to be oily, we don’t recommend Microblading a is not suitable for women with oily skin.


Indian women’s skin is unique too. For example, permanent eyeliner may fade to a lighter shade, even if the darkest black pigment is used to create the liner. Inexperienced technicians do not take educated steps to prevent this from happening or often neglect to inform their Indian clients that this may occur, leaving the client extremely dissatisfied.


To avoid these mishaps and unfortunate results we take several steps to ensure we can create your perfect look. We first assess the client’s skin using the Fitzpatrick Scale to determine the best pigment shades for each procedure. The Fitzpatrick Scale of Skin Types is a reflection of how skin responds to the sun. Melanin contributes color to the skin and is located in the basal layer of the epidermis and absorbs light and acts like a blanket over any color in the dermis, including our tattoo pigments. Melanin can be black, brown or blue and you can expect different colors in different skin from the same pigment. Other colors that affect our tattoo pigments are collagen which is gray or white, blood vessels – red or blue- and underlying fat (yellow) and veins lying just below the dermis.


Once we have determined what your Fitzpatrick Skin Type is we assess your skin’s overall condition, and discuss with your permanent cosmetics objectives. With this information, we can determine which types of procedures as well as specific pigment colors are suitable for you.


When it comes to permanent cosmetics, there is no “one size fits all.” So, make sure you choose a Permanent Cosmetic Professional that is educated in all aspects of skin tones and their unique qualities.


Want to see what your skin tone is on the Fitzpatrick Scale? Take the quiz and then check out our the pigments we use and see what options you have for your skin type.

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