Unless you were born with the good-eyebrow gene coded into your genetic makeup, chances are you’ve already resigned yourself to a lifetime of setting aside 5-10 minutes each morning to tend to your brows: filling in sparse areas, adding definition to your arches, willing yourself not to get too tweezers-happy and ruin all your hard work. But with the price of microblading ranging anywhere from £200 to £700, daily maintenance is the only budget-friendly way to go — which is why the development of a semi-permanent brow tint that lasts up to three days, and costs less than £5, sounds like a blessing from on high.
But as one teenager learned in her pursuit of perfect brows, you might end up paying the price in a different, much more traumatic sense. As reported by the Daily Mail, UK resident Charlotte Knight snagged what she believed to be the cult-favourite Tint My Brows Peel Off Gel from K-beauty brand Etude House for £3.95 on eBay. Knight followed the instructions on the packaging, which recommended that the tint be left on for a minimum of two hours, and could be worn overnight for the most dramatic results.
But after just two and a half hours of letting the tint sit on her brows, Knight says that the gel became “rock hard” and stuck to her skin and brow hairs “like tarmac.” Rather than peeling off easily, as the product name suggests, she was forced to scrub the gel off for half an hour before the tacky substance finally came off. “I was crying and trying to peel it off,” she says. “I was worried they would fall off. It took half of my eyebrows off with it.” Now, she has to fill in the hairless areas each day.
The tint, which Knight now says must have been a fake product, also left what remains of her brows completely black. “It took me a long time to get good eyebrows, and it has ruined them,” she says. Etude House confirmed that the product in question was discontinued and, after examining the packaging of the product that Knight received, agree that it’s a counterfeit. “We checked the packaging and its Korean writing is misspelled," a spokesperson for the brand said. "The particular product has been discontinued more than a year ago, and we are currently not selling the product." An eBay spokesperson said that the seller has since been banned.
Losing your eyebrows to a faulty brow gel might be a worst-case scenario, but it just goes to show the many dangers of getting your beauty products from unauthorised retailers. You never know what you're getting, so do your research and only purchase from sources you trust. It's not worth risking your health safety just to get a few bucks off — and it's definitely not worth having bad brows for the foreseeable future.