I like big brows, and I cannot lie.
You other brothas can’t deny.
When a girl walks in,
With her bushy brows,
And those arches on her face, I get sprung.
BABY GOT BROWS! I just misquoted Sir Mix-a-lot, what?
Guess who’s got big brows on her mind, babes. They’re kind of a thing for fall, which is probably why brands like NARS are rolling out the red carpet for big brows with products like their new fall Brow Gels and Brow Perfectors ($22 each).
I’ve been trying to grow out my fuzzy little caterpillars for a while, but it hasn’t been easy, thanks to the aftereffects of the era of pencil-thin brows known as the ’90s.
Mine naturally also sort of fade away around the middle mark, and then there’s the issue of Raul…the really annoying bald spot on my left brow. It’s like a no-man’s land up in that spot! Absolutely nothing grows there.
Yeah, thank goodness for side-swept bangs…and these new NARS Brow Perfector pencils and brush-on Brow Gels, both been of which have been helping me fulfill my dreams of Brooke Shields brows circa 1982.
The NARS Brow Perfector ($22)
FranÃ§ois and friends designed the NARS Brow Perfector, which comes in four shades, each with a natural matte finish, to fill, shape and define brows, and they made the twist-up pencil oval to differentiate it from the pack of similar products.
The oval shape is supposed to make it easier to control, helping you get the exact brow shape, angle and size you want.
There’s Salzbourg (a light brown), Caucase (a medium brown), Kalamata (a medium brownish taupe) and Suriname (a black)…
I’ve been using a combination of the two darker colors, Kalamata and Suriname (a very stark, dark black), because I feel like there’s a wide gap between them. Neither one by itself matches my natural brow color. Something between the two shades would be perfect for we lasses with dark brown locks.
First thing I noticed about these was the texture. They’re hard — like polar opposites of soft, waxy brow pencils like Benefit’s Instant Brows.
But I don’t think that’s a problem at all. In fact, many of the harder brow pencils I’ve tried stay put longer, at least for me, and this one does, too. When I draw mine in at the crack of dawn, they still look prim and proper 12-14 hours later.
Interestingly, all of these Brow Perfector colors appear to contain gray undertones, and a couple of them remind me of some of my MAC brow filling favorites, except in pencil costume. Salzbourg makes me think of MAC Omega, and Kalamata reminds me of MAC Concrete.
These pencils apply very sheer, so I have to build them up when I want darker brows. Perfect, because I’ve been known to go overboard with darker pencils anyway — something that’s pretty hard to do with these. They may take a little longer to use, but I’ll take that trade-off for the added control these provide.
As for the twist-up tip, we have a love/hate relationship… On the one hand, I love the ease of use — no need to sharpen! — but the oval shape hasn’t been the best for fine detail work.
Even so, I like these. With a matte finish that looks natural, and epic staying power, the only change I might suggest is an easy way to sharpen them.
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+
The Brow Gels ($22)
Dude, these are DOPE! Much better than the MAC and Anastasia brow gels I’ve been alternating between for the past couple months.
They come in four shades — three pigmented and one colorless — with the pigmented shades actually being pigmented enough to see on your skin and brows.
Need some brow enhancement? Excellent, because that’s what these are designed to do — make brows look darker and fuller — and the gel sets them without any crunchiness or shine! Finished, brows feel firm, but still pliable enough to run a brow comb through.
Each has a super skinny tapered brush that hugs the hairs, easily maneuvering them into place. No wrangling whatsoever. The hairs lie perfectly flat, which I love.
So, so great.
If you’re aiming for full, lush brows that still look natural, give ’em a try. I’ve already added one of these to my bag of everyday makeup must-haves.
(But we could use more colors, FranÃ§ois!!)
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A+
PRICE: $22 each
AVAILABILITY: Look for both the Brow Gels and Brow Perfectors at NARS counters, boutiques and online at narscosmetics.com starting July 20.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,