I have a confession to make: I hate doing anything to my eyebrows. For real, even combing my arches the tiniest bit or filling in my spare patches is just too much. That doesn’t mean my brows don’t need the help, though—trust me when I say they really do—but I’m also not ready to commit to microblading or brow extensions. So when my coworker—who, BTW, has perfect, natural-looking brows—told me she’s been getting her eyebrows tinted for years, I was very much intrigued.
Could an eyebrow tint be subtle enough that I wouldn’t have a complete nervous breakdown, yet make my brows look groomed enough like I actually tried? Could this be the answer to all of my brow woes? I went ahead and found out, learning every possible thing there is to know about eyebrow tinting.
Eyebrow tinting is preeetty intuitive: It’s a process where semi-permanent dye is smoothed over your brows to shape and define your natural arches. Unlike microblading—which is where itty-bitty hairs are tattooed onto your skin—eyebrow tinting is more about enhancing your natural brows (i.e., a brow tint isn’t going to cover any sparse patches or gaps, but it’ll help define the hair you do have). The process typically takes around 10 to 15 minutes at a salon but will likely take a bit longer if you’re attempting to DIY it at home (more on that later).
BTW: If you’re getting a professional brow tint, you can expect your technician to custom mix the dye to get you the right color (which is typically one or two shades lighter than your hair color). If you’re doing an at-home brow tint, you’ll need to buy the shade closest to your natural color and be extra cautious about how long you’re keeping the formula on (the longer it sits and develops, the darker it’s going to be).
How long does eyebrow tinting last?
Eyebrow tinting typically lasts for four to six weeks, during which the dye will slowly (and subtly) fade. Keep in mind that everyone’s hair reacts to the dye a bit differently, so you likely won’t know how long your brow tint will last until you try one. To make your tint last as long as possible, keep your brows completely dry for 12 hours following your appointment (yes, that includes washing your face), and during the entirety of your tint, it’s best to avoid oil-based skincare and makeup (both of which can make your dye fade faster).
How much does eyebrow tinting cost?
As with any beauty treatment, the cost of an eyebrow tint depends entirely on your salon. Here, eyebrow tints will typically cost between P500 to P1,500. Just keep in mind that ,you’ll definitely want to go to a clean, safe salon with licensed specialists—you are putting dye on your face, after all, so you don’t want to take any risks (even if, yes, that means you end up paying a little more for your treatment).
Is eyebrow tinting safe?
This is where eyebrow tinting gets a liiiittle tricky: Even though it’s a crazy-popular treatment, the FDA hasn’t approved any eyebrow-dye formulas, citing a potential risk of “eye injuries.” Just because it’s widely available doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be aware of what formula your technician is using (vegetable-based and natural dyes are pretty much the golden standard these days).
So before you book your eyebrow tint appointment, don’t be afraid to ask your technician tons of questions about the dye they use—if anything about the formula sounds off or sketchy, you should definitely rethink your appointment.
What are the best at-home eyebrow tints?
Yup, you can a hundred percent tint your eyebrows at home—so long as you buy the right kit and follow the instructions super carefully. If you’ve never had a brow tint, though, it might be smart to book your first appointment with a pro—that way you have a better sense of your ideal end results before you attempt to DIY it. Once you’re ready to give it a stab, check out one of these top-rated brow-tints.
Soooo...should I get my eyebrows tinted?
If you’re looking for a way to ~temporarily~ enhance your eyebrows, a tint is definitely worth trying—but if you’re after more dramatic and longer-lasting results, it’s best to look into alternatives like microblading. As long as you go to a salon with safe formulas and licensed technicians, there aren’t any major risks to consider when getting an eyebrow tint, so why not give it a go?
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.