By now, the secret’s out that I am not a natural redhead. When asked, I don’t lie about it, but I like to put up a convincing front. Most people are surprised to hear that I’m actually blonde. They often protest my revelation by pointing out that my eyebrows are red. That’s because I dye them with the rest of my hair.
The FDA does NOT recommend that you dye your eyebrows. In fact the agency says:Never dye your eyebrows or eyelashes. An allergic reaction to dye could prompt swelling, inflammation and susceptibility to infection in the eye area. These reactions can severely harm the eye and even cause blindness. (Inadvertently spilling dye into eye could also cause permanent damage.) FDA prohibits the use of hair dyes for eyelash and eyebrow tinting or dyeing even in beauty salons or other establishments.
I do it anyway. While dyeing your brows is theoretically dangerous, with modern, no-drip dye, the chances of it running into your eyes, from your brows, is small.
Small paint brush (I believe my brush is an inexpensive watercolor brush)
Exfoliating facial scrub
1. Prepare dye as directed on package. Decant a small amount (1 – 2 Tablespoons) into a plastic cup.
2. Apply dye to brows with paintbrush. Coat brow hairs thoroughly.
3. Allow dye to develop for the full time directed on the package. (During the development time, I dye the hair on my head.)
4. After the full development time (25 minutes with L’Oreal Feria), remove the dye with a damp paper towel. Remove any remaining dye with a dry paper towel.
5. Wash the brow area with an exfoliating scrub (I use Burt’s Bees) to remove the tint from surrounding skin.
6. Dyeing complete!
Please note that the dye WILL stain your skin and the only safe remedy for the resulting “shadow” is time. An exfoliating scrub hastens the fading process by removing dead cells. In 2 – 3 days, the tint will no longer be noticeable. Therefore, you will not want to dye your eyebrows the day of a big event, but rather a few days beforehand.
I love defined brows, so the dyeing process alone does not give me the results I like. I use cosmetics to fill, darken, and define my brows. I haven’t had much luck finding auburn brow products at the grocery or drug store. Sephora carries a few different options. I first used Clinique’s auburn pencil (Superfine Liner for Brows), but looked for a new product after being frustrated with the pencil’s short life (~6 weeks). I now use Smashbox powder/wax duo (Brow Tech) on my brows and am more satisfied with both the results and the value. As the dye fades and brow hairs shed, the cosmetics become even more crucial to maintaining the ginger illusion. In fact, although I haven't tried it, you may be able to fool your friends and neighbors with make-up alone and skip the risk of blinding yourself.