IDK about you guys, but doing my makeup before my morning Zoom calls is just not on a thing I have energy for anymore. I totally get that some people feel better about themselves after putting on foundation and swiping on a few coats of mascara, but in ~These Times~, I simply cannot be bothered. And that, my friends, is why I’m so into eyelash tinting.

In an effort to make my mornings as easy and fuss-free as possible, but still have it look like I did a little something when I turn my video camera on, I decided to finally try out eyelash tinting for myself. As a reminder, lash tints basically create the illusion of wearing mascara without you actually having to swipe it on—pretty effing awesome, if you ask me. And if you’re interested in trying tints too, keep reading to see exactly how it worked for me, plus all the important stuff to know before you try it.

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What does an eyelash tint do?

Think of lash tinting as a semipermanent 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 semipermanent vegetable-based dye), says Clementina Richardson, founder of Envious Lashes in NYC, where I went to get my lashes tinted for the first time.

Is a lash tint worth it?

If you have naturally light or blonde lashes, you’ll definitely see the most dramatic difference with an eyelash tint, says Richardson. If you have naturally dark lashes like me, you may not 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.

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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. From start to finish, the whole thing takes just 30 minutes, though, of course, it can vary depending on where you go, how fast the lash tech is, etc.

What does lash tint after-care involve?

Pretty much nothing! “You can shower, wash your face, and resume using makeup immediately after [your appointment] without affecting the result or the longevity of the tinted lash,” says Ashley Cornett, a lash, skincare, and makeup specialist at STRIIIKE Studio in Beverly Hills, CA.

Otherwise, you should avoid sun exposure and certain chemicals, such as peroxide and chlorinated swimming pools, as much as you can, as these could fade the tint more quickly, she says. (Just consider it an excuse to invest in a new pair of oversized sunnies.)

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, plus tip (which should be at least 15-20 percent).

How long does an eyelash tint last?

Eyelash tints last for 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.

Can you wear mascara with lash tint?

Absolutely, but just stay away from waterproof formulas. That’s because “the friction required to remove it isn’t ideal,” says Cornett. Lashes are fragile as it is, and rubbing them while they’re tinted could potentially make the pigment fade more quickly.

Does lash tinting hurt?

No, it def doesn’t hurt, but it does feel a teeny bit uncomfortable during the process—at least for me. 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.

4 mascaras that are *almost* as good as lash tinting
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Volumizing Mascara
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Volumizing Mascara

Credit: Courtesy Image

Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume HD Mascara
Diorshow Pump ‘N’ Volume HD Mascara

Credit: Courtesy Image

Uoma Beauty Drama Bomb Extreme Volume Nourishing Mascara
Uoma Beauty Drama Bomb Extreme Volume Nourishing Mascara

Credit: Courtesy Image

Nars Climax Mascara
Nars Climax Mascara

Credit: Courtesy Image

Is eyelash 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 even injury to the eye (scary, but gotta say it).

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—e.g., call ahead and read all the reviews online.

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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 pics below).

Eyebrow, Face, Eyelash, Eye, Forehead, Skin, Nose, Iris, Head, Organ,

Envious Lashes

Photo evidence that a lash lift and tint will actually change your freaking life (especially if you have blonde lashes).