Learning how to tint (and shape) my own brows at home has been on my to-do list for a long time but quarantine has definitely bumped it up on my things to learn list – mine were out of control!
How To Do Eyebrow Shaping and Tinting At Home
I will start by saying that I don’t pluck my brows all that often. And I make sure to give them a good tweezing every month or so but am a little traumatized… I had sperm brows in high school and college and consider myself to be still in eyebrow recovery… to this day I have a few little holes that I fear will never grow back!
These days, I’m definitely of the less is more, as full as possible approach. I get asked how I grew them back in and honestly, the best answer is patience. You have to just let them be, for as long as you can (quarantine would be a great time to start!). I first talked about my “eyebrow journey” in 2013 when I first got them professionally shaped and learned where my arch is and then again in 2015. I’ve been letting them grow for a long time and still have tiny holes I have to fill in. I’ll always be jealous of my sister Becca who never over plucked hers when we were young and has perfectly shaped brows without needing to do much!
The one thing I always do is trim them; they get SO long. But my hair is naturally dark blonde and I have some very light eyebrow hairs so I like to dye them a shade or two darker.
Honestly, I was really scared to do this!
My friend Jackie has been tinting her own brows for a couple years now and she told me everything to buy and how to do it. She also reassured me that a) now is the time to learn, we’re not going anywhere! and b) if you mess up you can put a little dish soap on your brows to fix them if you go too dark. So my biggest tip is don’t stress! It’s much less scary than it seems.
Also, a word about the dye colors as figuring this out can be a little confusing! I ordered three colors: light brown (I got the kit, be sure to get the kit!), chestnut, and graphite. Jackie mixes the chestnut and graphite. The chestnut is too warm on its own so the graphite (which is basically black), cools it down. She recommends a pea size squeeze of chestnut and a rice size squeeze of graphite.
I personally ended up preferring the light brown shade to the chestnut (my personal “formula” is a pea size squeeze of light brown and a rice size squeeze of graphite). I know it is annoying but would recommend ordering a couple different colors to play around and get the right combo.. you can mix them in the little glass bowl that comes with the kit to get your proper color!
Note: I am probably making this sound WAY more complicated than it is. Figuring out your shade is the hardest part, which is why I say order a few shades and play around with them to make your ideal shade.
Eyebrow Shaping Essentials
Eyebrow Dye Kit
This kit is essential for tinting your brows as it has everything you need. It contains dye, developer, a brush, and a little mixing bowl! I ordered a few different dyes as mentioned above.
Flamingo Face Wax Strips
These are optional, but love these for a clean edge/zero unibrow.
A must for both tweezing and trimming, especially if your eyebrow hairs tend to get long (mine do!)
Full transparency – I lost mine and am dying right now… I ordered a new pair during the Sephora sale and am waiting for them to arrive… not so patiently. My own eyebrow hairs are so long right now; it’s killing me!
A given; you don’t need the fancy ones but they definitely make a difference in my opinion!
A good tip is to start by tinting! I noticed that whenever I get my brows done they tint them before they start shaping and this is so smart as then when you go to tweeze/wax/sculpt, all those baby blonde hairs will be darker and easier to get!
Mix up your dye.
Mix the dyes in the little bowl that comes with the kit, and then add in 10 drops of the developer formula.
Apply the dye mixture to your brows.
Once it’s all blended, apply the mixture to your brows and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. I did 5 minutes the first time (again, I was scared!) and it was fine!
Wipe off excess with a cotton pad soaked in water.
It will come off very easily.. I had figured I’d need to use some sort of cleanser but you don’t… just water!
I’m including a video from the brand of dye – this also shows lash tinting which I think is a bit too advanced for me (though shout-out to Jackie, who tints her own lashes too… I AM IMPRESSED!)
And then, it is time for brow shaping!
My shaping advice is pretty rudimentary but again, I really don’t like to do much to my brows shape wise. Less is definitely more. I like a natural and full eyebrow shape, just well groomed!
Wax between your brows.
The first thing I do (and it’s great because you’ve just darkened all of those baby hairs) is use the small Flamingo wax strips in between my brows to give the edges a nice clean look and get all those little brow hairs. It’s amazing how much they pick up and also how clean the edges of your bows will look when you do this.
I line up the strip with the edge of my brow, push down in the direction of hair growth (this is an upward stroke from nose to forehead), pull the skin taut, and then quickly pull the strip in the direction against hair growth (I pull down from forehead to nose!).
You could probably wax the arch of your brow as well but I don’t do that – too afraid!
