Smashbox Brow Tech Wax Disciplines All But the Most Unruly Brows

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, Product Reviews

I don’t know what I did to lose their support, but at some point over the past few weeks, my brows decided to stage a coup. A chunk of my left brow just didn’t come to work one day, like it decided, “That’s it! Game over.” Now I have a brow bald spot, and I’m really not sure how it happened.


Then a group of longish witch hairs rode into town one night, probably detecting an opportunity to seize power. I call them “Kool and the Gang.” There may be someone, somewhere out there who finds insubordinate, mutinous brows alluring, but I’m not crazy about the look.

I would have reached for my Benefit Instant Brow pencil to restore balance to my brows, but I used the last of it a few weeks ago.

Perfect excuse to visit Sephora to look for something new. πŸ™‚

But where do I start? I wondered, as I browsed for brow solutions in the store, and that’s when I saw the gal with the bangin’ brows…

They were perfectly filled in and sculpted, the hairs all lying nice and neat, so I asked her for her secret. She said she filled them in first with eyeshadow using an angled brush, and then set them with Smashbox Brow Tech Wax ($20).


I’d heard of it before, Brow Tech — a colorless brow wax that comes in a pot. It’s part of Smashbox’s permanent line.

I already had MAC Concrete and the MAC 266 Angled Brush at home, so I grabbed a pot of Brow Tech and hoped for the best.

There’s really not much to it. It’s a soft, colorless wax that dries to a matte finish. To apply, you brush it directly onto your brows with an angled brush. You can wear it alone or on top of a powder or pencil; I tried it both ways.

Being matte, I think it looks natural on my brows, and I like that it doesn’t leave them looking or feeling plastered and stiff, but the 0.049-oz. pot sure seems small for $20, especially when the first three ingredients are petrolatum, wax and mineral oil (not exactly rare ingredients).

Smashbox also sells some slightly larger Brow Tech trios, each with a lighter and a darker powder seated next to a small amount of wax, for $24.

I might be wrong, but I have a feeling that the Brow Tech wax causes the color of my brow powder to fade. It also loses a little steam about half way through the day, which is when I start to see some of those longish hairs jump out of line and get unruly again.

Kool and the Gang and I think that Brow Tech’s just okay. Many women swear by it, though, and your results may vary. In my case, I just think that maybe my misbehaving brows need a little more hold than Brow Tech provides.

PRICE: $20 for a 0.049-oz. pot
AVAILABILITY: Available now at Sephora stores and online at

The honeymoon’s over…

The lovey dovey kitty who welcomed me home a few days ago has already been replaced by his fussier feline doppelganger. Yup, diva Tabs is back to ignoring me and giving me dirty looks.

No biggie. I knew the honeymoon wouldn’t last. πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



P.S. This isn’t Smashbox related, but if you’re a New Yorker and an Urban Decay fan, you might want to pop by the Sephora in Times Square next Saturday, August 20 if you can. The store will be hosting a six-hour sneak peek and early sale of the new UD palette, codenamed Book of Shadows, Volume IV, from 1-7 p.m.

The $64 palette doesn’t officially arrive until the holidays, so this would be a good chance to grab it before anyone else.


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So far, 56 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Liza says:

    I’ve been skimming through this blog, mainly for the photographs, for a couple months now. This is the first post that actually caught my eye, because, HOLY SHIT you are hilarious. Naming your brows Kool and the Gang? Where have you been all my life? Just wanted to say way to go on being both pretty AND hilarious. Rock on!

  2. Katie Fritz says:

    Where oh where did you get your necklace in the photo? It’s to die!!

  3. Jan says:

    I love that palette

  4. Jan says:

    I love that palette, especially the shade that shares the name with one of my favorite TV shows, LOST. Also, Sin is a great everyday shade. I need more of that.

  5. Sarah says:

    With those ingredients (petrolatum and mineral oil in particular being known to clog pores), I would worry this would give me eyebrow breakouts. Not cute.

  6. Jenn says:

    Omg. Another UD palette! I still need to check out their 15 anniversary palette. UD cranks these things out like candy!. πŸ™‚
    Jenn recently posted … French Frolic, Macaroons, and Sephora

  7. Adrienne says:

    Since you use benefit’s instant brow, have you ever tried their Brow Zings? They come with brushes, powder, wax, and even travel tweezers. I’m lazy about my brows, and use instant Brow if anything, but my friend has killer perfect eyebrows and she uses the Brow Zings. They also have the Brows a Go-Go kit that also comes with highlighting powder and Eye Bright.

  8. gio says:

    That’s a gorgeous palette, love it!
    gio recently posted … What’s The Difference Between A Cosmetic And A Drug?

  9. Crystal says:

    I have this one little area at the beginning of my right brow that always is so stubborn! Each day I beg it to act right!
    Can’t wait for the new UD palette!
    Crystal recently posted … Covergirl Natureluxe Water Resistant Mousse Mascara

  10. Sonya says:

    Wish I was in NY for the UD palette event! Guess I’ll have to wail until the holidays… :/
    Sonya recently posted … Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Perfume Roll-On – Review + Photos

  11. ann says:

    You should try Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream on your brows! I also use it to give a sheen to my eyelids (I don’t use eyeshadow though). Also great as a lip balm!

