Maybelline Brow Tattoo review

I Tried Maybelline Tattoo Brow: Because What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Maybelline Tattoo Brow: a DIY brow tint that allows you to temporarily “tattoo” your brows at home.

I mean, sounds legit, right?

Like, there’s absolutely NOTHING that could go wrong with THAT scenario, is there?

While I’m sure many people would run shrieking from the very IDEA of brow tattoos – DIY or otherwise – though, as soon as I read about Maybelline Tattoo Brow, I was like, “BRING IT.” And, I mean, sure, there was every chance it could end up being the biggest beauty mistake I’d ever made – bigger even than the magnetic eyelashes fiasco, or that one time I let my husband do my makeup . But, then again, there was also the chance it could give me the eyebrows of my dreams, and could I REALLY afford to miss out on that opportunity, people?

No. I could not.

So I bought myself a tube of Maybelline Tattoo Brow, and I told my brows they better be scared. And honestly? I think they really, really were. Well, wouldn’t YOU be if you were a set of very pale, red eyebrows, who were about to be dyed brown by a complete rank amateur?

I think so.

Here’s the product in question:

Maybelline Tattoo Brow review

As you can see, it’s an innocent looking tube of brown liquid (I got Light Brown, but it also comes in Medium Brown and Dark Brown. Too bad if you don’t want your eyebrows BROWN, huh?) which you paint onto your unsuspecting brows using the brush provided:

Maybelline Tattoo Brow brush

(This is the brush provided)

You then leave it on your brows for a minimum of 20 minutes (You can leave it for up to two hours, for a longer-lasting effect), before peeling it off to reveal perfectly tinted brows, which will last for around three days, and which you won’t be able to wash off, sweat off, or otherwise remove.

So, first things first: it’s obviously not an ACTUAL tattoo, is it? This is a good thing, though, because if I was actually trying to tattoo my own brows, my husband would probably have me committed. This, however, is more like a temporary brow tint, and while Maybelline are presumably hoping the use of the words “tattoo” and “semi-permanent” will lead you to think it’s going to be a bit like microblading, only without the £200 price tag, it’s not, actually, anything like microblading. Sorry to disappoint.

Anyway, you’ve met Maybelline Brow Tattoo: now it’s time to meet my brows: lucky you!

Natural eyebrows before using Maybelline Brow Tattoo

These are my brows. As you can see, in their natural state they’re a very pale red colour, and they’re also that uniquely awful combination of bushy AND over-plucked. Yeah, the 90s were NOT a good time for eyebrows, and now mine are paying the price. I’d actually LOVE to have them microbladed (Because, seriously, I don’t know how I managed it, but this is a REALLY flattering photo of them: they look much worse in real life…) but it’s one of the many, many (many, many…) beauty treatments you’re not allowed to have while you’re pregnant – hence my interest in Maybelline Brow Tattoo.

So! You’ve seen the brows, now here are the brows on drugs Maybelline Brow Tattoo:

trying out Maybellline Brow Tatttoo on natural red eyebrowsFor my first attempt, I was honestly a bit afraid of having them turn out jet black or something (I mean, I wish I could say this has never happened to me before, but I HAVE dyed my eyebrows at home in the past, so of course it has…), so I went in with a fairly light hand, fully prepared to abort the mission at the first sign of trouble.

As it turned out, though, the product was actually really easy to use. I did have to use a spoolie brush to make sure the liquid was as evenly distributed as possible, but it went on easily enough, and, after that, all that was left to do was wait:

trying out Maybelline Brow tattoo

And wait…

testing Maybelline brow tattoo

And wait…

stupid Instagram filtersOK, so it was only 20 minutes, but what can I say, I get bored easily. And obviously you CAN do other things while you’re waiting – like, you don’t HAVE to cycle aimlessly through every single one of Instagram’s filters and take videos of yourself with puppy dog ears – but I guess this is one of the potential downsides of this product, because, if the effect lasts for 3 days, but it takes 20 minutes for each application, then that’s a minimum of 40 minutes brow maintenance per week, and…

Instgram filter

Whoops, sorry! Got bored again! What was I talking about?

Oh yeah: Maybelline Tattoo Brow. So, OK, once the 20 minutes were up, I headed to the bathroom to peel off the product, as instructed. I was actually quite looking forward to this – mostly because I was that kid in primary school who’d deliberately put glue on her fingers just so she could peel it off again – but actually, it was all a bit of an ant-climax, because this stuff just doesn’t peel off. At all.

