Somewhat over-plucked, mismatched and all-round underwhelming, I put a lot of work into my brows each and every morning. And now — finally — I’ve come across a product combination, which (once mastered) is ridiculously easy and yields rather impressive results. Want in?
It all started at an event I took part in a few months ago. After the talk finished, a woman from the audience approached me, not to say she thought my comments were profound or even that she was interested in the conversation. Nope. She wanted to know about my eyebrows. “Have you had them laminated?” she asked. I mean, given that I barely bother to get a haircut on the regular (yes, even pre-lockdown), brow lamination — the trending treatment which semi-permanently sets eyebrow hairs upwards, so they look extra fluffy — is unfortunately pretty low down on my list of beauty priorities.
The following week, the question popped up again: “What have you done to your brows?” a fellow beauty editor enquired. And again at dinner a few days later: “I can’t stop looking at your brows,” my friend Beth said. Three brow enquiries make a trend right? Even while working from home, I’ve found that my (very quick) brow routine helps me look fresh and ready for Zoom calls in an instant. So I thought that perhaps it was about time I shared the beauty ‘secret’ I’ve been ringfencing for… well… for the last few months since I mastered it. Especially as now is a great time to practice.
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Unfortunately, I haven’t found a brow-growth miracle worker; I’m still yet to discover a magical potion with the ability to bring back even the sparsest brows (i.e. mine) back from the brink. And no, there’s been no needle-based intervention here, nor lamination for that matter. In reality, all I’ve done is found the greatest brow product duo the beauty industry has to offer.
First, Glossier Brow Flick. I know, I know. I told you I found it ridiculously tricksy to start off with, and my first few attempts resulted in mismatched brows. But then something clicked. Or rather, I just turned my hand a few degrees. You see, the key to this product is to draw with the very tip, rather than with the side of the nib. Easy if you’re drawing them on someone else, very tricky on your own. My tactic is to hold the pen completely perpendicular to my face and flick (as the name would suggest) upwards.
I start at the centre of the brows, adding a few extra stray hairs to get that feral effect I’m going for. Then I fill in the tail, drawing a few lines that follow the direction of hair growth, not the arc of the brow. Very important.
Finally, I go over the middle bit a little, although this is where my brows need the least help. Here’s what it looks like, before and after.
Before and after: Glossier Brow Flick
This newfound technique means I’m able to draw on the teeniest, tiniest strokes that, if the feedback if anything to go by, genuinely look like they’re growing from my brow bone.
Other things to mention: I thought I needed the Brown shade, but make-up artist Katie Jane Hughes told me my brows could actually handle Black and it has made the world of difference. Also — and this is actually revolutionary — make sure you wipe any scrap of skincare off your brows with a dry muslin cloth or even a tissue before applying any brow product, otherwise it will just slide right off.
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The second product I use, which I reckon is the main reason for the brow lamination comparison, is Blink Brow Bar’s Clear Brow Gloss. I love all kinds of gloss, so knew this product was my vibe as soon as I read the name.
As far as brow gels go, this one is particularly wet and it’s a bit like brushing the tiniest dollop of wallpaper paste through your brows, but the effect is incredible. Brows look ridiculously fluffy, the hairs stay in place ALL day (in fact, it takes a little scrubbing to get this stuff off at night) and they look so sheen-y and healthy.
Before and after: Blink Brow Bar Clear Brow Gloss
It’s a little tricky to see just how glossy my brows are in the selfies, but trust me, they are v. shiny in real life.
Want to emerge from lockdown with your brows looking like they have been laminated too? Find where you can buy these two dream products below:
The best brow products, according to our beauty director
Glossier Brow Flick, £15
The felt-tip pen with the most precise point for drawing on teeny, tiny, realistic hairs.
Blink Brow Bar Clear Brow Gloss, £21
The ultimate brow-setting gel with extra shine.
Images: Shannon Peter / courtesy of brands.
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