Apart from tweezing a few stray hairs here and there, I haven’t touched my brows in years. You see, when I was 16 I made a grave error. Like Georgia in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, I thought a slim razor was the answer to my bushy-brow prayers. If you’ve watched the film, you'll know I was very, very wrong. Rather than a quick and easy trim before school, I ended up with half an eyebrow and declared passionately to my parents: "I will never go out in public again!" Coincidentally, this is when I adopted a fringe as my signature look.
Since then I’ve avoided doing anything drastic to my brows, whether that's threading, waxing, tinting, microblading, lamination, extensions or henna tattoos. Then Blink Brow Bar London sent me their new At Home Brow Tint Kit, £20, to test out. Swallowing my teenage trauma and encouraged both by friends who swear by the brand’s salon treatments, I took the plunge. Spoiler: I’m now converted to the BBBL brow tint way of life. My natural-looking, soft and fluffy yet deeper, darker brows have transformed my face and my makeup routine. My usual go-to brow product, Glossier Boy Brow, has been gathering dust ever since.
Ready to tint your brows at home for the first time? Read on for my thoughts and newbie top tips.
What is a brow tint?
Brow tints help your brows look fuller and fluffier. Often, brow hairs are fairer at the tip, which can make brows appear patchy. A brow tint slightly stains these hairs and the skin underneath to "fill in" the brows and define the edges. It's a great treatment for those whose brows are naturally lighter than their hair or who have dyed their hair darker and want their brows to match.
What does the Blink Brow Bar London At Home Brow Tint Kit include?
Blink Brow Bar London's At Home Brow Tint Kit is available in three shades: Chai (a cool blonde), Indian Chocolate (a medium brown) and Clove (a rich, dark brown). In every kit you’ll find a small tube of cream tint developer, four intense colour capsules in your chosen shade, a mixing tray, four brow-grooming spoolie brushes, four wooden mixing sticks and, of course, instructions. You’ll also need an oil-free cleanser to ensure your brows are squeaky clean to start with (I used Simple Kind to Skin Micellar Cleansing Water, £5.90), tweezers to pluck any stray hairs you don’t want tinted, a protective balm such as Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly, £3.90, to coat the skin around your brows to prevent staining, cotton buds to tidy up your tint, your phone to time yourself, and cotton pads and water to wipe away the tint once the time is up.
How do I prepare to tint my brows myself?
It’s important to follow the instructions that come with your kit and, as with any new product, do a patch test 48 hours before you plan to tint your brows to make sure it doesn’t cause a skin reaction. With the BBBL At Home Kit, you must mix the coloured powder inside the capsules with the cream tint developer until it reaches an even consistency, just as a brow artist would in a salon. Once mixed and once your brows are clean, tweezed and prepped, you can apply the cream to your brows. BBBL recommends leaving the tint on for different lengths of time depending on your chosen shade and desired effect (i.e. whether you want a soft or strong colour). When the time is up, simply remove the tint with a wet cotton pad.
For advice on our brow-tinting technique, we reached out to London-based brow tech Sophia Brows. She suggests following your natural brow shape (just as you would when applying makeup) and removing the tint from the inner corner of the brow outwards for a soft, graduated finish. This is all listed clearly in the instructions but if, like me, you find a visual aid helpful, try this tutorial from makeup artist Lyndsey Harrison. "Play it safe," cautions Sophia. "Leave the colour on for less time than instructed, as you can always reapply."
If you’re worried about the colour not being dark enough for you, experts advise leaving the tint on a little longer or adding a little bit more developer. "I never use black as it’s too hard and never looks natural," says Sophia.
My first impressions
Forty-eight hours after doing a patch test, I prepped my brows as outlined above, cleansing, tweezing and applying a layer of protective balm to the surrounding skin. I also found that brushing through each brow with one of the spoolie brushes provided helped to prep them for the tint. My hair is naturally dark brown but I've recently dyed it cherry coke red so I opted for the medium brow colour, Indian Chocolate. After mixing the powder with the cream tint developer, I applied it to my brows with one of the wooden mixing sticks. The consistency is thick and it needed some coaxing to apply smoothly but it didn’t drip and stayed put on my brows throughout — a godsend for my bathroom sink and the white T-shirt I stupidly decided to wear for this.
Once the tint was on, three minutes flew by (BBBL recommends a two to three-minute wait time for a soft colour with this shade). Following Sophia’s advice, I then removed the colour with a cotton pad doused in water, swiping outwards from the inner corner of each brow. Happily, it came off easily and did not smudge across my face.
My final thoughts
I’m so happy with the results and I’m definitely a brow tint convert. The whole process was quick, easy and mess-free, and I’ve been left with the perfect soft brown tint that I was promised. After the initial three-minute waiting time, I decided to apply a second coat for a richer, more intense colour. The result? My brows still look fluffy and natural, while the deeper shade matches my dyed hair a lot better.
According to the brand, the At Home Brow Tint Kit allows for up to four applications and the results last for up to six weeks. A week after application, my tinted brows are looking just as fresh; four weeks later, the tint has indeed noticeably faded and is in need of reapplication (which I master easily in front of a Gilmore Girls rewatch).
Now though, with this in my regular rotation, my eyebrow routine has completely changed. When I have freshly tinted brows, I opt for a quick coat of Blink Brow Bar London's Clear Brow Gloss, £23, in the mornings to keep everything tamed. When the tint is starting to fade and I'm due a top-up, I turn to BBBLondon X FD Future Dreams' Brow Palette, £25, to fill in those sparse areas. It's a super handy brow powder kit that comes with a brow stencil, created in partnership between Blink Brow Bar and cancer charity Future Dreams for Cancer Awareness Month. When I'm on the go, its the brand's Ultra Slim Brow Definer 2.0, £19, that comes to the rescue.
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