makeup brushes in jar

Tutorial | How to Dye Your Own Eyelashes

how to dye your own eyelashes at home

Want to know how to dye your own eyelashes? Or even if you should dye your own eyelashes? Well, wonder no more…

Can You Dye Your Eyelashes? A Guide

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.

I’ve 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.

how to dye your own eyelashes: before

(I actually do have some dye on the very tips of my lashes in these photos: I normally re-dye my lashes every few weeks, so it rarely gets the chance to grow out completely – my natural lashes are even paler than this.)

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 one of those things that it’s just easier to do yourself, and given how quickly my eyelashes grow, it’s most definitely cheaper.

I’ve been asked quite a few times now for a tutorial on how to dye your own eyelashes at home, so here it is:

How to dye your own eyelashes at home
makeup brushes in glass jar

Ask yourself if you really need an eyelash dye

While dyeing eyelashes 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.

Just as hair dye doesn’t magically make your hair longer, thicker or curlier, eyelash dye won’t do those things either: you need mascara for that, and if you’re looking to lengthen, thicken or curl your lashes, you’ll STILL need to use mascara once your lashes have been dyed.

30 day mascara / eyelash dye

How to dye your own eyelashes with Colorsport 30 Day Mascara

Choose your eyelash dye

There are tons of different eyelash dyes out there, but for the purposes of this post I’ll be using Colorsport 30 Day Mascara in black, although there are tons of other brands on the market, all of which are pretty similar. (I also like Mylee Brow and Lash Tint) 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.

Do a patch test

This is a dye, and as with any other dyes, it’s really important to do a patch test 24 hours before you use it, and to repeat the test every time, regardless of whether or not you’ve done it before. You’ll find instructions for the patch test in the box, but it basically involves following the mixing instructions below, and then applying to the skin on your underarm (or any other unobtrusive place) rather than to your lashes.

Mix the eyelash dye

Inside the kit you’ll find:

1 tube of eyelash dye cream
1 plastic mixing wand
1 bottle of developer liquid
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.

DIY eyelash dye: a step-by-step tutorial

How to dye your own eyelashes: mixing the eyelash dye

Apply a barrier cream

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 it should wash right off without staining 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. My worst staining experience? Dropping a blob of eyelash dye on my fingernail – yes, a fingernail – then having to wait weeks for the resulting stain to grow out, because absolutely NOTHING would shift it. Take care with your eyelash dye, folks…

Apply the dye to your lashes

With this particular kit, you’re supposed to apply the dye using the same white plastic stick you used to mix the dye. Some of the other kits I’ve used, however, provide a small ,mascara-style brush with which to apply the eyelash dye. I find this much easier than using the plastic mixing stick, so I’ve saved one of the mascara wands from another kit to use here. If you don’t have one of these, my advice is to clean up an old mascara wand and use that: you can also purchase these brushes in places like Sephora or Sally Beauty.

So, you have your mascara wand, you have your barrier cream in place: all that remains is for you to load up the brush with eyelash dye, and apply it 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.

How to dye your own eyelashes: my tips:

♦ Pay most attention to the top of the lashes, getting as close to the root as you can, so you’re not left with pale roots. I find the best way to do this is to close the eye you’re working on, and kind of roll the mascara wand down the lash, to completely coat it. It can also help to hold a piece of tissue paper under the lash, to catch any of the dye.

♦ Some of the dye will end up on your eyelids, and under the eye: don’t worry about this – as long as you have plenty of Vaseline around the eye, it won’t stain. You’ll obviously want to


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.

Dyeing your eyebrows

Eyelash dye 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.

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!

after eyelash dye: using black dye on very pale eyelashes

* 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, and, as always, if anyone has any tips of their own to share on how to dye your own eyelashes, I’d love to hear them!

Before and after eyelash dye

How to dye your own eyelashes at home

Now that you know how to dye your own eyelashes, you might also like these posts:

I’m the sucker who bought those magnetic false eyelashes from Facebook: here’s what happened

My Russian Volume Eyelashes Disaster

Should you try lash magnetics?

