February 14, 2019 at 03:30AM by CWC
If there’s one product in my makeup bag that makes me giddy and excited, it’s brow gel. To me, slicking down my arches is like putting on a perfect structured blazer—only, you know, on my face. Brows have the ability to frame the entire complexion in a matter of swipes, which is why I wanted to hunt down the best brow gels out there.
Brow gels, kind of like mascara, differ in color, wand size, brush type, texture, and consistency. “The main thing with brow gels is getting a good brush and finding the right tone to match your hair color,” says Jimena Garcia, bicoastal brow pro. “Depending on the consistency, it can goop up, and it can be messy, so finding a consistency for you is key.”
Just as with hair types, your brows, too, can differ in texture. “If you have thick, coarse hair, it’s really nice to have a softer gel, and if you have thin hair, it’s good to go with a thicker consistency,” says Garcia. “You also want to look for a really small brush.” As far as color goes, it’s more about the look you’re going for. If you want a bolder brow, Garcia says to go with a shade darker than your actual hair color.
In terms of your style, Garcia says everyone should brush all of the brow hairs up. “Brushing them up makes them look thicker, and it automatically creates a wider brow. When you brush to the side it’s beautiful, but lots of people want bigger brows.” If you’re still adamant about a more natural, subtle brow, you can simply brush up the beginning of the brow and then go to the side for the rest. To achieve that look? Keep on scrolling for the tried-and-tested brow gels that work for all.
Try these editor-approved brow gels
Glossier Boy Brow, $16: The cult-fave Boy Brow was actually my first introduction to the world of eyebrow makeup. Once I slathered the product onto my arches—sweeping them upwards—my entire look got a subtle, but very ideal upgrade. The wand is a perfectly small size that’s easy to groom with, and it leaves your brow hair fluffy without being stiff. It comes in 3 shades (and also clear).
Surratt Expressioniste Brow Pomade, $30: This brow pomade is literally like an artist’s paintbrush—the bristles are really fine and close together, set up kind of like a tiny toothbrush. The brush coats and grooms every strand of your brows, leaving them masterfully defined. For now, it only comes in clear, so it’s good if you don’t also need to tint the hairs.
Lashfood Tinted Brow Enhancing GelFix, $24: This one feels like a conditioner that also happens to shape my brows. It’s full of nourishing peptides that helps rejuvenate and thicken your brow hair, and the thick brush—loaded with both short and longer bristles—makes for really soft, fluffy brows that look nicely defined.
Chanel Le Gel Sourcils Longwear Eyebrow Gel, $32: I’m really into the wand on this option, which is a cone shape that allows for fluffing precision—you can literally make your brow hairs go in any direction you want.
W3ll People Expressionist Brow Gel, $18: After the wild success of the brand’s Expressionist Mascara ($22), its baby sister brow gel is quickly becoming a daily staple for me. The teeny wand is small but mighty, allowing for adept brushing of the brow hair. And the all-natural ingredients—from shea and cocoa seed butter to jojoba oil—leave your hair soft and hydrated while still holding the style you choose.
Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel, $18: This brow gel is full of hemp seed oil, so as you’re grooming, you’re infusing nourishing oils onto your brow hair. The tapered brush is easy to use, and one swipe gives a solid boost of color that stays without being heavy.
Now onto the rest of your makeup look—here’s how to apply eyeshadow, and how to find a foundation shade in the drugstore that matches despite not being able to swipe it on before buying.