Just Browsing: The Best Brow Kits for the “Eyebrow Challenged”

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

benefit-brows-a-gogo-and-clarins-eyebrow-kit

What a difference 12 hairs makes

Ladies, I’m writing to you from a new and exotic place that I never thought I’d visit.

No, it’s not Costa Rica or Turks and Caicos — it’s the land of oh-my-gawd-my-left-eyebrow-has-effin’-disappeared!

This morning I had a very unfortunate incident with some at-home wax. I’m kind of Hairy and the Hendersons, so my weekly facial hair removal sesh is a *must*.

Normally I pluck my brows and wax my ‘stash, but this morning I felt too tired and lazy to bust out ye olde Tweezerman.

After successfully de-fuzzing the caterpillar from my top lip, the mad genius in me (who only got four hours of sleep, mind you) decided that trying to wax my brows for the very first time made perfect sense.

Let the official transcript of this blog read: trying a new at-home beauty procedure after very little sleep is a BAD CALL.

Long story short, now a big chunk of my left brow is missing. Thank goodness only 12 hairs went MIA (yes, I counted them), but apparently they were very important ones. Now the left side of my face looks permanently frozen in surprise, a la the Joker.

To temporarily dull the emotional pain, I flat ironed my bangs to strategically cover up the evil bald spot, whom I’ve named Raul.

Then, I went rifling through my stash of fall beauty goods for some bald brow solutions.

Benefit Brows A-Go-Go, $38

benefit-brows-a-go-go

This eight-piece kit comes with *almost* everything needed to whip MIA brows back into shape, including brow wax, brow powder, tweezers and a teeny, tiny dual-ended brush for application.

Raul vamoosed after I followed Brows A-Go-Go‘s clear step-by-step directions. Apparently, applying brow wax first and powder second is totally key — who knew?

With the bald patch gone, my left brow looked strong, defined and very early ’80s Brook Shields.

I love this kit to pieces, but it’s missing one major thing — Benefit really should’ve included a brow comb.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Despite the lack of a comb, Brows A-Go-Go is an excellent kit that kicks bald brows to the curb. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

Their brow powder applies very, VERY pigmented, and if too much gets accidentally packed on, brows can look severe. I ended up using my own brow comb to mellow out the overly dark parts, but including one with the kit would really come in handy for on-the-go touchups.

Clarins Eyebrow Kit Pro Palette, $35

clarins-eyebrow-kit-pro-palette

Raul was no match for this sleek palette, which comes with three brow powders, wax, a peachy pink shadow and three mini-tools — tweezers, a dual-ended brush and a brow comb (YES!).

With the Clarins Pro Palette, brows look a lil’ less dramatic, as the powders apply with slightly less pigmentation than Benefit’s. It creates very natural-looking brows, which I like.

Ease-of-use and portability are this kit’s strong points. Its slim silhouette takes up very little space in my makeup bag, and the wide mirror, which fits snugly in my palm, allows me to see everything without having to squint.

THE BOTTOM LINE: The portability and natural brow look make this kit a winner. Makeup and Beauty Blog Rating: A

I hope you gals forgive me for not including before and after shots of Raul in this post. Quite honestly, I couldn’t bear the thought of any future employers or ex-boyfriends gaggling at the sight of close-ups of my bald left brow on the interwebz. :(

Sigh. It’s gonna take a lot of retail therapy to recover from this morning. I see several pairs shoes in my immediate future…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

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  1. YadiQ says:

    raul i love it lol!

    i have been haphazardly botching my caterpillars aka eyebrows lately too
    i think it has to do with lack of sleep as i am bouncing from one bout of insomnia to the next – a persistent whining cat at 4 am – 7 am doesn’t help matters either! SOme people don’t understand that even so much as one overplucked hair can cause mass mayhem on the brows

    good thing you had some trusty kits to help aid the dilemma

    the clarins one is very appealing but my brows are full, super unruly and thick (by thick i mean each hair is thick on its own) how is the brow wax’s hold?
    the too faced being is very pigmented i must pass on since i have a heavy paw lol

    tell raul i send my regards and i hope he doesn’t stay visiting long – in that case being a furry girl helps lol the hair will grow back sooner than you think!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Yadi,

      The Clarins wax is very thick and holds the hairs in place well — much thicker than the one in the Benefit kit.

