Your complete guide to eyelash tints and what to consider before getting one.

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What Is An Eyelash Tint?
Credit: Rosdiana Ciaravolo/Getty Images

In the age of working from home, I have not been applying mascara everyday (who has?) — and that's where the magic of eyelash tints come in. Obviously, I still want to look my best for my Zoom meetings, just minus any effort.

An eyelash tint, commonly done in tandem with a lash lift, is used to darken your lashes and make them standout without the use of mascara (which is especially helpful for somebody like me who has blonde eyelashes). But while I'm all for getting gorgeous dark lashes without so much as a sweep of mascara, I wanted to find out everything there was to know about what an eyelash tint is, how it's done, and if there are any risks involved.

Read on for your complete guide to eyelash tints and what to consider before booking your appointment.

What Is an Eyelash Tint?

"A lash tint is a 15-minute procedure where semi-permanent dye is painted onto the eyelashes to make them appear thicker, darker and fuller," says Dr. Karen Nipper, board-certified ophthalmologist at ReFocus Eye Health in Connecticut.

She adds that those looking for darker and more vibrant lashes may receive eyelash tints to enhance their eyes and modify their makeup routine, aka cut down the time spent repeatedly coating your lashes with mascara.

Esthetician and founder of Glo Spa in New York City, Sai Demirovic adds that eyelash tints can really boost the appearance and noticeability of lighter-colored lashes. "This treatment is great for anyone with red to light brown lashes," she tells us. "It also helps to make lashes look thicker because of the intensity of the color. "

What Is the Process of Tinting Your Lashes Like?

Another good thing about eyelash tints is you don't have to set aside a ton of time aside for eyelashes that pop — you could even run out to a salon over your lunch break.

"The process is quite quick and easy," explains Demirovic. "Usually a plastic shield is used so when we paint the lashes the dye does not come into contact with the skin."

She adds that after the dye is applied, it will need to remain on the lashes for about 10 minutes before your lash technician will wash it off. You should experience the full effect of the dye for about six to eight weeks, says Demirovic.

Dr. Nipper adds that some techs will ask you to avoid water around your eyes, including sweat, for up to 48 hours after your initial appointment. But even after this period, she says some will suggest avoid excessive contact between your lashes and water in order to keep the tint in tact for as long as possible.

Are Eyelash Tints Safe?

The answer to this question is, well, complicated. Demirovic says that as long as you're not allergic to dye, the process should be safe. But there are situations when a tint can cause irritation or even dry eye syndrome, according to Dr. Nipper.

"Dry eye is defined by a lack of basal tears — tears made up of water, fatty oils and mucus with the purpose of lubricating the eye," she explains, adding that typically the period of avoiding water is what causes the disease. "When we don't naturally produce enough basal tears, or the composition of these tears changes, the result can be dry eye syndrome."

The other side effects Dr. Nipper says you could experience include, burning, itching, aching, heavy or fatigued eyes, soreness, dryness, redness, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. If you experience any of these symptoms or dry eye syndrome, she strongly urges that you call your eye doctor to receive a comprehensive exam and a treatment plan.

She also recommends consulting your doctor for guidance prior to receiving an eyelash tint, adding that the "Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any color additives for permanent dyeing or tinting of eyelashes."

What Should I Consider Before Getting an Eyelash Tint?

There a few other things to take into consideration before having your lashes tinted. For starters, if you have sensitive eyes or even have an allergy to dye (including hair dye and henna), Demirovic recommends holding off on the tinting.

"If you get a lash [tint] and are itchy the next day, you should immediately seek medical attention to reduce future swelling and irritation," urges Demirovic. If you do have an allergy to dye, Demirovic suggests trying a lash lift as opposed to to the tint because lift will still make your lashes look longer, fuller, and more voluminous, but without the dye. And if you already have dark lashes to begin with, a lift will give you the most noticeable results.

Demirovic also stresses finding a reputable salon with well-trained staff who is experienced in eyelash tinting and take the necessary safety precautions. However, not every salon will do a lash tint because, according to Demirovic, tinting is illegal in some states because the dyes are not FDA-approved. Some places will only tint your lashes in addition to a lift because during this process, the lashes are lifted higher off your face and away from your skin.

If you do have sensitive eyes or an allergy, Demirovic suggests trying false lashes instead. Magnetic lashes — like these Dual Magnetic Lashes ($17; amazon.com) — are easy to apply and will provide you with natural-looking longer and fuller lashes without any safety risks.