Eyebrow Tattoo Color Correction: When to Correct & When to Pass

By Katarina V.| Last updated on April 8, 2024
eyebrow tattoo color correction cover
⏱️ 7 min read

When the eyebrow tattoo fades into the unattractive blue, green, or red hue, both artists and clients intuitively reach for eyebrow color correction as a band-aid that will cover up the mess.

But, not every bad brow tattoo can be corrected. So, how do you know when you can correct the old work and when you’re only going to make it worse?

We’re going to break it down into easy-to-follow rules of when to correct and when to pass. Let’s go!

How Does Brow Tattoo Color Correction Work?

Correcting unwanted brow colors typically involves using corrective pigments to bring back a more natural look to the brow tattoo that has gone off track.

To neutralize the excessively warm or cool pigments and make them look natural again, the artist needs to understand permanent makeup color theory.

According to the rules of this theory. Contrasting pigments lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel — like red and green, orange and blue, or yellow and purple. So, when they are blended, they effectively neutralize each other.

The good news is that beautiful improvements can be seen as soon as in the first color-correcting session, although in some cases it may take a couple of weeks for the color to fully settle.

How long the process takes depends on how intense the color is. Lighter colors, such as orange, are quicker to fix, while darker, such as blue, require a bit more patience on both the artist’s and the client’s side.

@skingoogle0 Colour correction in permanent make up what to do if somebody comes with red eyebrows #color #corrections #tip #science #eyebrow ♬ Sunrise - Official Sound Studio

When Should You Go for Eyebrow Tattoo Color Correction?

As you can imagine, not all disaster brows are equally good candidates for color correction.

However, there are some situations generally considered to be more convenient for color correction than others, and they all have one thing in common — low saturation of old pigments.

The best possible scenario for color correction is when a brow tattoo has faded significantly, ideally 70% or more.

Let’s see why:

Easier Application of Corrective Pigments

When a tattoo has faded significantly, the original pigment becomes less dominant.

This means that the corrective pigments can be applied effectively, without blending with the leftovers of the previous tattoo color.

brow color correction on mature skinImage source: Instagram @pjbeautyandbrow

Clear Skin

The more the original pigment fades, the clearer the skin becomes for the color correction treatment.

This allows the artist to balance and adjust the pigments more precisely, making sure that the final color aligns with the desired outcome.

successful brow color correctionImage source: Instagram @nadia_afanaseva

More Predictable Results

A significant fade in the original tattoo color enhances the predictability of the correction process.

The artist can better evaluate how the corrective pigments will interact with the existing color, leading to a more controlled result.

Image source: Instagram @inkdfacebeauty

Reduced Risk of Muddying Colors

When the old pigment has faded enough, there is a lower risk of muddying or undesired color blending during the correction process.

This allows the artist to perform a cleaner correction and achieve a more natural appearance.

perfect brow color correctionImage source: Instagram @inkdfacebeauty

When Should You Pass on Brow Tattoo Color Correction?

While brow tattoo color correction can be a transformative experience, there are situations where you should think twice before you go for this treatment.

Here are a few scenarios where passing on color correction is the best option:

#1: Brow Tattoo Has Faded Less Than 70%

Brows with high saturation, where the skin is still very much soaked in the original pigment, may not be suitable candidates for color correction.

The skin only has space for a certain amount of pigment, and if that space is full, the new pigment simply won’t do much.

For the skin to be able to accept corrective pigments, the color of the old brow tattoo has to be quite sheer. And in that context, you’ll find that inorganic pigments are far more sheer than organic pigments, and therefore much easier to color correct.

To put it simply, if you can see the skin through the pigment, then you are more likely to get a nice result at the end of the treatment.

On the other hand, if the skin is full of old pigment, then brow tattoo removal or lightening is a much tidier option than color correction.

