We tested all the products you need to achieve perfect brows

Eyebrows have exploded in aesthetic popularity, eclipsing eyelashes, lips and cheekbones as the definitive beauty feature. As a result, both our feeds and beauty counters have been inundated with the arch-defining pull of powders, pencils and pomades.

But do they really work to achieve that Brooke Shields (or Bambi) effect, and more importantly, how on earth do you use these new textures and formulations to cover up a multitude of eyebrow sins – without looking like a clown?

In the name of research, we have set out to try out the sea of products that invariably hits our desk – and share our honest opinion.

Over plucked, sparse hair growth? Recently dyed your hair? Or need to pluck and don’t know where to start?

Here is how to deal, even if you have two left hands and under 30 seconds:


These guys are awesome for filling and refining and our personal favourite for a full-on arch. Use very light strokes that mimic your own brow hairs and take the time to layer the strokes if you’d like to increase the colour saturation. Comb through the brow with a spoolie brush after you’ve applied the pencil, in order to distribute the colour and soften lines around the brow line.
As far a a brand that is dominating brows, you can’t go past Benefit Good Proof Eyebrow Pencil, offering a perfect shade and hair-like precision, with a soft, waxy pencil that’s easy to blend. For a high street version, L’oreal Paris Brow Artist Xpert is also an excellent choice.



For a softer effect, and for brows that need to be shaded in, rather than redrawn, you can’t go past a powder. There’s a few star products here, however if you are unsure of your brow hue, you can’t go past Zoeva Brow Spectrum. The palette has 6 options (plus 3 highlighters), so you are bound to find something that matches your natural hair – or mix up your own custom blend. Apply a lighter tone to the fullest part of brows and the darker tone to define the outer part. Finish off with a highlighter under the brow bone to optically lift up your brow.

Bobbi Brown Dark Brow Kit is also a good choice, plus comes with a cute set of tweezers – just ensure the colour you pick works. Ask advice whether you’re a cooler or warmer tone. The application brush in there is not ideal (or in any of the powder kits we’ve seen, to be honest) for its harsh bristles, so invest in a separate soft-bristled, yet precisely slanted brush like a TBX Brow Definer Brush or the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12.

The Mark. by Avon Perfect Eyebrow Kit and Models Own Now Brow! Eyebrow Kit are budget options that come with a setting wax, although it’s a bit hard to see the colour, so they’re best for a subtle look when you’re just starting out. With powders, the right colour is everything because too dark a shade can look harsh and quite messy if there’s a smudge.

Eyebrow Gel

A gel is like hair spray for your eyebrows. It gives that delicious and groomed look to thick brows, and helps lock hairs into place once you’ve played with the above products. Used in a lighter colour, like Benefit gimme brow volumizing eyebrow gel creating natural-looking ‘highlights’ for fullness and definition, or in a colour similar to your brows for extra richness. Just be careful not to overdo it, you don’t want to look like you’re brows are spray painted on! 

The Bobbi Brown Waterproof Brow Shaper is perfect for those summer days.. As it’s a soft, clear formula that shapes and holds brows in place for 24 hours – and can also be applied on top of any brow powder or pencil to make them completely water resistant.

Been practicing and ready to commit?

The Maybelline Tattoo Brows 3 Day Gel Tint could be a steady-hand’s new best friend. Simply paint this peel-off gel-tint, wait 20 minutes and peel off to wake up to your evenly filled brows for up to 3 days. Don’t wash your face for a day however, or all your handy-work will literally wash down the sink.

If you want to layer, pencil, powder, wax, then gel is the order to go.

Just by taming a few stray hairs and filling in the sparse areas, full brows instantly give your face a more symmetrical appearance with a modern, striking edge.