Makeup » What Is Eyelash Tinting? Lash Tinting Pros, Cons & Practices

What Is Eyelash Tinting? Lash Tinting Pros, Cons & Practices

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  • Eyelash tinting is the process of using a semi-permanent dye to darken the lashes for a more defined and intensified look without the need for mascara.
  • The tinting process takes no more than 30 minutes without hurting and costs around $45 at the salon.
  • Lash tint lasts around 6 to 8 weeks, with minimal care required.

Do you wanna skip the mascara for a few days – maybe even a couple of weeks? If so, an eyelash tint will keep your lashes defined without the need for makeup! It’s a great service, especially for folks who have naturally pale lashes, but it can also give a small boost when the lashes are naturally dark. 

I’m a brunette, so I didn’t expect much when I tried eyelash tinting. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my lashes actually looked darker and longer after I had it done. The lashes do have some color variance, and the tint darkened my lashes all the way up to the tip, where I never realized they were actually lighter. The results were very subtle, but I still enjoyed them.

If you think you’d like to try lash tinting yourself, we’ve collected all the information you need to know, whether you’re curious about doing it yourself or getting it done by a professional! From costs to safety tips to a clear explanation of the benefits of lash tinting, we cover it all.

In this article:

What Is Eyelash Tinting?

Eyelash tinting is a service that colors the lashes with a dye designed specifically for the eye area. It’s simply a dye job for the lashes! The permanent tint adds dark pigment to the lashes, making them darker from root to tip.

Just like with hair dye, lash tinting is done by combining a color with a hydrogen peroxide developer. The developer activates the color and allows it to take hold over the hair. Lash tinting is normally done with the same kind of dyes used for brow tinting, although the color chosen for the lashes is usually black, while browns and blondes are a better fit for the brows. 

Lash Tinting Vs. Lash Lift Vs. Lash Extensions

Lash tints, lifts, and extensions are three of the most common and popular eyelash services you can get done at the salon. Each one is a little different, but the cool thing is that they can all be done together!

  • As we already explained, eyelash tinting just makes the lashes darker. It doesn’t increase their thickness or alter them in any other way.
  • An eyelash lift is a perm for the lashes, using chemicals that break up the bonds in the hair, so it can be reformed in a more curved and lifted shape. It’s a great choice for those who have very straight or downturned lashes.
  • Lash extensions are the most dramatic eyelash service, making it seem as though you’re wearing false lashes. With eyelash extensions, lash-like fibers are glued to the existing lashes with a long-lasting glue. It lasts for about 3-4 weeks, while tints and lifts last up to 8 weeks, and unlike the other services, it’s a little fussier. The lash extensions can fall off easily, and it doesn’t allow you to wear mascara. 
What Is Eyelash Tinting?

Eyelash Tinting Pros & Cons

To keep things simple, here are the quick pros and cons of eyelash tinting to help you make up your mind if this service is right for you.


  • Gives darker, more defined looking lashes
  • Totally transforms the appearance of those with naturally pale lashes
  • Nice alternative to daily use of mascara, especially before vacation or if you have sensitive eyes
  • Requires very minimal aftercare
  • Quick and easy procedure


  • Treatment is done close to the eyes, so allergic reactions can lead to very serious side-effects, including blindness
  • Very subtle if your lashes are already dark
  • Doesn’t volumize or lengthen the lashes the way a mascara would

Is Lash Tinting Safe?

Anything that’s done so close to the eyes has some inherent risks, and as a result, some countries and states have gone so far as to ban the service. The US FDA has not approved any dye products for use around the eyes, and they recommend against the service.

Most people who get an eyelash tint done don’t experience any negative reactions, or if they do, it’s just mild irritation that goes away after a short period of time. However, in some cases, negative reactions can have serious repercussions.

Eyelash Tinting Pros & Cons

The worst situation can occur if you have an allergy to one of the ingredients in the tint (usually to phenylenediamine, shortened to PPD). An allergic reaction around the eyes can lead to swelling, redness, pain, and irritation. If the allergy impacts the thin layer over the eyes, the eyes can burn and feel itchy, and in the worst-case scenario, the reaction can cause blindness. Because of this, we stress the importance of a patch test on a small spot of the skin before getting an eyelash tint done.

There is a slightly larger risk of doing eyelash tinting at home since when you do it yourself, you are less able to prevent the tint from getting in the eyes, so we’d always recommend going in the salon route. Salon professionals undergo training so they are better able to do the lash tinting safely.

