Eyebrow Tinting The Complete Guide: Everything You Need to Know


You are such a busy person! Whether you have a full-time job, kids to take care of, or just a lot of responsibilities, it can feel like there's never enough time in the day to get everything done. The last thing you want to do is spend precious time worrying about your eyebrows. However, having well-groomed brows can make a huge difference in your overall appearance and confidence. That's where tinting your brows at home can come in handy.

If you're always on the go, tinting your brows at home is a great way to save time. No need to worry about scheduling salon appointments, waiting in line, or dealing with traffic. You can get it done quickly and easily from the comfort of your own home. Plus, it is the affordable option. Going to a salon for brow tinting can be expensive, and you may need to do it every few weeks to maintain the look. By doing it yourself at home, you can save money and still achieve great results.

Eyebrow tinting has become increasingly popular for those trying to achieve a more natural look, like the "clean girl aesthetic" or "no makeup-makeup look." These aesthetics emphasize on a clean, minimalistic appearance that appears effortlessly beautiful. For naturally long, thick lashes to pair with your eyebrow tint, refer to our ultimate guide on how to grow your lashes.

Not only is tinting your eyebrows a great way to achieve a natural, effortless look, but it also promotes self-love and empowerment. By embracing your natural beauty and enhancing your features in a subtle way, you are taking control of your own appearance and showing the world that you are confident in your own skin. This act of self-care will help to boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Tinting at home is a great solution for busy individuals who still want to look their best. It's quick, easy, affordable, and can be done on your own schedule. You can easily have beautiful, well-groomed brows without adding more stress to your already packed schedule. 

In this blog, we'll dive into everything you need to know about this transformative beauty treatment, from the benefits to the process, and everything in between. Our experts at Godefroy Beauty have 50+ years of experience with hair color and brow tinting.

Not only does eyebrow tinting enhance the natural shape and color of your brows, but it also offers waterproof benefits that can withstand any weather condition or activity. Whether you're sweating at the gym or caught in a sudden downpour, your tinted brows will stay put, ensuring that you always look your best. Beach days are also a breeze. Plus, with perfectly tinted eyebrows, you'll no longer need to spend valuable time every day filling in sparse areas with pencils or powders. This means that you can enjoy an extra 10 to 15 minutes in bed each morning, or even have more time to enjoy a cup of coffee before starting your day. Say goodbye to the hassle of daily makeup and hello to effortlessly flawless brows with the help of eyebrow tinting.

Framing our eyes with defining brows is something women have been doing since the 1940s. It began with a 2-part brow and lash darkener by Swimproof. This dye was waterproof and eliminated smudges, smears, and raccoon eyes. By the 1960s, the first cosmetic brow kits hit the market. They were essentially an eye shadow for our eyebrows.

1963 - Godefroy Hair Color advertisement

What is Eyebrow Tinting?

Eyebrow tinting is the process of applying a semi-permanent color to brow hairs. By darkening your brow hairs, you create a bold but natural brow shape that makes your brows and eyes pop. The process is temporary, pain-free, and darkens even the ultra-fine hairs you can barely see.

This service can be performed in a salon setting or at home. Common applications for eyebrow tinting are after you color your hair, and a brow tint is used to match the new shade. Products can be purchased over the counter or online.

Tinting doesn’t permanently fill in patchy areas so you may continue to use brow cosmetics, but it will make even thin and fine brows stand out. However, sometimes the skin directly underneath the area that has been tinted will take on the color for a week or so. How long with eyebrow tints last? Skin staining will wash away naturally within a week. With proper care, the brow tint will gradually fade from your hair over 4 to 6 weeks.

What Are the Benefits of Brow Tinting?

Brow tinting is popular among a variety of demographics. It’s ideal for anyone with thin and fine brows or light-colored brows. For those who wear makeup, it accelerates your morning routine. For those who don’t wear much makeup, tinting refines your features and highlights your natural beauty. Meanwhile, for those who tint over their grey hair, eyebrow tints provide a perfect complement to your hair color. It’s rare to find a cosmetic that works well for all lifestyles like brow tinting does. We’ve written a whole piece on the benefits of eyebrow tinting HERE.

Additional benefits include:

  • Define brow shape
  • Added depth & dimension
  • Darken brow hairs
  • Fuller-looking brows
  • Thicker-looking brows
  • More youthful appearance
  • Smudge-proof brows
  • Waterproof and sweatproof brows
  • Pain-free brow enhancement
  • Time-saving brow treatment
  • Low-maintenance brow treatment

Eyebrow Tinting Before and After

brow tint before and after

Using Instant Eyebrow Tint - Dark Brown

dark brown eyebrow tint before after

Using Instant Eyebrow Tint - Natural Black

eyebrow tint natural black

Using Instant Eyebrow Tint - Dark Brown

Eyebrow Tints Vs Microblading

As we talk about in another post, Microblading is another option your esthetician may provide. It is the process of using hairlike micro-incisions to tattoo on your eyebrows. You’ll still have your natural brows, but they will be far more defined. While still semi-permanent, the dye used lasts for 18 to 30 months before it gradually fades.