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

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  • Lisa


    Where can I get Dylash’s at? I can’t seem to find it.

    February 15, 2009
    • Lisa,
      I’m not sure where you’re based, but I buy mine from either Boots or Superdrug (both in the UK). I’ve also seen it on eBay. If you’re not in the UK, though, it’s possible this brand may not be available where you are.

      August 21, 2009
  • judy mcnaughton


    I have had to apply it at least three times before it works despite following the instructions my eyebrows do not dye am I buying faulty dyelash kits or are there any other reasons why it does not seem to work. Any suggestions please. Judy

    June 27, 2009
    • One thing that may help you is to try leaving it on for longer than the instructions tell you to. I think the instructions tell you to leave it on for 10 minutes, but if you find that isn’t long enough for it to work, it may be worth experimenting (carefully, though!) with leaving it a little bit longer to see if that helps.

      August 21, 2009
  • Rose


    Can you still wear mascara after using Dylash?

    August 21, 2009
    • Hi Rose,

      Yes, it’s fine to use mascara with it – I always do, because as I said in the post, dyeing your lashes will only make them darker, it doesn’t do any of the lengthening, thickening or curling you get from a mascara!

      August 21, 2009
  • coral


    hi hun.. i got sum of the dye in my eyes, it stings and red.. will it be ok..?

    September 9, 2009
  • ashley


    Hello, i live in canada and i seen in one of the above posts that I probably wont be able to find any if im not in the UK, do you have any other suggestions? i dont have a credit card so its hard to buy over the internet:(

    September 24, 2009
  • Lauren


    I am 13, am i aloud to dye my eyelashes at my age?

    November 7, 2009
    • You’d really need to ask your parents or guardians that, Lauren.

      November 7, 2009
  • I need to show my friend this post. Maybe we can have an eyelash dying party. Though I think the wine should wait til the dye has been removed. Otherwise that might make for a really interesting look.
    Fashion and Happy Things

    July 14, 2014
  • I just wanted to comment to say – I love dying my lashes and I have naturally dark ones. It does have some benefit to dark lashes, because in my case (and I think for most people) the tips are paler than the rest of the lashes, so I find the dye makes them makes them look longer. As it’s so quick and easy to do it is definitely worth it (in my opinion anyway).

    The difference with yours is amazing, your lashes look fab! 🙂

    September 19, 2014
  • I’m going to try this!

    November 12, 2014
  • I had no idea you could do this yourself at home! I too look like I have no eyelashes when I’m not wearing mascara and I’ve never been keen on it. I’m going to have to do some searching in my local beauty supply store to see if I can find this and give it a go.
    Thanks so much for sharing a detailed tutorial and the before and after so we can get an idea of the results we can achieve.

    June 6, 2015
  • Great article gonna try this

    December 3, 2015
  • Hello! I live in a small town and it’s very hard to find such kits in the local shops. Can I use a natural dye instead? Like henna or coffee, perhaps? Is there a stratforward way to do that? I have naturally black eyelashes but the tips are a bit reddish and pale, so I need to colour them. I’ve been taking some supplements for hair and nails, but I see that my eyelashes responded well to this treatment also. So I’ve started a little “cure” with castor oil and camelia oil in order to make them grow longer and thicker. And they did. Now I do have longer lashes. But they are paler on the tips. So all this effort seems to be in vain. I do want longer lashes but I also want them to be more visible! It’s a bit ironical this situation I am now. Ironical and funny too!

    April 14, 2016
  • Maya


    This can be very useful for my younger sister. Unlike me, she is a redhead, and her eyelashes are very pale. I recommended to her Cherish Lash conditioner which I adore, it helped her to grow longer and darker eyelashes, but they were still too pale. With this thing I’m sure she will finally look like a femme fatale. 😉

    February 18, 2018
  • This is so helpful thank you so much! I was always a bit nervous of doing my own lashes but you’ve given me the confidence to give it a try, thanks so much! It sounds a lot easier than I thought it would be xo

    Makeup Muddle

    February 9, 2020
  • Ms Ojeda


    Will this eyelash dye cover gray lashes?

    July 16, 2020