How to Tint Eyelashes

The process of eyelash tinting is a quick one, especially when it’s by a well-practiced professional. From start to finish, it can take as little as 20 minutes! It’s the kind of service you can get done during your lunch break, even. 

Eyelash Tinting Tools

These are the items and tools needed for a great lash tinting experience.

  • An eyelash tinting kit with color and developer
  • A few cotton buds and cotton pads
  • Petroleum jelly
  • A small brush or clean mascara wand
  • Cool water
  • Oil-free makeup remover

Eyelash Tinting Process

  • If it’s your first time getting a lash tint done, make sure to do a patch test a few days before tinting your lashes to make sure you’re not allergic to the dye. The tint should be applied to a tiny patch of skin where an allergic reaction won’t be a major issue, like behind the ear or on the forearm and left on for 10 minutes or so before getting wiped off. This will tint the skin a little, but the tint will fade from the skin after a couple of days. If you are allergic to anything in the tint, you will notice some sort of irritation occur within 24 hours.
  • If you do have a negative reaction, then lash tinting is not for you! Clean the skin with cool water and apply a soothing ointment or even a corticosteroid if necessary. If your skin does not react, then you’re a perfect candidate for eyelash tinting!
  • When it’s time for the eyelash tinting, there’s a bit of prep to do. If you normally wear contacts, take them out, and remove all makeup from the eye area with an oil-free makeup remover.
  • Most eyelash tinting kits come with a color and developer. An equal amount of color and developer needs to be mixed together in a small jar until it makes an even paste. Sometimes, the color is thicker in texture, while the developer is thinner. You may need to add more color if the mixture is too liquidy to make it thicker and avoid having it run into your eyes.
  • To ensure the skin around the eyes doesn’t get stained from the lash tint, petroleum jelly should be applied with a cotton bud all over the eyelid and the under-eye area.
  • Next, a protective pad of some sort should be applied on top of the petroleum jelly, both above and under the eyes. Some kits come with thin protective pads made of paper or fabric, but a damp cotton pad cut in half will work best because it’s thicker, and it adheres more easily.
  • With the eyes closed tightly, the lash tint can finally be applied. It can be applied with a cotton bud, but a small, synthetic makeup brush will offer the most control. It should be applied starting at the roots, as close to the lash line as possible without actually touching the skin and then brushed upwards towards the tips of the lashes.
  • Once the lashes are thoroughly covered in tint, it’s important to wait for 10-12 minutes with the eyes tightly shut. This will allow the tint to take hold.
  • Finally, when the time has passed, the tint can be wiped off with a cotton pad dampened with cool water. It’s important to wipe in gentle, downward motions while the eyes are shut to make sure that none of the tint gets into the eyes.
  • Once the eyelash tint is thoroughly removed, the pads can be taken off of the eyes, and the petroleum jelly can be wiped away.
  • That’s it! You will now have gorgeously defined and darkened lashes.
How to Tint Eyelashes

How Long Does a Lash Tint Last?

Eyelash tinting usually lasts between 6-8 weeks. As with other eyelash services, the lash tint will last as long as your natural lash cycle. We naturally lose a few lashes every day, and by the time a month or two passes, we have a brand-new set of lashes. The tint itself is usually permanent, but it will be mostly gone after a month because most of those original lashes will be gone.

How to Dye Eyelashes

Eyelash Tinting Aftercare and Maintenance

One of the best things about eyelash tinting is just how little effort you need to put in once it’s done. For the first 24 hours after tinting your lashes, try to avoid allowing anything to come into contact with the eye area, including water, makeup, makeup removers, and even steam from the sauna or chlorinated water from a pool.

In general, scrubbing or fussing with your eyes when removing makeup or washing your face will speed up the fading of the tint, so you’ll want to limit wearing makeup as much as you can.

Sun exposure and heat treatments will also speed up the fading of the lash tint, just like it would speed up hair dye fading. Avoid using heated eyelash curlers and wear a hat and sunglasses if you’ll be spending a lot of time out in the sun.

Eyelash Tinting Costs at the Salon

Depending on where you live and the type of salon you choose, a lash tint will cost between $15 and $45 per treatment. Eyelash tinting is the kind of service that combines really well with other beauty treatments, so salons will often offer it at a discount when you get a facial or a brow shaping, for instance.

Photos via @leighdickson, Instagram