Achieving a soft and misty front ombré can be a challenging task for both beginner and advanced artists. Many artists tend to overwork the shading for the front ombré which results in harsh and blocky bulbs. The front ombré is one of the most crucial part of the brows because it brings the entire brows together. The front ombré can quite literally make or break the brows. This is a common mistake for many artists, therefore, because of this, I want to offer a few tips on how to keep the front ombré soft, starting from some basic advice to some more advanced tips.
- Flick faster. In order to achieve a soft front ombre you have to flick your machine faster than you do for regular shading at the body of the brows. A soft and misty ombré simply consists of shaded pixels that are further apart. The only way to achieve these soft pixels is to flick your machine quicker, so your pixels become more disperse from each other. If you have a hard time keeping the pixels far apart, try the next tip.
- Use a slower speed. If you have a hard time executing quicker flicking/whipping motions, try shading in a slower speed like speed 3. When the machine is slower, the needle is also moving slower, and therefore it will be easier to tattoo pixels that are further apart from each other.
- Lighten your pressure. If you haven’t been lightening your pressure already for the front ombré then you need to. Your pressure for shading the fronts should be slightly lighter so your pixels are slightly softer and smaller. This will help prevent oversaturating the fronts.
- Be patient and plan for oxidation. If you didn’t know, pigment oxidizes just like foundation. When pigment oxidizes, it means it gets darker after a period of time. This is similar to when you apply make up foundation on your face and the color darkens 10-15 minutes after application. The same process happens with tattoo pigments. You will notice this when you are shading the eyebrows and completing passes. If you were to complete a pass on the first eyebrow and then wait a few minutes, you will notice that the shading will have oxidized slightly darker since you initially completed the pass. This is normal. Therefore, when we are shading the front expect oxidation. I recommend shading the front ombre until it is one shade or half of a shade lighter than “perfect” or “ideal.” This way when it oxidizes it doesn’t oxidizes darker than what we want. How much pigment oxidizes really depends from case to case. If you are ever unsure about whether you should stop shading the fronts or if you’ve shaded enough, my advice is to shade less. Give it some time to oxidize, by either moving on to the next pass on the other brow or working in another section, then coming back to double check the work. Within a few minutes, the shading for the front ombre should have oxidize and you will have a better understanding of how shaded the front ombre may be. If this tip helps a little, the next tip may help as well.
- Start with the front. Many PMU instructors teach beginner students to work from the tail forward to the front because it is the most beginner-friendly technique to avoid mistakes. However, it is not the only way. Truth be told, it almost doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you can achieve the same results. If you’re not experienced or skilled, I wouldn’t recommend starting anywhere, however, if you are able to control your pressure and you understand how to blend in shading, I recommend trying this: start at the front. Once you’ve outlined and you’re about to shade in the brows, simply start by doing some light layer of longer and quicker strokes in the front. I recommend doing about 50%-75% of saturation of the front ombre and then going to the tail and begin shading from the tail forward as usual. The advantage in beginning at the front first is that:
- Starting at the front first before you work on the shading allows for the front ombré to have time to oxidize. This means that by the time you get back to the front (shading from the tail to the front), your front ombré will have oxidized and the pigment and saturation will be more accurate. This prevents you from over-saturating the bulbs of the brows.
- The front ombre is the most exciting part, however, when you work from the tail to the front of the brows, you may be “exhausted” by the time you get to front. You may not consciously be aware of it, but after shading the rest of the brows, by the time you get to the front you may be less focused and more “fatigued.” By starting at the front of the brows first, this allows you to start the exciting part first. Starting at the front may encourage you to put more attention to detail when it comes to shading the ombré portion.
- Add some thinning solution (Permablend). This tip is only applicable for those who use Permablend pigments. A cool tip that might help you from over-saturating the fronts is to add any additional 1-2 drops of thinning solution to your pigment mixtures when you are shading the front ombré. The purpose of thinning solution is to lighten pigment load. This basically makes the pigment less opaque, so you have the opportunity to build up the color. A good example is when you apply makeup blush on your cheeks. You don’t want to put on too much blush all at once. You want to slowly apply little by little on the cheeks to avoid overdoing it. Adding more thinning solution to your pigment mixture when you shade the front ombre will help prevent you from shading the fronts too dark, too quickly.