Then, I just tweeze any stray hairs! As I mentioned above, tinting them before you tweeze makes tweezing SO much easier; it’s easier to see all those baby hairs! I have bad light in my apartment so I do use this lighted magnifying mirror to get a better view.
Carefully pluck one hair at a time, starting from the outer corner and working inward.
I LOVE these tweezers; I always used crappy drugstore brand tweezers for years (and you can, nice tweezers aren’t mandatory but make the job much easier!) but these make the job so much easier. You definitely want to use slanted tweezers; I find them to be the easiest to use.
The last step (and be very careful here!) is to trim your brows. This is what makes the biggest difference for me as my eyebrow hairs can get long long long. But I once was reckless (this was in my early twenties!) and cut a big chunk of my eyebrows and had a bald patch for a couple weeks. I use my spoolie brush to brush my brow hairs up, as straight as possible. I then hold the brush down as a barrier and VERY CAREFULLY snip snip, carefully trimming them!
You can do this every few weeks. In between, I fill in using this brow pencil (my color is “taupe”) and hold them in place with this brow gel!
That’s it! Hope this was helpful!!!
This is interesting and so helpful! I have my brows tinted on (not sure what it’s called), so I don’t need to do much except for tweezing from time to time, but this is good info to have on hand! ❤️✨
Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
Ah, microblading!!!! I’ve considered doing that!
This is such helpful quarantine content! I’ve only worn makeup once in the past 2 months (!) but have super light eyelashes and brows. I just can’t justify penciling in my brows every day to sit in my house, haha. Just ordered your same color combo and will try it out. If it turns out horribly, I’ll just opt out of video calls for a few days!
Yay! Keep me posted on how you like it!
Update! This scared the shiz out of me when I first applied the light brown color (it looked super red and I realized I’d forgotten to mix in the black color), but actually turned out perfectly! For reference, I’m a bit blonder than you are. I can’t believe I’ve paid $35 for this in the past!
YAY I am so glad! Thank you so much for the update – I was so scared too!!!!
This post brings a lot of joy to my day!! I seriously have my Dad’s eyebrows and I have always struggled with them. I also decided to shave them one day in high school which was a horrible idea haha. Your brows look fantastic and thank you so much for sharing. I am going to look into this. I hope that you have a great weekend! <3
Oh no, laughing at shaving them!!! The things we did… hahahaha…
I have been coloring my own hair for years. I will sometimes go and get a few highlights, but otherwise I’m good. I get compliments all the time, so I guess I am doing an okay job and it’s great right now obviously. I will often tint my brows too when I do a root touch up. It’s fine, but the color is really too light, so this is wonderful. I am going to order this right now. Thank you! Your friend Jackie is a rock star, I don’t think I could ever tint my own lashes. In normal times, I do go and get my brows and lashes professionally done. My friend Brandi who does mine just sent out an email letting people know to be careful and not go tweeze crazy.
I’m so glad it helped!!!
Grace, thank you for giving us what we truly need during this quarantine! Already ordered my kit. Thank you for walking us through the process, excited to try it myself!
I’m so happy to hear that! xx
This post just made my day!! I really need to tint my brows. I have a kind of stupid question- the item linked as light brown is actually natural brown and it looks like there is another kit that has light brown. Is the one that you linked the one you bought, or did you buy light brown? Asking because I like the color yours turned out!
Sorry about that – just double checked, mine is light brown!
Just tinted mine today and they look amazing. Thank you so much for this guide it is going to save me so much money post-quarantine. Now if only I can work up the courage to do my own lashes.
YAY I am so glad.
Also terrified of doing my lashes. Jackie does her lashes but I think that’s too advanced for me. I see it going very poorly!
I just ordered “your” formula. Looking forward to my package arriving next week. I love your Bad on Paper podcast and have been waiting for this post/instructions since earlier this week!!
So glad! Keep me posted on how it goes!!!
Oops – I bought Natural brown, which is darker. I’m going to see if I can change it. 🙂
Honestly you will probably be fine! They look VERY similar.
Just did it with the light brown/graphite combo and LOVE it – so easy and foolproof, really. Thanks for this – it’s what I needed so badly!!
AH YAY THANK YOU FOR THE UPDATE!!!!!
you are the first person to tell me that you’ve done it successfully so this makes me super happy to hear. It really makes such a big difference and is so easy. I will never pay someone to do it again! XO
Hi Grace, love this! Question, is the kit for single or multi use?
Multiple use! I could see the dye lasting me well over a year (need to look up how long it takes to expire). The tube has a lot and you only need a tiny amount!
