August 11, 2010

Brow products: the great, the ok and the ugly.

I am not blessed with great eyebrows. Part of the problem is genetic, as they've always been sparse, the rest of the damage was made by beauticians when I was younger (and had brows done by them so it wouldn't turn into a disaster, good call...) and never grew back the same way. So of course, I rely a lot on my brow products, and thought I'd review them for you.

Mac Brow Pencil in Fling.
The pros: This is a great product that's pretty much fool proof. It gives a very natural result for filling brows and there is a good variety of shades available. You don't need to sharpen it, and the texture is a bit waxy and easy to use, with good lasting power.
The cons: It looks a bit less natural if you have to fill larger patches. You go through the pencil quite quickly and it's not a cheap product so on the long term it's not a cheap solution. I have used up 4 or 5 of these in the past year without using it all the time.

Illamasqua Brow Cake in Motto.

The Pros: this is a traditional brow powder that you apply with an angled brush. The color Motto is a light taupe with a hit of khaki in it - yes, khaki, I swear it won't look green, it's actually the most natural color to use if you're a dark blonde. You can use this alone or add a drop of eye seal, I prefer using it on its own and setting with a brow gel because I find it gives a more natural result. This has excellent lasting power and you can use it to make your brows thicker without having them look fake.
The cons: none - it takes a bit more time to apply than the pencil but it gives a fantastic result.

Essence Brow Set.

The Pros: a very cheap product (about 2€) that does the job nicely. You get 2 shades, a little brush and stencils. I find the brush and stencils pretty useless but the powders are good and easy to apply. I like that there are 2 colors you can mix and match, and when I dye my hair darker I don't need to get a new product. I don't think it's as good as the Illamasqua one, but it's certainly a very good product for that price.
The Cons: it's a bit powdery and needs to be set with a brow gel or wax, or it wouldn't last.

Essence brow and lash gel.

The Pros: this is the only brow gel I ever use as it works well and costs about 2€. It doesn't make the eyebrows sticky or hard, it just sets them into place in a very natural way.
The Cons: at some point it gets gross because of the powder that gets into the tube from the brush, but that's the case with all brow gels anyway and this one at least doesn't cost much to replace that's fine.

Makeup For Ever Waterproof Eyebrow Corrector #2.

The Pros: you need the tiniest amount to fill in your brows and with a bit of practice, you can get nice defined brows.
The Cons: a lot, unfortunately, this product is quite a disappointment. First of all, it takes some practice to apply as you can easily use too much. So it's not foolproof and it's not quick. Secondly, there's a huge gap between shades #2 and 3, but #2 is very reddish and just looks unnatural on me - #3 is way too dark. That means not everybody can find the right shade.
Finally, and that's a big issue, it's not waterproof at all, it evens comes off if you rub with your finger. So all in all it's the product with the less staying power in my collection, when it was meant to survive any weather condition. And of course, since it's 19€, you expect it to work.

That's it! What are your favorite brow products? Anything I need to try?


  1. I'm so obsessed with brows at the moment after years of not fussing over them at all.Loved this post.

  2. Great post! I adore my Illa brow powder and am lusting after the Shu pencil in Seal but I'm a little bit scared of working with a pencil. Any tips?

  3. @ Lipglossiping: I think pencils are easier to use when they are a hard formula. If they're too creamy I tend to over-apply and it rubs of faster.


I love getting comments, thanks for sharing your thoughts!