What Is Eyebrow Tinting 2021- Brow Tint Cost, Risks, and Safety


I’ll be honest—I didn’t have high expectations when I tried eyebrow tinting for the first time. My brows are already dark brown and pretty full (how they ever recovered from my middle-school plucking is beyond me), so how much could a tint do? But lemme tell you: A semi-permanent eyebrow tint might have seemed subtle in my mind, but it surprisingly made a huge difference in my brows.

Like, I truly didn’t think a tint could do much, but it actually filled in the tails of my brows, defined my arches, and gave me the overall fullness that I’ve always wanted. Think of eyebrow tinting as a tinted brow gel that stays on for weeks. Whether you have faint brows or dark ones like mine, I’m convinced you’ll be just as obsessed once you try it. But if you prefer to really research beauty treatments before signing up for them (good on ya!), we’ve got all the answers to your questions, below.

To help better explain what exactly eyebrow tinting is and what the process entails, we turned to Malynda Vigliotti aka Boom Boom of Boom Boom Brow Bar, the very place where I got my first brow tint. Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about the service so you can make that appointment already.

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What does eyebrow tinting do?

Eyebrow tinting is a process where semi-permanent dye is smoothed over your brows to shape and define your natural arches. Although it’s particularly great for intensifying lighter brow hairs on blondes or redheads, Vigliotti says anyone who wants fuller, thicker brows can benefit from this treatment, which picks up and defines alllll those tiny, hard-to-see hairs, too.

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During a professional brow tint, the technician will start by custom-mixing the dye to match the undertone of the client’s hair and get you the right color (which is typically one or two shades lighter than your hair color). The process takes around 10 to 15 minutes (though the dye might have to sit a little longer if you have coarse hair), and the results are basically instant. As soon as the dye is wiped away, you’ll walk away with bolder brows.

As with any beauty treatment, the cost of an eyebrow tint depends entirely on your salon. In NYC, eyebrow tints will typically cost between $20 to $30. Just keep in mind that you’ll definitely want to go to a clean, safe salon with licensed specialists, so don’t just go with the cheap option.

Eyebrow tinting before and after:

All my visual learners reading this, here’s exactly what eyebrow tinting looks like. For the biggest transformation, Vigliotti recommends following your tint with an eyebrow wax afterward so that you have the most hair to enhance and work with before removing strays and shaping them. Just check these before and afters below.

How long does eyebrow tinting last?

Eyebrow tinting typically lasts for three to four weeks, during which time 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 makeup, face serums, and face oils, all of which can make your dye fade faster.

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Eyebrow tinting vs. microblading

Unlike microblading, which is where itty-bitty, hair-like strokes are tattooed onto your skin, or microshading, which is another type of semi-permanent tattoo that shades in the area, eyebrow tinting is more about enhancing the natural brow hairs you already have. In other words, a brow tint isn’t going to cover any sparse patches or gaps where a hair doesn’t exist, but it’ll help define the hair you do have—even the tiny, invisible hairs you didn’t even know were there.

Is eyebrow tinting safe?

Here’s 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.” California has actually banned professional eyebrow tinting, but that hasn’t stopped salons across the country from offering brow tints.

Still, 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 gold standards 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.

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Can I use normal hair dye on my eyebrows?

If you’ve never had a brow tint, see a pro. Once you have a better sense of your ideal end results and think you’re ready to DIY it at home, make sure you buy the right kit and follow the instructions super carefully. Word to the wise: Do not use a store-bought hair color box kit. Vigliotti explains that these at-home hair dyes have ammonia in them and could be super dangerous, not only if you get it in your eyes but also if you get it on the fragile, sensitive skin around the eye area.

Instead, Vigliotti suggests using a vegetable-based dye specifically formulated for brows, and as always, test any new product for an allergic reaction first before applying it all over. Check out these top-rated brow tint kits (we even threw in a temporary but water-resistant product for the commitment-phobes). Buy the shade closest to your natural color and be extra cautious about how long you’re keeping the formula on because the longer it sits and develops, the darker it’s going to be.

Remember, you can always go darker, but it’s hard to go back once you’ve done too much. Oh, and pick up a tub of Vaseline while you’re at it so you can coat the skin around the brow area to prevent the tint from discoloring it.

Are eyebrow tints worth it?

If you’re looking for a way to ~temporarily~ enhance your arches, a tint is definitely worth considering for both your brows and your budget. Since a single brow pencil that washes off can cost you the same as professional eyebrow tinting that lasts for a month, it’s pretty obvious why everyone is obsessed with this quick, easy, and affordable treatment. As long as the service is allowed in your state and you’ve done your research to find a salon with licensed technicians that are experienced with this technique or a product that you feel comfortable trying, eyebrow tinting might just be the key to getting your best brows ever.

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