I’m not sure if it’s just because my brows are so bushy, but I found the liquid just dried on to the individual brow hairs, rather than drying in one piece, as I’d imagined. Luckily, however, it may not have peeled off, but it did WASH off really easily (I used some eye-makeup remover on a cotton pad and it came off right away), which meant that, before long, I was looking at…

Eyebrows after using Maybelline Tattoo Brow for 20 minutesUmm, actually, I was looking at more or less the same old eyebrows as before, really. Or, at least, I THOUGHT I was: it’s actually only now that I look back at the photos and compare the ‘before’ and ‘afters’ that I can see that my brows are, in fact, a bit darker after using Maybelline Tattoo Brow. Here’s a quick comparison, for those of you who can’t be bothered scrolling all the way back up to the top of this post again:

Before and after using Maybelline Tattoo Brow

I mean, they’re a tiny bit darker? Maybe? Possibly? Is anyone else seeing it, or is it just me?

To be honest, when I actually did this, not even I could see any difference, so, like any other idiot would do, I went back in…



Well, I’m really glad THIS photo will be preserved on the Internet for all eternity. I mean, I just KNOW someone’s going to find this on Google Images or something, after searching for “clown brows”, and they’re going to think this is how I actually do my eyebrows every day. And then they’re going to pass this photo around all of their Whatsapp groups or whatever, and, I dunno, maybe I’m just being paranoid here, but I just feel like people will laugh at me behind my back, you know?

every get the feeling people are laughing behind your back?Nah, I’m just being paranoid, aren’t I?

Anyway, this time, as you can see, I used much more of the product, and I decided to leave it on for the full two hours, which, the instructions told me, Maybelline Tattoo Brow can be left for a longer-lasting effect.

At this point, three unfortunate things happened:

01. My phone battery died.

02. As you can no doubt tell from the ever-decreasing quality of these photos, it got too dark to take photos of my stupid eyebrows with it anyway.

03. I totally chickened out after about 1.5 hours, and decided to wash it off again, just in case I really did end up looking like I’d drawn my eyebrows in with a sharpie.

When I washed the second application off, I honestly started to wonder if I’d been sent a dud box of this product, because, in the dim light of a Scottish winter evening, my brows still didn’t look all that different to me. It wasn’t until the almost equally dim light of the next morning, then, that I got to make a proper assessment:

eyebrows after using Maybelline Tattoo Brow


So, I mean, yeah, this obviously isn’t quite the dramatic transformation I was expecting, is it? In fact, if anything, I’d say my brows look… redder? Maybe? While they didn’t really get a whole lot darker, though, what you can’t really see from this photo is that they DID get fuller, with the product filling in those bald spots I’ve been left with from years of over-plucking, and generally smoothing out the shape.

before and after Maybelline Tattoo Brow

The thing that makes this product different from a regular brow dye is the fact that it will dye some of the skin around the brow, too – which is why my brows look fuller after using it. (And yes, it will also dye anything else it comes into contact with: in addition to my fuller eyebrows, I now also have a single brown nail, for instance, so, you know, be careful with that, kids…) I normally have to spend quite a bit of time filling in those bald spots and outlining the shape of my brows every morning, and I haven’t had to do that since using this, so I like it for that reason alone.

Oh, and as for the longevity, I’m currently on day 3, and it’s still going strong, despite me showering and washing my face as normal, so it definitely delivered on that front.

Would I buy Maybelline Tattoo Brow again, though?

In a word? Probably.

Next time, I’d probably go for a darker shade – for my first experiment I played it safe with ‘Light Brown’, but I think I could probably risk ‘Medium Brown’ without too much trouble. I was a bit disappointed that my brows didn’t really get much darker with it, although, with that said, as a redhead, it can be almost impossible to find brow products that look natural, so I guess that’s a point in this product’s favour, too, although, if you’re looking for a more dramatic effect, then maybe don’t go choosing the lightest colour.

What I DID like about this, however, is the fact that it really filled in all of the bald spots, as well as neatening up the general shape of my brows. Again, you can’t really see this from the photos, but the outline of the brows is now much smoother, which means I don’t have to basically invent my own eyebrows by drawing them in every morning – I just wake up with them already in place.

So, overall, my feelings are a bit mixed on this one, but not so much that I wouldn’t buy it again, albeit in a darker colour next time. I might go and put some more on right now, in fact…

Maybelline Tattoo Brow is available here, and will set you back £12.99: anyone else tried it?

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  • I have heard tons about this, but am too much of a chicken to try it out. My brows are a mixture of black/dark brown hairs with blond/reddish hairs. Which makes them look super bushy in some places and weird in others xD

    LG, Rosie //Curvy Life stories

    December 6, 2017
  • Alicja


    Hah… I think I’ll try it too 😀

    December 6, 2017
  • Myra


    I should try this too as I have very short eyebrows that don’t reach either the inner or outer end of my eyes, and I’ve over plucked what is there, so now they are short and bald in black and grey. Bet they’ll be patchy lol.

