Author: OLGA IVANOVA
Issue: #4, 2015, pp.55-63
Lips become more expressive and sexy if lipstick color, and in our case - permanent make-up pigment – is selected correctly. The wrong color may visually add a few years, change the complexion for the worse or highlight insufficiently white teeth.
Colors are divided into three main groups:
• warm: peach, orange and coral shades;
• cold: pink shades;
• neutral: beige, brown and terra cotta shades.
Shades come in light, medium and dark saturation levels. When selecting a color, we should consider several factors:
• eye color;
• skin color;
• hair color;
• teeth color;
• lip size;
• time of day and lighting.
The first three characteristics determine your color type.
Permanent make-up specialists must take the client’s natural lip color into account.
We should remember that, during the day, lip color can change due to blood vessels lying close to the skin’s surface that show through the thin lip skin.
The main advantage of permanent lip make-up using the soft feathering or watercolor technique is its universality. Watercolor make- up is suitable for all color types; it is a totally win-win option, very feminine and soft. This technique is designed for clients that want a natural effect. The watercolor filling technique creates a very gentle and natural image as tattooing is done without a clear outline and the pigment shade gently enhances natural lip color.
We, as permanent make-up artists, are often inspired by work performed by make-up designers who are quick to catch the latest fashion trends and, using specific make-up techniques, create a fashionable image for their models and clients. Our creations last longer, but the techniques we follow are similar to those used by artists and make-up designers. However, instead of pencils and brushes, we use thin or wide needle clusters and different pigments.
When performing permanent make-up with different needle clusters and implanting pigments in layers, you create a smooth transition of color and make the lips look fuller. Even if you work with a single cluster or a single needle, you can make the lips look much fuller by coloring some lip parts more densely and others more lightly.
Make-up artists with many years of experience work with needle clusters that they are most comfortable with. In this master class, I want to demonstrate a permanent lip make-up procedure using a cluster of very fine needles, namely 3 Micro. I think this configuration is softer and safer than a single needle and color fill-in is more controlled: you can easily adjust the implantation density and carefully color in different parts of the lips. Watercolor make-up using the glazing technique also allows you to use 3D technology - you can play with several shades within one color range. In this master class, I have tried to increase lip volume by implanting more color
to mouth corners and less color to areas where the light hits.
The term “glazing” comes from the English word “glaze” meaning gloss. This technique helps artist obtain deep iridescent colors by applying translucent colors over the base color.
It is widely used in painting. Leonardo da Vinci used this technique to obtain special colors in his paintings. By applying layers of color, it is possible to achieve brighter tones, and “mute” flashy ones. I will show you how layers of color can make permanent lip make-up create a soft and natural look.
In our practice, we deal with pigments and dyes for permanent make-up. It is essential for make-up artists to be familiar with the color range of pigments they work with, how they behave when mixed, during refraction, and degradation. The physical properties of dyes, such as density and opacity, are very important in permanent make-up.
Density is achieved by adding a white color to transparent pigments. For example, skin color pigments are almost opaque and have maximum opacity (they contain titanium dioxides – a natural white mineral pigment, which makes the pigment look cooler). Opacity or covering power is the property of a pigment which enables it to cover a surface entirely. It depends on the composition of the coloring agent and the percentage of dry pigment and liquid. This means that if we add any diluent or water to a pigment, we reduce its covering power. The paint becomes more translucent and watercolor-like. Besides attaining an effect of natural slightly painted lips, by selecting the right pigment colors, we can achieve a rejuvenation effect for older clients or alter naturally dark or bluish lips and give them a softer color. To work with discolored or pale lips, or on the contrary, naturally dark lips, I use different color-layering techniques.
As we are talking about high- quality professional pigments for permanent make-up - both physically and chemically stable substances - we should be interested in three things:
• depth of pigment placement;
• quantity of implanted pigment;
• accuracy (or uniformity/ homogeneity) of pigment implantation.
The way the color of the future permanent make-up will be perceived depends very much on the depth at which the pigment is implanted. In simple words, you must learn how to decide the depth and uniformity of the pigment placement and the number of passes (see Figure 1).
Of course, although lip color plays no small role in creating a stunning and attractive look, lip shape is just as important. I have prepared watercolor drawings to explain the theory of color application in permanent lip make-up. It is advisable not to go more than one to two mm beyond the red border of the lips, as the color will last longer on drier and thinner red edges, and the pigment implanted into the skin in order to augment the lips, will not hold as well. It should be noted that when you draw along the lip contour with a well-defined outer edge, the so-called roll, you should not go beyond it, as it will make the client’s lips look very unnatural.
Procedure technique, applied modules, advice on color. Theory of applying permanent make-up using the glazing technique. Our model is an interesting young girl with bright, large facial features. Her lips are full – they constitute one of the most attractive features of her general appearance. Despite their fullness, her lips are slightly shapeless, do not have a pronounced Cupid’s bow and almost no infra-nasal depression (philtrum), which
seems to blend into her skin tone.
Lip color is uneven, but does not have a bluish effect. Our model has a mole on the upper lip, to which we will not apply the pigment. Another thing that makes our model’s lips special, besides their fullness, is that their corners are lightly raised. She spends a lot of time putting on make-up every day, using a liner to outline the shape.
We decided to give the lips a clearer shape, but to avoid a strong contour line, and somewhat “put them together”. Using the soft watercolor glazing technique, we are able to satisfy our client’s demands.
