Tutorial: How to Dye Your Own Eyelashes

Eyelash_dye A step-by-step guide to dyeing your eyelashes at home…

Some beauty treatments should always, always be done in a salon, by professionals who know what they’re doing. (Cutting your own hair is a prime example of this…)Others, though, you can do equally well in the comfort of your own home, for a fraction of the price you’d pay a salon – and one of these is eyelash/eyebrow dyeing.

Now, as regular readers will know, I have been cursed with pale, almost translucent eyelashes since I was born. Without mascara, I actually look like I don’t have any eyelashes at all, and because that’s not exactly a look I aspire to (and it makes me look like I’ve been in some terrible, eyelash destroying accident), as soon as I discovered it was possible to have my lashes dyed, I’ve been doing it.

I’ve had my eyelashes dyed at more salons than I can remember. Cheap ones, expensive ones, in-between ones… The results have varied. Sometimes it’s been great, sometimes it hasn’t made much of a difference. Sometimes it’s been cheap, sometimes it’s been expensive. Almost every time, my eyes have stung horribly because of dye getting into them and I’ve emerged from the treatment looking like I’ve been up crying all night. After a while, I worked out that eyelash dyeing is just one of those things that it’s just easier to do yourself, and given how quickly my eyelashes grow, it’s most definitely cheaper.

Here’s my guide how to do it*…

1. Ask yourself if you really need an eyelash dye

While eyelash dyeing has been great for me, and makes a big difference to the way I look (at least without makeup), it’s something that will only be useful to those of you who have naturally pale eyelashes. It’s not like mascara (despite the name of the product shown above!): it won’t make your lashes thicker or longer, or curlier – it will just make them darker. And if they happen to be dark already, well, you’re not going to see much benefit to this – or, indeed, any benefit.

2. Choose your eyelash dye

Unfortunately I can’t offer a particularly good choice of dyes, because I’ve always used Dylash’s products which are so good and so easy to use that I’ve never really had a reason to change. At the moment I’m using their 45 Day Mascara which costs £6.99 and will last me the best part of a year, even although I use it more often than every 45 days. (The dye itself would last that long, it’s just that my eyelashes grow very quickly and I end up with blonde roots which need to be re-dyed.)

I use black, but this also comes in brown if you want a more natural look. Personally, I like my lashes to be as dark as possible so that when I go to the gym and don’t have any makeup on, I still look like I actually HAVE lashes. To be honest, I don’t think there’s a huge difference between brown and black dye, but it’s up to you to decide which colour is best for you.

3. Creating the dye


Inside the kit you’ll find:

1 tube of dye
1 mascara-type wand
1 wand for stirring the solution (not pictured)
1 bottle of activating solution
1 plastic mixing tray

First, squeeze some dye from the tube onto the tray. I use about 2 inches. Next, add a couple of drops of activating solution and stir until the mixture is thick and gloopy. Be careful not to add too much solution – if it’s too runny it’ll be hard to apply and won’t make much of a difference to your lashes. You want it to be thick enough to stay on the wand, and on your lashes so one or two drops of activating solution is enough.

4. Applying the dye

First, some preparation. If you’ve never done this before (and even if you have, to be honest), you WILL make mistakes. Those mistakes will involve getting dye on your eyelids, face and God knows where else, and while I’ve always found that it just washes right off and doesn’t stain the skin, it’s best to be safe, either by applying some kind of barrier cream (Vaseline will do fine) around your eyes, or by using the paper “shields” that come with some of the kits. Before you even do this, however, DO A SENSITIVITY TEST before use, by applying a small amount to the skin (behind the ear or inside the elbow) and make sure you’ve waited 24 hours to make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients before you begin.

With this done, load the mascara wand with due and apply in exactly the same way you would apply mascara, being careful to get as close to the roots of the lashes as you can. Be careful while you’re doing this: if it gets in your eyes it WILL sting and you’ll need to wash it out at first. I find I get dye in my eyes much less often when I do this myself than I ever did when I used to go to a salon (in fact, hardly ever), but accidents can happen, and it will hurt! So be careful.

There’s really no special trick to the application here: if you’re used to using mascara, you should find it pretty straightforward, although you’re going o want to take more time over it, obviously, and make sure that you’ve coated every bit of lash you can find. The key difference between applying dye and applying mascara is that while you generally only coat the underside of your lashes with mascara, you’ll have to coat both sides with the dye, making sure you get as close to the roots as possible.

Then you wait.

The instructions will tell you to wait for 5 – 10 minutes before washing the dye off. I generally leave it longer than this – anything from 15 – 20 minutes, to make sure the dye really has time to set. Nothing bad has ever happened as a result of this but you may want to just go for the recommended 5 – 10  minutes, at least to start with.

5. Dyeing your eyebrows

Dylash (and, indeed, most eyelash dyes) can be applied to both the eyelashes and the eyebrows. You can use exactly the same process to dye your eyebrows, but if you do, bear in mind that this a larger area, with longer hair, and the dye will be much more obvious – as will any mistakes. For this reason, you should only ever leave the dye on your brows for 1-2 minutes. Any more than that and you run the risk of ending up with jet black eyebrows that’ll look very obviously dyed -not a great look.

6. The results

Having waited the requisite amount of time, all that remains is for you to gently wash the dye off, being careful not to get any of it in your eyes. I used cotton wool pads dipped in water, which I press onto my eyelids and then remove. You should now have perfectly-dyed eyelashes!

(I would’ve shown you a “before” picture here, to show the difference but, well, I haven’t seen my natural eyelashes for some years now! As I said, though, they’re naturally a very pale strawberry blonde, so this is a big difference.)

* Note: I’ve tried to make this guide as comprehensive as possible, but PLEASE read the instructions on the product you buy before using it!