Choosing the right eyebrow color is essential to microblading the perfect brow.
Some clients prefer a darker or lighter brow than usual, and that’s fine—but only up to a certain point. There are colors that work best on a client’s skin type, but there are also colors that simply don’t.
When helping a client decide on their eyebrow color, don’t be afraid to refer to the Fitzpatrick skin test and scale.
The Fitzpatrick Test
Most cosmetic surgery clinics use the Fitzpatrick test and scale to determine their client’s skin type.
The scale was developed in 1975 by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick. He intended the scale to estimate different skin types’ responses to ultraviolet light.
How to take the test:
For each question answered, note the corresponding number for the client’s answers. At the end of the test, add these numbers and determine the skin type according to the client’s score.
1) What is your natural eye color?
0: Light blue, gray, or light green
1: Blue, gray, or green
2: Dark blue or hazel
3: Dark brown
4: Brownish black
2) What is your natural hair color?
0: Sandy or red
2: Chestnut or dark blonde
3: Dark brown
3) What color is your skin when not exposed to direct sunlight?
1: Very pale
2: Pale with a beige tint
3: Light brown
4: Chestnut brown
4) Do you have freckles on non-exposed areas?
5) What happens when you stay in the sun for too long?
0: Painful redness, blistering, and/or peeling
1: Blistering followed by peeling
2: Burns sometimes followed by peeling
3: Rarely burn
4: Never had burns
6) How brown do you get after frequent or extended exposure to sunlight?
0: Hardly or not at all
1: Light color tan
2: Reasonable tan
3: Tans easily
4: Turns dark brown easily
7) Do you turn brown within several hours of sun exposure?
8) How sensitive is your face to the sun?
0: Very sensitive
3: Very resistant
4: Never had a problem
9) When was the last time you exposed your body to the sun, a tanning bed, or self-tanning cream?
0: More than 3 months ago
1: 2-3 months ago
2: 1-2 months ago
3: Less than a month ago
4: Less than 2 weeks ago
10) How frequently do you expose your eyebrows to direct sunlight?
1: Hardly ever
If your total score is…
0 to 6 – Skin Type I
- Your skin never tans.
- Your skin is very prone to burning if exposed to too much sun.
- You likely have pale skin, freckles, blonde or red hair, and blue eyes.
7 to 13 – Skin Type II
- Your skin tans with difficulty.
- Your skin usually burns after exposure to sunlight.
- You likely have fair skin and blue eyes.
14 to 20 – Skin Type III
- Your skin tans uniformly.
- Your skin sometimes burns when exposed to sunlight.
- You likely have fair skin, although darker than Skin Types I and II.
21 to 27 – Skin Type IV
- Your skin tans easily.
- Your skin rarely burns despite being exposed to sunlight.
- You likely have dark hair and light Mediterranean, olive looking skin (beige with light brown tint).
28 to 34 – Skin Type V
- Your skin tans very easily.
- Your skin very rarely burns despite exposure to sunlight.
- You likely have an olive or dark skin tone. This includes light-skinned African-Americans, Indians, and those of Middle Eastern descent.
35 to 36 – Skin Type VI
- Your skin tans very easily.
- Your skin very rarely burns despite exposure to sunlight
- You likely have a dark skin color and are usually of African descent.
Choosing the right eyebrow color according to skin type
Armed with knowledge on your client’s skin type, you can now choose the recommended pigment color from the line of colors you use.
As a general guide, here are the recommended colors, shades, or undertones for each skin type:
- Skin Type I. Use a cool-color-based pigment that neutralizes red tones under the skin.
- Skin Type II. Use an ash-based color that goes well with peach-colored or fair skin and blonde or red hair.
- Skin Type III. Use a warm-color-based pigment that neutralizes blue and green skin undertones. A warm brown hue goes well with brown hair.
- Skin Type IV. Use an ash brown color that neutralizes the blue and green undertones of the skin.
- Skin Type V and VI. Use a dark brown that neutralizes blue and green undertones in the skin.
Finding the right eyebrow color for your client shouldn’t be a daunting task if you know what you’re doing. With the Fitzpatrick scale, you have a reliable guide to help you choose the perfect shade. But, of course, don’t be afraid to trust your instinct, either. After all, you are the artist!