Since I don’t really own enough brow products to do a Top 5 post, I thought I’d just give you guys a run-down of everything I own and my thoughts on them in case it helps you decide what to buy next. I think the biggest struggle with brow products is finding a shade that’s cool enough, because a lot of brands make products that are too warm-toned and they make my brows lean red. I tend to go for the darkest brown shade as I think black can look too harsh on people with fair skin like me (unless you have black hair, of course) and I need something really ashy/cool as I prefer my brows to match my dark brown hair and look full while still seeming natural.
I remember the first time I put product in my brows. It was before I was really into makeup but I could see the difference it made instantly. If you don’t currently fill in your brows, try finding an eyeshadow colour that’s suitable and just fill in one brow and take turns covering each eyebrow with your hands while looking in a mirror and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Although brows are a key part of my routine, I’d say I spend about two minutes doing them each day. That’s partly because I’m lucky enough to have pretty full brows with a defined arch so the shape is easy to follow, and also because I’ve never been one for super sculpted, “instagram brows” and I don’t bother sharpening them by putting concealer underneath, etc. I’m also lucky because it’s pretty easy for me to maintain them myself with my Tweezerman mini tweezers without needing to get them professionally waxed or threaded regularly.
Anyway, onto the products! If you couldn’t tell I’m a bit of an Anastasia fan, I just think they know what they’re doing when it comes to brows and you can’t really go wrong with them. The one I use on a daily basis is the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade with the Zoeva 317 Wing Liner Brush after brushing through my brows with my Paul & Joe spoolie. I’ve been using the same pot for about two years and there is still so much product left. When I first opened it the formula was a lot wetter but I actually prefer it as it dries out a bit. I think if you’ve got really sparse brows and are trying to do something along the lines of Hey Claire or Pixiwoo then the wetness will be to your advantage, but I don’t really draw in little hairs, I just use this to define the edges of my brows more, square off the front a bit and fill in any thinner areas. After a while the product can get a bit too dry though, and I read online that you can microwave it for 10-20 seconds and then leave it to cool and it’ll be as good as new and I can confirm that it totally works! I’ve done it twice now and am still really happy with the results I get from using this.
I’ve also got the Anastasia Brow Powder Duo which I really like as well. It’s got a lighter shade for the front of your brow and a darker one to fill in the rest so that your brows don’t get too blocky and unnatural looking at the front. The only reason I don’t use this more is because I figure the pomade probably has a shorter lifespan so I might as well get my use out of it now, whereas the powder will last forever. If you don’t want to buy a specific brow powder any appropriately coloured eyeshadow would work, but given how long this’ll last I think the price is really reasonable. For both the pomade and the powder I'd use the Zoeva brush which I think is absolutely perfect for brows because it's super thin so I don't find myself accidentally applying way too much product.
It’s not pictured because I’ve actually finished it up, but I thought I’d mention the Anastasia Brow Wiz as well. I really enjoyed using this product and if your priority is ease of use you really can’t beat this because you don’t need a brush and it comes with its own spoolie (which is a really nice spoolie too, because after using Anastasia, it turns out some are better than others). It’s great for travel but the big downside of all pencil products like this is that they just don’t last that long. If you like the format and don’t mind restocking a few times a year then this is probably the type of product for you, but if you’d rather save some cash then the pomade or a brow powder is going to be a lot cheaper in the long run. Some pencils can be really soft, which is a good thing for an eyeliner, but not so great for a brow product as I find you have a lot less control and can end up with way too much product on your face way too quickly. The super fine nib and drier formula of the Brow Wiz means I never had an issue with this and it’s definitely the best brow pencil I’ve used so far.
Now as for brow gels, I’m not sure why I have so many but clearly I got sucked into the hype on a few of these, plus they last forever. I don’t think brow gel is a life-changer either way but I do like to use it just to set them in place and most of these add a little colour as well. The Benefit Gimme Brow is the only one I’d really wear just on its own though. It has little fibres in it that cling to your brow hairs and make them look thicker, but as I said above I only really use it on its own when I’m in a rush or am having a lazy day because it’s not as precise as my other products. I can’t define the shape as well and there are areas of my brows it just can’t help because there’s nothing to cling to. I also think this is way overpriced and you get such a tiny amount of product – I bought it in the US back when the exchange rate was a lot better and even then it was overpriced. Although I like it and I think it’s a really convenient product, especially if you like to keep things minimal, I personally wouldn’t buy it again because it’s not essential for me.
The two tinted brow gels I have are the Maybelline Brow Drama and the L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper. I’m not sure if either or both make similar brow-thickening claims to Gimme Brow by using fibres, but I personally don’t think either of these add enough colour or thickness to my brows to wear them alone. However, they are really good for setting the brows in place so the hairs don’t move around throughout the day. Although the Maybelline has a really bizarre applicator with a ball on the end of it, I do think I prefer it as I can apply the brow gel without getting product outside of my brows most of the time, but I find that more difficult to do with the L’Oreal. Although it’s a conventional shape and it’s quite small, I think the formula is wetter and for whatever reason I often get this on my face when I apply it.
Although I doubt I’ll ever pay for a high end brow gel as I just don’t think the product can be that wildly different to a drugstore one, I do really enjoy this mini of the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel. Anastasia must take spoolies seriously because I feel like this is the best brow gel I’ve used in terms of it actually helping you comb the hairs into place like you would with a spoolie. I find that with say, the L’Oreal and Maybelline brow gels, they just deposit the product but don’t really do much about moving the hairs around, but the Anastasia wand really gets in there. Maybe this is an incredibly boring detail to go into about brow gels, but here we are.
An alternative to a brow gel is a wax crayon like the Milani Brow Shaping Wax Crayon. I haven’t gotten a lot of use out of it yet, but I think this would be really handy to pair with a pencil like the Brow Wiz or to use if you don’t have a spoolie handy. You don’t need to worry about getting a tinted product on your forehead, you just run the crayon over your brows to put them all in place and keep them there. If you’re happy with your brows the way they are and don’t want to fill them in, then this on its own could be all you need.