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How to Safely Remove Brow Tint If the Shade Isn’t a Match

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Perfecting our brows is no longer just about waxing, trimming, and laminating. Tinting (or using eyebrow dye) has added an additional layer of maintenance to our monthly routine. “Brow tinting is beneficial, as it adds color to eyebrows, enhancing their shape and definition,” explains brow expert René de la Garza. “It's a low-maintenance way to achieve a fuller look, especially for those with fair or sparse eyebrows. It’s also great for gray coverage. But the longer the tint stays on the brows, the longer it will last. And the longer the tint stays on the brows, the darker the brows will be.” Just like how you may want to learn about applying eyebrow tint, you might also want to learn how to remove eyebrow tint (safely, of course). 

There comes a time when the tinting application (either by us or even the pros) doesn’t quite go as planned. The shade may be too dark, too light, or there may be excess dye. It’s not unheard of to remove bad eyebrow tint or brow dye—but don’t be alarmed by first impressions. Brows always look a little intimidating post-tint. That said, once you’re certain you want to remove the tint or enlist lightening efforts, keep reading for our expert DIY tips below.

About the Experts: 
René de la Garza is a 15-year brow pro and owner of Brow Down Studio in Downtown Los Angeles. He’s perfected the brows of Cardi B, Lizzo, Latto, and more.
Melanie Marris is a celebrity brow stylist and founder of BROW CODE.

6 Ways to Remove Eyebrow Tint

1. Apply a Tint Remover

This is probably the most obvious way to remove eyebrow tint, but it’s not always the most accessible or cost-effective (hence our additional options below). But should you have the ability to snag tint remover in a timely manner, it’s likely your best bet since it’s designed for that purpose. 

BROW CODE founder Melanie Marris stands by her critically acclaimed BROW CODE Gentle Tint Remover. De la Garza also recommends REFECTOCIL Tint Remover, which he calls his favorite. His other Amazon pick is the ROUX Clean Touch Hair Color Stain Remover, which erases tint from all forms of hair while also removing color from the skin.

While directions for each should be followed as listed on each individual package, one thing holds true across the board: “It’s crucial to avoid a back-and-forth motion to prevent any risk of losing those precious eyebrow hairs,” Marris advises. “We must savor these babies!” If there’s one thing we’ve learned from teenage years, hair growth isn’t on our side when it comes to eyebrows. 

2. Apply Micellar Water

Micellar water—best known for serving as an eye makeup remover—is the gentle approach to removing brow tint, according to Marris. She’s opted for this method, which can be achieved by soaking a cotton pad in the water and sweeping it over brow hairs until desired results are met. 

Need an effective product that doubles as a cute beauty counter accessory? Look no further than the REFRESHMENTS Radiant Micellar Water.

3. Gently Cleanse and Buff

Got your favorite skincare cleanser on hand? Great! According to de la Garza, “If your brows are ever over-tinted, the best thing to do is cleanse them gently until reaching desired brow color. This is the safest method of removing tint.”

In case you need a cleanser recommendation, you’ll never go wrong with the beloved YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE Superfood Cleanser. The vitamin-rich, hydrating formula (that’s suitable for sensitive skin) will kick that tint to the curb and nourish your brows in the process. 

4. Rinse Your Brows With a Clarifying Shampoo

The objective of a clarifying shampoo is to detox and deeply cleanse the hair. While said shampoo can be tricky for color-treated hair, it’s an easy fix for tinted brows gone wrong. Like with any shampoo, you want to steer clear of the eyes, so we recommend putting on sunglasses or mini goggles you can buy at the tanning salon. Once you have your shampoo (we recommend the exfoliating but non-abrasive NATURELAB. TOKYO Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub), place a pinky-size amount onto a washcloth with water and gently dab onto your brows until you’re happy with the results.

5. Use a Thick Paste of Baking Soda Mixture

Is it just us or is baking soda always coming to the rescue? We find this household item to be quite the jack of all trades—and who knew removing eyebrow tint would be among its many uses? All you need is equal parts baking soda and the shampoo of your choice mixed together in a small bowl. Then, grab a foundation brush, eyebrow brush, or toothbrush, and spread the mixture onto your brows at your own discretion. Once again, you’ll want to keep the eyes safe, but otherwise, keep the mixture on for a few minutes and you should be good to go. Baking soda has a way of sucking out stains (hence why we use it on our carpet’s wine spills!). 

6. Wait It Out

It’s crucial to keep in mind that tint color dissipates over time. Unless you know the shade is an entirely mismatched color, give the tint a couple days of rinsing with warm water and letting your skin’s natural oils take control. “Brow tint will gradually fade to the original brow color with every wash,” de la Garza says. In fact, from our personal experience, we wish brow tint lasted longer. 

Want more tips to keep your eyebrow game strong? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY beauty subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

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About the author
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer, who has a passion for hair, makeup, and skincare. She contributes regularly to Mane Addicts and her blog, Skyelyfe. Her work has also appeared on Glossy, People, E!, Sweety High and more.
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Article Last Updated March 15, 2024 12:00 AM