The Art of the Dye

Not “die,” although I love to shoot dice, but that’s a different post. I’m talking dye – eyelash dye. Before you wince, consider its usage and history at one of my favorite fun beauty sites, Eyelashes in History, and Theresa Riordan’s fascinating book, “Inventing Beauty.”



Greta Garbo’s lashes: beaded.

If you really want precautionary tales, just google “eyelash dye” and you’ll find plenty.  It’s important to know your esthetician and if you have one, stick with them. I’ve gotten two cases of pinkeye from unsanitized salons (yes, I continue to get them dyed – I’m a slave to certain things) and that’s not what you’re after.

As a redhead, my eyelashes are strawberry blonde. If I’m out without sunglasses, which is rare, they can turn blonde-blonde. Blonde eyelashes may be a fluctuating fashion trend, but when you have them for real, they make you look ghost-like. And it’s not Halloween yet.

One of the bonuses of eyelash dye is getting to skip mascara in hot summer months. Back East, the humidity is enough to turn you into Alice Cooper before you reach the door. That’s when I started getting mine dyed. Here, the dry heat will at least keep your makeup on, but it’s so much easier to wake up with long, black lashes – curl and go!

I’ve tried to do it myself- when I lived in the UK, Boots sold it, and you can find in some beauty supply stores here. (There’s plenty of youtube tutorials should you decide.) Besides, I like going to a salon and you can’t get that little under-eye pad in the correct spot. The salon I use applies little collagen pads that plump and moisturize while you dye. Note: I’m not giving any salon recommends here because the law states that only licensed estheticians can provide this service, although I know mine is.  You can find quite easily if you google and there’s sometimes Groupons for an eyelash/brow dye along with lash extensions (something I haven’t tried yet, but I’m fortunate to have naturally long, thick lashes. I’ll sometimes add a few single false eyelashes if I’m going out.)

I should have done a “before” pic but here’s a good example from The Nest. And she did it herself:


Here I am a few minutes ago:


– no false eyelashes, no mascara, no makeup. Perfect!

Donna Lethal

About Donna Lethal

Donna Lethal is the author of "Milk of Amnesia" and writes for her own blog (Lethal Dose), Hair Hall of Fame, Dowager Quarterly, Find A Death, & the Valhalla Cemetery chapter in "Weird Hollywood." A native of Lowell, Mass., she's lived in Boston, NY and London before settling here. When not writing, she's hiking, soaking in a Korean salt room or in the high desert with her pit bull.
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