Beauty Crew

Jazz Pampling

Absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know about at-home brow tinting

Lily Collins – image credit: Getty

Fact: When your brows are on point, your whole look is next level. And while the results speak for themselves every time you fill in and shape your brows, we bet you could gladly do without the added effort it takes to groom them daily. That’s why you need to learn how to tint your own eyebrows.

Eyebrow tinting at home is cheap, easy and dare we say it, life-changing. No need to book in a professional brow appointment every two months, and no need to fuss and finesse your brows with powders, pomades and pencils. Every. Single. Morning.

Instead, you just need to set aside 10 minutes every few weeks. And, instead of paying anywhere from $15 to $75 per appointment at a salon, at-home brow tinting costs less than $20 (and that includes an *entire* year’s supply of eyebrow dye!).

What is eyebrow tinting?

Much like how hair dye works, brow tinting coats your brow hairs in a semi-permanent colour. “By tinting the brow, you pick up the little hairs within the brow that perhaps have no colour, or are quite faint,” says brow artist Jazz Pampling, who recommends tinting for enhancing brow fullness. It’s also a great option for lightening or darkening the look of your brows.

How long does eyebrow tinting last?

Brow tinting gives longer-lasting results than your brow makeup products, and isn’t as scary as microblading, which uses tiny needles to deposit pigment to create the look of fine hairs, or brow tattooing, which permanently marks hair strokes onto the skin.

Results will vary depending on the eyebrow tinting kit you use and the individual, but most dyes will give you around six weeks of beautifully full and filled-in brows.

Good to know: If you want to dabble in brow tinting without committing fully, apply a product like Maybelline New York’s Tattoo Brow 3 Day Gel-Tint, which, you guessed it, will last for three days. You just apply it over your brows, leave it for 20 minutes, then peel off the gel to reveal bolder, fuller-looking brows.

Choosing the right brow colour

Pampling admits choosing the right shade when tinting your brows is tough – but the good news is there are no hard-and-fast rules. “I can use a brow tint colour on a client with blonde hair and then the same tint colour on a client with brunette hair colour,” shares Pampling. Her top tip is to start with a lighter colour, as brow tint shades are often darker than you’d expect. “If the colour is not dark enough, you can always try a darker colour next time,” she adds.

How to get darker eyebrows: If you want to make a statement with darker brows, or simply give them more oomph than your natural hair colour is currently providing, then opt for a brow tint that’s within one to two shades.

With any brow tinting at home, try the colour for about a minute on the brow, before committing to the whole treatment time. This way if the colour is too dark, it won’t have enough time to really sink into the hair.

How to lighten eyebrows: If you want to go lighter, you’ll need a bleach cream rather than an eyebrow tint. While bleaching your brows may sound even more scary than tinting, know that you don’t have to go so light that they disappear into your skin. If you go just a few shades lighter than your natural hair colour, it can actually create a beautiful sun-kissed look that softens your features.

What do you need to tint your brows at home?

Really, all you need to tint your brows is an eyebrow dye kit – as it has everything you need in the one box. Generally, it will include a brow colour, a developer, a mixing bowl and an application tool. Our top picks are Eylure Pro-Brow Dybrow and 1000 Hour Brush-In Lash & Brow Dye Kit.




How to tint eyebrows

#1 / Start with clean brows
Before you begin, you need clean, dry brows. Soak a cotton pad in micellar water and sweep it over your brow hairs to remove any oil or makeup residue. To protect the surrounding area from being stained by the dye, apply a layer of Vaseline or a clear balm.

#2 / Mix your eyebrow dye
In a small mixing bowl (your kit will come with one), pour in the recommended amount of dye and developing drops and combine them using the stirring tool provided.

#3 / Dye your brows
Use the spoolie or application tool provided to paint the dye over each brow. Work it back and forth over the brows to coat all sides of the hair, before combing the brows into your desired shape.

TOP TIP: Use a brow brush to paint the dye on as if you were filling in your brows normally. It shapes the brows for a more precise application.

#4 / Clean up any mistakes
If you’ve applied dye to any areas accidentally, simply grab a clean cotton bud and wipe it off. The Vaseline will help the colour come off easily without the need to rub.

#5 / Remove the dye
Once the recommended processing time has passed (usually 10 minutes), it’s time to remove the dye from your brows. All you need is a wet cotton ball to wipe it off and you’re done!

How to remove eyebrow tint

In case things go wrong, it’s always good to know upfront how to fix any possible mistakes. The first time your tint your brows, you may second-guess your decision to DIY. Maybe they’re darker than you’re used to or you didn’t get the colour right. If this is the case, try not to panic or do anything drastic. In fact, we highly recommend giving yourself a week before you try and remedy the situation. The colour can take time to settle and will naturally fade on its own every time you shower and cleanse your face, so you might find a little patience is all you need to fall in love with the look.

If you get dye on your skin during the application process, the sooner you get onto it the better. So make sure you give your brows a good once-over immediately after applying the dye, then again post-removing it. If you spot any stains, use an oil or silicone-based makeup remover to clean the area.

As we mentioned before, the more you wash and cleanse your face, the faster the colour will fade. But if you want to know how to fade eyebrow tint faster, reach for a clarifying shampoo; they’re designed to strip away residue build-up in your hair, and work in a similar way on your brows.

When all else fails, seek professional help from a brow expert to get your brow colour back on track.

Want a more permanent solution for achieving thicker brows? Try henna brows – you can read up on it, and other brow treatments, here.