Beauty Q&A: Brow Tinting

Dear Megan,

I recently heard of brow tinting. Is it safe? How long does it last? Can I do it myself?

– Patricia C.

Brow tinting seems to be waning in popularity with the rise of semi-permanent brow tattoos – or “3d microblading” – but brow tinting is a great option, especially if you’re:

  • allergic to brow wax
  • afraid of getting your brows threaded
  • still can’t perfect brow filling (or don’t want to do it EVERY day)

Don’t worry – brow tinting can still give you some seriously good looking brows.

Getting your eyebrows tinted is essentially the same thing as getting your hair dyed. You are just adding a dark color to the brows to make them more pronounced. “Tinting instantly makes you look groomed and adds more structure. You don’t have to fill them in every day or use powder, so it’s also convenient,” says Umbreen Sheikh, owner of Wink Brow Bar in NYC. (source)


Brow Tinting 101: The Procedure

Alright so you’ve done a few Google searches and found a reliable salon in your area with great reviews (this should be the first step ANY TIME you are going somewhere new or having something done – Yelp is ESSENTIAL).  So what can you expect?

Once you get to the salon, the esthetician will either use an eye patch or an eye mask to protect your eyes from the dye (although most dyes are vegetable based, and much safer than traditional hair dyes, you still don’t want to risk getting any in your eye). They will then apply a petroleum based lubricant (like Vaseline) on the skin around the brows to protect it from being dyed. The dye is applied to the brows (normally using a q-tip or spoolie) and then allowed to sit for 5-10 minutes before being rinsed off with soap and water. And boom! You’ve got dyed brows! How easy was that? (source)

Eyebrow tinting normally costs about $20 and needs to be touched up every 6-8 weeks depending on how fast the hair grows out or the dye fades.


Brow Tinting: Can You Do It At Home?

If you’re feeling particularly ambitious then sure you can try it. It’s a pretty simple procedure in general but you should be VERY careful – particularly because you can’t put a patch over your eyes to protect them AND carefully put dye on your brows at the same time, so you’re basically doing this sans-protection. I mean, you could, but who wants to do this blindfolded?

To DIY your brow tint, follow the same procedure as the salon. Just BE SURE you are using a vegetable based dye specifically for your eyebrows (like this one) and take extra measures to avoid getting it into your eyes. Because the eye is such a sensitive area you should be sure to use caution and go slowly when applying the dye. (source) Nobody wants dye dripping in their eyes!


Brow Tinting: The Risks

So this sounds really amazing and you’re ready to book your first appointment or order a kit online, but slow down. There is an elephant in the room we have not addressed yet.

Eyebrow and eyelash tinting is actually illegal in several states.

While this mostly is the result of some horrible eyelash tinting accidents, they have expanded it to the brows as well due to their proximity to the eye. So whether you decide to get your eyebrows tinted in a salon or at home you should 1) do a patch test to make sure you are not allergic to the dye and 2) always practice extreme caution. (source)


My Opinion: Brow Tinting

I’m going to be honest with you: I would never consider getting my own brows tinted (or 3d microbladed). 

You asked, I researched and answered, but that’s about as far as that goes for me. Call me a control freak, but I just don’t think the risk is worth it.

It’s just like lash extensions, in my opinion: every website (including WebMD) will tell you that it’s safe if done correctly. That’s because it is! 

But just like lash extensions, it’s all about “if a highly/properly trained aesthetician does it correctly.” I’ve had my eyelashes glued together enough times to know.. the risk is not zero.

So if you’re going to get it done: read reviews and be willing to pay top dollar. Please don’t DIY. Your eyes are too important.


Takeaways: Brow Tinting 

Don’t think eyebrow tinting is worth the risk? You can always use a lash serum like WINK to for fuller-looking brows (and lashes!) naturally.

If you want to try your hand at brow filling, check out this guide first. For more tips and tricks on getting the perfect brows you’ve always wanted, download a free copy of our E-Book: The Amalie Brow Bible (here).

*This blog is part of our Beauty Q&A series, where every Tuesday and Thursday our founder Megan answers your toughest beauty questions on the blog. Email your question to [email protected]* This blog contains affiliate links.

Our Perfect Brow Picks:

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

Leave a Comment