The main difference between microblading and eyebrow tinting is microblading will last longer than a tint, however the process can be painful and expensive. Microblading can create the appearance of more brow hairs while a tint accentuates the hairs that are already here. Microblading must also be performed by a professional in a salon while eyebrow tinting can be done at home.

What Are the Different Kind of Eyebrow Tints?

Currently there’s a multitude of different brow tints on the market, but here are the big three:

  1. Silver Nitrate
  2. Traditional PPD
  3. Henna

Silver Nitrate

As of 2022, this formulation is the only FDA approved formula to tint your eyebrows and is becoming the de facto way to tint around the eye area. It utilizes the naturally occurring reaction of silver nitrate, light, and iron oxide to deposit color onto hair. This fundamentally changes the way tints are applied and makes tints much safer to use on the sensitive eye area when compared to PPD and Henna. This is due to a much lower allergic reaction rate, less invasive, and less corrosive ingredients. Silver Nitrate hair tints also do not contain hydrogen peroxide, and is PFAS free.


In a recent statement by the FDA, PPD has been specifically mentioned as a banned ingredient for use around the eye area. This is mostly due to two factors: a high allergic reaction rate, and corrosive materials (hydrogen peroxide) which can cause damage if it comes in contact with the eyes. Most hair and brow tints are formulated with para-phenylenediamine (PPD). Some “plant-based tints” actually contain PPD as the active ingredient be sure to read the labels carefully and choose what is right for you.


Henna is a semi-permanent dye derived from the flowering henna plant. You may also be familiar with henna body art, which is popular in Hindi and Urdu cultures. Henna can be used to dye fingernails, skin, brows, and hair. Unlike other brow tints, henna will also stain your skin for 6 to 8 weeks and can carry an orange hue. Most henna tints contain around 75% henna and 25% chemical ingredients. As a hair and brow tint, Henna is often mixed with PPD to better deposit the color, which can cause allergic reactions and is banned in the US.

How Long Does Brow Tinting Take, and How Long Does It Last?

To maximize your time spent in a salon, schedule your tinting at the same time as your hair dye treatment, lash tint, or with other lash and beauty services. Your first appointment may take a bit longer, as your esthetician will talk you through the process. This includes your brow goals to help determine what shade to apply.

Most opt for a tint color that matches their natural hair color. However, you may want to go anywhere from a half to full shade darker. If you really want contrast, you can go as much as 2 full shades darker. If your hair is dyed, your esthetician will talk you through your color options. When in doubt, go lighter with the option to darken in the future.

Your first appointment may take up to 30 minutes, longer if you need to have your brows waxed or threaded first. It is important to tint the brows first before you do any hair removal service.  If your skin is sensitive, you may want to wax or thread on separate days. Touch ups and ongoing tinting with the same esthetician should only take about 15 minutes.

How much does a brow tint cost in a salon? You can find eyebrow tinting services between $10 to $75, with an average being $25

Brow tinting at home is quickly becoming the most common way to tint eyebrows and eyelashes, with Instant Eyebrow Tint being the most popular silver nitrate based eyebrow tint in the US.

What Does Brow Tinting Entail?

After your tint color is confirmed, your esthetician will apply it to your brows. To minimize staining on the skin that surrounds your brows, they will apply a thin layer of Vaseline.

How brow tinting is done: The tint is brushed on in two layers. The first layer is the iron oxide gel and is brushed on in the direction your brows grow. Wait a minute and apply the second silver nitrate activator gel to deposit the iron pigment onto your hair. This process simply coats the hairs rather than penetrating into the follicle, which is how PPD and oxidative dyes work. The penetration onto the hair and skin is what usually causes adverse reactions in people. The tint is left on for an additional minute, then wiped off.

At-home tinting kits are cheaper and more convenient because you don’t have to schedule a spa appointment. Directions vary greatly from one at-home tint kit to the next. Some take about the same time as a salon visit, some are fasters, and some products stay on for far longer.

What if I Want to Go Lighter?

Simply applying a shade that's lighter than your natural hair color will not lighten the brows. If you want to lighten your brows you need to bleach them first, then apply the color you desire. Eyebrow Lightening Creme is an eyebrow bleach which can lighten your eyebrows to the shade you need. It is specifically designed to be gentler than a traditional hair bleach.

Is Brow Tinting Legal?