      Eeek! Does Jazmine have toys and what not to keep her occupied in the wee hours?

  2. Rachel says:

    I have to admit…I was sort of hoping to see Raul, but I can understand why you’d want to keep him hidden! Glad to see you’ve figured out a way to fix your little problem :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Oh gawd, thank goodness for bangs and brow kits is all I have to say. I was mortified when I saw my brows in the mirror! GAHHH!

      How’s your day going? I hope you’ve been able to stay clear of any brow trauma.

  3. YadiQ says:

    girl jazmine has a slew of toys but she still doesnt stop whining

    i mean she wont stop crying unless i let her lay on top of me then she gets comfy and i am uncomfortable – i sometimes feel like i have a baby and not a cat lol

    she thinks i am her real mom is the problem – she climbs on me and starts kneading the blankets around me and head butts me to rub her until she falls asleep – cute but a pain that early in the am esp at the expense of my sleep

    i will have to try this brow kit out ! i was using a cheapy one from elf that was pretty good – it served its purpose but not as efficient as that cute little case
    those tools are super cute – you know how i love mini versions of big things lol

    • Karen says:

      Hi Yadi,

      LOL, add 15 pounds and turn her into a boy and you would have Tabs. Have you ever had 15 pounds of tabby on your chest? It doesn’t help that he has the knack for stepping directly onto my lady lumps.

      Oh, speaking of Clarins, I know you love their mascara… they have a new version of the Wonder mascara called Wonder Perfect. Have you tried it yet?

  4. shontay says:

    I’ve been using my makeup forever eyebrow corrector and I love it. My brows have grown back, but this slicks them down, and extends them, b/c they are just a little short now. I love it and I’m not as challenged when it comes to drawing them on. Practice makes perfect and that tube will last forever b/c when I say you only need a drop, you really only need a drop.

  5. Dao says:

    OMG, I feel so sad for you. At home brow waxing kit is a bomb that’s ready to explode. Whether you have 4 hours of sleep or a gazillion hours (think Sleeping Beauty), you still make mistake. That’s why I don’t use that thing anymore, unless I want really thin Marlene Dietrich brows.
    .-= Dao’s last blog post… MAC 168 Brush: Fabulous for Contouring =-.

  6. Megan says:

    Karen – it’s ok. I totally only tweeze myself, but I can symathize. One time I was curling my eyelashes and one of my friends came up behind me and scared me and I accidentally ripped out about 10 eyelashes on my left eye. Which 10 does sound like a lot, but you could totally see it…so I used some individual lashes for a bit…and not all the time…but they grew back pretty quickly too. Raul will be gone before you know it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Megan,

      Thanks, girl. I’m glad to hear your lashes grew back quickly (how traumatic!). I’m gonna keep my fingers crossed and hope my brows grow back with the same hyper speed as the rest of my body hair.

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Shontay,

    I’ll check it out next time I’m at Sephora. Thanks for the rec!

    How’s your Tuesday going so far?

  8. Catherine says:

    Awww, lol. I totally feel your pain, Karen – I’ve never tried waxing at home, but I definitely have accidentally tweezed important brow hairs before! Glad you found something to help fix it for the meantime though! Last time I had a bad wax and my brows were ridiculously uneven there was still enough hair left for me to pluck away and even them out.

    I really like the look of these kits though! I’m currently using the Anastasia brow powder duo, which I love, but the idea of having everything in a handy to-go kit a la Clarins is definitely quite appealing. Will definitely consider it when my Anastasia runs out (which… I’m wondering if it ever will LOL – 3+ years and still going strong).
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… A New Mutiny FOTD =-.

  9. Elena says:

    Hi Karen,

    I’m sorry to hear about Raul (haha at the name, not the situation) but I feel your pain. Last time I did an at home face wax, even after having done it on my own for ages, I somehow managed to scar my upper lip so badly I’ve reverted back to daily tweezing. I still shudder every time I pass my wax kit. I’m glad you had your brow kits there to save you. Thanks for the reviews. :)

  10. YadiQ says:

    oooooo really!!! clarins has a new one – i will have to check it out as i LOVE their mascara !

  11. Rae says:

    Ahh! You are too funny, Karen! Sorry about Raul :( Both palettes look great — I love Benefit’s cute packaging, but the sleekness of the Clarins compact is just perfect.