@yassatattoo We will be lightening enough to do a coverup/correction. We’ll see you in 6-8 weeks with results from her removal session ✨ #microblading #microbladingbrows #microbladinggonebad #microbladingprank #tattooremoval #browremoval #salinetattooremoval #salineremoval ♬ Smoked out Phonk - TREVASPURA

#2: Old Work Is Done with Carbon-Based Colors

There are certain shades that are more difficult to correct than others, which makes it super hard to achieve the desired color outcome. This is often, but not always, down to the type of pigment used for the old brow tattoo.

For example, if the color contains carbon (organic pigment), then the tattoo is likely to heal blue or gray in the long run. This is because carbon tends to stay around longer, while all the warmer pigment elements fade much quicker.

In that sense, to counteract the cool tones, the artist needs to put some warm pigments in. However, these new pigments are bound to resurface quickly, leading to unwanted color results.

Another indication that you’re dealing with carbon is when the original pigment has migrated, making the old work muddy and blurry. This is because carbon-based organic pigments are less stable in the skin than iron-oxide inorganic pigments.

In such cases, the best you can do is to go for a brow tattoo removal or lightening to take some of the pigment out.

eyebrow color correction on mature skinImage source: Instagram @beautytechniques

#3: There Is Scarring from Previous Treatments

Scarring from previous brow tattoo treatments, especially if the brows were previously botched, can complicate the color correction process.

Unlike regular skin, scar tissue doesn’t absorb color evenly, which means it can lead to unpredictable results.

So, if the impact of scars significantly compromises the brow area, it may not be the best idea to go in with the corrective pigments straight away. Instead, try a very simple, safe, effective, and minimally invasive therapeutic technique called microneedling.

By promoting collagen production and improving skin texture, microneedling helps break down and remodel scar tissue, making it more responsive to corrective pigments.

In the long run, this approach improves the quality of the skin and enhances the overall success of the color correction treatment.

How to Recognize You’re Not a Candidate for Brow Color Correction

If your brows haven’t faded enough, or your old pigment seems to be highly resistant, it’s in your best interest not to rush into color correction.

Although ugly, the truth is that, in such cases, your results will never come out to be as seamless and aesthetically pleasing as you expect them to be.

Also, don’t be afraid to invest your time and money in doing things right from the outset. Choosing removal as a starting point may require your patience, but the long-term benefits often outweigh the drawbacks.

Otherwise, you will unintentionally create a cycle of corrections that might never give you the brows you deserve.

When to Say No To Brow Color Correction as an Artist

The first thing you have to ask yourself is — Who are you? Are you a seasoned brow artist or a newbie?

Truth be told, every artist has to start correcting old tattoos at some point. But, you shouldn’t be attempting to fix bad brows until you learn your lesson in the PMU pigments theory.

So, to gain confidence and build your skills in color correcting, take some time to study how different pigments and colors behave as they heal.

Also, it’s a good idea to go back to your old works, so you can analyze the results, learn from your mistakes, and perfect your technique over time.

The bottom line is that, although it’s difficult to turn down a client (and the money), color correction is advanced work. So, it’s safer to work within your limits — for both your clients and your business.

@cattinksbeauty Client got her brows done while on vacation overseas. 1-2 years later it turns colors — what do you think about this correction set? 🤩 #correctionbrows #ombrepowderbrows #browartistry #browartist #browtransformation #browtrainer ♬ Balenciaga - T3NZU

Key Takeaways

Color correction is so much more than just a band-aid that can cover bad brow tattoos.

It can work wonders, but the old work has to fade by at least 70%, otherwise the results will be far from flawless.

Also, not every color is equally easy to correct, and it all comes down to the original pigment, its nature, and its ingredients.

And if by any chance the brow tissue is scarred, microneedling is necessary to relax the skin, so it can take in the new pigments evenly.

Of course, both artists and clients need to know their limits, so they can make the right choices that will lead to perfect and long-lasting results.

Cover image source: Freepik

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