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What is eyelash tinting? What you need to know about tinted lashes?!

Tinting basically creates the illusion of mascara without you actually having to swipe it on—pretty effing awesome. Keep reading to see exactly how lash tinting worked for me—plus everything to know if you want to try it too.

What is lash tinting?

Think of lash tinting as a semi-permanent dye job for your lashes. Tinting won’t add curl, length, or volume to your lashes (you’ll need to try a lash lift or lash extensions for that), but it will darken and intensify their color with permanent, cream-based dyes (and in some cases, a semi-permanent vegetable-based dye), says Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes in NYC where I went to get my lashes tinted for the first time.

What are the benefits of lash tinting?

If you have naturally light or blonde lashes, you’ll definitely see the most dramatic difference with a tint, says Richardson. If you have naturally dark lashes like me, you may not a see a super-huge difference in your lash color post-tint. I was really pumped to see some dramatic, noticeable change in my lashes, thinking they’d suddenly look super thick and dark, but, in reality, they kind of looked the same? Slightly darker, slightly fuller, but not a major difference. Where I did see a change, though, was with my lash tips, which are lighter than the rest of my lashes. Tinting them made my lashes look slightly longer and thicker as a result.

How long does lash tinting take?

Literally tinting your eyelashes is so fast—the dye is painted on, then sits on your lashes for just 1o minutes. I walked into Richardson’s studio and 25 minutes later, I was outside with my newly tinted lashes waiting for an Uber.

How much does lash tinting cost?

Like all beauty treatments, the price depends on where you live and where you go, but expect to spend anywhere between $45 and $75 dollars for your tint.

How long does lash tinting last?

About four weeks. The dye is permanent, so the tint itself shouldn’t fade, but as your lashes fall out and new, un-tinted lashes grow in their place, you’ll notice your eyelashes looking lighter and lighter. For the best, longest-lasting result, Richardson says to keep the eye area dry for 24 hours after your tinting treatment and use oil-free makeup removers and creams around your eye area.

Does lash tinting hurt?

No, it def doesn’t hurt, but it does feel a teeny bit uncomfortable. I blame it on the little protective shields that are pressed up against your lash line during the treatment, coupled with the fact that anything on/near your eyes just feels weird. But the whole thing is so quick and speedy, it was honestly no big deal to me.

Is lash tinting safe?

Depends on who you ask. The FDA, for example, isn’t down with lash tinting. As of now, the FDA hasn’t approved any color additives for permanent dyeing or tinting of the eyelashes, which means that it’s illegal for salons and studios to offer lash tinting in certain states. And if you have sensitive eyes or sensitive skin, proceed with caution, since certain dyes can cause irritation, or worst case scenario, blindness (scary, I know).

However, if you ask the internet/celebrities/the entirety of the beauty world, lash tinting is considered a pretty low-risk beauty treatment. That said, the safety and efficacy of lash tinting totally depends on where you get it done. As a rule: Only go to well-reviewed salons or studios with licensed lash technicians (sorry, Groupon). And obviously, do your homework before making an appointment—i.e., call ahead and read all the reviews online.

One last thing about lash tints:

If you’re going to make an appointment for a lash tint, I def recommend making one for a lash lift at the same time (Richardson says she almost always does the two treatments together at her salon). During a lash lift, your lashes are curled with a special perming solution to create a super-lifted, wide-eyed look. The combination of the curl and tint is honestly just as good as extensions (check out the before and after pic below).