Let's Talk Eyebrows: My Current Routine and Favorite Product!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I was born with some pretty thick brows! See how I perfect them below.

UPDATE! I now have a Let's Talk Eyebrows Part 2: A comparison between Smashbox Brow Tech To Go and Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil.

My Eyebrow Story
The 1990s weren't too kind to bold brows, and like most teens, I fell victim to middle school over-plucking. Thankfully, they grew back. In college, I got them waxed every couple of months. While I liked the clean shape that the salon lady gave me, I would get red zit-like bumps from the wax. Also, I felt like every time I went she would take more and more off, leaving me with nicely shaped, but too-thin brows that weren't really framing my face. I've tried threading once, but that was super painful for me. So, a few years ago, I decided to shape my eyebrows myself. Thankfully, bold brows a la Cara Delevingne have been "in" the past few seasons so I've been rocking them with pride.

Eyebrow Shaping and Maintenance
Every two weeks or so, I trim my brows. I take a spoolie, brush the brow hairss straight up, and take small scissors along the top of my brows and trim any extra long hairs. I do this slowly and keep checking in two different mirrors to make sure my brows are relatively the same in hair length.

I then take my Sally Hansen brow razor and carefully clean up any stray hairs around the top and sides of my brows. I also take the brow razor between my brows to make sure I take care of any unibrow situation. Any leftover hairs I pluck away with my Revlon slanted tweezer. Once a week,  I brush on my Rimmel Lash Accelerator Serum before bed to make sure my brows (and lashes) keep growing and stay healthy. Note, this product is not paraben-free. A healthier alternative to grow healthy brows is castor oil, but I haven't tried that yet.

Brow Products I've Tried in the Past
Even though I have thick set of brows, I still have some sparse areas, especially near the inner portion and near the arch. So I like to fill them in just slightly and always set the hairs in place with clear gel. Most of the brow products I've tried have been drugstore items. I've tried the e.l.f Studio Eyebrow Kits * in Light and Ash, the Tarte emphasEYES Waterproof Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse * in Taupe, the Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil & Gel in Dark Blonde, Prestige Cosmetics Ideal Match Brow Pencil in Light/Medium, the Milani Brow Fix Kit in Light, and NYX Automatic Eyebrow Pencil in Light Brown.

For clear brow gels, I've tested the Palladio Brow Gel *, Ulta Eye Brow Gel and Prestige Cosmetics BrowPerfection Revitalizing Brow Gel *. I know the Rolls Royce of brow products is from Anastasia Beverly Hills. I have tested most of Anastasia's products in-store at Sephora and Ulta and have been impressed with the quality, but I'm skipping on buying them because of parabens in the ingredients. Since I fill in my brows every day, I want to make sure I stick with something paraben-free.

My Current Holy Grail Product
Right now, I'm incredibly happy with the Smashbox Brow Tech to Go *. I love that the product comes with soft-hold brow gel — that's a money and time saver! The product isn't too firm or too soft. The shade Taupe is perfect for my brows; it's not too warm like many products I've tried and it photographs really well. The gel does the job and doesn't make my brow hairs crunchy.

The design of this brow pencil is incredibly similar to Hourglass' Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil and Tom Ford's Brow Sculptor, but at $27, Smashbox Brow Tech to Go is the cheapest option.

Here's the official description from Smashbox:
All-in-one brow color and control. When Smashbox Cosmetics first debuted its now-iconic Brow Tech, the formula became an instant cult favorite. Now Smashbox introduces a new way to wear the classic brow tamer- a portable edition of the beloved original is a travel-friendly, double-ended wand. One end includes an angled, longwearing and waterproof pencil for precise filling and defining, and the other end contains a soft-hold gel with a brow brush applicator to comb brows perfectly into place. Available in two shades, the pencil end is enriched with antioxidant Vitamin C, while the gel contains moisturizing jojoba. Both the pencil and the gel are formulated with nourishing Vitamin E.

 Angled pencil end

Spoolie brush end with soft-hold gel 

 Here I am with just foundation and Smashbox Brow Tech to Go in Taupe
My Daily Routine
Here's Smashbox's application tip from its website: 
A little goes a long way with Brow Tech! Make sure you get the most out of this product by twisting the pencil up ever so slightly and using just a small amount of pressure when applying.

With the pencil end, I fill in the tails of my brows first since they're on the skinny side. Then I make sure I fill in any gaps near my arches. Next, I lightly underline the bottom of my brows. With less pressure and using short strokes, I pencil in the inner portion of my brows to make them look lighter and more natural. I finish the look by brushing the clear brow gel to set those brows in place all day.

Here's the finished look

For my "glam" eyebrow routine, I like super defined brows, which are a perfect accompaniment to dark smokey eyes. For that look, all I do is take concealer with a small flat brush to clean up the underside of my brows.

I will keep exploring brow products for the sake of this blog! Up next to try on my list (all paraben-free items) are: CK One Color Brow Pencil + Gel Duo* in Wily Brunette, Benefit Gimme Brow* in Light/Medium and It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil*.

What's your favorite brow product?

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I purchased Smashbox Brow Tech to Go with my own money.
Smashbox Brow Tech to Go and the products noted with an asterisk above are paraben-free.


  1. AHH! YOU'RE BROWS ARE AMAAAZING! Sorry for the freak out, but holy guacamole they are GORGEOUS! I'm so lazy when it comes to my brows! A little clear gel from elf is all I need haha!

    Great and informative post!


  2. Thank you! I got inspired by your previous comment :)


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