There are lots of reasons why you might want to color correct eyebrows. What technique you use to color correct your eyebrows will depend on the exact situation.
You can use grooming and/or makeup for basic color correction. Bleach (chemical or natural) and/or peroxide will lighten eyebrows. Exfoliants (e.g. bicarbonate of soda) and/or shampoo can help to remove excess dye. For more intense and longer-lasting color correction, you may need semi-permanent makeup and/or lasers.
Why Do Microbladed Brows Fade?
Microbladed brows fade because the pigment is absorbed into the skin over time.
The fading process can be slowed with touch-ups/retreatments. Alternatively, it can be speeded up through tattoo-removing procedures e.g. laser treatments.
Why Can Semi-Permanent Eyebrows Turn Blue?
The pigment used for semi-permanent eyebrows is made of a combination of colors.
For example, brown is created using red, yellow, and blue/black. The exact ratios will vary with the shade.
As the pigment ages, it is absorbed into the skin. With some pigments, however, the different component colors will be absorbed in different rates.
Usually, yellows and reds are absorbed quicker than blues and black as they have smaller molecules.
This can lead to semi-permanent eyebrows eventually turning blue. Blue eyebrows can be especially noticeable on people with cool-toned skin as this draws out the coolness of the blue.
When Should You Go In For A Retouch?
Typically, you would allow your brow color to fade by at least 50% before going in for a retouch.
Depending on how naturally the color is fading, you might want to wait until your brow color has faded by at least 70%.
For practical purposes, most people will go in for a retouch about once a year.
How To Color Correct Eyebrows – Easy Guide
The approach to color-correcting eyebrows will depend on various factors.
These include the type of treatment, the color you need to correct, and your skin tone.
Here is a quick guide to color correcting microbladed eyebrows and eyebrows with old permanent makeup:
Microblading Color Correction
Microblading color correction is generally done in two steps. First, you neutralize the old color by using a color corrector in a complementary shade. Second, you apply the target color. If your eyebrows are +70% faded, this can usually be done in one treatment. If they are 50%-70% faded it may take two treatments.
Here is a step-by-step guide to microblading color correction:
In most cases, this will be blue/black. Sometimes, however, it will be red/orange/yellow. This is particularly likely if you have warm-toned skin.
Blue/black is a cool color so you will need an orange shade to neutralize it. Red, orange and yellow are all warm colors. Green is the best option for neutralizing them.
Similar logic applies to choosing your target color. If your eyebrows have faded to blue/black then you will want a target pigment with warm undertones.
On the other hand, if it’s faded to red/orange/yellow then you will want a target pigment with warm undertones.
If the eyebrow is at least 70% faded, start by mapping and outlining the brow. If the eyebrow is less than 70% faded, skip this step for now.
Wait until the eyebrow is at least 70% neutralized before mapping and outlining the brow.
Depending on how faded the eyebrow is, you may need up to three passes with the color corrector.
Regardless of the state of the eyebrow, the first pass is simply to open up the skin. The second and third passes will do up to three layers each.
For eyebrows that are at least 70% faded, two passes will usually be enough.
For eyebrows that are 50% to 70% faded, you will usually need three passes. In some cases, you may need more.
If you need three or more passes to neutralize a faded brow, then you should generally do the color correction in at least two treatments.
If necessary, map and outline the brow in preparation for applying the target color.
Once the original color has been neutralized, switch to the target pigment and color as normal.
You may find that the old color resurfaces slightly even after you thought it had been fully neutralized.
If so, just repeat the above steps to touch up the eyebrow. The discoloration should only be slight so it should be easily corrected in one treatment.
Color Correction of Old Permanent Makeup
Color correction of old permanent makeup is generally done by neutralizing the dominant color and then applying the target color. If, however, the eyebrow is still very saturated, it may be necessary to lighten it beforehand. The main ways for doing this are exfoliating with salt, the salt-saline technique, and laser treatment.
