How to Do a Lash Tint at Home, According to an Esthetician

December 14, 2023
Ariel Wodarcyk
By: Ariel Wodarcyk | by L'Oréal
Person applying mascara

Everyone knows how much a swipe of mascara can transform your look, especially if your lashes are naturally sparse or on the pale side. But when you wear mascara, you run the risk of dealing with flakes or smudges under your eyes and difficulty with removal — plus, it’s an extra step within your already involved beauty routine. 

That’s where a lash tint comes into play; it can help you wake up with fuller, darker lashes without having to apply (or remove) a single coat of mascara, and it’s shockingly easy to do at home. To learn more about at-home eyelash tints, we spoke to Amy Kernahan, esthetician and owner of a|k Studios in Milford, Pennsylvania and Darya Rzaca, an esthetician and co-founder of Atelier Beauté in Brooklyn, New York.

What Is a Lash Tint?

“The [lash tint] process is done by applying a semi-permanent vegetable dye to the lashes to deepen their color,” says Kernahan. “[It] is a great option if you’re not quite ready to commit to eyelash extensions because it gives the client the option to wake up with tinted lashes.” 

A lash tint is a great option for those with blonde or red lashes. By dying them darker, this gives definition similar to a layer of mascara without the extra maintenance (application and removal). 

How Long Does an Eyelash Tint Last?

Note that an eyelash tint is a temporary solution because the eyelashes are constantly growing and shedding. According to Kernahan, an eyelash tint should last about four weeks. 

Who Should Consider Eyelash Tinting?

According to Kernahan, clients that desire darker lashes without having to apply mascara and clients with very fair or blonde lashes are great candidates for eyelash tinting. While an eyelash tint is a great alternative to lash extensions, it will only change the color of your lashes, it will not add extra length or volume like extensions can. 

How Much Does an Eyelash Tint Cost?

An eyelash tint will vary by price based on geographic location and popularity. According to Kernahan, $25 to $65 is a baseline, though some places can change upwards of $100. 

Before You Try a DIY Lash Tint…

Rzaca recommends using henna to tint your lashes at home, but before you apply, it’s important to do a patch test. “Perform a patch test every time you try a new henna or go to a new salon to get a henna service done,” she says. To do the patch test, mix the henna according to package instructions and apply a small amount to an easily hidden area of skin, such as the inside of your arm. Wait ten minutes before washing it off to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction. If any burning occurs, rinse the product off immediately. 

It’s also important to note that safety is the main priority when carrying out a DIY lash tint because of the proximity to your eyes. If you have any concerns, consider leaving it to a licensed professional. 

What You’ll Need

Micellar water or cleanser

Cotton pads

Cotton swabs

A thick cream

Henna or vegetable dye 

A clean spoolie

A helpful friend (optional)

How to Do a Lash Tint at Home

Step 1:

Use a gentle cleanser to make sure your eyes are completely makeup-free — we recommend the Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1.

Step 2:

Mix your henna according to package instructions. The Rainbow Research Henna Hair Color and Conditioner is great for this because you can choose between inky black and dark brown shades depending on your natural hair color and desired effect.

Rainbow Research Henna Hair Color and Conditioner

Step 3:

Cut a cotton pad in half, then soak each half in water before placing them underneath your eyes, similar to the eye patches you might use to reduce dark circles or puffiness.

Step 4:

To protect your lids from staining, Rzaca suggests using a cotton swab to apply a thick, greasy cream, such as the CeraVe Healing Ointment, along the upper and lower lids.

Step 5:

It’s time to tint! “You can do it in two ways: by yourself, with your eyes open, as if you were painting your eyelashes from the roots to the tips,” says Rzaca. “Or ask someone for help applying the tint to your lashes while your eyes are closed. We recommend asking someone to do it for you. Try to relax your eyes while the tint is being applied and not squeeze them.” 

Squeezing your eyes shut can cause the tint to run into your eyes. Leave the tint on for seven to ten minutes, depending on how intense you want the color. Then, with your eyes still closed, wash it off with warm water. If any burning occurs, wash the product off right away.

How Long Does an At-Home Lash Tint Last?

Now that your lashes are tinted, you can expect the darker hue to last for up to four weeks. “After this time, the dye is gently rinsed out and the treatment has to be repeated,” says Rzaca. To make the henna last as long as possible, avoid rubbing the area with eye makeup remover or cleanser. Other than that, you can continue to curl your lashes as usual or apply a lengthening mascara to enhance the effect.

The Best Mascaras for Faking a Lash Tint

Not into the idea of getting a lash tint or performing one yourself? There are plenty of mascaras out there that impart intense pigment to make lashes pop with definition. 

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Panorama Washable Mascara in Blackest Black

To get the look of a lash lift without going through the actual process, this new drugstore mascara from L’Oréal Paris provides intense, inky black color and lush volume. Plus, the formula is washable and easily removes with soap and water. 

L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Panorama Washable Mascara in Blackest Black

Maybelline New York Falsies Surreal Extensions Washable Mascara in Blackest Black

Another drugstore find, this lengthening and volumizing mascara in the shade Blackest Black coats each lash fringe with intense color to create instant definition. Your lashes will appear like you just got a fresh tint every time you wear it. 

Maybelline New York Falsies Surreal Extensions Washable Mascara in Blackest Black

YSL Beauty Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara

Lauded for its intense pigment, this luxe tube of mascara delivers volume and bold color that lasts all day long without smudging. If you have light lashes, it comes in a rich brown shade for a more natural lash look.  

YSL Beauty Lash Clash Extreme Volume Mascara
Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn Additional Reporting By: Reece Andavolgyi

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