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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Power Brows | Brow Products for Dark Hair

power brows (1)

Brows are fickle little beasts. I've totally had days when I've wondered what the point is in trying to make them look at least slightly symmetrical, but when it comes down to it, we need them. We need them, and on those magical days when everything is on point (no matter how rare they may seem to be) they can be powerful little beasts of awesomeness. Of course those beasts aren't born powerhouses, they need a little assistance. Since grooming isn't always enough, I present a few of the tools in my arsenal that put the POW in my brows. Read on!

power brows- avon perfect eyebrow pencil and sleek oh so special palette

As the title of this post suggests, my picks are geared towards those with dark hair. I didn't do much with my brows for years because I was totally unsure what to do with my naturally black brows. Some advice will tell you to match the colour of your roots (as in the roots on your head), so will say match the natural colour of your brows, some will say go two shades lighter if you have dark hair or two shades darker if you have light hair, and many will say never use black to fill in your brows even if that's their natural colour. You can see how I got a bit confused. My expert tip? Use what works best for you and that not all dark browns are created equally.

My first brow love comes in the form of Avon Perfect Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown. Now, I think that this is currently discontinued, but as has happened many times before with Avon it could always make a comeback so it's worth a mention- I snapped up a few backups when I has a suspicion it would be axed. What makes this a great starter pencil is that it's fast- pencils are best if it's speed you're after- but also because the formula isn't super pigmented. You get a decent amount of colour, but nothing so harsh that you can overdo it. The formula is also just waxy enough that it helps to hold hairs in place. And, even better, it comes with it's own spoolie. I use the shade dark brown, which has a neutral, ashy tone that is deep enough to fill in my black brows, without being too dark. While my brows are black my skin is on the light side and I've found really deep brow shades just don't work for me.

My second brow love, when I became curious of the world of powder brow options, come in the form of two matte shades from Sleek i-Divine Oh So Special Palette. The shades Boxed, a medium-deep, cool brown and Wrapped Up a deep, ashy, brown-plum. I know, plum? Trust me, it just works. The shade neutral in tone and blends into my natural black hair without being too deep. I like to use a bit of both shades through the front of my brows and Wrapped Up alone through the tail. A bonus of the Oh So Special palette is that it also contains Bow a matte off-white shade that works very well as a under-brow highlight.

power brows- mac mystery and shadowy lady

While Sleek does ship internationally, replacing a whole palette just for two shades doesn't make the most sense. I do use the other shades but at the rate I'm using Boxed and Wrapped Up I realized I needed to find alternative brow options. I had heard MAC Mystery was a great option for filling in very dark brows (deep brown - black) so I opted to give it a try but I also happened upon Shadowy Lady while browsing the MAC shadow options. Shadowy Lady is matte that MAC calls a blackened plum, which happens to be a slightly deeper version of Sleek Wrapped Up. MAC calls Mystery a plum-brown satin, but I find it performs as a matte. The shade works really well to fill in brows naturally as it's not too deep or too intensely pigmented. I like to use a blend of Shadowy Lady and Mystery in the same way I use the Sleek shadows for perfectly filled in brows.

power brows- the balm brow pow and nyx eyebrow gel

Should you not have black brows, or just want a more typical brow shade- trust me, if you have black brows, try a plummy shade!- I also have two great options. The Balm Brow Pow in Dark Brown is a similar shade to MAC Mystery, but a bit warmer and reads a bit darker along with being a more pigmented. While I do find this more pigmented than Mystery, it doesn't apply as such- no clown brows- and gets the job done quickly. I do find that the softer powder does need to be set though, as it can migrate a little, and really, you don't want your brow powder all in your face.

For the longest wearing brow NYX Eyebrow Gel ( I use Espresso) is the answer. It's waterproof, it sets brow hair in place and offers incredible pigment all in one product. I'll admit I was a bit terrified the first time I used it as the shade is pretty deep and the brow gel can give intense pigment, but when used with a light hand and you can get a naturally, perfect look or a you can build it up if it's perfectly bold brows you're after. You only need the tiniest amount, so this tube will last... forever.

power brows- maybelline great lash clear smashbox brow tech wax

To set or not to set? It's a brow question we've all had to ponder. I don't always set my brows, because I find mine tend to stay in place with just a little brush through- gotta love a spoolie!- but some brows aren't so submissive, and sometimes you need to know both your brows and your brow colour is going to stay in place. If you don't need much in terms of setting power, a clear mascara like Maybelline Great Lash works in place of a traditional brow gel. Clear brow gels can be pricier, but do pretty much the same thing a clear mascara does, as it sets your brow colour in place, which is especially helpful if you've used a powder to fill in. However I don't find clear mascara does much to hold hair in place compared to that other, popular option (aka this one.)

If you've got brows that are just plain unruly, Smashbox Brow Tech Wax is for you. It's a clear wax that disappears on brows, but provides amazing hold to keep brows looking perfect all day. I reach for this when I know I'll be wearing my makeup for an extended amount of time or it's going to particularly hot since it hold my brow powder in place through just about every and anything. The pot of wax is pretty small, but as you only need the slightest amount to set brows, it's another product that is going to last for ages.

power brows- ecotools and sigma angled brush
power brows- exotools and sigma andlged brush close

As they say, a master is only as good as their tools... In this case it's brushes. For brows, you really don't need anything all that fancy- an angled brush and a spoolie will do. I have two brow brushes I love in the form of an ecoTools Angled Brush and Sigma E65. The ecoTools brush is a little larger than the Sigma brush, and is the one I use most of the time, but when I want really precise application, the Sigma E65 is perfect for tiny spaces. Spoolies can often be hard to find, but Avon recenly updated their brush selection which includes a Pro Brow Brush that has a spoolie in one end and a brush and mascara comb on the other. If you're unable to get your hands on a spoolie, an old mascara want that's been thoroughly washed does the trick.

power brows- jolen cream bleach

If you happen to be like me, and have dark brows and a light complexion, or dye your hair a lighter shade than your natural brow shade, bleaching them is always an option. Jolen Creme Bleach is formulated to be gentle on your face (thanks to aloe) and works well to lighten brows a shade or two. Just like bleach you'd use on your hair, you have to mix the bleach with the accelerator, but it's an easy process and you can also pop a little on your upper lip while you've got it mixed (dark hair + light skin + upper lip doesn't add up all that well.)

While I can still manage to stress about my brows- I hate tweezing, and let's face it any way you go about it waxing hurts- at least I know I can fake almost perfect brows. Tried any of these products? What do you use to perfect your brows?

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