Follow these seven steps to score amazing arches the DIY way
If you've never tinted your brows, it's time to consider doing so. The benefits are plentiful: "It can make brows look fuller and more uniform, not to mention conceal any pesky gray hairs," explains makeup artist and eyebrow guru Ramy Gafni. It's also a serious time-saver. Once your arches are tinted, there's often no need to spend time filling them in with pencils or powders, notes New York City eyebrow guru Sabria Celaj. And while you can certainly go in for a professional tinting (it's often included as part of a hair color service or as an optional add-on to brow shaping), happily, this is one beauty task that's surprisingly simple to do yourself. Here, the pros walk us through the process.
Step 1: Shape Your Brows Before you even think about tinting, Gafni suggests making sure your shape is spot-on. Tinting before shaping ups the likelihood of accidentally tweezing away hairs that you shouldn't be removing. "Since the color makes brows appear fuller than they are, you're more likely to over pluck," he says. So whether you see a pro or take the DIY route, be sure your brows are groomed and shaped before coloring.
Step 2: Pick Your Product Pay a visit to the men's grooming aisle and reach for Just for Men Mustache & Beard, $7.99, which Gafni says is choice for coloring brows. "It comes with multiple tubes so that you can mix up small doses of color at a time," he explains. In other words, one box is good for multiple rounds of tinting. Traditional hair dye will work, he says, but keep in mind that you'll have to mix up a whole bottle only to then throw away most of it (FYI, you can't save or reuse hair color once it's mixed). A vegetable-based dye is another alternative, and Celaj's recommendation, since it's gentle on both hair and skin, she says. One to try: Naturtint Permanent Hair Colorant, $13.49. It's also worth noting that while Just For Men is technically permanent, Gafni finds that it lasts for about three weeks on light brows and one week on dark brows (lighter hair is more porous and absorbs more dye, he explains). Vegetable dye will last for four to six weeks on most people, says Celaj.
Step 3: Choose the Right Color To determine the best color for your brows, take a look at the hair on your head. Redheads and brunettes should choose a hue that's two shades lighter than their hair; blondes and those with silver strands should go two shades darker. Having trouble deciding between two options? "Always err on the lighter side, since it's much easier to go back and add a little more color than it is to remove it," advises Cela
Step 4: Prep Skin to Prevent Staining While getting a little dye on your skin isn't the end of the world, you can easily prevent it from happening in the first place. If you happen to have a barrier cream on-hand, feel free to use that, but there's no need to buy one, since two common household items will work just as well. Gafni likes using Vaseline, while Celaj recommends olive oil, both of which have the added benefit of simultaneously hydrating skin. Using your fingertip, apply either product around the perimeter of your brows, being careful not to get too close to the hairs: "Leave about two hairs width of space around the eyebrow, since you don't want to get any on the actual hairs, as this will prevent the color from absorbing," notes Gafni
Step 5: Apply the Dye Mix up the color according to the product directions. Just for Men comes with an included brush, though you can also apply the dye with a cotton swab. Either way, be precise and targeted with your application, covering the entire brow with an even layer of color (keep a clean cotton swab on hand to wipe away any excess that gets on spots where it shouldn't be). Brush through with a clean spoolie to blend and work the color into the hairs, then prepare to be mildly terrified by your appearance. "The dye is going to look extremely dark while it's on your brows, but don't be alarmed," says Gafni. This Groucho Marx look is not (we repeat, is not) indicative of how it's going to turn out. As a general rule, leave on for the allotted amount of time indicated on the instructions, though if you're using vegetable dye, Celaj recommends leaving it on for only a minute or so.
Step 6: Remove and Assess Wipe away the color with a damp cotton ball or pad until the dye is totally gone (this may take a few swipes). Use water only, no cleanser or cream of any kind, as those can affect the color, cautions Celaj. Once your brows are clean, assess the end result. If it's too light, go ahead and repeat the process. "It may take a little trial and error to determine exactly how many rounds of color you need to achieve your desired effect," Gafni points out. Once you're satisfied, this is the perfect time to reexamine your brow shape. The color will often bring out fine or light stray hairs that you otherwise may have missed, but can now easily see and remove, says Celaj.
by Melanie Rud Chadwick
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