Why I Use Just Three Products on My Eyebrows
I’ve shared before that although I’m a make-up minimalist, I deeply believe in doing my eyebrows.
They frame your eyes (you know, the windows to your soul) and help people understand your expression.
Especially during these past 16 months of daily Zoom calls, understanding someone’s facial expression is super important because there’s a whole lot of other body languages no one has access to.
Over time I have refined my approach, and I’m at the point where I can do five-minute brows, but using three, count ‘em three, cruelty-free products to do so.
How did we get here? Isn’t three a bit excessive? Am I a little too obsessed with my eyebrows (I have quickly become a brow expert, after all)? I’ll answer these and other questions below!
So, what’s wrong with my eyebrows?
Well, first of all, technically nothing is wrong with my eyebrows, and nothing is wrong with your eyebrows either.
My beliefs about the greater good in paying attention to my eyebrows are mine, and if this all sounds fussy and over-done to you, then it is not for you, and that is OK!
Even more, I like my eyebrows in general, so everything I do is really because I want to focus more attention on their awesomeness. My natural brow color is black, and my natural brow shape has a nice arch right above the center of my eye. In house-hunting parlance, my brows have good bones.
However, as I’ve gotten older, my brows have thinned. I was never much of a plucker, and while I have gotten my brows waxed, that was always to catch and release those pesky extra brows over and under my desired brow shape—and I never went for ultra-thin brows. This thinning just seems like a natural aging thing where the hair you want falls out, and the hairs don’t pop up in inconvenient places.
My brows thinned, basically all over, but particularly once it got past the arch. Depending on the light, I sometimes looked like a Romulan. (See pictures here if you don’t get that nerdy joke.) Having half of my eyebrows fade away into invisibility was something I didn’t like, and I knew I didn’t have to stand for it!
Below are some vegan cosmetics that have helped transform my brows. These brow products transformed my whole look.
Keep reading to find more information on how you can transform your look too, starting with your brows.
BEFORE PICTURE (keep scrolling for the after picture):
Meet Product #1: The Brow Tamer
Product #1 is a product that is like hair spray for your brows. Currently, I’m using something called a “brow perfector," but I’ve seen it called brow wax, brow sculptor, and brow soap!
Basically, it’s a wax pencil, or sometimes a waxy substance that you use a brush to apply, and it holds your brows in shape, taming any flyaway brow hairs that might want to step out of formation. These products can be with color or without color. I used to use one that did not add color, but now I do use one that is in my own natural color of black-brown.
The brow tamer helps my eyebrows keep their excellent shape.
Pro-tip: Try Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel, featured in a recent Kinder Beauty box.
Meet Product #2: The Brow Extender
Product #2 is like mascara for your eyebrows. Some products are even called brow mascara, but they can also be called brow gel.
This is the product that I use to extend and thicken where my brows are already doing OK on their own and also to fluff up those areas where my brows have thinned tremendously. Brow mascaras try to make the very most of the eyebrows you have.
Like brow tamers, brow mascaras/gels can come in clear or in color. I happen to use tinted most of the time. When you have dark brows and lashes, it’s a blessing because you can get away with less make-up in general, but the curse is that if you do have any thinner spots (and if your skin is significantly paler than your hair) those thin spots going to show more because of the contrast between your skin and hair.
If you are not experiencing the overall thinning that I am, you might do fine with just products #1 and 2. But if you’re like me, they will not be quite enough, and that brings us to …
Meet Product #3: The Brow Filler
Product #3 is the most old-fashioned tool of the bunch, namely a brow pencil, or brow filling powder that you use with a brush. This is the product you need for filling in any spots that are thin or extending your brows to places they don’t even grow.
Obviously, you want one that is a match for your brow color. I’ve used them in both pencil and powder form, and if you work with a powder and brush, this is where applying the brow wax first will make all the difference because it gives the powder something to stick to.
I recommend a nice fine pencil (or using a fine angle brush) because it allows you to mimic individual hairs with your brush or pencil strokes. The idea isn’t to draw a line, even a thick one. The idea is to draw many short lines.
Bonus tool: The Brow Brush
At the end of creating my perfect brows using some combo of brow wax, mascara, and pencil (vegan beauty is so easy!), I finally take a brow brush or a brush that looks like a mascara wand, and I carefully brush my eyebrow hairs.
This fluffs your actual eyebrow hairs and makes sure they’re top layer if they’ve been pressed down. This helps your brows have more texture and look more natural. This is the final step in my brow regimen.
For me, it takes me from slightly self-conscious about my thinning unruly brows to feeling like my brow brings all attention to my eyes, right where I want it.
AFTER PICTURE! Voila!
Elisa Camahort Page is a speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur, best known for co-founding BlogHer. She’s the host of The Op-Ed Page podcast and co-author of Road Map for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Activism, and Advocacy for All. Learn more at elisacp.com.