Here are the steps to follow:
Exfoliating (gently) with fine salt helps to draw out the pigment in old permanent makeup.
Used on its own, however, it is a very slow process. Realistically, you’d need to use it at least twice a day for at least two months to see an obvious result.
Also, this technique tends to work best when permanent makeup is less than six months old.
There are different versions of this treatment but the basic principle is the same.
A beautician will tattoo either concentrated saltwater or a saline and salt solution over the area you want to fade/remove.
The salt will draw the ink up into the scab that is created by the tattoo wound. When the scab drops off, it will take the ink with it.
This will lighten or even remove the permanent makeup.
Standard laser tattoo removal treatments can also be used to fade or remove old permanent makeup.
Once the permanent makeup is at least 50% faded, you can use a color corrector to neutralize any remaining undesired color.
You could then apply fresh pigment in your desired color to create the color you actually want. The steps for this are the same as for microblading color correction.
How To Lighten Eyebrows Naturally
The main ways to lighten eyebrows naturally are:
- Chamomile tea and lemon juice
- Bicarbonate of soda and shampoo
- Hydrogen peroxide
(Peroxide treatments are usually classed with ways to lighten eyebrows naturally as they are less invasive than proper bleach).
Chamomile and lemons are both natural bleaches. Because they are so gentle, it can take several treatments before you start to see meaningful results.
- Soak a chamomile tea bag in a cup of boiling water for about an hour.
- Add an equal quantity of lemon juice.
- Apply this mixture to your eyebrows at least once a day.
Baking soda is an exfoliant and shampoo is a cleanser. They will both lighten eyebrows that have been overdyed.
- Mix one part baking soda with one part shampoo to form a thick paste.
- Apply this to your eyebrows at least once a day.
- Rub gently, leave for a couple of minutes and then rinse off.
For best results use a clarifying shampoo.
You can lighten eyebrows with the 3% peroxide you find in many stores. It’s faster than more natural options but gentler than bleach.
- Apply the peroxide to your brows following the direction of the hair.
- Wait 5-10 minutes and rinse off thoroughly.
Generally, the best way to apply peroxide is to use a cotton swab.
If you soak it in water and then squeeze it thoroughly before use, you will need less peroxide.
It’s important to avoid any of the peroxide getting in your eye.
You might find it helpful to hold a cloth just under your brow as you’re applying the peroxide. This will catch any drips.
Leaving the peroxide for 5-10 minutes will usually be enough to dye fairer and/or thinner brows.
With darker/thicker brows you may need up to 30 minutes. It is, however, very much advisable to lighten your eyebrows in stages.
This vastly reduces the risk of overdoing things.
How To Lighten Eyebrows Without Bleach
The main ways to lighten eyebrows without using any bleach are:
- Bicarbonate of soda and shampoo
Technically, you can’t lighten eyebrows with makeup. You can, however, create the appearance of lighter eyebrows with makeup.
- Use brow pencil or eyeshadow to color the brow.
- Follow this with eyebrow gel.
- Apply both following the natural line of the hair.
- Blend with a clean spoolie (or finger).
This will give a realistic effect as long as you only want a shade or two lighter than your regular eyebrow color.
For best results, combine this approach with shaping.
Just make sure to use high-quality liners or pencils to prevent your eyebrows from smudging.
Thick eyebrows look darker than thinner eyebrows.
Obviously, there is a limit to how much of a difference this can make. Your eyebrows will only grow to a certain thickness even if you encourage them.
Similarly, you can only trim/pluck them back so far.
Even so, shaping your eyebrows correctly can help with color correction.
Why Is My Natural Eyebrow Color Lighter Than My Hair?
There are two possible reasons why your natural eyebrow color is lighter than your hair. One is genetics. The other is the effect of light. Light also affects the hair on your head. This is, however, much thicker than the hair on your eyebrows. As a result, the effect is much less noticeable.
This is partly because your eyebrow hair is thinner than the hair on your head. It is also because your eyebrow hair is often more exposed to the sun than the hair on your head.