Subscribe to get our FREE PMU Liner-Shader Guide

Smooth Shading Techniques: The Power of Curved Magnum Needles in Permanent Makeup

As professional permanent makeup artists, we constantly strive to refine our skills and explore techniques to deliver outstanding results to our clients. In this educational article, we will discuss the art of smooth shading using curved magnum needles, sharing valuable insights and tips to help PMU artists elevate their shading game.

Understanding Curved Magnum Needles: Curved magnum needles are indispensable tools in the realm of permanent makeup shading. These needles are uniquely designed with a curved configuration, featuring a fan-like arrangement of grouped needles. The curvature facilitates optimal pigment distribution, making them highly effective for creating seamless gradients. The results are an airbrush type of pattern

Benefits of Curved Magnum Needles:

  1. Improved Efficiency: The curved shape of magnum needles enables artists to cover larger areas more efficiently. By maximizing the surface contact with the skin, shading procedures can be completed more quickly while maintaining consistent quality.

  2. Seamless Blending: One of the remarkable advantages of curved magnum needles is their ability to achieve seamless color blending. The curved configuration effortlessly blends pigments, ensuring smooth transitions between shades. This is particularly valuable when working on delicate areas like eyebrows, lips, or areola work where natural-looking results are of utmost importance.

  3. Gentle Application: Curved magnum needles offer a gentler application compared to other needle types. Their flexibility allows for a softer touch, minimizing trauma to the skin and resulting in reduced discomfort for the client. Furthermore, the gentle application helps promote quicker healing times.

Techniques for Mastering Smooth Shading:

  1. Needle Angle and Pressure: Consistency in needle angle and pressure is crucial for achieving impeccable shading results. Maintain an appropriate angle that allows the curved edge of the needle to make optimal contact with the skin. Adjust the pressure according to the desired density of the shade, applying lighter pressure for subtle transitions and slightly firmer pressure for more intense shading.   The soft shading angle varies (90-60 degrees) but is more about softly touching the skin which is different than packing color in with shovel movements at a steep angle and staying in the skin.

  2. Layering Technique: Layering is a fundamental technique when working with curved magnum needles. Start with a light layer of pigment and gradually build up the desired intensity by adding subsequent layers. This technique creates depth and ensures smooth transitions, avoiding any harsh lines or uneven patches. Magnums give the opportunity to build up layer of color but soft layering and watching the color appear is key. 

  3.  Pendulum and Oval Motions: 

    These are the 2 hand motions I use the most when tattooing with a curved magnum. However, don't limit yourself!  Stippling, brushing, etc. come in handy too.  Utilize a gentle oval motion while shading to evenly distribute the pigent across the skin's surface or the pendulum motions with soft landing and gradual take offs.  These techniques help prevent streaking or unevenness, ensuring a flawless and natural appearance. Maintain a steady hand and apply consistent pressure throughout the procedure. You can vary your size of ovals but be sure to overlap to avoid holes in the oval/circle movement. 

  4. Gradation and Transition: Pay careful attention to the natural contours of your client's features. Keep in mind the curvature of the lips and keep adjusting the needle so it is touching the skin consistently. Achieve smooth gradations by gradually transitioning and layering more or less times. Overlap strokes and work in small sections to seamlessly blend colors, ensuring a harmonious and natural-looking result. 

Conclusion: Implementing curved magnum needles and  proper shading techniques, permanent makeup artists can elevate their artistry and achieve remarkable results. The benefits of improved efficiency, seamless blending, and gentle application make curved magnum needles indispensable tools in our craft. 

Curved Magnum on Practice Pad

IG Curved Magnum Video on Lips

IG Curved Magnum Video on Brows


To your PMU success,

PMU Artist & Needle Specialist
Inside Needle Knowledge

Purchase the I.N.K. Course Now

IG Curved Magnum Video on Lips

IG Curved Magnum Video on Brows






50% Complete

Liner Shader Guide

This chart helps you pay attention to your hand speed, machine speed, and hand movements when using liners for a liner effect and shaders for a shaded effect.

It also shows how you can use:

  • Liners for a shaded effect 
  • Shaders for a liner effect

A great go-to chart is just the beginning!