Evaluating Your Client’s Skin Tone

Basic procedures for matching DMK Cosmetic Foundations to your client’s skin tone

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Materials needed:
Stainless Steel palette
Stainless Steel Spatula
All DMKC Foundations
Tissue or soft cloth
Foundation tester applicator (optional)

The hardest thing about colour matching is establishing a starting point or reference on the client’s skin tone. This must be done in order to correctly establish a match. What seems light to you might actually be medium or even dark for someone else. The references to ‘light and dark’ in this section refer to your perceived eye, your evaluation of skin and your knowledge of the DMK Cosmetics products. It is impossible to teach ‘light and dark’ but it is possible for you to establish your own parameters for evaluation purposes. There are two basic educational tools you must have in order to know how to match a skin tone.

  1. You must train your eye to recognise skin tones properly. This is not taught but practiced. Eventually your eye becomes trained out of habit. Some people get this quickly while others need more practice. It’s simply a matter of training and understanding colour and establishing your own reference points. You must be familiar with the DMK Foundation colours.
  2. You have to know the colours of your tools in order to know which colour to use on your client.

Even the most experienced professionals can have trouble selecting the right foundation because they do not understand the colours within the specific range. This takes practice and understanding of the colours in the DMKC line and how each colour works from light to dark.

This also applies to understanding the HiLites and LoLites and how they will react on skin (in either a positive or negative manner) by reflecting secondary colours that give a rose, pink or olive colour. Making mistakes and learning from them is the key to matching and evaluating skin tones to DMKC Foundations.

Tech Tip: The use of a gel hand sanitiser is important to help maintain hygiene. Note: Be sure to use a non-scented variety.

Step-by-step for matching skin tones

  1. Ensure your hands are clean. There is no need to use protective materials for most make-up applications. In the event you’re applying make-up to someone with any type of virus, you may want to wear protective gloves and a mask. You would include this as a part of the consultation.
  2. Ensure your client’s face is clean. If your client has just finish with a DMK treatment you are ready for the make-up application. If your client has not had a treatment you will need to clean the face with the correct DMK Alpha Products.
  3. Evaluate your client’s skin tones by observing the following:
    1. Evaluate your client’s major skin tone – ‘light and dark’. This is sometimes hard to evaluate. If you are comparing someone from Norway with someone from the Middle East, you will definitely know who is light and who is dark. If you are evaluating someone with Asian skin, you can tell if they are very light, light, medium-light, medium-dark or dark. Just set your own range (believe it or not). As you get more experience, your eye will become trained to notice the ‘light and dark’ values of skin. Take the example of a skin tone that is very pale. You know that each DMKC Foundation Series has 5 colours, each ranging from light to dark. We know the lighter skin tones (like the example above - very pale) are the lower numbers (1 and 2). Someone that had a skin tone that was darker might be in the same Series, but a 3 or 4.
    2. Next, evaluate your client’s undertones. Natural, pink, olive, or yellow. This is a little bit harder to do and involves training your eye to correctly notice undertones and not be ‘distracted’ by the skin tone. One easy way for beginners is to follow what DMKC calls the ‘DMKC Sun Tan Test’. Ask your client if they were to be exposed to the sun, what would happen. Most people who tan and have a beautiful olive based, brown tan would use a Foundation colour that was olive based and brown (with an absence of red or coral). If you notice the Foundation Series you would immediately eliminate the Naturelle Series because that Series has pink and coral in those Foundation undertone colours. The Shinto Series would be too yellow (because the tanned skin is brown/olive. Not brown/yellow). The right Series would be either the Olive Series of the International Series. In this case, since the tanned skin is brown/olive - without the red, we are pointing toward the International Series because that Series has an absence of red/pink undertones. The Olive Series has a very small amount. The Shinto has yellow/olive undertones for lighter skin tones and the Ebony Series has olive/yellow for darker skin tones.

Simple method of detecting undertones

What your client’s skin does after sun If the client’s skin turns red after sun
Stays reddish
If your client’s skin turns red after sun – then turns brown
Turns brown after time
If your client turns brown in the sun and never burns
That envious tan
Start with this DMK Foundation Series Try starting with Naturelle Series for blue and pink undertones Try the International Series or Olive Series for coral to light olive skin tones Try the Olive Series, Shinto or International Series for olive to golden undertones and use Ebony for darker skin
  1. Match the skin tone to the correct DMKC Foundation Series. After you establish the correct undertone, select the Series that most closely matches that undertone.
  2. Next match the ‘light and dark’ value from above (3a) for the correct colour value. After you do this, you should have the right colour Foundation. If you missed it, look at the colour of the Foundation against the skin and see where you went wrong. This is a very important step in training your eye to record errors so you can process that information to ensure you make better and quicker selections in the future. One common error that will happen is you might not detect lighter olive skin tones. Once you try the Foundation colour you suspect to be a match, the colour will run very ‘orangey’ on the skin. This obviously means your have selected the wrong colour. You should learn from that particular mistake and understand that the undertone you did not see was ‘bluish’ and that caused the make-up to go orange. If you then try the Olive Series you will notice it matches the skin tone and does not run orange.
  3. Take a DMK Spatula and palette and place a very small amount of the selected colour on the palette.
  4. Take the Spatula (or a tester applicator) and place a small amount of Foundation on the face above the jawbone. The Foundation should be at 100% at this point. Do not blend it into the skin. Look and evaluate how the Foundation matches the skin tone. If the colour is correct proceed with the application, if not, select another Foundation.
    Note: If using the tester applicator, discard it and use a new one for each colour.
    Sometimes, you might not be able to get an exact match. The colours you have placed on the face as testers might be blended together with a Sponge. If this is the case, your selected Foundation colour might be a blend of the Foundation colours you used on the face. Blend the Foundation colour together using the palette and Spatula. Be sure to mix enough Foundation colour on the palette together to complete the full application to the face. Record your results on your DMKC prescription pad for future reference especially if you are mixing.
  5. Clean the palette and Spatula with DMKC Brush Cleaner and a tissue or soft cloth.

Note: Remember DMK skin care goes hand in hand with the DMK Cosmetics range. For those unfamiliar with DMK skin care, this is the perfect opportunity to add an additional DMK client to the list!


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