Eyebrow Tinting Is a Low-Commitment Way to Change Your Whole Face


Some of the smallest beauty moves have the power to completely elevate your features, and eyebrow tinting is one such choice. Brow tinting, or the process of applying semi-permanent dye to your brow hair, is a low-maintenance means of enhancing your natural look. “Tinting allows the brow to appear fuller and more defined,” says celebrity brow artist Kristie Streicher. “We can utilize brow pencils or tinted brow gel to create the appearance of symmetry, but are spoiled by the more permanent nature that brow tinting can offer.”

If you’re wondering if a brow tint makes sense for you, the answer is a universal yes. “Everyone is a candidate for brow tinting,” says Chanel brow artist Jimena Garcia. “You add strength to the face when you bring a deeper tone, and you can create illusions and pinpoint where you want that strength in your brow. It’s all about color manipulation.”

The Benefits of Eyebrow Tinting

The eyebrows frame the face, meaning that adding depth to sparse brows or lighter brow hairs can deliver subtle drama to your natural brows and your entire look—and pare down your product line-up.

“Brows are the only real texture that’s on your face besides your lashes,” says Garcia. “So when you tint and accentuate that texture, you look younger—you’re bringing youth into the picture and you’re balancing out the shapes in your face.” Garcia adds that even if you opt for a matching color, the shine afforded by the tint, along with the process’s ability to pick up lighter baby hairs and camouflage grays, makes the endeavor worthwhile. Garcia herself tends to lighten her brows, reversing the usual tinting process for the same ultimate purpose: to manage brow color and shape to best suit your face.

“Overall, tinting adds shine, richness and softness to the hair,” says Streicher. Tinting is also a low-commitment option, and one that packs a touch less punch than some alternatives. Procedures like microblading provide a long-lasting pencil effect by tatttooing the skin beneath the brow, brow tinting delivers pigment to the hair itself for something more akin to a tinted eyebrow gel.

Perhaps most importantly, tinting is a route to brow health, a means of maximizing the natural potential of your brow game and simplifying your routine. “Tinting your brow at home or getting them done professionally eliminates probably 75 percent of brow damage,” says brow artist Azi Sacks. “Replacing brow makeup with tinting will allow you to get your fullness and your fluff goal more quickly, catching all of the baby fine hairs while allowing your brow to breathe.”

What to Expect at Your Brow Tint Appointment

While your appointment will vary from artist to artist, but the general steps remain the same. “Your custom color is quickly and easily decided, then whipped up and applied by your specialist who is steady handed and trained to know brow shape and symmetry,” says Streicher. Any shaping usually takes place post-tint, as more visible baby hairs allow for a cleaner shaping.

After a quick cleansing, the tint is applied and left to process anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on your color aims. “This processing time is clutch to achieving the right tone and shade, which takes time and experience to understand,” says Streicher. Once the tinting is complete, excess pigment is removed with the help of a Q-tip and a swipe of damp cotton.

How long does an eyebrow tint last?

Expect your tint to last anywhere for 4-8 weeks and remember that touch-ups can help you to maintain your desired saturation. The duration of your brow tint comes down to hair type and lifestyle. “If you have coarser hair it’s going to last longer. If you have thin hair, like very smooth hair, it won’t last as long,” says Garcia. You can look to your routine for hints, too. “Are you putting a lot of makeup on? Are you swimming a lot? Do you do a lot of athletics? It’s really important to consider all of those things if you want a long-lasting tint.”

Tinting Your Brows at Home

“Tinting your brows looks effortless and simple when you’re having it done in a professional setting so I understand the desire to try this at home,” says Streicher. That said, both she and Garcia recommend relying on brow expert’s ability and knowledge for the best possible look. “Having a steady, trained hand with this process is key to not only a good outcome but also to keeping your Quartz bathroom countertops from becoming riddled with dark brown hair color stains,” says Streicher. If you must tint at home, chat with a pro first. “Have your brow person walk you through it via Zoom, or come in and get a tutorial and pick your color,” suggests Garcia, whose at-home tinting tutorial was a blessing for many during lockdown.

Start by stocking up on materials: Egyptian Magic (a natural healing balm favored by Garcia) or Vaseline to apply around the brow, a coffee stick, a spoolie, a Q-tip, and your tint of choice (Garcia recommends RefectoCil vegetable dye). Cleanse the brow area to remove oil and makeup before starting in on your tint. Apply either Egyptian Magic or Vaseline to the area around the brow. “We have really really tiny baby hairs on our skin, so when you apply around the brow it’s preventing those from being picked up by the color,” says Garcia. (This step will also protect staining on surrounding skin.)

Next, use a coffee stick to mix your chosen brow tint color with a developer before applying to eyebrow hairs with a spoolie. “Brush it into the brow, using the wand to coat the hair completely,” says Garcia. “A spatula alone only reaches top hairs instead of getting inside the brow.” Use a Q-tip to clean up any excess product around the brow. Garcia recommends using a lighter tone than you would request at a salon and leaving the pigment on for less time (by half). “That way, until you master it, you have a little bit of control.”

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