Monday, September 14, 2015

Brow Products: Reviews and Dupes

Brows are big now. In every way. It seems like everywhere you look now, there is another brand coming out with more and more new brow products. I've been testing a lot of them out over the last few months. I've found some good ones, some bad ones, and some excellent dupes. There were some good and bad both from the drugstore and high end. I tried lots of different brands, formulas, applications, and types. Here is the breakdown:


Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade

This is by far the most intense product on this list. It is a thick pomade in a jar which you apply with a flat or small angled brush. It creates very precise lines and intense color. It also holds like nothing else. Your brows will not move. You don't have to have much brow hair for this to stick to either, which makes it good for someone with sparse brows. It is a little too thick sometimes and can get clumpy, but if you make sure to run a spool through it after you paint it on, you should be precise and chunk free. Definitely not a product for every day, but I do like it a lot for hot days when normal brows would sweat off, or when you want really intense brows to frame a bold makeup look.


Maybelline Eyestudio Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara 

This is probably one of the most subtle products on this list. This type of brow product that looks like mascara is the most subtle overall, but this one is probably the most of the group. It does a nice job of plumping up your brow hairs and holding them in place, but if you have sparse brows and there isn't much for this to cling onto, you'll probably want to skip it. It doesn't flake off like some gels can, and is fast to apply, which is nice for mornings when you're not doing a lot of makeup.  The ball shaped brush isn't nearly as awkward to use at it looks like it would be.

L'Oreal Paris Brow Stylist Plumper

Again, a gel so you need some hairs for this to cling to, but this one fills in bare or sparse spots better than the Maybelline. I find this one is a little bolder, which I like. It doesn't hold quite as well as the Maybelline, but people who don't like stiff, crunchy, gelled brows will like this texture a lot.  I also like how small the spool is so you can be precise and not end up with it on your face.

Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Gel

The spool on this one is a little bigger, but not so big that it's messy. It really thickens brows without getting clumpy or looking plastered like some gels can. A great daily staple for anyone regardless of what your natural brows are like.

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel 

The spool on this one is almost too small, but not quite. It is definitely precise, which is great if you really want to get into some sparse spots and put more product there than you do the rest of the brow. If you want to have the same amount of product all over and apply it in one swipe however, I would opt for the Rimmel. This one also has fibers, which are great for filling in bald spots or making it look like there are more hairs where there aren't. It does get a little crunchy when it sets, but not uncomfortable or flaky. I also like how teeny the whole package is, great for keeping in your bag on the go.


Lancome Sourcils Tint Longwear Eyebrow Pen 

This one is up there with the Anastasia pomade for the most intense. It is a marker with fluid stain in a felt tip. Think of a liquid eyeliner pen, but for your eyebrows. This color is intense, but also the longest lasting of all of them. This would be the best brow product on the list for people with very sparse brows, because it does not need to grip onto hairs, you just paint it right on. However, that also makes it, in my opinion, the most unnatural on the list. The look this creates does not in any way look like natural brows or allow you to draw in little flecks that would look like hairs. 


NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil

ATTENTION!! This is a total drugstore dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz, which everyone loves. I am not kidding, this is almost an exact replica, but for less than half the price! They both have super fine tips, which is great for drawing natural looking hair-like strokes and for getting precise outlines. Both have a spool on one end which is super handy, and both have mechanical twist up pencils which means no sharpening, just always a thing, precise tip. The Brow Wiz is usually by far my favorite, but I have to say this has replaced it now because it is just as amazing, but way cheaper.

Maybelline Brow Define & Fill Duo 

This is an...interesting product. It has a thin, mechanical tip too, but not as thin as the Brow Wiz or NYX pencils, and the other end has a pointed sponge instead of a spool. The pointed sponge grabs powder from inside its cap which matches the pencil. You are supposed to use the powder to set the pencil after you draw it on, but I found it just made my brows look unnaturally matte and flat and kind of cakey. I also find that I never grab my pencils that don't have a built in spool, so I probably will not be repurchasing this one.

MAC Eye Brows

OK, I take back what I just said. this is the only pencil I do still reach for despite not having a spool. I wish it did have one, but I still use it because I love it. This is one of the creamiest pencils I've ever tried for my brows. Some of them you feel like you have to break the tip in order for color to go on, but this one just glides on so smoothly. It also has a super skinny tip, which I love, and comes in a much wider variety of colors than most.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

I feel like this is everyone's favorite, and for good reason. It's smooth, skinny, precise, has a spool, comes in a ton of colors, it's great. It glides on smooth, stays put, it's everything you want an eyebrow pencil to be. And as I said, so is the NYX. I  know I keep saying it, but seriously, they are practically identical. I didn't think a pencil would match this one, but NYX did. I still love this one, but I will probably buy it less frequently now since it's more expensive.

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

This has the twist up, the spool, and a creamy smooth pencil, but the pencil has a wide, flat wedge tip. It is kind of strange to get used to at first, but I did really like it once I got used to it. It's good for days when you don't need to be as precise and want to be quicker with your brows. It is a little on the drier side instead of creamy smooth, but it also stays put longer because of that. Overall I like this one, but it's on the pricier side, and there are cheaper ones I like better, so I probably won't own many of these.

Maybelline Brow Precise Shaping Pencil

This pencil was recently reformulated. I had tried the old formula before and it was THE WORST pencil ever. Eew. It was a super thick and waxy pencil that hardly deposited any color, but deposited gigantic chunks of wax. It was disgusting. The casing around the product, the actual pencil, was plastic and impossible to sharpen too. The whole thing was just awful. So naturally, when I saw they redid it, I had to try it to see if it was any better. It is definitely better, but still not great. They made the casing more wood, not thick plastic, so at least now you can sharpen it like a normal pencil, and they made the product much less waxy. Now it doesn't feel like you're wiping solid grease on your eyebrows, but it is still not smooth and creamy, and it still feels thick, unblendable, and kind of chunky. It does deposit some color now. Not much, but some.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil

Apparently I just don't like non-mechanical brow pencils much, because even though this is Anastasia, I don't like it very much. It again is too dry and thick. This does deposit a nice amount of color, and does not deposit chunks or balls of wax, but it is just not as smooth and easy to use as the twist up kind. I like it and use it, but I think I will not buy many more of this style of pencil since apparently they are just not for me. 

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