- Eyebrow tinting is the process of using semi-permanent brow-safe dye to color the brows and sometimes the skin underneath.
- Tinted brows can last up to a month, depending on the type of eyebrow dye you use.
- You can expect to spend as little as $20 to get your brows tinted, and it doesn’t require any aftercare.
Eyebrow tinting is the quick and easy solution to nearly invisible brows. It colors the brow hairs, as well as the baby hairs below them, and can even slightly tint the skin. This gives your face a better frame, especially if your brows don’t normally show up without makeup!
If you’d like to try DIY-ing this brow transformation, we’ve included our tips for applying a brow tint all by yourself. We then give a thorough guide about everything you need to know about eyebrow tinting, with the help of two experts: Danielle Boyer, a makeup artist and eyebrow pro that has worked for Anastasia Beverly Hills and Boom Boom Brow Bar in New York, and Shanna McWilliams, the owner of the fantastic MadLash Studio in Alexandria, Virginia.
In this article:
- What Is Eyebrow Tinting?
- How Long Does Eyebrow Tint Last?
- Is Brow Tinting Safe?
- How Much Does Brow Tinting Cost?
- How to Tint Eyebrows Safely?
- Eyebrow Tinting Aftercare & Maintenance
What Is Eyebrow Tinting?
Eyebrow tinting is the process of dyeing your brows and sometimes also dyeing the skin underneath them. It can be done with an eye-safe hair dye, henna-based hair dye, as well as some unique makeup products.
The reason why eyebrow tinting is so effective is simple, explains Boyer: “The same light vellus hair we have all over the face, we have throughout our brows. Clients are left looking like they have twice as much brow after all these tiny light hairs are picked up.”
While just about anyone (assuming they don’t have hair dye allergies) can do eyebrow tinting, it can be miraculous for some. “When growing brows in, tinting can help with the process so much! Allowing brows to look much fuller while growing in. It’s a total game-changer for blondes, clients with gray, and any brows, really!” Boyer says.
How Long Does Eyebrow Tint Last?
How long your eyebrow tinting will last strongly depends on the product you choose and how closely you stick to the aftercare.
- Makeup-style brow tints will last between 3-7 days.
- Professional eyebrow tinting with a regular eye-safe dye will last between 2-4 weeks, although any tint to the skin will only last a few days.
- Lastly, henna-based brow tinting will last the longest. The tattoo-like stain on the skin will last for 1-2 weeks, while the dye on the brow hairs will last 4-6 weeks.
Is Brow Tinting Safe?
“Brow tinting is totally safe with products being specifically formulated for use around the eye area,” explains McWilliams, although she does caution that allergies to the tint are totally possible.
If you have hair dye allergies or you’ve never dyed your hair and simply don’t know, she has a simple suggestion: “A patch test can be done prior to the cosmetic treatment to test for such reactions. It’s a great way to try before you buy.”
How Much Does Brow Tinting Cost?
As with all salon services, the cost of professional eyebrow tinting will vary from city to city and from salon to salon. Having a celebrity eyebrow stylist tint your brows will cost hundreds of dollars, while the aesthetician at the local strip mall might only charge $10-$20. Another factor that will influence the cost is whether you add other services, like brow threading or waxing.
How to Tint Eyebrows Safely?
Before settling on tinting your eyebrows at home, it’s worth noting that professionals generally caution against it.
“I think it’s best to go not only to a professional but to somewhere that specializes in brows or tinting,” Boyer says. “I have heard many horror stories from clients that had blonde or light brown brows whose brows were turned black.”
These kinds of troubles are even more likely to occur when you tint your brows by yourself, and especially if you choose the wrong tinting kit. If you’re committed to trying to DIY this, we do have some tips to help.
Some eyebrow tinting kits require mixing a color and developer together before you start, while others are just open and go. Make sure to read the instructions for the specific product you choose.
- Always start with clean skin and without makeup on, at least around your brows.
- Have a plan in place for what kind of eyebrow shape you would like to create with your tint, especially if you’ve selected a product that tints both the skin and the hairs. You can draw an outline around your brows, and then apply the tint within it if you’re worried about coloring outside the lines.
- To avoid getting any tint on your skin, also coat the skin around your brows with petroleum jelly. It’ll create a barrier and protect your skin from tint stains.
- Once you’re ready, apply the tint to your brows either with the included applicator or with a clean brow brush (a thin angle brush is best). The process is similar to applying a brow gel or pomade, although with hair dye-style tints, you need to be extra careful to cover each hair completely from all sides, especially when it comes to more stubborn gray hairs. To ensure this, first apply the tint starting at the front of the brows and working to the ends and then do a second, careful application from the tail back to the front to apply the tint against the direction of hair growth.
- Once your brows are covered in eyebrow dye, use a damp cotton bud to clean up any smudges on the skin and to make sure the perimeter of your brows is pristine. Next, wait for the tint to take hold, which can be anywhere from 3 minutes to two hours, depending on the specific tint you purchased.
- Once the time has passed, you can remove the tint. If you used a makeup tint, peel it off gently, while hair dye tints should be wiped away lightly with a damp cotton pad.
Eyebrow Tinting Aftercare & Maintenance
If you’re usually bad when it comes to following aftercare procedures, you’ll be happy to know that there’s not much to do after tinting your brows. “Whether done professionally or at home, the best thing about this service is its extremely LOW-maintenance,” Boyers says.
That said, she still has a few recommendations: “Once tinted, I just advise to avoid scrubbing your brows when washing your face.”
They both also recommend going easy with brow makeup since removing it will also take off some tint. That shouldn’t be a problem since, as Boyer enthuses about tinting, “3 to 4 weeks without having to fill in your brows… sign me up!”
Photos via @nikki_makeup, @leighdickson, Instagram