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How to Determine a Client’s Skin Tone: 4 Tips for Students in Makeup Artist School

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Determining a client’s skin tone is the first step when applying makeup 

Determining your model or client’s true underlying skin tone is the first step to creating a flattering and flawless makeup look. Your model’s skin tone can be warm, cool, or neutral. Knowing where your model falls on the spectrum will influence the foundation you pick, as well as the eye shadow, lipstick, blush, and so on. Plenty of aspiring beauty buffs struggle with identifying their skin tone, but with these pro tips it doesn’t have to be difficult! Not only does identifying your client’s skin tone help when applying their makeup, but it’s also great knowledge for your client to have for their own makeup endeavors. Your clients will be thanking you after you help them identify their skin tone. Keep reading to learn four easy ways you can identify your client’s skin tone.

1. During Makeup Artist Training, Students Should Look at Their Model’s Skin Pigmentation

When determining your model’s skin tone during makeup artist training, remember it’s not an exact science. Some results may be confusing, so it’s important to use multiple tests and look at the common results to properly indicate the true underlying skin tone they have. Start by looking at your client’s clean face in natural light. If they have yellow, peachy, or golden pigments, they are likely warm toned. If reds, pinks, or blues are coming through, they are probably cool toned. If they have a mix of colours or you can’t tell, they are likely neutral.
makeup artist training

A client’s skin tone helps IBI students determine the best lipstick colour for them

2. Students in Makeup Artist School Should Look at Their Model’s Wrist

One of the most well-known tests for determining skin tone is referring to the colour of the veins on the inside of the wrist or elbow. If the veins appear blue or purple, the skin tone is cool. If the veins appear to be green, then the skin tone is warm. The reason why this happens is based on colour theory. When you have blue veins that are overlaid by yellow pigmented skin, the veins will appear green. If you’re looking at your client’s arm and can’t tell what colour is coming through, most likely they are neutral toned.

3. During Makeup Artist Training, Students Should Refer to Their Model’s Eye Colour

Models you may practice on at makeup artist school who have golden brown, green, or hazel eyes with gold flecks are likely to be warm toned. Clients with hazel or blue eyes with grey flecks are more likely cool toned. Referring to a model’s eye colour isn’t necessarily the best way to determine a skin tone and shouldn’t be used alone. However, when coupled with other tests it can help narrow down options and determine the right tone.
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Looking at your model’s eye colour will help determine their skin tone

4. Students in Makeup Artist School Should Determine if Their Client Burns or Tans

Asking your client if they burn or tan is an easy way to help determine their skin tone. If your client says they burn easily, they are likely cool toned. If they are able to tan easily, they are probably warm toned. They are likely to be neutral if they say they burn and tan, or if they burn but any burns turn into a tan quickly. Either way, remember to remind your clients to always wear SPF! Do you want to learn more about beauty at makeup classes in Mississauga? Contact an advisor at International Beauty Institute today to get started!

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