    Have you checked out Parissa’s brow design strips? They sent me a box to check out and review, and though I haven’t posted the review quite yet (still have to upload photos!), I can definitely they’re Raul-proof :P
    .-= Rae’s last blog post… Smokey blue-grey eyes =-.

  12. Christina says:

    I gotta admit, I was hoping for a glimpse of Raul too, but it’s totally understandable why you didn’t want to put it up. I have full brows, but they are incredibly light. If I didn’t pencil them in, you’d swear I don’t have brows. I’m also Asian (so I have the spread out Asian brows that I have to tweeze into shape) and have dark brown hair. My brows are just a little confused and think they’re blondes.

  13. hey karen,

    i have asian brows, that look ok (not too sparse) but when paired with more intense makeup, seem to end a bit too short. i’ve had great success with MUFE waterproof eye brow corrector (looks natural and is easy to use) in shade 04. give it a go. also, it lasts forever, and you only need a tiny bit of product, my HG eyebrow product!

    i put a dot of it on my hand, take a angle brush, brush it on for a bit until it starts drawing a drier line (kinda resembles liquid liner at first, then after, a khol pencil), and stroke it on until my brows look fuller. super easy!
    .-= ines, felix and kitten (the office kitties)’s last blog post… Dance Fact of the Day – Mambo Timing & Style =-.

  14. Marilyn says:

    EEEK, Karen! I’m so sorry to hear about Raul. I kind of wish you’d posted pictures of your wonky brow!

    I am definitely guilty of getting carried away when doing my brows, although I steer clear of the wax! I pluck a little here, trim a little there.. and suddenly my eyebrows look terrible! While I love the idea of those little kits, I stick to my tried and true Clinique browshaper in Charcoaled for my almost black brows. I recently tried Stila’s brow powder and it is super pigmented and is easy to overdo. Clinique’s product is much more forgiving. Unfortunately, the brushes aren’t great, so I use my smashbox brow powder brush instead.
    .-= Marilyn’s last blog post… Thoughts on my new background? =-.

  15. This is a hilarious post! Raul must feel really bad now. hahaha

    -meream
    .-= All Women Stalker’s last blog post… 6 Cute Kate Bosworth Looks =-.

  16. Diana Kim says:

    awww, I’ll say a prayer for Raul so he can grow back faster!

  17. Kelly says:

    Oh Raul and I go waaaayyyy back ;-) I have tried so many brow fixes but always come back to MAC Omega shadow to fill mine in. It’s the perfect color and opaqueness for my coloring!

  18. CC says:

    I love that Clarins case. I had no idea until recently how much of a difference some eyebrow powder can make – especially in photos!

  19. Janelle says:

    Hi Karen!

    It’s terrible you lost so much of your left brow! Yet, you turned that tragedy into quite an amusing post. I LOLed at work when I read that you named your bald spot “Raul!” :)

    Best of luck with the regrowing process. I imagine Anastasia has a product to help eyebrows grow in.

    Janelle

  20. Stephie says:

    Aw. I give plenty of kudos to you for mustering up the courage to even attempt replacing your brow. If I was in the same pickle, I’d probably haphazardly cut me some bowl bangs or crawl under my bed and hibernate until they grow back :P

    Awesome reviews. My prayers go out to your brow’s speedy recovery [growth!]. :P
    .-= Stephie’s last blog post… I <3 Bargain Shopping =-.

  21. Tiffany says:

    lol @ Raul! I want the benefit set – the packaging is so cute!

  22. Mindy says:

    Hi Karen,

    Brow kits are so handy! I’ve been away from home for most of the summer and my Milani brow kit has helped with the recovery from tired, on-the-go plucking. The Milani one comes with two brow powders, a highlight shade, tweezers, brush, sponge-tipped applicator and a mirror. I wish it included a brow comb and wax, but for $6, I won’t complain. The pigmentation is perfect for natural-looking brows and the brow colors have doubled as nice, neutral shadows for lazy makeup days.

    Mindy

  23. once i somehow razor cut a line through my brow! i was devastated! but thank goodness we got all these products to help fake it! =)
    .-= tokyostargirl’s last blog post… my soul sis lisa’s big day =-.

  24. Marce says:

    Raul is my dads’ name.

