Thursday, May 10, 2012

Taming the Brows: Prestige Cosmetics Clear Brow Gel and Essence Eyebrow Stylist Set Reviews and Pictures

I have caterpillar brows. They're dark, they're big, and they are unashamedly there. Keeping my brows groomed is a sisyphean task, but plucking (like, every other day, gawd) helps keep them relatively well-behaved. After reading that brows and mascara are the two most important parts of a beauty routine on more than one blog, I figured I should maybe try and do something to further polish my brows. I looked for clear mascara at the drugstore, but had no luck, until one day, during a Prestige sale, I happened upon their clear brow gel, which I of course promptly snatched up. After using it for a couple days, I realized that, big and bold though my brows may be, they could use a little filling in in some places, so I picked up the Essence Eyebrow Stylist Set for ~$3 at Fred Meyer, since I figured the two matte shadows included were bound to be workable.
Prestige Cosmetics Clear Brow Gel

Essence Eyebrow Stylist Set
I'm not going to show you close-ups of my brows, or before and after pictures, because nobody needs to see that. You can see the result in my FOTD here (gel only, not powder), but in words (and a couple pictures):
Brow Gel; the brown at the end is picked-up product from the brow powder
The brow gel has a handy little spoolie that works really well for applying the right amount of gel (not too much, since the bristles are short) and shaping the brows and helps to remove any residual powder on my brows. The gel itself is a good consistency, being thick enough to actually help control wayward hairs but not so thick that it's crunchy or crispy (gross). I haven't tried using it in really warm weather, so I don't know how it will hold up to sweat, but so far it's lasted me all day just fine, no flaking or weird white residue.
Essence Eyebrow Stylist Set powders, swatched
The Essence brow powder has been working fine, too; I don't wear it every day, but I really should, because it does help fill in and define my brows. I use the darker color and apply it with an angled eyeshadow brush (an old scratchy one that I can't use on my eyes, but it works great for filling in my brows), not the included brush, which is really small––probably great for those who want to shade out their brows, but I'm just trying to fill in, so drawing individual 'hairs' isn't really necessary.
It also comes with several eyebrow shaping stencils, but I haven't used them and so cannot give any informed advice. The other packaging is pretty stupid, actually; one end of the plastic case is removable, and then you slide the brow powder out. It's way more trouble than it should be, and sometimes the plastic end gives me attitude when I try to put it back on.

They're not glamorous products, that's for sure, but they're cheap and functional and really do help finish off my face. I find that bepowdered and begelled brows do "frame" my face, and help give me a more polished look, so I guess I'm now someone who buys into the "brows! they matter!" school of thought. Not sure how I feel about that...
Prestige Brow Gel: $6.49 for 0.24 oz, available from drugstores, Grade: A
Essence Eyebrow Stylist Set: $2.79, available from Ulta and Fred Meyer, Grade: A-

Do you "do" your brows? What products do you use?
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