Permanent Makeup Pigments

How To Change

Permanent Makeup

Pigment Brand

With As

Few Hitches As Possible

No Matter Which Pigment Brand You Currently Use

(Or Pigment Brand You Plan To Switch To)

This Guide Is For YOU!

Why change pigment line?

It’s important to know before we begin that there is no such thing as a perfect pigment.

The skin is a living canvas and has many characteristics, and different permanent makeup pigment lines may be better suited for those characteristics than others AND/OR the techniques we are using in those skins.

Maybe you learned with a certain permanent makeup pigment range and want to broaden your horizons. Maybe you are frustrated by your current range? Maybe you just feel it’s time for a change?! I personally learned with LI Aqua Pigments, and have used many, many brands over the years!

Maybe you are wanting to switch from organics to in-organics or over to hybrids?

My all time favorite ranges are those from Li Pigments, BUT this guide is designed to help you to move FROM or TO ANY pigment line 😀

You may also find a use for more than one pigment line in your arsenal

Example: I may use a different pigment line in corrections of old faded salmon brows than I would on virgin skin wanting hairstrokes.


Li have a number of ranges:

Li Aqua (In-Organic)

Mainly in-organic, highly concentrated with a water-based formulation, the Aqua collection from Li Pigments have a smooth, creamy base for effortless implantation into the skin.

LI Loaded (Organic)

Organic: An innovative collection of 15-shade organic brow pigments, Loaded by Li Pigments offer a perfect solution. Highly concentrated for a smooth consistency

Li Aqua Euro (Hybrid)

Li Pigments EURO Range offersa wide variety of versatile pre-neutralized colorants that produce beautiful PMU results for all skin types and techniques. The unique and highly concentrated formulas allow for easy implantation with minimal mixing required.

Know what you are already using -

Before you embark on a pigment change, do you know what you are already using? Are you using Organics (carbon based)? In-organics (iron oxide based)? or Hybrid? They will all act differently in the skin, so it’s worth knowing what you are using and how it may be similar or may differ from your proposed new range.

Know what you a moving to -

As in the previous section, know what you are using and what you plan on moving to….this will help you to understand the effects that it may need on your technique to get the best from the pigment and what to expect from the heal and long term aging.

Why is this important? Just like if a traditional classic artist changes the brand or type of paint they use, we can expect there to be a little learning curve. Oils and watercolours are both great mediums but are not the same in the way they feel or act on canvas. If you know the similarities or differences between the ranges then this learning curve is easier to predict and easier to navigate.

Implantation -

If you are switching from an in-organic line to an organic line, you may need to saturate less, and/or work in fewer passes and or dilute your pigments. This is because Organics tend to implant easier as the carbon molecules that make them up implant quicker into the skin.

If are switching to an in-organic line from an organic you MAY have to layer a little more colour into the skin for your desired effect. Using a larger needle configuration (a 3rl instead of a 1rl for instance) or doing an extra layer or so may be required. In-Organics have slightly larger particle sizes and so a little more work is helpful with them. This may be most marked on the first pass - so check your work before you wipe away your mapping, so you do not get any nasty suprises! 

If you are switching to a hybrid line, you should find yourself somewhere between in-organics and organics with how they implant, but usually the addition of a little carbon makes them easy to work with.

Fade off -

In-organic pigments tend to have less colour fastness in the skin than organics pigments....In-organics are inherantly less vibrant than Organic Pigments.

Using an In-organic pigment (as long as its not implanted too deep or over saturated), is great for artists that want to be able to refresh their work every few years without having to fight old pigment left in the skin. This also makes in-organic pigments more forgiving for beginners.

Organic pigments tend to have more longevity in the skin, because of the carbon element. This can also make them appear greyer over time.

Hybrids tend to have medium colour fastness - as they have both in-orgnaic and organic elements.

Healed results -

Whether you’re changing from in-organic pigment to organic pigment, vice versa, or just from brand to brand, it can take a while to decipher how your heel results look on different skin types and skin tones, so always take a "less is more" approach until you are sure of your heals.

Thickness - if you are used to using a thin pigment, a thicker pigment may require a needle which is slightly shorter in hang/length OR it could benefit from a little dilution, just too wet it up, loosen the flow and make it run through the needle cartridge easier. If your pigment is highly pigmented a drop or two of dilution solution into a full pigment cap shouldn’t dilute the intended shade.

Be sure to check if you are diluting that you have a compatible dilution solution. Some pigments are water based and others glycerin based. Soft Fx dilution is aqua based and can be used with all Li pigments including the Monica Ivani Pigment Series and most other aqua/water based pigments. 

If you are used to using a thick pigment, and are moving your something thinner there are some practicalities, like whether you choose to use a pigment ring or a pigment pot, so that your pigment doesn’t spill on the floor or your subject.

Colour choice -

If you are currently using an organic pigment, the larger component of carbon, can make these colors fade very cool over time. if switching to an in-organic pigment, you might expect for your results to be less cool, and less saturated overtime.

If you are using an in-organic pigment. The lack of carbon black can mean that these stay warmer and truer for longer.

Learn Your Colours -

Make swatches of both your new and your old lines - do you understand & know your colours? Colours will often look very different in the bottle or on the skin compared to how they will heal.... so KNOW what to expect from your line.

Make sure you get the any color charts, read any available knowledge and take any available courses that are available from the manufacture and make your own color swatches.

Color swatches will give you visual education on your new colours and allow you to know, and understand them, without the complexity of skin types, techniques and skin tones getting in the way.

What Colours To Choose -

Know that you don’t need ALL colours! Usually 4-6 colours from a range is fine.

Often different ranges can have lots of different colors available. It’s usually not essential to have all of a range. Picking some good core colours, can be a lovely way to choose a new brand or a new range without making an excessive investment. SPEAK WITH YOUR DISTRIBUTOR who can often help you make good choices about which colours to choose to begin with

Good choices would be a classic light brown, which can be used on blondes and fair candidates, a medium brown, and a dark brown. Mixing these together, should enable you to create almost any color that you like.

It’s also useful for you to have an modifier or something warm as most clients tend to have a tendency to heal a little cool or ashy overtime

LI Pigments Colour Chart Guide Permanent Makeup Microblading Supplies Aqua

What NOT To Do 

Don’t change needles/blades, machine, or aftercare. These things all make up part of your "receipe" for your permanent makeup results, so don't change these things at the same time as your pigment line. This way when your heals come back, you can be sure changes are down to pigment and not technique or needle type, and ou can adjust your working technique accordingly. Great record keeping, photos and notes are always helpful too.

A Note on Safety & Testing 

Takes YEARS for pigment house to test a new lines. We love a pretty heal a few weeks out, but the real test is time in the skin. All pigments will shift over time and potentially need some modifying over time.

Will your new permanent makeup pigment brand soften enough to leave room in the skin to make these changes? … and if not how does it perform under laser?

We can tell a little bit about this by knowing the formulations well - pigment makers like LI Pigments have over 30+ years of knowledge when it comes to their ranges.

Alice Kingdom is a well known permanent makeup trainer, and international speaker.

If you would like more information about the contents of this article, or about how to make pigment choices we would love to hear from you!