Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Eyebrows on Fleek or Incredibly Weak? Makeup Showdown!

Ok let's be real for a second, eyebrows can change your entire face. If you have insanely off-centered bold brows, you're going to look distinctly different than if you rocked a pair of symmetrically thin brows. It's just the way the hairy strips above our eyes work, but getting them to frame the face well is only half the battle. The other half consists of trying to find a brow product that actually works for us. 

For some this isn't an issue, because they have gorgeously full brows. For others - including myself - you may have fully or partially sparse brows, that are in dire need of some additional help. There is absolutely no shame in needed product to spice up your eyebrows by the way, but it can be difficult to find a product that isn't too waxy, gives you a natural - or intense look, depending on your preference. With so many products ranging anywhere from $3.00 to $40.00, you might want a little insight into some products that may or may not get your brows to look "on fleek", as the kids say these days (although I don't know why). While I don't have an extensive knowledge in the eyebrow world, I have tried quite a few different products. Some on the more expensive side and a few on the cheaper side. To [hopefully] help you in your journey to perfect brows. 

First I feel like I should give a little bit of information. When it comes to brows, there tend to be 3 basic ways to apply makeup: a waxy pencil, a wax with a powder put on top, and just powder. You can also use a pomade of sorts, but for the sake of this review I won't be discussing that. 

A waxy pencil is just what it sounds, a smooth pencil that allows you to literally draw your brows. These can be tricky depending on the formula of the actual product, as it can easily become "too much product". If you aren't used to gently "flicking" your brows on (flicking the pencil to somewhat mimic hairs), my word of advice would just be take your time and practice! 

A wax with a powder on it can come in a few different ways as well. A pomade is very similar to a wax/powder duo, but it's more of a 2-in-1 product while the wax and powder duo normally come separated in one container. You normally start by applying either a clear wax or tinted wax to your brows, then gently place the given powder over the top, to "set" your brows. This can be a little messy the first few times around and if you don't get a good match/duo, you can be left with VERY bold brows, so proceed with caution! 

Powder is pretty self explanatory as well. It's simply a powder that matches your desired eyebrow colored (could be a powder specifically designed for eyebrows or simply a shade of eye shadow) that is gently "drawn" over your eyebrows with typically an eyebrow brush. This can be relatively easy to work with, since there isn't any waxy-ness to it and you can "clean up" your brows easily with just a little foundation or concealer. However, if you have a heavy hand - just like with all the other products - you can go from natural to intense with one too many strokes. 

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's start on the higher end of the spectrum shall we?
Found HERE

One of my favorite eyebrow products for the longest time, was Mac's eyebrow pencils - in the shade "fling" to be exact. It runs for about $17 and lasts a relatively decent amount of time. The consistency is amazing, as it's a waxy pencil without too much wax. When applying it, I'm never left with any chunks in areas and it blends with my natural eyebrow hairs nicely. I've often gotten compliments when wearing this product, as it's very natural looking. 

My biggest complaint for this pencil is merely that the pencil's product seems to not be very "strong". What I mean by that is that if you use slightly too much pressure, the tip of the pencil breaks off. I'm not talking about force either, I'm talking about making slightly stronger strokes than "light". The amount of product - 0.003 oz - seems to last a little less than a month, if used every day. 

Another infamous brow pencil that is quite popular in the makeup world, is the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil. I haven't had the good fortune to try that specific product, but for $21, I'll pass for now. I've only heard good things about it though. 

An excellent dupe for BOTH the Anastasia pencil AND the MAC pencil, would be the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer - I use the shade "blonde".

This product has been making headway lately - although I'm not sure how long it's been around - in the makeup world as the best dupe possible. For around $8, you'll get 0.003 oz of a formula that is almost identical to the MAC pencil and from what I've been told, the Anastasia one as well. It holds up extremely well when applying - no breakage - and absolutely not chunks whatsoever. The waxy consistency is a very beautiful blend and the pigmentation is strong, but not overbearing. 

It's easily build-able and I would even go as far to say it's "oops proof". You aren't immediately stricken with this harsh line when applying it and the shade "blonde" has been a gorgeous color to apply for blondes AND brunettes, as it's a light color that - like I said - can be built up. It never gets TOO dark, but it can be a nice filler. The shade ranges seem to stick to only 3 types - blonde, brunette, and dark brunette. I haven't tried the other colors, but I would assume that they formula would be identical. I recommend this product 100%, ESPECIALLY if you're just starting out with eyebrow makeup. Even experienced makeup aficionados are going ga-ga for this pencil! The longevity of the product while on your face is amazing as well, as it lasts ALL DAY! With minimal smudge - although still removable - it's a win win from every angle. 

The next product I've tried is a wax/powder duo. The most basic I've tried is the E.L.F. duo kit that comes with a tinted wax and a colored powder - in the shade "Light". 

Now I've tried their "Medium" duo and immediately found it to be WAY to dark for me, along with a few other complaints about the overall product. However, it was with high hopes that this $3 find would suit me better in a lighter shade. Unfortunately I was mistaken.

The wax is very messy and it doesn't last very long. Even with the powder on top, it will smudge with one gently wipe, leaving you with a very...interesting brow look. The powder was also extremely pigmented, but in a shade that - I felt - didn't compliment the wax's color, nor a person with light eyebrows. The powder color by itself is too dark with a very red undertone for me. The wax is extremely dark and if you don't have a very light powder, you will be left with a reddish/dark eyebrow, regardless of it's "light" name. 

The last eyebrow product I've tried, is simply using powder. Like I said previously, I had initially tried the E.L.F. eyebrow kit powder, with a bad result. A few years prior, I had found a simple brown eye shadow that wasn't too red or too gray, for only 99 cents at a "Everything $5" Store. No brand - or at least it's been wiped off - but I can say this: if you choose to go the "powder only" route, it can be a bit tricky to get a light hand when applying, but I do think it's the easiest to clean up. It can also help when extremely sparse areas, when you just need a little more hair in certain spots. 

If you are looking for a quick and easy eyebrow product for errands or something, I'd think about checking out cheap individual eye shadows, to help you achieve a fuller and simpler look. If you touch them though, they won't be looking their best, although it will smudge WAY less than the E.L.F. duo! With powder, I feel my eyebrows stay decent for longer as well. 

When it comes to the eyebrows, I'm not necessarily picky per say, but I do like to have a little "oomph" on my face. To at least give the appearance that I care you know? My favorite product by far is the L'Oreal pencil, as it's magnificent with or without foundation. I can easily glide the pencil and draw on a few hairs with ease, to give me a more "put together" look in no time. It gives me the flexibility and comfort in knowing that I have something cheap and amazing in one! 

I may not be a makeup artist, but I still like my eyebrows to be "on fleek"! What's your guys' favorite brow product?

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