Great info my brows are very sparse towards ends and even with my specs on difficult to see what I’m doing as you say this is good chance to work on brows thank you
Awesome! Let me know how it goes!
Grace! This is so impressive! I ordered the kit + charcoal and plan to try this next weekend. To echo what you’ve said on the podcast, having my nails done, using some make up occasionally, etc. have really made a difference for my mental state in quarantine, so I am super excited to get my brows under control. Truly appreciate you sharing such extensive tips – your tutorials are always the best!
Ah I’m so happy you enjoyed the post. And agree – really makes such a difference.
I’ve always wanted to tint my own brows but was too afraid. Thank you for giving me the confidence to try it! Just placed my order and am looking forward to trying it!
YAY do it! I think you will love it!!!!
Another option- just for men beard dye! I have super blonde eyebrows and it worked perfectly. I’m very very tempted to try an at home lash lift/tint next if this thing goes on any longer.
Ah great tip! Thanks for sharing!
I have an appointment in June to get my eyebrows microbladed that will cost me a well deserved $700.
I don’t know what to do with my eyelashes, they are short, partly grey and mascara, I have spent up to $100 on a brand, they still look awful. What can I do?
Oh wow. Let us know how that goes!
For lashes, maybe try Neulash? I was obsessed a few years back and it definitely works. I just got inconsistent with it and ultimately decided I didn’t care enough, haha. https://thestripe.com/honest-neulash-review/
Love this! I’m having trouble finding dye for redheads. I normally go to benefit and they mix an auburn with light brown so it doesn’t look orange – but I can’t find a brand that has both auburn and brown so I can mix!
Oooh I wish I could provide a rec but am not sure!!!! GOOD LUCK! I will say that the chestnut was red-ish… but not fully auburn!
Thanks for this! I swear my brows are getting lighter as I age. I have always tweezed my strays but just started getting them threaded last summer. I love threading—so cheap and fast—but now I can’t, of course.
I think mine are fading, too! UGH!
Oh I just love your eyebrows x
Lisa | lisaautumn.com
Mine are light enough that I can kind of forget they’re there and don’t do much with them…but just ordered this to give it a try, because why the fuck not? LA just extended its stay-at-home order through July, so NOT GOING ANYWHERE!
yayyyyy pls let me know how you like it!!!!
Thanks for sharing this! Have been wanting to try this since I had JUST gotten in eyebrow dyeing before the pandemic hit. Can you recommend a Canadian seller or comparable product? I tried to buy through your link to Amazon but it’s not really compatible for Canadian buyers. Thanks!
P.S. Love seeing you in the Tanya Taylor swimsuit campaign! So good! Tanya is one of my best friends and godmother to my oldest daughter. 🙂
AH I love it! Tanya is the best – I love her and her designs!
I don’t have a canadian seller but maybe just google the brand name? I think a bit of internet searching will probably yield some good results – better for you to do it than me as I don’t have visibility on what’s available in other coutnries!
I definitely will – I need this! (Albeit terrifying lol) Thanks again!
Hi! I bought from this seller on Sunday in Canada and it arrived yesterday exactly as pictured! I did it immediately and I am thrilled with the results 🙂
Good to know – thanks for the tip!
Game changer thank you so much….just did my first try at home just now after your recos and I can’t believe how much happier I am in isolation to have nice brows again 🙂
YAY – I am so glad it worked well for you!
wow! this is a game changer! my natural coloring is similar to yours and I usually have my brows tinted on the darker side. I ordered the natural brown and charcoal and just gave it a try. I was probably too liberal with the shape so they appear fuller than I expected but that’s not a bad thing at all! I’ve paid $35+/month for this at my nail salon for a couple of years now and this feels exactly the same! I’ll likely still get semi-regular wax/shapings from the salon when all is normal, but what a perfect way to still feel my best even with no makeup and dirty hair! thanks, Grace!
Ah this makes me so so so happy! Thank you for sharing! My mind is still blown too… it’s wild how easy it is!
I’m late to the party, but just wanted to say THANK YOU for posting this and all the detailed instructions. I just placed my order! I wanted to also add, Revitalash growth serum has worked great on my eye brows to help fill them in.
I bought the natural brown brow tint kit and looooooved it! I may get the graphite to cool it down a bit more, but overall I’m super happy with the results. I had purchased another brand mid-quarantine and didn’t love it. It stained my skin a little too intensely and didn’t fade well, but this came out beautifully. Thank you for the reco!
So glad to hear it! Thanks for telling me. The graphite def cools it down.