Beauty Finds

I Tried It: Temporary Brow Tattoos

Without any tweezers, wax or brushes in sight, Lauren O'Neil gets her eyebrows on fleek

temporary brow tattoos

The author with her bangin’ new brows

If I could go back in time, I’d petition Christina Aguilera to include a warning message at the beginning of her “Dirrty” video that reads: “CAUTION: if you pluck your eyebrows to look like X-Tina’s, they might stay that way forever.” I couldn’t wear chaps to school, so I copied her pencil-thin brows in an attempt to look pop-star hot.

But now that Cara Delevingne owns the scene, I want to hit undo. Unfortunately, years of over-tweezing have left my brows sparse and patchy. Pencils and shadows do the trick but rarely last all day. Eyebrow extensions are awesome but require too many appointments for upkeep. And a permanently tattooed set? Too risky. Temporary tattoos on the other hand? Can’t hurt to try.

The Process:
Judging by the three-step instructions, these seemed as easy to apply as the “Haters gonna hate” temporary tattoo I wore on my neck to freak out my parents on April Fool’s Day.

Positioning was a little more complicated. The package didn’t have any advice on how to align the brows, so I consulted a YouTube tutorial. For the inside point, I stuck a long makeup brush handle straight against the side of my nose and made a dot with eyeliner where the wand met brow level. For the outside, I angled the brush from the bottom of my nose to the outer edge of my eye and, once again, marked where it reached my brow bone.

The tattoo was slightly longer than my measured area, so I snipped a bit off both ends. I then peeled the plastic covering away, lined the tattoo up with the marks I’d made, and held a wet cloth over top to make it stick. Ditto for the other eye.

After just a few seconds, the image had transferred to my skin, giving me thick, uniform and, in direct light, strangely shiny eyebrows. The “tattoos,” basically adhesives, lay flat over my own hair, kind of like shrink wrap. The lack of dimension was, surprisingly, barely noticeable.

Unfortunately, I didn’t pay enough attention to the vertical alignment, so one was visibly higher than the other—something I thought wasn’t really obvious until my boyfriend asked if I was mad at him five times in an hour. I wiped them away with baby oil and started over, with more success. At first, I thought they looked a bit cartoony—maybe the colour was a bit too dark for me— but soon after, they simply felt like a part of my bolder, more model-like face.

Suddenly, my primping routine was easier, and not only because I no longer had to pencil in my brows. With more dramatic arches, my normal makeup felt a tad heavy. I scaled back the wings of my cat eyes and stuck with a soft pink lip. Five people complimented my eyebrows the day I debuted them—only four of whom I actually asked for their input.


1. Do not fear the bold brow. The shape, size and colour can impact the appearance of your entire face in a big way. A strong set might be shocking
at first, especially if you’ve had thin brows for a long time, but trust me: they’ll grow on you (well, not literally). If you had asked me on day one if I’d wear these again, I would have said no. By day three, I’d already ordered two more pairs.

2. Apply the day before a big event. The effect is less artificial after 24 hours, so plan ahead.

3. Mind your eye makeup remover. My second pair of brows was nowhere close to peeling off on day four, when I accidentally rubbed my oil-based cleanser too close to the bottom of my right brow. They both had to come off. Fortunately, I’d already taken a hundred selfies. If Cara ever starts following me back on Twitter, I’m DMing her for an opinion.