Everything you need to know about at-home brow tinting

Because this DIY step will save you major money and time

July 23 2021

Fact: When your brows are on point, your whole look is next level. Even if you don't bother with a skerrick of other makeup, you somehow still look polished and put together. And while the results speak for themselves every time you fill in and shape your brows, we bet you could gladly do without the added effort it takes to groom them daily. That’s why you need to learn how to tint your own eyebrows. 

Eyebrow tinting at home is cheap, easy and dare we say it, life-changing. No need to book in a professional brow appointment every two months, and no need to fuss and finesse your brows with powders, pomades and pencils. Every. Single. Morning.

Instead, you just need to set aside 10 minutes every few weeks. And, instead of paying anywhere from $15 to $75 per appointment at a salon, at-home brow tinting costs less than $20 (and that includes an *entire* year’s supply of eyebrow dye!). And hey, if an at-home tint is good enough for Zoë Foster Blake, who are we to turn our noses up at it?

What is eyebrow tinting?

Much like how hair dye works, brow tinting coats your brow hairs in a semi-permanent colour. “By tinting the brow, you pick up the little hairs within the brow that perhaps have no colour, or are quite faint,” explains brow artist Jazz Pampling, who recommends tinting for enhancing fullness as well as colour payoff.

How long does eyebrow tinting last?

Brow tinting gives longer-lasting results than your brow makeup products, and isn’t as scary as microblading, which uses tiny needles to deposit permanent pigment. Results will vary depending on the eyebrow tinting kit you use and each person's individual eyebrows, but most dyes will give you around six weeks of beautifully full and filled-in brows.

@jazzbrowartist

Choosing the right brow colour

Pampling admits choosing the right shade when tinting your brows is tough – but the good news is there are no hard-and-fast rules. “I can use a brow tint colour on a client with blonde hair and then the same tint colour on a client with brunette hair colour,” she shares.

Her top tip is to start with a lighter colour, as brow tint shades are often darker than you’d expect. “If the colour is not dark enough, you can always try a darker colour next time,” she adds. Better safe than sorry, huh?

Pampling also recommends a 'try before you dye' approach: “With any brow tinting at home, try the colour for about a minute on the brow, before committing to the whole treatment time," she advises. "This way if the colour is too dark, it won’t have enough time to really sink into the hair.”

What do you need to tint your brows at home?

Really, all you need to tint your brows is an eyebrow dye kit – most kits will have everything you need in the one box. Generally, your pack will include a brow colour, a developer, a mixing bowl and an application tool. A few of our trusted favourites? The 1000 Hour Lash & Brow Dye (17.99 at Chemist Warehouse) and the Eylure Pro-Brow Dybrow ($14.85 at Beauty Expert).

How to tint eyebrows

Now that you've got your supplies sorted, here's what you'll need to do...

#1 / Start with clean brows
Before you begin, you need clean, dry brows. Soak a cotton pad in micellar water and sweep it over your brow hairs to remove any oil or makeup residue. To protect the surrounding skin from being stained by the dye, apply a layer of Vaseline or clear balm.

#2 / Mix your eyebrow dye
In a small mixing bowl (your kit will come with one), pour in the recommended amount of dye and developing drops and combine them using the stirring tool provided.

#3 / Dye your brows
Use the spoolie or application tool provided to paint the dye over each brow. Work it back and forth over the brows to coat all sides of the hair, before combing the brows into your desired shape.

TOP TIP: Use a brow brush to paint the dye on as if you were filling in your brows normally. It shapes the brows for a more precise application.

#4 / Clean up any mistakes
If you’ve applied dye to any areas accidentally, simply grab a clean cotton bud and wipe it off. The Vaseline will help the colour come off easily without the need to rub. 

#5 / Remove the dye
Once the recommended processing time has passed (usually 10 minutes), it’s time to remove the dye from your brows. All you need is a wet cotton ball to wipe it off and you’re done! 

How to remove eyebrow tint

We're sure you'll crush it and come out looking pretty damn close to salon fresh, but in case things go wrong, it’s always good to know upfront how to fix any possible mistakes.

The first time your tint your brows, you may second-guess your decision to DIY. Maybe they’re darker than you’re used to or you didn’t get the colour right. If this is the case, try not to panic or do anything drastic.

In fact, we highly recommend giving yourself a week before you try and remedy the situation. The colour can take time to settle and will naturally fade on its own every time you shower and cleanse your face, so you might find a little patience is all you need to fall in love with the look.

If you get dye on your skin during the application process, the sooner you get onto it the better. So make sure you give your brows a good once-over immediately after applying the dye, then again post-removing it. If you spot any stains, use an oil or silicone-based makeup remover to clean the area. 

As we mentioned before, the more you wash and cleanse your face, the faster the colour will fade. But if you want to know how to fade eyebrow tint faster, reach for a clarifying shampoo; they’re designed to strip away residue build-up in your hair, and work in a similar way on your brows.

Main image credit: @lilyjcollins

Prefer to fill in rather than tint? Here are our favourite brow pencils...