Ombré Brows: Every PMU Artist’s MUST-HAVE Skill

PMU has come a long way in just a few short years! The results are looking more natural and realistic than ever - literally “blurring the lines” between the art of conventional makeup and permanent makeup. Clients want their PMU to look more natural than ever, almost undetectable, and we as evolving artists are all up for that challenge!

We’ve learned now that oversaturated or heavily outlined eyebrows can quickly become as outdated as big shoulder pads and teased hair, so it’s definitely not ideal to make them permanently etched like solid stickers on anyone’s face.

Enter the new era of every PMU artist’s must-have skill: the classic ombré brow. This effect and technique is so popular because it suits any skin type, mimicking the look of powdery eyebrow makeup with soft, delicate fronts and just the right amount of definition. Let's embrace a more subtle and timeless approach to enhance your client’s natural beauty!

Before, after, and healed results using FADE Dark Neutral Brown & Dark Warm Brown by PRO Team artist @nataliadorward_pmu

Before, after, and healed results using FADE Dark Neutral Brown & Dark Warm Brown by PRO Team artist @nataliadorward_pmu

Now more than ever, clients want the convenience of waking up with “their brows but better,” so here are some must-haves to ensure you really nail your ombré brow skills:

1. Classic shaping

Do you find yourself asking “what’s the best shape for my client?” The answer is their own natural shape, of course! The goal of PMU should always be to enhance what the client already has by working with as much of their natural hair as possible for low-maintenance results. Utilizing their existing brows, paying attention to their bone structure with muscle movement, all while following cues from their facial features will allow you to craft a unique shape that brings overall harmony to the face.

Focus on creating fullness where the brows are too thin or lacking shape, and create a mini-lift by bringing up the tails, especially when the ends are wide or missing entirely.

Healed transformation using I ❤️ INK Blonde & Bolder Brown by PRO Team artist @sara.baseri.pmu

Healed transformation using I ❤️ INK Blonde & Bolder Brown by PRO Team artist @sara.baseri.pmu

Avoid shaping mistakes, such as making the brows too angled/arched, too thick/thin, or too long/short. You also want to consider your basic brow rules, like making sure the head is the thickest part of the brow, with the arch thinner than the head, and tail even thinner than the arch for a feminine look or the arch thicker than heads for a masculine look. In any case, you also want to ensure that your arch is the highest part of the brow, and that the tail does not dip below the head of the brow, which can give a sad look. Tools such as string, calipers, and brow rulers can help to make sure you’re staying within these guidelines and aid you in following proper proportions.

 2. Invisible borders

A dead giveaway of artificial brows are harsh, outlined borders. This can be caused by implanting the pigment too deep, too much hand pressure, too many passes, or using the wrong needle size.

Your initial outline needs to act ONLY as a guide to hold your shape and help you to color within the lines. It should never be a defined line that can be visibly seen. Be sure to only tickle the skin with the tip of the needle when you’re creating this outline. You want to overlap your sections by 50% to ensure an even deposit, wiping and checking your outline along the way to ensure you don’t “overdo it”. You may opt to reinforce your bottom edge, but you may still want to keep the top of the brow light and airy. Regardless of whether or not you choose to deepen the underside of the brow, the main key to a perfect ombré is ensuring that the head of the brow doesn’t have any defined outlines, but rather tapers off into a soft shadow.

Soft outline by PRO Team artist @antony_turner_pmu

Borderless gradient by PRO Team artist @courtneyemily_pmu
Borderless gradient by PRO Team artist @courtneyemily_pmu
Demonstration by PRO Team artist @reanbrowshop

3. Less is more

While it may be tempting to copy bold makeup trends into your PMU style, the allure tends to fade in the long run as the result ages. Through experience, we've discovered that excessive passes of pigment can result in brows that lean more ‘marker chic’ than the sleek brows your clients dream of, and often end up looking too cool or too flat over time. The main lesson here is that less truly is more. Opting for a subtle touch not only ensures your design stays elegant, but also allows you, as an artist, to tweak your clients' brows for years without navigating the challenging path of removal due to oversaturation. As an alternative to bold brows, I always tell my clients that their PMU brows will provide the foundational shape and color and they can add more brow powder or pencil on top. With PMU, it’s much easier to add color or density over the years, but hard to take away.
A soft, natural brow vs. a dense makeup look on Angelina Jolie
Instead of heavy saturation, aim for color deposit with gentle, graduated shading. Achieving this softness is an advanced technique that will truly take your ombré brows to the next level. To create this gradient effect, layer pigment colors on top of other layers, building depth of color with each additional pass. Your goal will be to saturate the center and tail of the brow more than the fronts.

