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Anna G. Larson, Published October 10 2012

Eyelash dyeing makes lighter lashes lovely

FARGO – I’m a makeup minimalist. The less I can wear, the better, which is why I was thrilled to learn about eyelash tinting five years ago. I’ve been doing it ever since.

Eyelash, or lash, tinting involves applying a vegetable-based semi-permanent dye to existing eyelashes. The whole process takes about 25 minutes.

Part of a successful lash dyeing experience is having a skilled person applying the dye. I see Jessica Hanson at M.J. Capelli on 19th Avenue North in Fargo, and she’s never missed a lash. The woman gets every one of my blond lashes from base to tip.

The dyeing process starts with applying petroleum jelly around the eye, and a protective pad is placed under the bottom lashes to protect the skin and make those tiny lashes easier to color. Next, the dye is applied using a soft, small brush while the eyes are closed.

The eyes need to remain closed for the duration of the dyeing process, about 20 minutes. Keeping my eyes shut is a struggle sometimes, but after about five minutes, I relax.

Once the dye has processed for 20 minutes, damp cotton pads are used to wipe the lashes. The protective undereye pad is removed.

At this point, I can finally open one eye. The eyes are then rinsed, one at a time, with a saline solution to wash out any dye that might have seeped in. If any dye gets in my eyes, I know immediately because it burns. Whether or not my eyes burn is dependent on how tightly I kept them shut.

Post rinse, I wipe my eyes on a towel to absorb any dye. Once I readjust, I get to see my newly tinted lashes in the mirror – once blond, now dark brown.

My lashes are typically in need of a fresh dyeing about six or seven weeks after the process. I pay $18 plus tip per dye session. For me, it’s worth it. It saves me time in the morning and night. I feel more confident with mascara-free, natural-looking, dark lashes, and I waste less money on mascara.

While lash dyeing is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, I figure veggie dye isn’t the worst thing in the world – people get Botox injections for Pete’s sake.

Lash dyeing is a godsend for fair-lashed ladies or those who don’t want the hassle of applying and removing mascara. If eyes are the window to the soul, I want my windows to have beautiful curtains.