Bold and bushy or over-plucked and underrepresented, no matter your brow situation, there are ample products to suit.
But sometimes that’s the problem. With a myriad of products available, how do you know which type of product to choose to make the most of your own set?
Here are some quick tips to guide your choice:
Use a pencil if: You have gaps to fill or need to create a strong shape at the start of each brow. Ideal for precision. Never draw a solid line with a brow pencil. Use a very light hand, sketching in fine short strokes that mimic natural hair, re-assessing constantly before continuing – less is more!
Use a powder if: You have a decent amount of hair but are after a fuller, more groomed appearance overall. Brush hair upwards with a spoolie brush (similar to a clean mascara wand, often found at the end of a brow pencil) then when you get beyond the arch smooth the shape downwards. Then take a dense angle brush to pick up a bit of powder colour and start filling any gaps with small strokes. Alternatively start at the front of the brow and fill with short upward strokes, adding more colour to your brush as you go.
Use a solid gel or wax if: Your hairs are unruly or sprout out at odd angles. Applied with an angle brush these add dense colour and hold to fill in larger gaps and secure hairs in place, but they do run the risk of looking blocky, so don’t paint on, use small strokes. They can also be used as a base for powder if you want a dimensional, long-lasting effect. Many waxes come in kits with a coordinating powder to fill in gaps.
Use a pomade if: You’re after an ‘influencer’ brow: that bold, crisp shape with a tapered tail that gives you a sleek full set, particularly handy if you’ve got little to none to start with! The smooth cream or mousse in a pot is best applied with an angle brush, starting by defining the arch, then tail, then using an almost-clean brush to shape the front. Many pomades are waterproof and can handle hot climates or workouts well.
Use a wand with a brush and tinted gel if: You want unstructured, yet well maintained brows or you have few hairs and want to volumise them. Brush lightly over so hair picks up the pigment but it doesn’t colour your skin. Some of these options contain extra fibres within the gel that help thicken up the look of your brows by clinging to the hairs that are already there.
Use a marker if: You want to minimise the appearance of a scar or gap where the hair wont grow. The fine tip allows you to sketch single hairs easily in the direction of natural growth. They also suit oilier skin types as the tint delivered by the felt-tip lasts well.
Use a clear gel if: You have abundant hair in your brows and don’t need extra colour, you just want to keep them in place, or you want to re-create the look of a brow lamination. That’s when hairs are brushed upwards and set with a clear, sometimes shiny gel to give the look for a full, fluffy brow. Brow lamination is a semi-permanent treatment you can have in-salon, but many clear waxes, ‘soap brow’ products and clear wands will give you the same look, if just for the day.
Use a brow dye if: You want to enhance the look of your set and you have very light brows or your natural brow colour has lightened or turned grey. Or if you want a low-effort, waterproof option that means you don’t have to fill your brows every day. Brow and lash dyes are now easily accessible and the colour around six weeks.
Once you’ve decided on the type of product that suits, the hardest part is getting the right colour. When it comes to brow products, shade is everything so we consulted an expert for guidance.
“When choosing shades, staying close to your natural brow colour or one shade darker is key to add some attention to your brows”, says head brow trainer Rachel Steadman of brow specialist salon OFF & ON.
“Alternatively, match it up to the root colour of your hair.”