Cover girl Brooke Shields’ bold brows caught everyone’s attention back in the 80s. Over 35 years later, eyebrows are still big news in the beauty world, with brow queens Cara Delevingne, Jessica Alba and Natalie Portman preening theirs to perfection. Lucky for us, with furrows firmly at the forefront of celeb beauty routines (and unlikely to shift anytime soon), there’s now a whole range of eyebrow products claiming to give us a similar pair. There’s much more to perfecting that arch than hair removal because when it comes to filling in, shaping and defining, you need to consider investing in some styling products.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by your options and while bold brows aren’t going anywhere any time soon, it’s important to use a method that suits you. There are pencils for changing your brow shape or filling in gaps, gels for managing unruly hairs, powders for adding fullness and pomades for super-slick definition.
To find your ideal silhouette, use a tool, say tweezers or even a brow pencil, as a guide and align it against the bridge of your nose, this is where your brow should start. Angle the tool from your nostril to the centre of your pupil and this should be the highest point of you arch.
Whether you’re the proud owner of a perfectly polished or bushy set, eyebrows have a huge impact on the overall framing of your face and finding a product and shape to suit is vital. From pencils and gels, to powders and waxes, there’s something for everyone, so up your brow game with our pick of the best tools out there.
1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade: £15, Net-A-Porter
Brand founder Anastasia Soare is known as the definitive eye and brow expert, boasting celebrity fans such as Charlize Theron, J-Lo and Penelope Cruz. With a huge collection of lust-worthy products to choose from our favourite is this pomade; it’s a creamy formula which fixes to skin and hair with absolute precision. The great thing about this pomade is that you can use as little or as much as you like, depending on the look you’re going for; it’s suitable for almost any brow goal from filling in gaps and drawing fine hairs to adding a hint of deeper colour. To sculpt and define, use an angled brush and apply more pressure, or use fine strokes for a more natural look. A little goes a long way and it’s seriously hardwearing, with a waterproof finish that doesn’t fade or smudge - it can even double up as an eyeliner. This comes in an impressive eleven shades to compliment all skin tones and hair colours.
2. Yves Saint Laurent Couture Brow: £21, Selfridges
Brow gels are great for setting your shape and managing longer, unruly hairs. This one is best suited to those looking for a more subtle finish, as it allows you to fix brows without applying too much product. That said, it is buildable so you can tailor your look to be as natural or dramatic as you wish. The formula provides all-day hold and we love the fact that the tip of the brush can be used to pick up more product and add structure to your arch. The only downside is that it comes in just two shades but they are said to suit pretty much any hair colour and having used the lighter shade on a dark set of brows we can agree.
3. Tom Ford Brow Sculpting Kit: £54, Selfridges
Tom Ford has taken the beauty world by storm with his exquisitely packaged and complexion-perfecting make-up, and this brow kit is no exception. Enclosed in a signature glossy brown and gold case, you’ll find two powders, a wax and a dual-ended applicator that combines a spoolie and angled brush for precise application. While many pre-packaged brushes fail to impress, this one ticks all the boxes. The two powders are highly-pigmented with the option of a lighter and darker shade that can be applied separately or blended together for a personalised look; use them to bulk out any thinner areas or create a darker tone. The wax acts very much like a brow gel to set the hairs into place and while useful, for those of us with OCD-esque traits, the mixing of powder into the colourless formula can be painful. Available in light and medium, this is a great option for those looking to gradually build colour.
4. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour: £16, Feel Unique
If natural brows are more your thing then this is the product for you. This marker-inspired brush-tip pen creates hair-like strokes for seriously subtle fullness. It’s also incredibly easy to use, making it great for first timers. The formula is waterproof, promising a look that will stay in place all day and that it does; it also contains honey, aloe leaf and chamomile extract that conditions the skin. It’s available in six versatile shades, so finding your match is easy.
5. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Brow Lift Duo: £19, Boots
A brand renowned for its durable Double Wear foundation, Estee Lauder has carried its stay-in-place formula through to the brows. This handy double-ended, retractable pencil is ideal for creating soft, subtle brows and clear-cut definition. Available in five shades, the tinted portion has a slim tip which makes for precision, even coverage and the ability to draw on individual hairs. At the other end is a highlighter that’s perfect for brightening and accentuating your brow arch. Estee Lauder boasts a solid twelve hours of staying power and when put to the test, it more than performed.
6. Mac Veluxe Brow Liner: £16, Mac Cosmetics
Pencils are a classic format not to be messed with, but makeup maestro Mac has transformed its rendering with the addition of a spoolie brush. After sketching your shape and filling in any sparse areas, this is great for brushing over the brows to give the impression of natural hair. The pencil itself is highly pigmented with a powdery, matte finish that glides on smoothly. The formula and super-sharp tip make it ideal for polishing an arch or extending length. It also comes in an impressive ten shades.
7. Benefit Gimme Brow Volumising Eyebrow Gel: £18.50, Debenhams
Benefit recently launched a stellar collection of ten different brow products to suit almost every need, but our favourite has to be this incredible brow gel. Available in three shades, this formula comes packaged in a tiny silver bullet that’s great for tossing in your bag for afternoon touch ups. The tiny tapered brush picks up the formula well and makes for easy application; it also leaves no sticky residue and doesn’t dry too stiff. Gimme Brow manages to colour individual hairs effortlessly, without making a mess or staining the skin below, and gives the illusion of thicker, fuller furrows.
8. Tanya Burr Perfect Brows: £6.99, Superdrug
Youtube sensation Tanya Burr has a cosmetic range that’s super affordable but it’s also going from strength to strength and while this is evidently a budget option, it’s also one of the best powder brow kits we’ve come across. Packaged in a pink case, you get three shades, a highlighter, applicator brush and tweezers. The sheer amount of product in one tool makes it the perfect option for girls on the go; we even tested out the powders as shadow and they work like a dream. The colour options suit most hair shades and add plushness to your brows without looking too overdone, while the highlighter adds a little extra impact under your arch.
9. Eylure Eyebrow & Eyelash Wand Double Ended Brush: £4.33, Superdrug
Whether you prefer to work with powder or pomade, as the saying goes, you’re only as good as your tools, so investing in a well-made brush can make the world of difference. This double-ended tool from Eylure comes at a fraction of the price compared to high-end alternatives but performs just as well, if not better. The slim, angled brush is great for filling in brows and defining arches but it’s also thin enough to create the illusion of single hairs. The spoolie end works wonders on unruly brows and if you’re after a more subtle finish, this one blends in product seamlessly.
The Verdict: Eyebrow products
Whether you’re a novice or a brow whizz, Anastasia Beverly Hills’ pomade is our pick of the lot. The range offers an extensive variety of shades, applies super easily and doesn’t budge at all - in fact, a waterproof makeup remover is recommended. It’s also relatively affordable and promises to last for months on end. We can’t go without mentioning Benefit’s Gimme Brow too, which tames the most boisterous of bushy brows into submission with ease. If powder is your thing, then we recommend Tanya Burr’s versatile compact.
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