For that extra soft and airy look, avoid harsh angles such as dense edges and corners, especially at the front of the brow. You can even let the top of the brow remain borderless.
Inorganic-based hybrid pigments such as FADE are growing rapidly in popularity as both artists and clients seek options that allow for flexibility, reducing the risk of dark, oversaturated brows in the long run. Since these pigments fade gently over time, artists can re-touch their client’s brows for years to come without that “forever commitment”.

4. The ability to use various needles

Our needles are our ultimate tools, and understanding how to use a variety of needles to create various effects is crucial for a well-rounded technique. While the 1RL is a great foundational tool for its ability to build color slowly, your options for creating soft brows are many! Learning to use different needles opens up more creatively and allows you as an artist to have an arsenal of needles to tackle various skin types.

Before, after, & healed using PIXL 0.35mm 1RL LT & 7CM
with FADE Dark Neutral Brown by PRO Team artist @brows_by_jill

Consider that your different needle formations like 1RL, 3RL, 3RS, 5RS, and magnums are not just tools, they are the architects of pixels and the maestros of shading! These needles, with their distinct configurations, hold the potential to bring about an array of effects. After all, PMU is a creative journey and the size of the needle grouping plays a pivotal role. The larger the grouping, the broader the coverage; and vice versa, the smaller the grouping, the more intricate the detail. Imagine the skin as your canvas, and each needle as a brushstroke that forms pixels or creates soft, blended edges. The 1RL might be your fine-tipped pen, delicately crafting intricate details, while the magnum needle is your broad brush, sweeping across the skin with a graceful flow. Larger needle configurations also mean less time in the skin for less trauma and better retention.
So go ahead, try new sizes, and expand your creativity! Add new tools to your belt and discover your new favorites through our specially curated PIXL Needle Cartridge Sampler Pack, including 10 disposable, universal cartridges with unique needle configurations. Each needle provides enhanced control and precision, making this pack your go-to for a seamless and versatile tattooing experience.
When you’re ready to take your ombré game to the next level, check out these staple courses on The Collective:
If you're an artist with machine experience looking to watch a pro artist up-close, this course is for you! In this 'fly on the wall' video experience, Elaine masterfully shows us her methods from 3 unique angles through two live procedures, with lightweight recaps on theory basics to support you while you watch her work. Discover more.
Tiffany, Mini, and Laura have mastered the art of ombré brows and machine techniques. This course is a fool-proof path to creating beautiful brows for any client that walks in your door, even including color correction techniques. Discover more.

We know artists are visual learners, and for the first time ever, we are bringing the industry’s top Master Artists to you! With our newest series on The Collective, Watch Me Work, you’ll be able to get up-close and personal with the best experts in the world as they walk you through how they execute their tried-and-true techniques.
Results with FADE Medium Neutral Brown & PIXL 0.35mm 1RL LT by PRO Team artist @antony_turner_pmu

For more tips on achieving your softest ombré brow yet, check out our premiere segment of Watch Me Work: Ombré Brows - Antony Turner. This demonstration is designed to enhance your skills in soft, shaded ombré techniques as you learn directly from PRO Team artist Antony Turner in the comfort of your own home. He shares insights, tools, and step-by-step demonstrations of each step of his signature brow procedure, from beginning to end with no gatekeeping!

Watch Me Work is a convenient, virtual alternative to in-person shadowing. Each video case presents unique challenges, showcasing before, after, and healed results, empowering you to tackle similar cases confidently. No theoretical lessons, just real client demonstrations by my favorite master artists in the industry.

Dive into Watch Me Work: Ombré Brows - Antony Turner
Healed results with FADE Medium Warm Auburn & PIXL 0.35mm 1RL LT by PRO Team artist @antony_turner_pmu

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