As a makeup artist, it is expected that you have some understanding of colour, so you can colour match correctly and create the best colour selection or scheme for your clients. A makeup artist should be able to tell the difference between two shades of brown, even if one has more red than yellow. However, can a makeup artist reproduce these shades of brown or a foundation shade, accurately and consistently each time?
The short answer is NO.
While the human eye can see colour difference, it's terribly unreliable when it comes to matching colours and reproducing them. Yet this is the instrument that makeup professionals rely upon when it comes to matching and recreating foundation shades. Even a colour-trained eye has problems seeing colour consistently, and to remember what colours to manually mix to recreate an accurate match is even more of a challenge.
There are thousands of discriminable colours but colour memory is very limited. Research suggests that people group colours into about 11 categories: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, brown, orange, purple, pink and grey. Memory will easily distinguish between colours of different categories (red vs. blue) but will have a very difficult time distinguishing shades within a category (blue-green vs. blue-violet.). This presents a major problem when it comes to skin tones that fall in between categories.
Colour memory also has some biases. We have often heard one professional say to a customer, “you have warmer yellow tones.” And then another professional says, “you are olive.” These opinions make it difficult to describe what skin tone the customer actually has, especially when the standardised colour of an olive is green or black. Such generic colour terms and lack of standardized colour terminology proves there is an unsettling gap of colour consistency within the industry. Without colour consistency, the industry really needs to be concerned about how far it lags behind when it comes to providing accurate foundation shades.
The only way to really define a customer’s skin colour is to measure the surface of the skin using technology that defines the colour numerically. Not only does this technology provide a more reliable way to measure colour, it also saves considerable time and money creating and recreating base colours.
Did you know that it can take a makeup artist up to 30 minutes or more to manually test and retest foundation in order to find a shade that is close to your real skin tone?
This is no longer acceptable in a digital world where customers are switched on to the latest in beauty advancements. Customers want the best that colour science has to offer without any inaccuracies or inconsistencies. Colour technology like our MADE TO ORDER PROGRAM allows one to accurately match within seconds. It also provides the recipe to custom formulate the right shade, bringing an end to the guessing game days of randomly selecting and mixing bases.
With handheld spectrocolorimeters like our Digital Colour Referencing Tool (DCRT), beauty apps and colour mixing programs like our MADE TO ORDER PROGRAM, customers spend less time worrying about sifting through generic pre-made shades that never match. More focus is spent on the quality of a formulation and its benefits, which is a core principle of EVE Custom Cosmetics.