Cast eyebrow embroidery out of your mind for a minute to make headspace for another semi-permanent brow treatment that’s becoming more popular (#browtinting has got 527.6 million views on TikTok) by the minute. Brow tinting isn’t new, but it’s the brow treatment of the season.
Using typically henna dyes and vegetable-based dyes, or sometimes, chemical-based dyes that are similar to ones used on hair at the salon, brow tinting darkens and defines to give neat, thick brows on fleek.
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Whether it’s the thought of scratching beyond your skin’s surface or a fear of commitment that’s been putting you off the famed brow embroidery, you’ll be happy to find that brow tinting is much less invasive and low-commitment.
The tint lasts for weeks before fading, which means you’ll get to switch up your eyebrow style often, even as you enjoy the sharpest, slayest brows with no extra effort in the mornings.
Read on, because we share everything you need to know about eyebrow tinting, including a popular peel-off formula that you can try at home!
What is eyebrow tinting?
Eyebrow tinting involves using semi-permanent dye to colour the hair for fuller-looking brows.
Usually, the tint is made of vegetable dye or henna and the brow artist mixes the dye to achieve a shade that matches your natural brows. The tint is used to darken the light or fine hair so that they contribute to your brow shape as well as give your brows a fuller, fluffier appearance.
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Don’t worry, eyebrow tinting doesn’t just fill in all the lighter hairs so your brows look messy and overgrown; instead, the brow artist shapes and defines your brows in the process, say, filling in the front of the eyebrows for a fuller shape or lengthening the tail to frame your eyes.
Compared to eyebrow embroidery which can last for over a year, eyebrow tinting is a more temporary solution that lasts between three to six weeks.
It’s also less invasive as the dyes stain the hair and skin, unlike microblading, where a fine blade is used to cut the skin and deposit the dyes deeper into the skin.
What happens during an eyebrow tinting session?
Eyebrow tinting might sound rather straightforward – mix the dye, colour the hairs, and then you’re good to go, but it involves a lot more expertise to get it done well.
As with any other beauty service, an eyebrow tinting session begins with a consultation, where you’ll discuss your desired brow shape and style with your brow artist. They will also examine your features, face shape, skin tone, and eyebrow colours to advise you on what’s best for you.
You already know this – K-pop idols are always switching up their brow shade to match their freshly-dyed hair, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting the dye colour right is a key step in the eyebrow tinting process.
The brow artist will whip up a tint colour that’s suitable for the customer’s brows, making sure that the shade’s not too light, too dark, too grey, or too brown, for example.
There are a range of other factors to take into account too. Dani Kimiko Vincent, a Los Angeles-based makeup and brow artist told Allure, “I create a customised tint for each client which takes into account hair tone, any highlights, skin tone, and the underlying colour of the brows.”
The brow artist will then prep the skin around your brows with a layer of petroleum jelly, which helps to prevent accidental staining.
The dye is then applied to your eyebrows, first in the direction of hair growth, and then in the opposite direction to make sure that the strands are fully coated.
The dye will be left on your brows for about 15 minutes before it is removed.
Heads up – there’s no way of preventing the dye from staining the skin right underneath your brows, so don’t get flustered when you notice that your skin is coloured after the session too. The dye will fade from your skin in about one week, leaving you with your desired fuller, fluffier brows.
In the meantime, the stains will give your brows a drawn-on look, much like a Korean powdered brow. To err on the safe side, book your appointment on a Friday so that you can check on your freshly-tinted brows over the weekend.
How long does eyebrow tinting last?
The dye stains on your skin will last for only about a week, but your tinted brows will stay for about three to six weeks. To maintain the colour of your tinted brows, it’s best that you arrange your next appointment four to six weeks later.
Aftercare tips for eyebrow tinting
For eyebrow tinting results that last longer, count on aftercare habits that’ll prevent your dyes from fading too quickly.
For the first 12 to 24 hours, avoid wetting or rubbing your brows. You’ll also want to ditch oil-based products, which can cause the tint to fade faster, and swap them out for gel-based or cream cleansers.
Exfoliating products are a no-go, but also steer clear of ingredients like retinol that might irritate the sensitive skin at your brows.
The truth is that eyebrow tinting dyes can be harsh on the skin, so it’s good practice to apply petroleum jelly like Vaseline to the skin surrounding your brows to protect it from the dye.
Vaseline 100% Pure Petroleum Jelly Original Skin Protectant retails for RM5.90 at Watsons.
Who can do eyebrow tinting?
Eyebrow tinting works regardless of natural brow colour or skin tone. However, it’s particularly useful for those with light brows because it darkens the strands to give the eyebrows a fuller, defined look.
Those with greying brow hairs will also benefit from an eyebrow tinting appointment – no need to use a brow pencil to darken your strands every day.
Tinting grey hairs can be tricky though, so it’s important to do your research and find a professional who has a stellar record.
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Eyebrow tinting also goes particularly well with brow lamination, as your natural brow strands create texture and the tint darkens the brow for a bolder, more defined look.
Is eyebrow tinting safe?
The dyes used for eyebrow tinting aren’t approved by the FDA, which means that there’s no way of knowing whether they’re really safe for your skin. Depending on the dye used, eyebrow tinting can be harsh on the skin, possibly causing irritation, redness, and itchiness.
During the consultation, make sure to communicate your allergies to your esthetician so that they can advise you on whether you can proceed with the eyebrow tinting.
Can I do eyebrow tinting at home?
Just because you can do eyebrow tinting at home, doesn’t mean that you should!
Experts highly recommend that you get your eyebrow tinting done at the salon, as brow artists simply are experienced in mixing the dyes, shaping the eyebrows, and fixing anything that needs to be fixed before you step out of the salon.
There are tons of mistakes that you can make with eyebrow tinting at home, such as leaving the dye on for too long so that you end up with overly dark eyebrows, or staining the skin around your eyebrows.
If you make a mistake, it’ll stick with you for the amount of time you’d expect your eyebrow tinting results to last when you get it done at the salon. That’s four to six weeks of absurd-looking eyebrows – not fun at all.
However, if you’re confident that you’ll get brows on fleek with an eyebrow tinting kit at home, Jeseé McSpadden, a licensed esthetician and the owner of The Brow Lounge by Jeseé, has one piece of advice: start light.
“If your hair is a medium brown, try the light brown first. It’s always better to end up with something you want to darken rather than something you have to bleach out,” she shared with Byrdie.
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Definitely don’t even think of using regular hair dyes on your brows, but choose products that are formulated for the face, in other words, eyebrow tinting kits.
As with any other new product that you use on your face, do a patch test first. Only if your skin doesn’t react to the dye, should you apply it to your brows during an at-home eyebrow tinting session.
Try this eyebrow tinting peel-off formula
Maybelline Tattoo Brow Long Lasting Tint
Cut the hassle of slathering dye onto your brows with Maybelline’s popular peel-off formula, the Tattoo Brow Long Lasting Tint!
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All you have to do is use the brush applicator to apply the tint to your eyebrows, leave it on for between 20 minutes to two hours, depending on how dark you want your brows to look, and then peel it off for – voilà, tinted brows.
Maybelline Tattoo Brow Long Lasting Tint retails between RM67.90 to RM71.50 on Shopee.
Featured image credit: @browluxla, @oliviagudaniec/TikTok