There comes a time in every woman’s life when she realizes just how critical good brows are for getting your look/life together. It’s a rite of passage; a game changer, even, for your beauty routine. It’s a real “come to Jesus” moment.
One’s brow-grooming routine can be a very personal thing. With pencils, “markers,” powders, gels, and more on the market, it takes a lot of experimentation to get your desired effect just right. We’ve been through it and come out on the other side with a fully loaded arsenal of the brow products we favor. Case in point: Nine of our editors shared the ones they wouldn’t dream of facing the day (or night) without.
"I'm obsessive about my brows and won't settle for any old product. While my allegiances vary—I adore Dolce & Gabbana Shaping Eyebrow Pencil, & Other Stories Eyebrow Crème, and CoverGirl Bombshell POW-der, I'm currently using MAC Veluxe Brow Liner pencil, which I love for its ability to darken and thicken without my brows looking visibly darkened and thickened. I also appreciate the fact that I'm able to simply press the pencil to my brow for buildable color—there's nothing worse than a waxy product that requires tugging and pulling to see results." (Perrie Samotin, editorial director)
"I love Glossier Boy Brow. It's very user-friendly for someone who, like myself, isn’t great at brows. It's great for keeping them in place all day." (Melissa Medvedich, creative director)
"I’ve been blessed with a pair of preshaped arches (seriously, I can’t remember the last time I had a pro touch them), which has spoiled me when it comes to brow maintenance—it needs to be as low-lift as possible. Which is why I rely on the one-and-done ease of brow gels, and the best one I’ve encountered thus far is Eyeko Brow Gel. It’s like a mascara wand for your brows: just a simple swipe fills them in with a natural-looking tint while smoothing them in to place. I think I shed an actual tear when my tube ran out." (Cristina Velocci, managing editor)
"At first glance, the Diorshow All-in-Brow 3D Brow Palette (out in April) looked high-maintenance, but then so are my (thick, often unruly) brows, which is why I decided to try it out when a sample landed on my desk. There are two steps to follow when using the kit: Apply a powder color with a small, angled brush to fill in the shape, and then coat the mascara-style wand in a wax-like substance and use that to keep the hairs in place. It's damn effective and totally worth the effort." (Jasmine Garnsworthy, editor)
Benefit Gimme Brow Eyebrow Gel is definitely one of the top three products in my makeup bag. I used to own a pencil and a clear brow gel, but a two-step process is just too. Much. Effort. I’m tremendously lazy with my beauty routine on a day-to-day basis, so anything that does double duty—and does it well—is 100-percent up my alley. On the occasions I decide to pluck (again: laziness—plus I have bangs), I use Tweezerman Pink Perfection tweezers. They’re super pointy and tend to scare off anyone who tries to borrow them, but I like the precision." (Hilary George-Parkin, fashion editor)
"My brow routine is exhaustive, in a way that I suspect may very be wholly unnecessary and needlessly complicated but has become a sort of ritual over time. First, I use the spoolie end of Anastasia Brow Wiz. Then, I use a very old small angled liner brush to smooth on & Other Stories Eyebrow Crème. I love this product—it works great for giving my archless brows some semblance of arch while still looking natural, and it comes in the perfect color for my dark, cool-toned brows. To finish 'em off, I sweep my brows up with Glossier Boy Brow. This takes me about 10 minutes each morning, which is more time than I spend on anything else and also the reason I'm always late." (Rachel Krause, beauty editor)
"I’ve always loved a really strong, dark brow and have become even more obsessed with having messier, overgrown brows recently (I haven’t gotten my brows waxed in almost a year). To help make my brows look bigger and more dramatic, I lightly run Maybelline Brow Drama Pomade Crayon in Deep Brown over my brows to darken them, then brush NARS Brow Gel in Kinshasa in an upward motion to tame and bulk up my brows. I swear by the brow gel—it doesn’t budge and instantly fills my brows in a super-natural way, and the formula isn’t thin like other brow gels tend to be." (Cady Lang, social media editor)
"Despite the fact that I change my hair constantly, I always prefer a lighter brow. I just think it flatters my features more. Unfortunately for me, even the lightest of most brow products labeled "blonde" seem more brunette than anything else. On some days, I’ll use a clear, generic mascara on my lightly bleached brows and nothing else—but when I want something a little bit more intense, I’ll use Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow. I love that it’s lighter than most on the market, and the angled tip gives me the kind of arch I lust after. It also has a mini highlighter hidden inside for using under the brow bone. Genius." (Kristen Bateman, associate editor)
"I have several brow products, but Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo is my go-to because I'm lazy. I love bold brows, but I don't have time to execute perfect arches daily. I apply the lighter shade holding an angled brush vertically—this is the key! The width of the brush matches the height of my brow perfectly—I just have to sweep it across a few times. No meticulous penciling in or outlining for me. Next, I layer on the darker shade starting at the arches and down the outer corners. And of course, lastly, I sweep a brow brush through to blend and make it look more natural. So fast, and so easy. If I'm feeling sassy and want a stronger look, I apply Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel, too." (Candace Napier, designer)