They say the key to looking pulled-together is a strong brow. Okay, by “they” we mean “we” but a great set of eyebrows can enhance your face and bring out your features.
Here are a few affordable buys to suit any and every brow need:
Etude House Drawing Eyebrow ($4)
While I feel lucky to be blessed with naturally full brows, I struggle to find a good product to fill in my pesky patchy spots without looking like a cartoon. Etude House’s Drawing Eyebrow is perfect for lazy girls without the fine artistic skills it can take to master the perfect, natural brow. One side is a pencil with a flat contoured edge, shaped like a brow hair, that can easily be stamped or drawn into patchy spots to give you that real-brow look. The other side is a spoolie that can tame unruly brows or be brushed through to even everything out post-pencil.
The crappy stuff: Like most brow pencils, this can smudge, so make sure the area around your brows isn’t oily. Also avoid touching your face so your brows don’t look like they’re trying to run away. If you plan to order the pencil from Korea, shipping could potentially be slow but totally worth the wait. Shade-wise, if you’re a brunette, I’d recommend the No.1 dark brown, while blondes might be better off with medium or light.
Face Shop Designing Eyebrow Pencil ($4)
Since I’ve returned to the states, I’m incapable of branching out from this product. Like Etude House’s, one end is an eyebrow brush to tame your brows and on the other is the pencil. It’s hard to mess up using this pencil which is a bonus for beginners and people who struggle to get perfect brows. The brush allows you to get the right shape first and then using the pencil, I’m able to draw over the patchy spots leaving a natural but powerful brow. I went with 05 Dark Brown but there are 6 different colors to find your perfect match.
Unless you’re lucky enough to live in close proximity to a K-Town, plan ahead to order this eyebrow pencil because it could take a while to receive in the mail from Korea.
Glossier Boy Brow ($16)
Glossier Boy Brow has become a cult brow staple in the beauty community, but TBH I wouldn’t recommend shelling out the $16 for it. Don’t get me wrong, Boy Brow is way better than some of the crappy drugstore brow gels I’ve tried (Maybelline I’m talking to you). It actually makes my brows look pretty good, but if I’m spending $16 I want stellar results.
Boy Brow comes in 4 shades- blonde, brown, black and clear. I keep my brows dark brown, so the brown is too light and the black is too dark. It’s also not so hot at filling in the bald patches and I usually have to go back through with a pencil to even everything out. But the worst part: if you plan on using this every day, you’re going to run out very quickly. There is a reason Glossier has a monthly shipping option- the tube lasted me 4-ish weeks using it almost daily. I’ve been using my $4 Etude house pencil for 3 months and counting.
I would recommend boy brow for someone who just needs a little thickening or touch up now and again and wouldn’t go through the tube as quickly as I did.
NYX Tinted Brow Mascara ($7)
This is a perfect Glossier Boy Brow dupe, but even better. First of all, it comes in way more shades than Boy Brow. I bought the Espresso color which is the perfect dark brown. It’s also a thinner, more mascara-like formula than Boy Brow. IMO the thinner formula is easier to control since it doesn’t clump. This product is super easy to use and can actually trick people into thinking you have naturally perfect brows, since this won’t give you that tacky drawn on look.
Like most brow gels, this stays put all day, but also like most brow gels, it isn’t completely perfect at filling in the patchy spots. You may need to touch those spots up with a pencil after. If you don’t have many brow hairs at all, this is not the product for you, as it really just coats what you already have. Overall, if you’re looking for that natural look, NYX Tinted Brow Mascara is a great option.
NYX Eyebrow Marker ($10)
Oh man, I wanted to love this brow marker so much, but it wasn’t for me. There were some benefits of using a marker instead of a pencil though. Pencils and powders can smudge if you touch your face throughout the day, but this did not budge, even after a rather sweaty morning commute. It’s also super easy to use and would be great for makeup newbies.
The issues: Markers are typically used at a downward angle, like drawing on paper. So when I used this at an upward angle, the product did not want to come out. It was struggle city trying to fill in the patchy spots and I spent half my morning shaking this thing like a polaroid picture.
This is a great product if you just need a little swipe of color to bring out your brows. But for unevenness and patchy spots, a pencil could be the way to go.