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Is eyebrow tinting right for me?

        Health | Spa Health

Eyebrow tinting can makes your eyes pop, but make sure you do your research before you go.
Eyebrow tinting can makes your eyes pop, but make sure you do your research before you go.
Ralf Nau/Getty Images

If you're a girl with barely-there brows, eyebrow tinting can help frame your eyes beautifully. This semi-permanent cosmetic procedure is a very attractive option if you're tired of using an eye pencil or have noticed a few grays popping up in your brow line. Eyebrow tinting works well most women , and it's perfect if you're looking for a way to streamline your beauty routine.

Once you've located a salon that offers this semi-permanent hair darkening service, the procedure is similar no matter where you go. The esthetician will protect your eyes with an eye patch or mask and apply petroleum jelly or another lubricant to the skin around the brows to help protect them. Then, she will use a cotton applicator dipped in dye (usually vegetable-based) to apply the color solution to the eyebrows, eyelashes or both. After the solution dries, the esthetician will wash away excess dye with soap and water.

Eyebrow tinting costs about $20 per eye and lasts four to six weeks.

Sounds great, right? Not so fast! If you live in Massachusetts, eyebrow tinting is illegal. In 1999, a woman had her eyelashes tinted in a salon, only to experience disastrous results. She suffered chemical burns to her eyes and permanent irritation because the salon used a coal-tar dye with a clear warning on the label that it should not be used to dye the eyebrows or eyelashes because of a risk of causing blindness [source: Truth in Aging].

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any dyes for eyebrow and eyelash tinting. In fact, the agency issued an alert in 1982 when reports revealed that several cosmetic dyes imported to the United States from Austria, Germany, and England contain coal-tar dyes [source: FDA]. The alert is still in effect today.

You can buy several do-it-yourself eyebrow tinting kits online, but it's important to do your homework before purchasing and make sure the kit you choose does not contain any ingredients that could damage eyes, irritate mucous membranes, or stain skin. You could also find a salon that you trust. Either way, caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is the watchword before proceeding with eyebrow tinting.