We mentioned the 3 primary tint ingredients above—Henna, PPD, and Silver Nitrate. Regardless of the ingredients, the only brow tints approved by the FDA are silver nitrate formulas.

Can I use Just for Men for my eyebrows? No. Many eyebrow hacks talk about using Just for Men beard tints on your brows for a bold look. The issue is that Just for Men, and other beard tints, use PPD which is harmful around the eye area. Just for Men in particular has a very harsh formula which can create chemical burns on the skin if not treated properly. This works fine for beards, but around the eye can be very dangerous. Any tints other than silver nitrate is not approved by the FDA and can be harmful.

Can I use hair color on my brows? Also no. Most hair colorants also use PPD which can create chemical burns on the skin if not treated properly. Again, this works fine for hair, but around the eye is dangerous. The only FDA approved tints are silver nitrate-based formulations.

While many states’ cosmetology boards don’t mention brow or lash tinting, some states have strict laws. As of 2022, in California, all brow and lash tinting services are banned outright. In New York, estheticians and cosmetologists cannot perform tinting, but other salon professionals can. With recent FDA filings, expect states to update their laws regarding eyebrow tinting.

Selecting the Right Shade

Selecting the right eyebrow shade can be a daunting task. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to know which shade will best suit your skin tone and hair color. The good news is that finding the perfect shade for your eyebrows is not as difficult as it seems.

The first step in selecting the right eyebrow shade is to understand your skin tone. Your skin tone can be classified as warm, cool, or neutral. Warm skin tones have a yellow or golden undertone, cool skin tones have a pink or blue undertone, and neutral skin tones have a mix of warm and cool undertones. How do I match my eyebrow color to my skin tone? Darker complexions require a darker shade of brow tint in order to stain the hair and skin in a noticeable way. If your brows are sparse, you should select a brow tint one shade darker than your skin.

common eyebrow tint colors

Your hair color of course plays an important role in selecting the right eyebrow shade. How do I pick the right eyebrow tint? If you have light hair, go for a shade that is one or two shades darker than your hair color. If you have dark hair, go for a shade that is two shades darker than your hair color. Eyebrows are naturally darker than your hair color and this will help create a natural and noticeable look that complements your hair color.

Think About Your Eyebrow Type The type of eyebrows you have can also influence your choice of eyebrow shade. If you have sparse or thin eyebrows, go for a lighter shade to create the illusion of fuller eyebrows. If you have thick eyebrows, go for a darker shade to create definition and shape.

What if I Want to Go Lighter?

Simply applying a shade that's lighter than your natural hair color will not lighten the brows. If you want to lighten your brows you need to bleach them first, then apply the color you desire. Eyebrow Lightening Creme is an eyebrow bleach which can lighten your eyebrows to the shade you need. It is specifically designed to be gentler than a traditional hair bleach.

Extend the Life of Your Brow Tint

Aftercare: Tinted eyebrow do not require much maintenance; however steps can be taken to increase the lifespan of the colorant. To take care of your newly tinted brows you’ll need to keep them dry for 12 to 24 hours. Wash your face with a washcloth or cleansing cloth and avoid cleaning your brows with soap. Oil-based cleansers, serums, exfoliants, and face oils can fade the tint faster. Sun and chlorine bleach all hair, eyebrows included, so intense days at the beach or pool will reduce their lifespan and need more frequent applications.

Consider using an aftercare lotion which forms a protective layer to maintain your color and hydrate the hair. Color Keep also includes a light SPF boost to block some damaging light from the sun without being chalky or heavy to wear. With consistent application, you can increase the lifespan of your tint by up to two weeks.

How to Remove Eyebrow Tint

We get it, mistakes sometimes happen. Eyebrow tinting can sometimes stain the skin in unwanted places or go too dark on your brows. How do I remove eyebrow tints? I our testing, we found that you can start with a soapy exfoliant to rub off stained skin immediately after tinting. General face washing, chlorine pools and sunlight can also accelerate the fading effect of eyebrow tinting. You can also use products specially made for removing eyebrow tints, which differs from traditional hair color removers as it targets different active ingredients.


There you have it! Everything you need to know about eyebrow tinting. Follow us on Instagram for promotional deals.

You can find further assistance by emailing us at support@godefroybeauty.com

Or call us at: (800) 854-9809

Back to blog


I would like to try this product.

Bonnie Gregory Lee

My hair color is a medium dark violet with medium skin tones. What brow tint color would be best for me?


My hair is gray. What is the best brow tint to purchase


It was a good tip when you suggested we get a tint color that is a half or a full shade darker than our natural hair color if we want better results. I’ve been interested in makeup lately, so I was considering getting eyelash tinting done on my next day off as a treat for myself. I’ll be sure to consider your suggestion once I find a salon that offers services for eyelash tinting.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.