What are the Best Tips for Coloring Eyebrows?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Many people with light or thin eyebrows choose to color them in order to make them stand out and look fuller. There are a number of ways to go about coloring the eyebrows. Some people choose to simply use daily cosmetics. An eyebrow pencil, for example, can be used to shade in the area within the eyebrows while also outlining them. Other people choose to use a pressed powder which is like a very thick eyeshadow. This kind of pressed powder, which usually ranges in hue from light tan to dark brown, is applied with a brush made of short, firm hairs.

Eyebrow pencils may be used to shade in the area within the eyebrows.
Eyebrow pencils may be used to shade in the area within the eyebrows.

For those looking for a more permanent solution to coloring eyebrows, dye can be used. Anyone inexperienced with this procedure may want to have it done at a spa or beauty parlor a number of times before trying it at home. One of the dangers of using dye for coloring eyebrows is that even a small drop of the solution can cause severe irritation in the eyes. For this reason, it is good to have a professional or at the very least a friend with a steady hand to help.

Permanent dye may be used to color the eyebrows.
Permanent dye may be used to color the eyebrows.

Coloring eyebrows can be a good way to have the brows match one's colored hair. It is also a good way for women with gray eyebrows to revert to their original darker color. Sometimes people even lighten their eyebrows to match blonde or reddish hair colors. Many salons that specialize in hair coloring are also good at coloring eyebrows and can match the tint in eyebrows to the tint in the hair.

When using permanent dye, be sure to choose a product that is intended for coloring or tinting the eyebrows. Using the wrong kind of product can lead to irritation of the skin, even blistering and peeling. In order to avoid this, it is recommended to do a patch test before coloring eyebrows with any kind of tint or dye.

A patch test is a rather simple procedure. Simply place a small amount of the solution on a patch of skin on the inside of the wrist. Leave the solution on for as long as it will be left on the eyebrows, then remove it as per the packaging instructions. If the patch test does not yield irritation to the skin, then it is safe to proceed with the product. If the skin does become irritated, try another product.

A eyebrow brush may be used to apply a darkening powder to the eyebrow.
A eyebrow brush may be used to apply a darkening powder to the eyebrow.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments


@SarahGen-- The powdered eyebrow products that look like eye shadow work better than eyebrow pencils in my view. They are applied with a brush and look more natural.

I suggest that you try one of these eyebrow kits in taupe for coloring in your eyebrows. To make it look natural, apply only to the areas where your brows are sparse and then brush through to spread the product.

If you don't want to invest in one of these, you can also use regular eye shadow and an small eye shadow brush. It works the same. Just make sure to blend it nicely and brush through at the end.


I don't want colored eyebrows. I have blonde, sparse brows and I just want them to look fuller and more visible.

What product should I use for this? I've tried an eyebrow pencil but I didn't like it. It looked too artificial.


I know this is not recommended, but I actually use regular box hair color for my eyebrows. I color my hair or do my roots once a month. I have dark brown, almost black hair and I dye it to a light brown color.

After I'm finish dyeing my hair, I use some of the left-over dye and apply it to my brows to make them one tone lighter. I only let the dye stay on for about ten minutes and I apply it carefully with a cotton swab, making sure I don't get any on my skin.

I've been doing this for years and it works great. Since I have dark hair, dark eyebrows give me a really harsh appearance. Lighter eyebrows make me look better.

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