This two-part series has been months in the works. I initially drafted one roundup of my most-used brow products then all of a sudden more came on my radar and I decided to split this into two parts. I’m not an expert when it comes to brows, I actually often neglect them. The process of applying pencil or powder had been so intimidating to me for years! After reading through several comments and numerous reader e-mails I’ve been thrilled to find many of you are just like me. One of things I love most about this blog is finding other beauty lovers who get me, you too want a groomed but natural looking brow.
The three biggest challenges I’ve had with brow products include: my brow shape, finding a good color and also finding a formula that isn’t too dramatic. At first glance it looks like I have black hair but also woven in is a natural red and brown undertone. Traditional black or deep browns often either look to harsh or too red. Also my brow shape is just odd. The hairs aren’t really evenly distributed and the lengths are different. My husband has amazing brows and lashes, it kills me that he doesn’t even care about them and I wish I had ones like he did, lol!
Two brow products changed my life: Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Brown and the By Terry Tinted Eyebrow Mascara. To this day those two are still ones I consider classics. I’ve used up and repurchased both numerous times. They’re easy to use and always look natural.
Part 1 covers brow gels. If you’re a brow novice or just want something to groom the brows a little, a tinted brow gel is the best way to start. Clear brow gels are great too, my favorite has been the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. But sometimes with powder and foundation application – the brows can get a little washed out if your brush goes over them. These days there so many amazing brow gel formulas that have fibers blended in to help fill them in more than just tinting.
First three include ones from By Terry, Tom Ford and Dior. I use different variations of taupe and brown. Sometimes taupe shades can look like in the tube but they will dry down to a darker finish. This gives a more natural looking brow compared to a deeper shade.
Thoughts on these three, also some places you can purchase for reference:
- By Terry Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown ($38, available at Barneys, Beautylish, Nordstrom and Space NK) – this is actually the first By Terry product I tried. I wandered up to the counter at Barneys and was instantly drawn to their shadow sticks but when I discovered the price almost fainted. The girl asked if I had tried anything from the line before, I said no. She said her favorite thing in the entire line was the Eyebrow Mascara. A quick demo had me impressed and so I bought it. I’ve loved it ever since. Out of all the brow gels I’ve tried this is the easiest to wear and also one of the most natural ones.
- Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel in Espresso ($49, I buy mine from Nordstrom) is in my top picks. I reviewed this a while ago here. It has easily become a regular staple for me especially when I travel. I’ve repurchased it twice. It adds volume, defines and Espresso is the perfect shade for me. It’s darker but not too dark.
- Diorshow Bold Brow Mascara ($27, available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Sephora) is one I had high hopes for since I really love the Diorshow Brow Styler pencil. The shades in this lineup are very limited. This one works nicely to groom and tint the brows while filling them in. I will use it to the end but most likely will not repurchase.
Next is the Glossier Boy Brow ($16). It comes in clear and three tinted shades Blond, Brown and Black. This has been such a popular brow product and I find Brown is the shade for me. It has the tiniest end to really get a detailed application. I think this one is good but it’s not my favorite. It grooms and thickens nicely and lasts all day, but it doesn’t hold my stubborn brows in place and the brush is so tiny I often get product on my face. I do think it’s decently priced to justify trying. It is a really good product, it’s great that it’s compact and goof-proof. I use it often, I just have others I prefer.
My love for Sisley continues. I tried their Phyto-Sourcils Fix Thickening and Setting Brow Gel ($52) in Miami during the store opening. My husband watched as the artist applied it and said, “WOW you have brows now. You definitely need to get that.” These also have very tiny brushes which takes a bit of a learning curve to apply. The product is loaded with tiny nylon fibers though so they fill in the sparse areas. Use tiny strokes to fill in the brow. The colors are limited to two options and surprisingly #2 darkens enough to work well for my hair color. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see how it looks applied. Available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Beautylish, Saks Fifth Avenue and Sisley.
Hourglass Cosmetics launched their Arch Brow Collection with pencils and a Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel ($28). It comes in six shades shown below. My matches are either Warm Brunette or Soft Brunette. Dark Brunette matches my hair exactly but for me it’s a little too bold and dramatic. Having a bit of brown softens the look more. There is also a Clear Version. This formula is in my top picks for brow gels. The brush is styled in a way that has both short and long bristles so you can control application. I like the longer side and apply in a sweeping motion. There are micro fibers to fill in brows and the formula is strong enough to hold them in place.
Last but not least is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel ($22, available at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Nordstrom, Anastasia Beverly Hills). These are so unique to me because of the wide range of shades and also due to the fact that these have shimmer in them. It doesn’t show up like shimmer on the brows but you do get more dimension. My best shade is Espresso. Chocolate is the one that dries the darkest. It appears also they have since changed the brushes to be more along the lines of the style Hourglass has. Two of mine have the newer brush while the rest have the traditional one shown below. I actually like the older style better, but both work well.
The best thing about Anastasia’s line is her color range. She probably has the widest range out of all the beauty brands. At Ulta in stores there is usually a chart somewhere to help you find the best color match. You can see it online here. I found it immensely helpful as when you’re looking at dozens of brown pencils, they all kinda look the same!
My bare brows and then three shown below including:
- Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Warm Brunette
- Sisley Phyto-Sourcils in Shade #2
- By Terry Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown #4
- Foundation is Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation in Shade 6 + 7 mixed (reviewed here)
- For added coverage Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter Shade 4 applied all over
- Powder is La Mer Pressed Powder in Light
- Blush is Marc Jacobs Air Blush in Lines and Last Night (reviewed here)
- Lip Color is Cle de Peau Radiant Rouge in #11
- Nail Polish is OPI Lisbon Wants Moor OPI
- Top is by Cooper and Ella
That rounds up the best natural Tinted Brow products I’ve tried and found! My top four include: By Terry (easiest to use), Tom Ford (best all around for volume, definition and filling in), Hourglass (for the brush and color range) and Sisley-Paris (best fibers). Part 2 to follow next week with my favorite pencils, powders and tools. I hope this helps give you an idea of what to look at if you’re in the market for a new brow gel. In terms of lasting power, all of them last all day on me and hold brows in place (with the exception of the Glossier).
P.S. A lot of you have asked about the Charlotte Tilbury Brow Gel. I did a review a long time ago on The Supermodel Brow Lift Kit here. Her products are amazing and I’m a huge fan. I used mine up and was happy with it. Over the years I’ve found I like different combinations a lot better, and my brows prefer the Tom Ford and other brands.
If you have any favorites let me know in the comments! Would love to hear about what you use 🙂
Don’t forget to check out this week’s blog giveaway here.
Press samples include the products from Hourglass, Sisley-Paris, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Marc Jacobs Blush, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation.