I’m cheating a little here since this will encompass not one, but three product reviews.
But first, a little back story.
I didn’t start doing anything to my brows until 3 years ago or so (the shame!). I always had sufficient brow hair and I just didn’t get why you would need to do anything with your brows other than pluck them. In my defense, this was before the time people started obsessing over perfect brows on Instagram.
After hearing about product after product for brows on YouTube I decided to buy this brown pencil by NYX and started lightly filling in my brows. And boy, what a difference that made! Mind you I had zero experience filling in my brows so I’m sure I looked ridiculous. Also, I still have that pencil and it’s the wrong color #fail.
But, the moral of the story is that I realized what a huge difference eye brows make.
Thankfully after that I started to experiment and realized that on a day to day basis, a tinted brow gel is sufficient to give me the shape and fullness I am looking for. 95% of the time I do not use a pencil, powder or wax. Kudos to people who don’t have a lot of brow hair and draw on brows on a daily basis. I truly don’t know how you do it.
Over the past 3 years I have experimented with quite a few brow gels. Without a doubt, hands down, the best product I’ve ever come across is the Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel. It’s my ride or die, can’t live without product. But, it’s $22… for brow gel…
I think it’s worth every single penny, but I realize that a lot of people won’t want to spend that much money on a brow product. So, for the last 4 months I’ve been on a mission to find a drugstore alternative. And friends, I did my research. I googled, watched videos on YouTube, etc. I ended up purchasing three products. And to test them out I wore all of them under multiple conditions including putting them on before a workout and then looking like a fool after they dripped down my face. So without further a-do, the three products:
One – Rimmel Brow This Way $4.49
This product is almost like a mousse texture vs a gel. This type of texture actually fills in more spots than a gel-like formula, but unfortunately it dries matte. If you look at your hair or eye brows, they naturally have a little shine (healthy hair at least). So anything that dries matte will look more unnatural. It’s also NOT waterproof so it failed my gym test. I give this a D. It’s definitely not comparable to my holy grail.
Two – L’Oréal Brow Stylist Plumper Brow Gel $9.99
Unlike the Rimmel Brow Gel above, this formula is much more gel-like. The brush is also more rounded than the Rimmel one. The gel does have a slight shine when it dries, but unfortunately the color is very sheer. I have to go over each brow several times to completely fill in any sparse areas. Also, this is going to be such a first world problem, but the brush really hurts my brows. I don’t know how to explain it but the bristles are really long so they scratch the skin under my brow hairs haha. For almost half the price of the Anastasia one, this is not worth it to me. I’d rather spent an extra $12 for the real deal.
Three- Essence Make Me Brow $2.99
Given the price I thought for sure this would be the worst of the three, but I was actually pleasantly surprised! The formula is very much like Benefit’s Give me Brow. The gel has tiny micro fibers (which you can actually see on the brush) that help fill in any spots. The brush is also the smallest of the three which makes it much more user friendly.
There is a slight sheen to the gel when it dries so it doesn’t look very unnatural.
Out of the three products this is by far my favorite. The brush is great, the formula is long lasting and helps fill in sparse areas. And, it’s less than $3.
Is it as good as my beloved Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel? No, not at all. I honestly don’t know what it is about the Anastasia one that makes it so great. But nothing gets me the pigmentation, lasting power and look that I get from that one. HOWEVER, if you are a beginner, or you’ve never done anything to your brows, do yourself a favor a spend $3 on the Essence Make Me Brow. Use it for a bit so you can appreciate what a difference using a tinted gel can make to your entire face and then consider splurging on the Anastasia one.