The best eyebrow products for 2021, and how to shape brows like a pro
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With face masks now a wardrobe staple thanks to the Covid pandemic, eyebrows have become more important than ever.
But as brands continue to inundate us with the latest brow gels, creams, powders and pencils, what really is the best way to maintain our brows at home without resembling Fran from Dodgeball?
According to Rosie Fraser who runs Edinburgh salon, That Rosie Glow, the choice of product depends on the look you’re trying to achieve. She says: “If you’re happy with your shape and it’s just to fill in a few sparse areas I would recommend a brow pencil.
“If you are looking for a more sculpted and defined look I love using a brow pomade which is a soft gel product with a great colour payoff and easy to blend. If you just want a lovely natural look and for your brows to stay in place, then a clear brow gel is a great way to keep brows groomed but soft.
“And for those people who are loving the fuller fluffy brow, I can’t get enough of Mac’s Big Brows Fibre Boost, which is a gel formula with microfibres added into it so as you brush through your brow hairs it adds more volume. This doesn’t budge and lasts 24 hours! I love that it comes in lots of different colours too.”
When it comes to choosing a colour for your brows, Rosie recommends matching your product to the natural root colour of your hair, however if you prefer slightly a lighter or darker shade then that’s also fine.
“Brow products can often look darker when applied over brow hair so bear that in mind when choosing a colour - you might want to drop a shade from the one you think is your closest match,” she says.
“Brows are such a personal thing so there is no right or wrong when it comes to what colour they should be. I have really blonde clients who love a strong dark brow and also dark haired clients who prefer to keep them softer.”
According to Rosie, the days of the heavily drawn in ‘Scouse Brow’ are over, with clients in 2021 opting for a more natural look. “We are definitely moving towards a more brushed through and softer look, where the definition is really just the sharpness of your bottom line,” she says.
“You can also sharpen up your brow underneath by using a high coverage crème concealer, I use MAC Studio Finish in a slightly lighter than natural skin shade to give a slight highlight under the brow which is very flattering.”
If you would rather leave it to the professionals, Rosie recommends visiting once every three to five weeks for a shape and tint, and simply doing some light maintenance at home.
“Find yourself a great brow artist who understands brow mapping (the measurements that suit your face) and trust them to give you advice on making some small changes to give you a lovely defined brow with the arch in the correct place,” she says.
“This is really easy to maintain at home just by brushing your brow hairs in place in the morning or using a clear brow gel. You could fill in any sparse areas with a pencil and brush through to give a more diffuse, soft look.”
Here are some of the best products on the market for maintaining your brows at home - and how to use them.
Smashbox Brow Tech To Go
This portable, travel-friendly product is double-ended, featuring an angled waterproof pencil to fill in gaps in your brows, and a soft hold gel with brush applicator to groom brows and keep them in place.
It includes vitamin C and E and jojoba to condition your brows.
Easy to use and convenient to carry around in your bag, this is a great solution for a low maintenance brow, and perfect for the beach or pool as it’s waterproof and sweat resistant.
Bare Minerals, Strength & Length Serum-Infused Brow Gel
This vegan serum promises to deliver 100% fuller-looking brows in just eight weeks - perfect for those of us who overplucked in the 90s and naughties.
Infused with Red Clover flower and peptides, it helps strengthen brows without any harsh ingredients or hormones.
Simply comb the applicator through your eyebrows for a lightweight, flexible hold with no stiffness or flaking.
This is perfect for a natural, daytime look, or you can wear it over pencil while you wait for your brows to become fluffier with time.
Mac Eyebrows Big Boost Fibre Gel
This 24-hour, sweat-proof fibre gel gives your brows a volume boost, allowing you to achieve a natural, fluffy look with just a few brush strokes.
The tinted formula fills in gaps, while small synthetic microfibres build and shape your brow hairs to create a fuller look.
Just start at the inner brows, brush upward and outward in short strokes, and fill in any sparser areas using the tip of the brush.
This is an effortless solution for brow minimalists looking for a full, natural look.
Yves Saint Laurent Couture Brow
Couture Brow is a tinted gel adapted to your brow hair colour to give a natural look.
With its buildable formula, you can fix, structure and intensify your existing brows, giving them a fresh - or a more dramatic - look.
Although you can fill in gaps and accentuate the brow arch with the tip of the brush, this product is best used either over-pencilled brows, or those with a naturally good shape to give a thicker look and to keep brow hairs in place.
Loreal Micro Tattoo 24hr Eyebrow Definer
This pen makes doing your brows as easy as colouring in.
The three-pronged tip, inspired by microblading, allows you to create hair-like strokes to create a subtle, neat brow.
If you want more coverage, you can fill in sparse areas with the flat section of the tip, however the result isn’t as bold as a pencilled-in brow.
Perfect for those on a budget looking for a simple, natural look.
Morphe Arch Obsessions Brow Kit
Comprising a micro brow pencil, clear setting gel, brow cream, an angle liner brush and spoolie brush, and a highlighter stick, this kit contains everything you need to create the perfect brow at home. Firstly, use the micro pencil to define the bottom line of your brow, before filling in gaps and defining the arch with the brow cream.
Next, use the spoolie brush to create fullness, before gliding the highlighter under brows to create a clean line.
Finish with the clear setting gel.
Available in 10 shades, this kit is an absolute bargain at £20.00 and would be my number one choice for a salon-perfect arch and defined, polished look.
Smashbox Brows Tech Matte Pencil
This ultra slim pencil emulates the look of real brow hair.
Use the waterproof formula to fill in gaps in your brow with soft, feathery strokes, starting from the base of your brow line then defining your natural arch.
You can then use the spoolie brush on the other side to disperse colour evenly and create a natural, polished brow. The pencil is smudge proof and long-wearing to keep your brows looking perfect all day.