Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ginger Brows

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.

Materials required:
Hair dye
Disposable cup
Small paint brush (I believe my brush is an inexpensive watercolor brush)
Paper Towels
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.


Genuine Lustre said...

I think your brows look great - they're fairly thick. I wonder if some vaseline around your brows during the dyeing process would help reduce the skin staining.

My brows are fair and getting really thin. I"ve never plucked or shaped them - there isn't anything to shape.
I use Revlon's pencil/gel combo with pretty good results. I wonder if dyeing would help maximize what I have or would it make me look freakish?

Anonymous said...

I think it's so funny that you dye your eyebrows red! Your color does look natural though. The funny thing is, I am a natural redhead and my eyebrows aren't even red!

J~Mom said...

You totally rock for putting up the tutorial! How is your training for the marathon coming?

Anonymous said...

You have the neatest plucked brows i have ever seen (magnified like that)! You're smart for accentuating your best feature. :) I love that you dye them. I'm too scared. I just use a pencil in the current shade of my haircolor. I was wondering...Do you pluck or wax them? If you pluck you are very meticulous. If you wax do you do it yourself. I used to, but I had to much irritation. Now. I pluck.

KT said...

I have to thank you for making my day. I always give you big props for sharing so much with us but this is the best! I love seeing a real woman detailing some of the things we go through to achieve some of our outer beauty!
P.S. I get my brows done every 2 weeks. I used to go to a guy who did not wax, but plucked. One by one. When my husband found out how much money I was spending on brow maintenance I had to let him know that it is not cheap to look this good

SHOEGAL said...

Wow, I can't imagine you as blonde. You look so natural as a redhead - must be the pale skin. Have you dyed your hair for long and do you have a pictures of yourself as a blonde?

Kasmira said...

I pluck my brows because I'm too cheap to get someone to wax them. I usually tweeze every day, as I apply my makeup, so it isn't too much of a chore. This is what they look like with no plucking:

And, if you want to see me blonde, my wedding photos are online:

Gervy said...

Thank you very much for this - a very useful post. I had my eyebrows done (shaped & dyed) professionally for the FIRST TIME in my life a couple of weeks ago. I was quite happy with the result, but they didn't have dye to match my hair, just did it a light brown colour. I am very tempted to try this, but scared because my mother-in-law suffered from anaphylaxis after using hair dye and that FDA warning looks extremely ominous!

The eyebrow makeup tips might be a good start for me anyway...

Anonymous said...

I truly had no idea you weren't a natural redhead! I henna my hair red, and I use an auburn brow pencil to complete the illusion. Hennaing eyebrows, unfortunately, tends to turn them vivid orange, not auburn.

SewEthel said...

I too never realised you weren't a natural redhead. I was also surprised to see that you pull off being a blonde so well! I prefer the red hair, but mostly because it's a bit spunkier! I'm a blonde myself and would seriously consider some red action after seeing your conversion!

Great tip on the brows too! Unfortunately I have boring small brows so are not so much fun to play with!

Myst_72 said...

The hairdresser my hubby goes to reckons you should never dye your eyebrows with hair it can make them fall out...personally I think they say these things for extra business....hasn't worked on me so far I do my own trims/foils/colour and extensions!

Nice blog,
Love the outfits!


Anonymous said...

if you do manage to get some dye outside of your brow area, simple rubbing alcohol will remove it! i use hair dye in crazy colors that gets everywhere!

Unknown said...

hello there i just have to say that Your hair looks awsome and so do your brows you have inspired me to dye my hair a medium auburn and the same with my brows. thanks for the advice, shy

Fashion and more said...

wow, thanx for the tip, my brows are getting salt and peppery, and i was going over them with mascara every day, never even thought about dying them. i will do them next time i dye my hair. great tip!!!

Triin said...

I'm a natural blonde too and I have fair blonde eyebrows which I have to color. Before I dyed my hair red, I had drak brown hair, so I dyed my eyebrows to black. Actually, if you don't know that my brows aren't red, you can't notice it but I'd like to have them red. :D So I was looking from the Internet for red eyebrow tint but haven't found anything yet. I can't believe that there isn't such thing as red eyebrow tint. In my home country there isn't anything like that because I live in Estonia, so I hope to find something and deliver it. If there isn't anything, I have to dye them too with haircolor. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey I dye my hair every color of the rainbow and the brows follow. Another tip --
Try cheaper and faster 10-minute touch up color by CLAIROL. And, leave it on for 15 minutes, since brow-hair is more resistant and less porous than head-hair.

-Red today, Blonde Tomorrow

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I have always wondered how to dye my very light brows but been afraid to do it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I have always wondered how to dye my very light brows but been afraid to do it!

-smatz- said...

I have done the same when sporting red. Red eyebrow pencils are hard to find, but I have found that lipliners work just as well if not better because of the "Stay" factor of most sales on lip products. Although with the colorful trends in eyeliner lately, it seems it would probably be getting easier all around.

Thanks for your great blog, it makes my morning coffee so much more fashionable :)

Anonymous said...

Hm, as a natural redhead, it's actually your eyebrows that give you away, imho. I think if you'd pick a more brown colour for your eyebrows, it would look more natural. Red heads don't have eyebrows the same colour as their hair, They're almost universally white blonde or ashy dark brown! But to each their own!

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Canada!

I am in school for Aesthetics and we do eyelash and brow tinting. One thing that seems to help is by having a big of Vaseline above and below the area but not too close, because as it melts on the skin it can prevent the dye from gripping to the brows.

an alternative to a brush can be an old mascara wand, you can comb the dye through the brows without touching the skin as much like a brush can.

one thing that helps remove stain is actually palm olive dish soap, right after dying you use a dollop on a wet cloth and it takes the stain right out.

Great tutorial and your hair colour looks fabulous.

Anonymous said...

As a natural redhead the shade is quite obviously fake-looking to me, haha. It has that 'fire engine red' quality you just wont find in real red hair.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I have been an esthetician for six years and you should never use hair die on your eyebrows. It can make them thinner and cause them to fall out. The reason being the volume for lifting the natural colour out of your brows it a 3 using professional tints. In hair die the volume to lift the colour out is much higher than 3. You also do not know what volume of peroxide you are using in any given drugstore box die is it a 10 20 or more?? If you are having your hair professionally done the volume will still be too high for the thinner hairs on your face.

Anonymous said...

I too have been dying my brows with hair dye for years with good results. I have had luck using lip pencils on my eyebrows as the selection of red colors is quite plentiful. I have actually found that the cheaper brands work better for eyebrows as they tend to be harder. Nice soft lip pencils do not work well on brows. I have dark brown hair and when I was doing lighter coppery reds I bought facial/body hair bleach made for mustaches and what not and used it on my brows. If you have dark brows and do not leave the bleach on for the full time it will turn the hair red. I tested the bleach on my arm hair (which unfortunately is quite dark and plentiful) to get the time right.