If you follow makeup artists on any type of social media you know that eyebrows are kind of a big deal right about now. Also, if you’re like me, getting an “Instagram brow” is basically out of the question unless you learn witch craft. For me, my eyebrow routine consists of filling in bald patches and adding some color to my blonde eyebrows so they aren’t completely invisible. I can’t help you with the gradient brow or anything like that, but I CAN give you some comparisons of a few different brow products and how they perform. Hopefully this will be helpful! Or at least, not completely boring!
Naked brows for reference:
Right now they are actually kind of brown! In the summer they’ll bleach out to a nice white color on the tails.
Maybelline Define A Brow (Dark Blonde):
Probably the most basic way to fill in brows is with a brow pencil of some sort. I think this is also the easiest way to fill them in. There are multitudes of different brow pencils out there to choose from. Maybelline Define A Brow is the first brow product I ever tried.
- Easy to use.
- Cheap (around $5.00)
- Very fine tip that gives a natural look.
- I find this pencil to be a bit hard which results in pulling out a few hairs every time I use it.
- Does fade a bit through out the day.
Nuance Shape & Define Brow Kit (Medium Blond):
Using a powder to fill in my brows might just be my favorite method of defining my brows. It’s fairly quick and easy and as long as the shade used isn’t too dark, it tends to be fool proof. The Nuance Brow kit made it into my yearly favorites this last year. The kit comes with two brushes which are decent quality and I’ve used them both numerous times (although I have another brush that I prefer, we’ll get to that later). It also includes a brow wax and a cream brow bone highlight. I don’t really use the wax or highlight all that often. For me, the powder is the magic of this kit.
- Easy to use.
- Comes with everything you need to make your brows look good.
- Lasts all day long.
- Possibly being discontinued??! (it’s still listed on the CVS website but I can’t seem to buy it online. It’s still carried in my local CVS as of a few weeks ago…)
Maybelline Define & Fill Duo (Auburn)
The define and fill duo is a relatively new product (but it’s been around long enough that I have the color corresponding to my red hair). One end has a pencil that is remarkably similar to the Define A Brow pencil. The other end has a sponge tip applicator (I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of the applicator) that dips into a well of loose brow powder. The sponge tip is about the diameter of a pencil eraser with a slightly tapered end. Honestly, it’s bulky enough that for me with my relatively thin brows, I can’t actually contain the placement of the powder to my actual brow (see above picture). If you have full brows (you lucky dog!), this may not be an issue for you.
- Easily accessible and inexpensive (around $7.00)
- Could be great for those with a larger brow area.
- Lasts most of the day before fading.
- The powder sometimes has a bit of fall out.
- Not easy to use the powder if you have smaller brows.
- The pencil can pull out brow hair.
Maybelline Master Shape (Auburn)
Maybelline has a lot of brow options. This particular pencil is a wax pencil that requires a sharpener and doesn’t have such a fine point. It does actually hold brows in place to some extent (not as strong as a brow gel). Also, this particular shade is a throwback to my auburn tresses. Obviously.
- Again, easily accessible and inexpensive (around $8.00)
- Provides some amount of control for unruly brows.
- Includes a spooly.
- Can smear or melt.
- Only really lasts around 5-6 hours before fading.
- The tip is wide enough that you can’t “draw individual brow hairs”.
Milani Brow Tint Pen (Natural Taupe)
First, this is not taupe. It is red. Which is great if you’re a redhead! Not so much if you were actually expecting taupe. This comes in one other shade which I believe is a darker brown but I’m uncertain of whether it also has warmer tones. This is a felt tip pen, not unlike a felt tip eyeliner pen. I find this product to be incredibly easy to use and I can get a subtle OR dramatic look with it. It’s one of my favorites honestly and I need to check out the other shade. Personally I prefer the felt tip pen to most pencils that I’ve used and this product was my brow pick for my 2014 favorites.
- Darn near fool proof.
- Easily accessible and inexpensive ($6.00 approximately).
- Gives a nice natural look.
- It’s easy to draw on individual brow hairs.
- Limited shade selection.
- Doesn’t last all day (it’ll get you through most of a work day unless you sweat or touch your face a lot).
L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper (Light to Medium)
Brow mascaras are kind of cool in that you can use them in conjunction with other brow products OR on their own. This particular one gives a moderate hold and a moderate amount of color. Again, if you have thick brows, you might love this whereas if you have thin brows, the brush might be a little unwieldy.
- It’s great when you’re pressed for time.
- Drugstore so…cheap and easy to find! ($8-10)
- Does have small fibres so it can add some volume to the brows.
- Difficult to “stay in the lines” if you don’t have full brows already.
- If I use this for a few days in a row I’ll start breaking out around my eyebrows.
Milani Stay Put Brow Color (Medium Brown)
I think that out of all of the brow options, pomades are the trickiest to use. For me at least, there is a huge learning curve and I’m pretty darn sure I’ve walked out of the house with some seriously chunky looking brows on multiple occasions. I’m getting better at using these but they take a bit more time and care and practice than pencils or powder. To my knowledge, Milani is the only brand with a pomade at the drugstore (but that’s bound to change any day now). I would say that this isn’t necessarily a “dupe” for the ever popular Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, but it’s a perfectly acceptable alternative AND it doesn’t flake like the ABH Dipbrow.
- Lasts all day.
- Can give you the “Insta-brow” if you have the know how (I do not) and the will.
- Drugstore! ($6-8)
- A bit more difficult to use until you get the hang of it (and even then sometimes I’m scrambling for makeup remover in the mornings)
- Dries out in a matter of a few months.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (Medium Brown)
Medium Brown is probably a smidgen too dark for me. The next shade down is quite a bit warmer though so you win some you lose some. I find this to be a little bit creamier than the Milani which makes application smoother but it makes it a bit harder to get a subtle look. This also flakes on me which is irritating and weird. Maybe I’m doing something wrong?
- So creamy!
- So pigmented!
- A decent range of shades within the brand.
- Lasts all day.
- Not quite as easily accessible.
- Can create an odd patchiness on skin.
Sephora “Must-Have Angled Liner”
I want to touch quickly on the brush I use to do my brows. I use this with the pomades AND with powders because the brush itself is incredibly fine “tipped” and yet firm so it just makes doing my brows much easier.
Here is a side by side comparison of each of these products on my brows so you can see the more subtle differences in the overall effects:
And here are some swatches:
Do you do your brows on a regular basis or is it just an extra step that you’d rather skip? Do you have a favorite brow product format?