Mascara or Eyelash Tinting?

Apply mascara every day, or tint your lashes once every few months?

They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Maybe that's why we spend so much time dressing them up with shadow, liners and mascara. If you're like many women, you like to make your eyes your defining facial feature, outlining them so they pop and trying out every brand of mascara that promises to lengthen and thicken your lashes. Some of you may even wear fake lashes to really get that extra thickness and length. There are even prescription medications on the market that promise to enhance your lashes.

While most women stick with their trusty mascara, it isn't for everyone. Some people have allergies that make it impossible to wear mascara. Some people just don't like the hassle of putting it on every morning and removing it every night, or the smudging issue is simply too much. And some people just don't like wearing makeup, but would still like their eyelashes to look a bit more appealing.


This is where eyelash tinting comes in. An alternative to mascara, eyelash tinting is like dyeing your eyelashes. Some women also tint their eyebrows. If you decide to try either, you should always go to a trained professional. Your eyes are very sensitive and even a small mistake can cause injury or infection.

As with everything, there are pros and cons to both methods of eyelash beautification. Eyelash tinting isn't for everyone. Then again, neither is mascara. Let's weigh the positives and negatives of each.

Mascara pros:

  • Thickens and lengthens lashes, as well as darkens
  • Can be taken off with makeup remover
  • Can be self-applied at home
  • Inexpensive and quick
  • You can change the color of the mascara whenever you want.
  • Generally safe and hypo-allergenic

Mascara cons:

  • Sometimes causes allergic reactions in some women
  • Can clump up and look unnatural
  • May run or streak from sweat or tears
  • Must be applied and removed every day

Eyelash tinting pros:

  • Beneficial for those with very light-colored lashes or brows
  • Lasts four to six weeks with no reapplication necessary
  • Once applied, needs no maintenance
  • Will not run when wet (great for athletes)
  • Looks completely natural
  • Can match the color perfectly to your hair and skin color

Eyelash tinting cons:

  • Dangerous if applied incorrectly, especially with home kits
  • Can cause allergic reactions or eye damage in some women
  • Costs about $20 to $75 in a salon
  • Not regulated by the FDA
  • Many dyes claim to be vegetable-based, but also contain coal and tar
  • Tint can stain skin
  • Does not thicken or lengthen eyelashes; simply darkens them

If you do decide to get your eyelashes tinted, it's important you go to a trained professional. There is no nationwide tinting certification program right now, but ensure that your esthetician is experienced in the process. She should always give you a patch test beforehand to make sure you're not allergic to the dye. And be aware that the FDA warns that eyelash tinting has been known to result in eye injury, including blindness.


Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • Loughrey, Felicity. "Eyelash Tinting in NYC." 2009. (Sept. 9, 2012)
  • Ricapito, Maria. "Is It Safe to Tint Brows and Lashes?" WebMD. Nov. 7, 2010. (Sept. 9, 2012)
  • Rovan, Rhonda. "Is eyelash tinting safe?" Best Health. 2011. (Sept. 9, 2012)
  • SarahK. "Eyelash and eyebrow tinting." Truth in Aging. April 9, 2011. (Sept. 9, 2012)
  • Starr, Jasmine. "Eyelash Tinting: Make Your Eyelashes Lovely Without Mascara." Yahoo! Voices. Dec. 12, 2010. (Sept. 9, 2012)