    Not. LOL! Thank the lawd I’ve never gone through a Raul, but I nearly always have my fringe covering my brows so I guess it won’t be a major problem.
    I wish your brows good health, and may they grow out to be as strong as before. Amen :D
    .-= Marce’s last blog post… Looks – Sephora Extreme Smoky Eye =-.

  25. L says:

    Oh no! I understand completely. A little over a year ago, I realized that one of my eyebrows was plucked a tiiiiny bit more than the other for YEARS, so I’ve been trying to grow it back and deal with it since. It’s sort of grown back, but I fear that it will never fully return :(.

    You’re going to be less screwed because this only happened once, but I’d start applying brow growth serum ASAP. Okay, so they’re not actual drugs, but they can only help (or, well, do nothing), so might as well go for it!

    I hear the Anastasia brow pen is great. The brow powder is pretty good too, as is the Clinique pencil. Laura Geller has a decent marker. 3 Custom Colors has a nice texture but I have color matching problems with them, but since your hair is much darker than mine, you probably would be fine with their darkest brown. I’m trying the brow pen, though, because while the three that work for me are pretty good, I’d love to find a brow product worthy of “holy grail” status.

    Make sure to resist the urge to pluck anywhere near the part growing back in; you never know what you might need.

    Some levity for you for the situation — one of my friends accidentally shaved off 2/3 of one of her eyebrows way back when (freshman year of HS). She was shaving her legs and had an itch and somehow managed to contort her hand in such a way that she took off the majority of her brow. I still have no idea how this is actually possible, but I take her word for it, and every time my brow itches while I’m shaving in the shower, I make sure to put down the razor first! It apparently looked awful, so she just shaved the rest of her brows off.

    Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t THAT noticeable. I thought that she looked really tired, but it took me a few minutes to put my finger on what exactly was wrong. I think I went to the drugstore that night to buy her some eyebrow pencil…

  26. Kate & Zena says:

    Raul, lol! I think we all do that at one point in our lives.

    Zena is chilling out with me at the moment. It;s been thunderstorming and the only way she’ll stay calm after her tranquilizer is being downstairs. So, I’m up at 12:47 AM waiting for her to chill out. I love my dog, I love my dog, I love my dog. :repeats mantra: I’ve got a boatload of homework too!

  27. juliet says:

    Pictures, or it didn’t happen! :P

  28. Karen B says:

    I’m getting my brows done on Saturday, for the first time in my life and having no brows is my doom-scenario!!!
    Any tips?

  29. Cupcake says:

    Hello Karen! So sorry for you Raul! I have a Raul myself, in my right eyebrow, someday i pluck too much.. and don’t want do scare you, but mine didn’t grow back as it was, so there’s always a gap, i try to put some ricino oil ( which i read that helps to grow hair) and it helped a bit. Tell me, are you using any product so they grow faster? There’s also a eyebrow treatment from Talika (http://www.talika.com/product-eyebrow-lipocils-en.html) but not sure if it works. I also wanted to know which color you used to cover your Raul, i believe my color is similiar. I normally use a black soft pencil and brush to the fade the color, but can’t really find a dark brown to match. Get well soon Raul!!! Kisses

  30. Ninja says:

    Hi, It’s been a while since this post, but I hope you can help me!

    I purchased the product on your recommendation and I the colour was PERFECT. I have jet-black hair and mixing the black and brown powders gave me a natural look. All of the the other products I’ve tried have come out too dark/harsh/black or else have a reddish undertone.

    I ended up returning the Brow Kit, however, because I really didn’t like the wax. It balled up when I tried to load my brush and also balled up when I tried to apply it. When I went to Sephora, the consultant introduced me to the Smashbox Brow Tech wax, which has a delicious, easy-to-use texture.

    After returning the Clarins Kit, I went to Sephora and bought the Lorac eyebrow kit, but am finding it to be too dark. Maybe I was too hasty in returning the Clarins kit. The Clarins colour was so good!

    Do you think you can give me some application tips? Maybe I just don’t know how to use the Clarins wax. I need help! I accidentally singed off half of my eyebrow at New Years.

    Please help this makeup newbie!

  31. Reida says:

    My brows are extremely dark and thick due to my middle eastern roots. Please reccomend me a brow box with easy to use wax that will hold with a natural look ? There are soo many brands to choose from. I never pluck btw- I wax and thread. Waxing my brows takes 5 minutes tops.

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