Colour – Trouble Shooting

Trouble Shooting

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  • Blue pigment heals the darkest in the skin; it is the heaviest densest colour in tattooing.
  • Yellow pigment heals the lightest in the skin.
  • Use caution when using white pigment colours alone or mixed in other colours. White has a tendency to float on the skin; almost giving it the appearance of raised or scarred skin tissue. If you use a pre-mixed colour with white in it from the manufacturer you should be safe to use it.
  • If pigment gets too thick in the cap while working, we use a few drops of a re-wetting solution or liquid anaesthesia to make the pigment thinner/creamier.
  • If the pigment gets too thick in our bottle we use a few drops of re-wetting solution. We save the anaesthesia for actual application time. Re-wetting solution is the proper levels of alcohol, glycerine, deionised, sterile or distilled water.
  • Do not add straight glycerine to your pigment. It may make your pigment creamy for application and may take longer to heal in the skin and may cause photo sensitivity.
  • If a client has irregular lip tones, choose a colour that has some white in it. You will have greater success to even out the lip colour. Ask your pigment supplier which pigment colours these are.
  • DO NOT mix colours from different manufacturers together unless they tell you that it is alright to do so.
  • When inserting pigment for a traditional tattoo, a certain sequence must be followed. Pigment should be applied from the darkest colour to the lightest colour. The proper sequence should be: Black, dark purple, blue, green, light purple, brown, red, orange, yellow, beige, skin tones and white. The exception to this is when you are camouflaging skin tones.
  • When camouflaging, always start with the lightest colour.
  • Always check the base colour of your pigment before you begin application.
  • Do not look at the colour through the bottle. Many plastic bottles pick up certain hues of colours (especially yellows) and look very misleading.
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  • You may mix any camouflage colours together to create the proper skin tone and balance for your client.


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  • Shake the bottle well and place a drop of pigment on ‘the top’ of a white piece of paper.
  • Place a drop of distilled or sterile water on the pigment and let it run down the page.
  • When the drop of pigment and water reach the bottom of the page you should be able to tell what the base colour is.


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If a client complains about their pigment colour changing, check these things out with the client:

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  • During the healing process, did the client?
  • Follow their after care instructions exactly?
  • Pick off any crust/scabs?
  • Use any skin lightening products? (AHA’s, Renova, Retin A etc..)
  • Touch their procedure area with their fingers as the area was healing?
  • Smoke while the lips were still healing? The paper on a cigarette filter may pull out the colour on the lips as the procedure area is healing.
  • Start any new medication?
  • Become ill?
  • Go in salt water or chlorine?
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After the procedure has healed, did the client?:

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  • Get a tan?
  • Lose their tan?
  • Change jobs, and are now working under different lighting conditions?
  • Take, add or change medications or herbal products?
  • Use a total sun block on the procedural area?
  • Use any skin lightening products? (AHA’s, Renova, Retin A etc…)
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  • We all want to help people who have unsatisfactory semi-permanent make-up results.
  • But, beware, you are now taking on the added responsibility of that client.
  • Who does the client sue if they are unhappy?
  • The last person who has worked on them!!!!
  • Many times the client complains to the new technician about how bad their semi-permanent make-up is.They want the new technician to fix their problem and not charge them for the repair or correction, because they have already paid the initial technician.
  • This has nothing to do with you!
  • Do not let the client talk you into any repair or correction work that is above your expertise or you just choose not to work on.