  12. LOL Karen, your posts always make me laugh. I like to let my eyebrows run wild and free, because when I try to tame them they rebel even harder! So I just find it’s easier to work with them than to control them.
    Kewt-ified Nails recently posted … Archives: Zoya Ivanka

  13. Chris25 says:

    I have Smashbox Brow Tech Wax and it works really well on me. Sorry to hear that it doesn’t work that great on you. πŸ™

    Rocky and Jazz give me the “she’s invisible” treatment after they eat their meals. Before, however, it’s all “Mommy’s the best!”.

  14. Kim says:

    I’m getting down to the nub on my brow pencil and was thinking about options. I think I’m just too lazy to do anything but a pencil, though. πŸ™‚

  15. bhumika says:

    dat palette luks awesome !!
    bhumika recently posted … LaVaque Tweezers and Crystal Nail File Review, Giveaway

  16. Nina says:

    the new UD palette is insane!

    im not sure if i want my eyebrow color to fade … but im so curious about brow tech. i might cave in and buy it.

    • Karen says:

      I know, right? It’s kinda neat that they added the techie stuff.

      Maybe get the Brow Tech from Sephora… that way if you don’t like it you can always return it! Love, LOVE their return policy. πŸ™‚

      • Nina says:

        that is true – Sephora has the best-est return policy. πŸ™‚

        i kinda wished i was in NYC on aug 20 … it would be awesome to get the freebies and own this palette in advance!

  17. Natasia says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Urban Decay palette! I can’t wait to get mine.

  18. amy says:

    I agree the brows are very important.. people forget to pay attention to them. I use a Trish McEvoy or Dior brow pencil to draw them or powder eyeshadow to fill them.

  19. Amy says:

    I really like the look of the new UD palette. I especially love that they included a squeezy tube version of their eye primer! Do you know any details on the palette yet? Specifically what’s with the USB cable and little speaker box?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy,

      The palette includes some tech stuff: a USB cord and an audio cable so you can listen to music while you get ready, and a pre-loaded card with five video tutorials.

  20. Vijaya says:

    I never spend money on brows stuff. xP
    Vijaya recently posted … Final Fantasy Inspired Look: Selphie

  21. Have you tried Model in a Bottle? I’ve heard that is the best for unruly brows.

  22. Nicole R. says:

    I tried this a while back and it didn’t seem to work for me either, in fact, every Smashbox product I’ve tried, with the exception of their brushes, has been a disappointment. Karen, have you tried Mally Beauty Eye Opening Brow Fix from QVC? It works great for me and is long wearing, too!

  23. Lo says:

    I am cracking up over your brow story! I thought I was the only one who had totally normal brows one day and then, BAM, chaos!

  24. corinne says:

    Have you tried MAC’S Brow Wax penci? It’s the shiiizzzeeeee and doesn’t get ur wax all crusty from your brow powder

  25. kiwikiwidragon says:

    I have enough hair on my head for 6 people, but I have 6 eyebrow hairs. Go figure. DH has fabulous brows with tons of tiny compact hairs. Dense and thick and a great arch, but less hair on top. I like Anastasia’s brow gel and Prestige cosmetics dual ended brow thing. It has a tinted side with a gel that has fibers that color and bulk up brows and a clear gel on the other end. I use them at different times but it says they go together. I get plenty of staying power from just the tinted side.

  26. DanaJae says:

    Have you tired MAC’s Brow Set? It comes in clear for us shadow brow filler ladies and they also come with tints – I have never tried the tints but my brows are constantly trying to party on their own so I have to tame them or I think they would run off my face too! lol

  27. Heather says:

    Anastasia makes a great chubby wax pencil that works amazingly.

  28. KSlone says:

    Smashbox makes their Browtech in a soft pencil form. It has a unique angle for sculpting flawless brows. The dual-ended gem has what I would describe as a liquidier(is that a word???) version of brow tech, with a spoolie wand in it. This formula along with the wand seems to hold mutant hairs down better. Its waterproof to boot! For a neurotic brow perfectionist with a penchant for all things makeup related, to say I am purchasing my third stick is a strong testimony to this product’s fabulosity! I much prefer this to the traditional Brow Tech wax and a pencil/shadow combo!

  29. jenn s. says:

    I say braid those long suckers and start your own trend, Karen!! πŸ˜‰

  30. Britt vonstrange says:

    Question, I like to draw on really dramatic brows sometimes. I was wondering if brow wax and another product could hide my brows so I don’t have to shave them off. What other product can i use with the was to hide them for a few hours? I go to the Paul Mitchell school and want to learn more about dramatic make up for my school, we get to teach mini classes and this would be something I could teach.

  31. Siobhan says:

    I’ve been trying to grow my eyebrows to a new shape for a while now so have lots of sparse patches where I don’t want them. I massage vaseline into the area every night with an old washed mascara wand and it works a treat, really stimulates the hair to start growing again and for the daytime I swear by browzings πŸ™‚

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