Why Eyelash Tinting Is The Ultimate No-Makeup Flex

Photographed by Lara Callahan.
There are moments when we want our eyelids dusted with frosted eyeshadow and others that call for a full stop smoky eye — and, sometimes, all in the same day. But there’s never not a time when we don’t want darker, more defined lashes. It’s something that makes the unending cycle of putting on and taking off mascara kind of worth it — but also, can’t we just skip ahead to the part where we have perpetually inky, separated lashes already?
For now, the closest thing to natural, yet perma-defined hairs comes by way of lash tinting, a quick in-salon treatment that gives the illusion of 24/7 mascara for weeks on end, without the clumping or streaking.

What Is Lash Tinting?

“Lash tints are a happy medium between mascara and lash extensions, giving you a bolder, wide-eyed look for a relatively affordable price and with very little upkeep,” says Clementina Richardson, celebrity lash artist and founder of Envious Lashes. “Because the process colours the entire strand from the base of lashes to the tip, it can also make the lashes appear longer, too.”

How Much Do Lash Tints Cost?

The treatment, which can be done in less time than it takes to pick up lunch, is also relatively affordable, with the cost of treatments averaging $20 — $40 a pop. Chances are, you'll usually get one in tow with their bff, lash lifts. If you're after this dynamic duo, it'll set you back between $80 — $120.
Photographed by Caroline Tompkins.

What Can I Expect During A Lash Tint Session?

According to Richardson, reputable lash tinting services should be administered by a licensed provider and start with the kind of consultation you'd expect at a hair colouring appointment: Ahead of the treatment, the technician should determine the shade (from blue/blacks to brown) and type of dye to achieve the desired look. “At our salons, we match the colour to the client’s natural hair colouring,” Richardson notes. The consultation also helps to determine whether the service should be performed at all: Those who have had an adverse reaction to hair dye don't make viable candidates for the service, Richardson notes.
Once the right shade and type are selected, the dye is applied to the length of each individual lash, then left to tint while the client keeps his or her eyes closed. About 15 — 20 minutes later, the service is complete. “It's super easy and the benefits are immediate,” Richardson says. “The result is beautiful, darker looking lashes without the use of mascara.”
While those with thicker lashes will likely see more dramatic results than someone with fine lashes, the colour should last about four-to-six weeks if properly cared for. To get the most mileage out of your fresh dye job, Richardson suggests keeping the lashes from getting wet (this includes avoiding steam from facials and heavy eye makeup) for at least 24 hours, and staying away from oil-based products altogether, as they can strip away the tint.

But Don't Head To Any Old Salon

Different salons can use different dyes when they perform the service — and there are many. This means you have to be extra vigilant in deciding who you're letting near your eyes. “Dyes used for lash tinting range from food dyes and semi-permanent dyes to chemicals similar to hair dyes and even coal tar dyes,” notes dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm, M.D. “Some of these can cause irritation or even severe contact allergies to the skin, while the coal-tar dyes could cause damage to the eye itself.”
Further, Palm points out that some of the dyes used for lash tinting services are packaged in multi-use containers, which ups the possibility of bacterial or viral contamination without sterile preparation. But, as Richardson (whose clients include Naomi Campbell and Jenna Dewan) proves at her salon, safe and natural results can be achieved with the right tools. The pro employs semi-permanent vegetable or plant-based dyes in all her appointments. “Under no circumstances should they use a regular hair dye on your lashes,” she says.
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