How to manage skin undertones

Under eye concealer must be one of the most purchased beauty products out there. A little concealer can take us from looking Washed out to Woken up in 30 seconds flat! We call them our dark circles, but have you ever really had a look to see what colour they truly are?

When my clients walk through the door, I’m looking at lots of different things. How your face moves when you talk, which side in your face is higher than the other, and how your bone structure differs on each side.

Once ive figured all that out, I look at how your skin is. Are you oily, or dry? Do you wear your brow pencil strong or soft? All these questions have been answered in my head, in the time it took me to offer you a tea or coffee 🙂

Then my mind switches to colour selection. One of the most important questions I Wish I could ask you is “what is your skin undertone?”

Now I don’t expect you to know this – but its my job to understand it inside out, so when I lie you down on my bed, I want to remove that undereye concealer and let your skin tell me the answer.

I wish that tattooing your skin was as simple as painting on a piece of paper. I wish I could let you select a colour and it would be inserted under your skin – and stay the exact same colour you chose. But the clue is in the last sentence. I am inserting colour UNDER your skin, and not on top of it.

Whatever colour is peeking out from under your eyes will affect the healed result of your eyebrow tattoo. And depending how strong it is – it can massively effect the outcome.

Now this is probably the most complicated blog I’ve written so far, but I have tried to make a lengthy subject very easy to understand. Best still, to sit down and grab a cuppa to let this all process though :). I’ve brought in some real life pictures of what undertones look like and how we can neautralise them.

First up…


This is probably what I see most of where I am based (Scotland, UK) We have a lot of very pale skinned clients with a lot of purple around the ring of the eye. The goal in most cases is to have a nice brown toned eyebrow. Lets imagine I took some purple paint and put it in a bowl – the colour I would need to mix in with the purple to make a shade of brown would be yellow. So purple + yellow = brown.

Anytime I see a strong purple under eye area, I need to either choose a brown that has a high yellow base content – or if in doubt, I will add more yellow mixer pigment into any colour I will be using. The worst thing I could do to any of these ladies in the picture above is select a dark brown pigment that has a high concentration of red or blue. Yellow is the only way I can mellow these purple undertones out.

If I am in doubt, a gentle stretch to the eyelid will reveal the purple veins and undertones in all their glory. Pretty cool Huh!?



Next, we have clients that have a strong red undertone.

These clients have a tendency to ash colours out – so I do 3 things to make sure my brown is healed as well as I can get it.

First, whenever I see red undertones – I think about blue/grey. I know that’s maybe confusing, but on a face, red is not warm. It equals ASH ASH ASH. The redder the face, the more it will ash your selected colour.

The second thing I do is add orange to my mixture. By thinking of the red undertones as something that makes my eyebrows blue/grey – I am reminded to add orange as a counter balance.

And finally, I don’t ever pick a brown that has a high red content in it. Red undertone plus red pigment = grey eyebrows. Confused yet? Just remember red face = blue so make sure you add orange as a modifier.

If I stretch a red eye lid you can see the difference from the purple ones we saw earlier.



Neutral undertones mean that there is nothing too suspicious happening underneath the skin. You can pretty much guarantee that if you choose a colour not too dark, and place it at the right depth – then not only will you have a colour that heals pretty true to the bottle of pigment you selected, it will fade nicely over the years too.

So in short, you need to know your colour theory well in order to produce good healed results.


“Purple needs some yellow so it can be mellow”

“if you are red, add orange I said!”

“no undertone means – you are the client of my dreams”

Its a complicated subject that can take years to master. I would encourage you all to learn from your pigment supplier exactly what each colour is made up from so you can select the best base colours for your clients. And remember, even though that eye concealer makeup may be helping you feel a little fresher – to an expert, your true colours are literally written all over your face. 🙂

Lots of love,

Mrs Makeup xxx


8 thoughts on “How to manage skin undertones

  1. Oh my goodness…I love you so much for posting this! This is the first thing that I’ve read that actually makes sense to me and I can understand! I’m a new MB artist and they failed to mention all this great stuff to me during training. This information is priceless! Thank you so so much!

    Liked by 1 person

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