Save Your Pennies - This Is One Treatment You Can Do Yourself: A Step-by-Step How To Tint Your Eyebrows & Eyelashes
There are a few beauty treatments, especially maintenance treatments, that because of easily accessible home gadgets and professional grade products you can now very easily do yourself at home. Now, we’re not talking tackling a full-on Brazilian - even we would struggle there - but since learning how to tint our eyebrows and eyelashes back in the day at beauty school, we've been doing them ourselves ever since.
Semi-permanently tinting your eyelashes and eyebrows will add depth and definition to your eyes and face and will save you bags of time when applying makeup. Usually the tint lasts about 3-5 weeks or slightly less if exposed to the sun regularly or if you use resurfacing products with AHA's, for example. Even more reason we'd much rather do it ourselves as and when and have an extra £20-£30 to spend on more beneficial beauty treatments.
1. WHERE TO GET THE TINT?
There are plenty of eyelash and eyebrow tints in pharmacies and even supermarkets now. Boots and Superdrug stock brands like Eylure and Colorsport but these seem like a bit of a swindle to us given the cost vs. amount of product + effectiveness. We did a quick poll in our office and the majority of our aestheticians use RefectoCil dye and 3% Hydrogen Peroxide Solution. It used to be that you could only order professional tint as a certified therapist directly from companies like Beauty Express and Ellisons. Now, RefectoCil is widely available on Amazon and a tube will last you a good 6 months. Another brand that we'd recommend is Combinal which is also available on Amazon.
For applying the tint, it can be worthwhile buying a thin brush, either a lipbrush or similar. Just use an old ramequin or small dish to mix the dyes, there’s no need to buy a special bowl, just as long as it's not metal. You'll also need some petroleum jelly - Vaseline or any brand will do - it’s just to project the skin around the eyes from the tint.
The area around the eyes is super sensitive and only dyes we've mentioned that are specifically designed for tinting the lashes and brows should be used ie. don't go putting hair dye anywhere near your eyes!
2. WHAT COLOUR TO GET?
Tints come in a range of colours ie. blue, brown, black, grey, blue/black, grey. Another reason to order single tubes instead of pre-made packs from a commercial store is so you can order a few colours and mix and match where necessary. It will be trial and error for your specific hair colour but for example:
Eyelashes = Blue/black or Black + developer
Blonde Hair or Red Hair Brows = Light brown (develop for 1 minute instead of 2-3) + developer
Dark Brown/ Black Hair Brows = Brown mixed with a smidgen of Black + developer
The developer is used to activate the dye and is generally hydrogen peroxide. It will usually be stated that it's 3% or 10-volume strength - anything greater should be avoided. Always remember to place the cap back on the activator immediately or peroxide may lose its strength.
3. START WITH BROWS OR LASHES?
If you've never had tinting done before or it's the first time you're using a certain brand we'd recommend a 24 hour patch test behind the ear first. Also, if you're wearing contact lenses, it's best to remove these first.
Lashes take longer than brows (about 10-15 mins vs. 1-3) so we recommend always starting with lashes, follow by applying and removing eyebrow tint and then remove lash tint. Now, it’s important to note that we've had years of experience on ourselves and on clients and doing your own tints can still get a little messy at the best of times. So if you're a beginner, we'd recommend completing your lashes first and then going onto your brows once removed - just until you get the hang of it!
4. TINTING YOUR EYELASHES
Cleanse away every scrap of makeup on your face and eyes.
Using a cotton bud apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly directly onto the eyelid just above the top eyelashes. Be extra careful not to get any petroleum jelly on the lashes themselves or the tint won’t take. Then apply a thick layer of petroleum jelly directly under the lower lashes and spread it out from the corner of the eye towards the hairline. This will protect your skin from staining and becoming irritated by the tint. You can use eyesheilds or wafer thin cotton pads but it can be too fiddly and a thick layer of petroleum jelly works well if you're careful not to get it on the lashes.
Mix about 5mm of dye - either one colour or a combination of colours and add about 2-3 drops of developer and mix into a smooth cream.
With the thin brush, carefully apply the tint to each lash from the root to the tip and from the corner of the eye to the outer lashes. Avoid any contact with the eye or skin around the eye. Once you've applied enough tint to both eyes, top and bottom lashes you can either go on to your eyebrows or rest for approximately 7-10 minutes.
If any of the tint gets near the eyes it will sting and can be very painful. If this happens, remove immediately with damp cotton pads and splash eyes with water.
5. TINTING YOUR EYEBROWS
Brush the eyebrows into shape with a brow brush. To avoid skin staining you can apply petroleum jelly around the outline of the eyebrow but you can also neatly tidy the tint into shape as you go with a cotton bud.
Mix your brow dye and developer as before but be aware that it’s likely to be a slightly darker colour to your brows eg. blue/black rather than brown/black.
Using your thin applicator brush apply to the eyebrows evenly on each side.
6. REMOVING THE TINT FROM YOUR EYEBROWS
Eyebrow tint will develop in no time at all, so to avoid the slug look, as soon as you've finished applying the second eyebrow remove the dye from the first eyebrow with a damp cotton pad and repeat on the other side. This should result in the brows being relatively even.
Once removed the colour may develop a little further overnight but once you've cleansed in the morning they'll look more natural. If when you remove the tint you find it's way too dark already then cleanse immediately and sweep over the brows with eye make-up remover.
Top tip: You can leave the ‘wings’ of your eyebrows for a little longer to add more definition & frame to the face.
7. REMOVING THE TINT FROM YOUR EYELASHES
This will sting a little especially the first time you do it. It’s important to remove the tint one eye at a time and then rinse both eyes really well with water flushing out any residual tint.
Taking a damp cotton pad gently wipe away any tint from the lower lashes. Close your eyes and wipe away any from the top lashes. Repeat on the other eye and then splash both eyes with water quite a few times. Wipe both eyes again with damp cotton pads to remove any lingering tint and you're good to go.
Top tip: As long as there's no irritation, it's easier to shape your eyebrows by waxing or plucking after you've tinted them.