How to Tint Your Own Eyelashes for $20

If there’s one hang-up in our morning makeup routines—one task that takes twice as long as all the others—it’s applying mascara. Foundation, tinted moisturizer, BB cream—these can all be smoothed on and blended in well under a minute. The same goes for concealer. Blush and lip color are most likely done in 10 seconds flat. But mascara is really what’s holding us back from mastering the under-five-minute face.

How To Tint Your Own Eyelashes
Imaxtree / Graphic by Cristina Cianci

The problem is, like many women out there, we wouldn’t dream of braving the day without mascara. Enter eyelash tinting. While for most it’s not a mascara replacement, it is an effective solution for taking barely-there lashes and turning them into lush, dark, glossy eyelashes. However, tacking on a monthly professional lash tint can be an undue addition to an already tight beauty budget. That's where at-home eyelash tinting comes in. All the benefits of salon job, but from the comfort of your own powder room.

If the thought of going mascara-less terrifies you, or you just won’t settle for anything less than the darkest lashes possible, keep reading for a full breakdown of the process.

What You'll Need

• Henna powder
• Water
• Petroleum jelly
• Cotton pads or paper towels
• A clean mascara wand

Step 1: Mix

In a small container, combine the henna powder and a small amount of water, and mix until you’ve reached a paste consistency. You don’t want the mixture to be too watery, because it will drip.

Step 2: Prep

Make sure your eyelashes are clean and dry, with no mascara or makeup remover residue. Apply a layer of petroleum jelly to the skin around the eyes to protect it from stray dye. For extra insurance against stains, you can place strips of paper towel underneath your eyes. (They’ll stick to your skin thanks to the petroleum jelly.)

Step 3: Apply

Dip your clean mascara wand into the color and roll it around to ensure the bristles are evenly coated. Then, start applying the tint to your lashes as if you are putting on mascara. Start with the lower lashes to avoid smearing the tint on the upper lashes. And remember to dot the very tips, which are always the lightest.

Step 4: Wait

Let your lashes "process" for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Remove

Head to the sink and use wet cotton pads to gently wipe off your lashes. Note: It may get a tad messy. You’ll need a few passes with the cotton pads, and a quick rinse will help get the last bits.

The Slightly Less DIY Option

Godefroy Permanent Mascara
Godefroy 28-Day Mascara Eyelash Tint Kit $30

If you prefer your eyelash tinting adventures somewhat less adventurous (aka with supplies that come out of a box), we like the kit options by Godefroy and 1000 Hour, both of which contain multiple applications.

lash tint
1000 Hour Lash & Brow Dye $20

And while both promise four weeks of dark lashes, don’t expect miracles. If you’re washing your face twice a day (and you should be!), the color will probably fade a little quicker than the box claims.

Whether you create your own tint or buy it from the drugstore, the color can be used to darken your eyebrows, too.

Shop the DIY Products

Rainbow Henna Hair Color
Rainbow Henna $6
Disposable Mascara Wands
G2PLUS Disposable Mascara Brushes (100 Pack) $5
Q-Tips Cotton Rounds $4
Vaseline Original
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly $4

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