Having nice, sculpted, filled in brows has become a huge trend in beauty, but if you’re just starting out learning how to fill in your brows it can be a little intimidating. Between the dark high arched intense look, all the way through to a softer more natural look, it can be easy enough to know what style suits you based on your personality and beauty habits. The harder part is finding what brow product is right for you. Between pencils, gels, mascaras, and powders where are you supposed to start?
If you’re feeling a little lost, or could use some tips I’m going to go through my personal pros and cons for the four major types of brow products: powder, mascara, pencil, and gel. Each of them are good for certain looks and suiting different lifestyle needs. I’m not a huge beauty guru or anything, but I like to give you the beginner, girl next door type tips to help you weed through the information and help improve your look with the basics. Once we’ve covered how to choose the right brow product for your look I’ll go over how to use each product to fill in your brows. Stay tuned for part 2 coming in a few weeks!
To clarify things for anyone that may end up wondering, I talk about two different brow looks: a filled in look and a sculpted look. A filled in look is more natural and consists of primarily filling in any bare spots within your existing brow hair. A sculpted look requires more product and precision to reshape your brows. This look is generally used by anyone who may have overplucked their brows, or they just want a slightly different shape than what they have naturally.
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Brow powder is great for a very natural, filled in look that doesn’t take too much time. When I first started filling in my brows I used powder to fill in any bare spots, but it’s too soft if you’re looking for something to shape your brows. Because it is powder it doesn’t have staying power to last through an entire day, especially if there’s any sweating involved, and it can get messy if you get powder on your hands and touch your face.
The great thing about trying out brow powder to fill in your brows is that you don’t have to buy any new products. You can use an existing brown eyeshadow or contour powder. You can also find brow powder palettes that generally come with 2 different brown shades and a highlighter shade.
Very soft natural look
Easy to fill in
Can use your existing brown eyeshadow
Not long lasting
Can get messy
Not good for shaping brows
Brow mascara is my go-to brow product for everyday makeup. It comes in a tube and looks essentially the same as mascara, but brown and with a very simple 1 inch bristle brush.
It’s super quick and easy to apply making it perfect for a 5 minute makeup look. All you need is a few quick swipes and you’re good to go. The mascara wand is great for filling in brows, but isn’t precise enough for a defined, sculpted look. It’s also great to keep in your gym bag for a quick refresher after a workout.
Super quick to apply
Fills in brows nicely
Not very defined
Brow pencils are very easy to control while applying and can be great for a sculpted look, or for a simple fill in. They are a great entry level product as you have lots of control, and they are the least messiest of the 4 major types of brow products. The main reason I don’t use them everyday is because they take longer to apply than brow mascara.
Pencils are great for beginners and more advanced makeup geeks because they are so easy to control and can create a variety of looks. They look like any ordinary eyeliner or lip liner pencil, but they will generally be a bit skinnier at the tip so it can mimic brow hairs as it’s applied. The smaller the tip the more precise you will be able to make your look, and the longer it will take to apply. If you want a quick fill in you may want to opt for something thicker that’s closer to a usual eyeliner. If you’re looking for precision NYX and ColourPop each have great cruelty free skinny brow pencils.
Versatile – good for sculpted or filled in looks
Easy to control
Can take time to apply
Brow gel is great for a more defined, polished look. It can come in a tube which I find to be a lot messier as it has more of a liquid consistency. I recommend opting for something similar to Benefit’s Ka-Brow Gel which comes in a small pot and is more of a balm. You need to have a small skinny flat brush to apply brow gel. Many products come with a small brush, but I prefer to use my Just Browsing MOTD Vegan Brush.
Benefit’s Ka-Brow Brow Gel is my go to when I’m getting ready for a night out or a photoshoot. This is probably the most intermediate brow product of the 4 as it takes longer to apply and requires steady hand control. With the thicker consistency, it’s great for sculpting brows, but can also create a natural filled in look. It’s the longest lasting of the 4 main brow products making it a great option if you’re planning on doing any sort of activity, including a long night of dancing.
Defined sculpted look
Good for reshaping brows
Takes longer to apply
Harder to apply for beginners
Choosing the Right Colour
Choosing the right colour can be so so hard! Over the years I’ve wasted money on plenty of products that were either too dark or too light. I find the best rule of thumb to use while shopping is that whenever you are stuck between two different colours, always opt for the lighter of the two.
It also helps to ask the professionals. Next time you get your brows done ask the technician their opinion on what colour you should use to fill your brows and if they have examples of what you can look for next time you’re shopping. Depending on where you’re shopping you can always ask someone working there. It doesn’t quite work as well if you’re shopping at a Walmart or Target, but if you’re going to a Shoppers Drug Mart or a Sephora they’re generally more than happy to help you find the right match.
You may also not know that you can return products that aren’t the right colour. I felt weird doing this at first, but when I went to exchange a brow gel at Shoppers Drug Mart they totally understood that I didn’t want to waste my money on a pricey brow product I could never use, and were very easy to deal with while they helped me find a colour that worked better for me.
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Save 10% when you shop any MOTD Cosmetics Vegan Makeup Brushes when you use the code “Jannine”
Stay tuned for part 2 showing you how to fill in your brows coming in a few weeks!