1. Before I begin drawing, I remove the make-up thoroughly, disinfect and clean off fat in the area where I am planning to work in order to make a clean and precise sketch. I use Sani-Clean gel from Rejuvi.
2. A perfect sketch is one of the main conditions for carrying out permanent lip make-up. I use sharpened pencils that have a bright berry color and a light skin-like color. I am very used to working with Long-Time-Liner pencils and have not changed in years. They do not spread and contribute to making an excellent sketch.
3. First, I mark the philtrum and Cupid’s bow with a white pencil in order to easily define lip symmetry and draw lines - projections of the philtrum - under the lower lip. Next, I outline the Cupid’s bow and vermilion borders of the upper lip, trying not to go beyond the red border of the lips.
In parallel, I use two pencils to draw a clearer sketch and a thin cotton swab to remove incorrect lines. I proceed to the lower lip, paying particular attention to the central area, and make sure not to make it and the lip borders too round-looking; lip borders should always be raised.
4. When the sketch is ready, I take a photo and our model and I examine the details.
The client must approve the sketch.
5. Moving gently from the center to the edges of the lips with light pats, I apply MESONUMB anesthetic cream. I like it because it does not require occlusion, does not run and is very effective. We do not need to use injection anesthesia, and the client feels almost nothing.
6. I work with a German made AMIEA SUPREME device. Pigments of a new organic line, which are used in this master class, are also manufactured by AMIEA. They are quite bright, and moderately dense. For intermediate anesthesia,
I use PAINAWAY, produced by Rejuvi, with a little adrenaline.
7. While MESONUMB takes effect (exposure time - 20 minutes), I prepare a sufficient number of cotton pads soaked in chlorhexidine, mix the pigments, and open a sterile cartridge before the client. Before starting the procedure, I remove excess anesthetic cream with a tissue.
8. To obtain the base color, I mix a berry-reddish pigment with a tender pink/beige one. I use a less translucent skin color and bright red organic pigment as a liner.
9. I start by working with the base color from the left corner of the upper lip. I always check, try to “sense” the first centimeter of the skin, look how thoroughly pigment is implanted, and slightly augment the pressure if it is too low. I do this in order to ensure that the contour line is clearly visible and I do not have to re-draw the sketch. All the more so that lips may swell a bit if an anesthetic is used. The sketch is approved by the client – this is most important – so there must not be any deviations.
After tracing the contour of the upper lip, I proceed to the bottom lip, moving from left to right.
10. I stretch the lips to better inject the pigment. This should be done accurately and confidently, but without applying too much pressure. To outline the contour, I hold the needle perpendicularly or at a slight angle to the skin surface. I move along the contour using delicate back-and- forth movements. I find it very comfortable and easy to trace the contour line in the following way: I move along the borders outlined with dark and light pencils so that the chance of error is minimal. To better control needle movements and maintain the angle of inclination, I turn the client’s head to the side. The speed of the device can be set in the range of 105-120, depending on the client’s skin. In order to outline a contour, I actually need to make one pass, sometimes a second one for uniformity.
11. I change the prepared pigment container for a lighter color in order to give the lips a uniform shade – the first opaque layer of glazing; with the minimum projection of the needle, I apply rapid zigzag movements over the entire surface within the contour of the lips in order to “open up” the skin and add another anesthetic. I move along the lips two or three times, painting them neither too slowly nor too densely. We must remember that the skin color pigment is very dense; by no means should you implant too much of it and too densely.
After each pass, I apply PAIN AWAY anesthetic to the surface of the lips.
12. I proceed with the primary color in the next stage of the procedure. I do the contour shading. I prefer using narrow spiral movements, moving my hand not too quickly in order to avoid trauma and implant more pigment in one pass. It is enough to move along the marked contour twice, controlling your hand movement so as to “cover up” the contour line, but not go beyond it.
If you find it hard to perform spiral movements, it is possible to use small zigzag movements.
13. It is important not to forget to paint the corners of the mouth.
14. Next, I move on to coloring the entire surface of the lips, working more closely in the corners and more lightly in the center, where the lips are exposed to more light.
I use wide zigzag movements, moving from the contour to the center of the lips. I try not to apply too much pressure to the needle and work gently but firmly, holding the needle at a slight angle to the surface.
Depending on the skin type, I make three to five passes – although, of course, I do not count them I do not think it is indispensable – but pay more attention to the uniformity of color fill-in to avoid stains. I do not
forget to administer the anesthetic.
15. When the procedure is completed, I apply a pigment mask that helps absorb the colors, and then wipe the client’s lips with chlorhexidine and lubricate with a thin layer of Bepanten Plus cream.
16. Recommended lip care: on the first day, gently wipe your lips with chlorhexidine, which helps decrease scabs; apply a thin layer of Bepanten Plus cream several times a day; be sure to prevent herpes lesions by taking Valtrex or Aciclovir tablets.
17. Generally, if the lips need to be corrected, I make an appointment for the client in 1.5-2 months, when the skin has been completely regenerated and I can clearly see how the pigment has been assimilated in the skin. During the correction process, I work with the base tone, and sometimes change the color, depending on the results of the procedure. In this case, the model was very pleased with the result.
As Shakespeare said: “It is the witness still of excellency To put a strange face on his own perfection.” I wish you continuous improvement toward excellence!