Home Eye Care Cosmetic | Eyebrow tinting

What is eyebrow tinting?

woman getting eyebrow tinting

Eyebrows are an important facial feature that frame the eyes and highlight a person’s bone structure. While eyebrow gels, pencils, tattoos and serums can help enhance the appearance of your eyebrows, eyebrow tinting is a semi-permanent option that doesn’t require the pain or invasiveness of microblading.

What is eyebrow tinting?

Eyebrow tinting is the shaping, defining and enhancing of the eyebrows using semi-permanent dye. With eyebrow tinting, a professional can control the brow’s appearance by darkening the fine hairs that surround the outer part of the eyebrows, as well as the little hairs at the inner and outer corners of it. 

The brow tint is made from a semi-permanent vegetable dye or henna that is formulated to match your natural eyebrow color. Eyebrow tinting can be done in a salon or at home with a DIY kit, and can make the eyebrows look thicker, younger and more shapely.  

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Benefits and risks

Like most cosmetic procedures, eyebrow tinting has benefits, as well as risk factors and potential side effects. It’s important to do proper research and planning before having any procedure — even a minimally invasive one like eyebrow tinting — done to your face.

Benefits of eyebrow tinting

  • Pain-free process

  • Eyebrows appear fuller, better defined and more symmetrical

  • Immediate difference in brow appearance

  • Smudge-proof results remove the need for “filling in”

  • Results last up to six weeks

Side effects and risks of eyebrow tinting

Before tinting your eyebrows — either at home or at a salon — check the label and ingredients list of the dye being used and make sure it’s been FDA-approved. Doing a patch test on an area besides your face is also recommended to help ensure it won’t cause irritation.

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What to expect from an eyebrow tinting appointment

When you first arrive at your eyebrow tinting appointment, a specialist will have a consultation with you. They will ask a series of questions that will help them determine if you’re a good candidate for eyebrow tinting. 

You will also discuss details about how you want your eyebrows to look, such as the desired shape, thickness and darkness of your brows, to ensure you get the results you’re looking for.

How long does it take?

The tinting process only takes around 15 minutes to complete. The specialist will clean your brows and the surrounding area, then apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly around the eyebrows to prevent any unwanted staining.

Your custom eyebrow shade will then be mixed to create the dye. Depending on how unique your natural eyebrow color is, the specialist may have to blend several colors together to achieve a perfect match.

They then apply the dye to the eyebrows — first in the direction of hair growth, then in the opposite direction of hair growth — and let it set for several minutes. How dramatic or dark you want your brows determines how long they leave the dye on: Darker eyebrows require more time while lighter eyebrows need less time.

Once your eyebrows are the desired color, the specialist will use a damp paper towel to wipe away any excess dye along with the petroleum jelly. It’s common to notice dye on the skin underneath your eyebrows; within a few days, this should wash off. 

Eyebrow tinting cost

The cost of eyebrow tinting ranges from $15 to $40 per session, depending on what specialist you go to. Please keep in mind that getting a “good deal” on a service like this is not always the best option. Doing proper research, looking at salon portfolios, and sleuthing through customer reviews is recommended before trusting just any salon with your beautiful face.


Once you’ve had your eyebrows tinted, it’s important to keep them dry for 12 to 24 hours afterward. 

To make sure you get the most life out of your tint, avoid rubbing, scrubbing or scratching your eyebrows. It’s also recommended that you stop using any oil-based facial products and replace them with gel- or cream-based alternatives.

Chemicals found in retinols and retinoids should also not be used around the eyebrows, as this skin is thin and sensitive and may become irritated.  

How long does eyebrow tinting last?

If you follow your aftercare instructions carefully, the tint should last between three and six weeks. Touch-up appointments are encouraged every four to six weeks to keep your eyebrows looking flawless.

Does tinting your eyebrows damage them?

Usually, no. Eyebrow tinting is relatively safe, as long as there are no harmful chemicals used in the dye. However, if you don’t do a patch test beforehand and it turns out you’re allergic to one of the dye ingredients, it could cause burning, irritation and, in severe cases, eyebrow hair loss.

It’s important to communicate any known allergies you have with the eyebrow tinting specialist before they apply the dye. Performing a patch test helps ensure your skin will respond well to the dye, and reduce the risk of any adverse reaction or eyebrow damage. 

Eyebrow tinting at home

It’s highly recommended that eyebrow tinting be left up to the specialists. Salons have higher-quality products and experts who are more likely to give you the results you want. Attempting to tint your eyebrows at home can lead to injury, irritation and a giant mess. 

If you’re a DIY queen and can’t be convinced to have a professional do the job, it’s important to only use products that are meant for the face and eye area. Ardell and BaeBrow are just two brands that offer at-home eyebrow tint kits. 

And remember, even if you’re tinting your own brows, it’s still important to perform a patch test and apply Vaseline or a heavy face cream around your brows to prevent unwanted staining.

READ MORE: Brow lamination

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