It’s no secret that eyebrows are one of the most important features on our face. We all have different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures of brows—which means they can vary greatly, giving a distinct personality to a face.
A perfectly crafted brow makes a world of difference, so it’s no wonder we spend so much time perfecting them with our various gels, powders, pencils, and the like.
Now imagine this: you wake up in the morning with those impeccably perfected Instagram brows without ever lifting a finger.
Sound too good to be true? Say hello to the art of eyebrow tinting. Brow bars and salons all over are offering this holy grail service in conjunction with routine brow shaping—and the before and after photos of this killer face-changing duo are impressive, to say the least.
However magical the results, this brow treatment is considerably daunting, as a poor tint job can be pretty difficult to conceal.
The transformation can make a huge difference, but what’s the best way to tint and shape them? Should we have our brows professionally done or try to do this ourselves? Below, we broke down everything you need to know about eyebrow tinting from the experts themselves.
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What Is Eyebrow Tinting?
Eyebrow tinting is a technique used to semi-permanently color brow hairs. “It also leaves a stain of color of the skin that provides an element of filling in thinner spaces within the brow,” explains Jeseé McSpadden, a licensed esthetician and the owner of The Brow Lounge by Jeseé.
Tinting defines and shapes to enhance your natural brows. “The stain lasts approximately one week, while the actual color on the hair strands will grow out over the course of two to four weeks,” McSpadden explains.
Depending on the salon and the experience of the provider, you can expect to pay anywhere from about $7 to $30 per treatment, though some estheticians charge upward of $65.
When researching salons, be sure to look beyond just the price point, however. You’ll want to go to a safe, reputable office with a licensed professional—this treatment involves putting chemicals near the eyes, after all.
For those going the DIY route, you can purchase kits to tint your eyebrows at home for about the same cost as a single in-office treatment.
Benefits of Eyebrow Tinting
For those who prefer their brows to look full and want to simplify their routines, there are several reasons you may decide to give eyebrow tinting a try.
If you like the result, it may be easier than ever to get your brows looking just how you want them.
- Fuller-looking brows
- More youthful appearance
- Defines brow shape
- Darkens light brow hairs
- Results last up to a month
- Pain-free brow enhancement
- Symmetrical brows
“The biggest benefit is that you don’t need to fill your brows in, so it shortens your morning prep time,” McSpadden explains.
Full, natural-looking brows give the face an overall more youthful look: “The thicker the brow is. the more youthful you appear.”
Similar results can be said of microblading the eyebrows; however, this treatment can be much more expensive—and not to mention more painful—than brow tinting.
Benefit Cosmetics global brow expert Jared Bailey says tinting is a must-have service if you want fuller frames for your face. “Every brow is filled with soft and fine vellus hair that, when tinted, can create a fuller, thicker brow instantly,” he says.
“In addition to adding depth and dimension to a look, brow tinting can also add length to the end of a brow, where our hairs tend to be lighter and finer.
Over the course of three to four weeks, the tint slowly begins to fade away, so you don’t have to worry about a messy grow-out period like you do with hair color.”
McSpadden says—above all—to prepare for some serious brow compliments: “One of my clients told me after we did a tint on her brows that her girlfriends all thought she got a facelift. When done correctly, it’s just that good!”
How to Prepare for Eyebrow Tinting
Before committing to an appointment, it’s important to rule out any possible allergies. The skin around the eyebrows is thin and, therefore, may be more vulnerable to irritation and infections.
On top of this, many eyebrow and eyelash tints contain a common allergen called para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause severe reactions. To be extra safe, it’s recommended to do a patch test with the dye to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the chemicals.
You’ll also want to have an idea of what you want and communicate it with your provider. Think about how noticeable a result you desire and the color you’re going for.
Bailey notes that just a hint of custom tint will thicken patchy or thin brows: “For a more natural look, I recommend a color that mimics the deepest shade found in the hair on your head, and carry that color throughout the entire length of the brow.
This will give the brows a wash of fullness,” he explains. “For a little more definition, I would take it one to two shades deeper than the base tone of your hair. It’s the perfect way to add a bit more exuberance to any frame.”
Lastly, be prepared to be slightly stunned at the difference. “If you’re starting with very sparse brows or very blonde brows, the after can be a bit shocking,” McSpadden says.
“As long as you are going to a professional who is experienced and the desired look was communicated prior, then this shock will wear off. Just know that you look different to yourself—to everyone else, you have gorgeous brows!”