    I did have them dyed once by the owner of a salon (not my usual person) and I guess she hadn’t done them for a while as I came out looking like an extra in a zombie movie and it took a couple of days of cleansers and scrubbing to get the dye off my skin, so maybe I shouldn’t risk this product.

    December 6, 2017
  • Ginger


    Your “was this a good idea???” makeup posts are among my favorites! I’m glad this one had a pretty good outcome. (The magnetic lashes had me giggling uncontrollably.) I’m somewhat tempted to try this myself. My brows are a bit darker than yours, but I have the same issues with bushiness and patchiness, complicated by a scar in one brow. I also spend a lot of time fixing the outline and filling in. They’re never the same from day to day, and they rarely even match each other. (Though I’m not sure that it would be a good idea to “tattoo” them that way, then. Hmm.)

    December 6, 2017
  • Brenda


    My eyebrows are very light as well. For years, I have either had them professionally tinted — but the first couple of days after I do this, I feel like Groucho Marx… but lately I have moved on to an eyebrow filler. Much like mascara but with a smaller wand. The only problem with that is it only lasts as long as you are wearing make-up… I would LOVE to try microblading, but what has been holding me back are a couple of things — does it hurt? what if the eyebrow person does a terrible job and I end up permanently looking like Groucho…? So once baby comes and you are up to it, I would really like it if you could pull the trigger on microblading and then report back to us! I would appreciate it so much! Ha!

    December 6, 2017
  • Nicole


    I have medium brown hair/brows and have found that almost all light brown powders show up reddish on me. As weird as it sounds I actually fill in my brows with a light purple eyeshadow! It makes my brows look fuller/more even (and not purple at all) without being too dark or too red. I think the blue tones work best with my brow color, while most browns are red-based. I don’t know that it would work with your coloring but it just goes to show, you never know how a color will show up until you try it out!

    December 6, 2017
  • poppy


    I have tried this product and I don’t think you get the full effect if you are washing it off. I had no trouble peeling it off. I did have it on a bit thicker than you, though. What I found is it doesn’t tint your hairs, it dyes the skin where there is no hair and this is what I needed as my brows are very patchy (almost non existent). My only complaint is that it was a bit orangey/red after the first day. I bought the dark brown. I have also had the micro blading done about three years ago. It cost AUD900 and didn’t last as long as I thought it should for the money, but they did look good.

    December 6, 2017
  • Sarah B


    Haha, this post was so cute, you make the most fabulous queen with that golden instagram leaf crown!!! 😉 And look awesome with all the other filters, too of course! I know this post was chiefly about eyebrows, but as a silly person, I greatly appreciate silliness haha… 😉

    Your brows do look lovely though, hope that when you try the darker colour someday, it gives you the results you’d dreamed of! 🙂

    December 10, 2017
  • Ashima


    Hi , I love your article on Maybelline Tattoo Brow. I started using it about two months ago. Thr tube I have doesn’t come with a thin applicator brush so I’m using a thin lip gloss applicator that I bought at CVS. Once I apply to my brows , I use a bit of alcohol on the thin lip gloss applicator to clean up my brows and make them more evenly shaped. But I’m not using the one that peels off. I went back to read the tube to make sure it’s not the peel off type and it’s not. Looking forward to reading more interesting things on your blog.

    April 23, 2018
  • Arlene David


    I have dark brown hair. So I bought dark brown. It turns to be so black I can’t wear. Nothing on box said to buy lighter than your hair color. I guess I’ll have to trash.

    May 15, 2018
  • Victoria Grierson


    Hi, was an interesting and humorous read. The counterpart Maybelline tattoo microblading pen is really easy to use and does give better results than any other temporary brow product I’ve tried, I loved my new brows. It’s not any sort of tattoo though, doesn’t budge all day but does come off with a face wipe. I will say I had a massive allergic reaction to bleach fumes after afew hours of applying microblading pen. I’m going to use it again when the swelling has gone down and hopefully all will be well as this was an amazing product. I chose it over the peel off tattoo brow as I’ve used the Eyelure dyes on and off for years and they’re never anything like the result you get at a salon. I would recommend the pen providing no one else has reported a reaction, my daughter used it too and was fine, so think it was just a coincidence and it was a reaction to using too much bleach.

    February 19, 2019
  • Ty


    Girl, you’re hilarious. You did almost every part wrong. You’re supposed to paint it on, not spoolie it onto the hairs, it only dyes the skin, and you can’t get it wet or wash it for 24 hours after! But the filter pics alone were worth the read. It’s an okay product if you use it right (although overpriced imo…) but it is fiddly!

    January 25, 2024