Fact: Hundreds of beauty products launch every season. Other fact: Zero per cent of humans have time to try each one. In The Kit’s If You Only Buy One series, we do the deep-digging and test-driving to select the top beauty products out there.
Until the age of 14, I referred to the hair above my eyes in the singular form, as in I didn’t have brows, I had a brow. A unibrow. Once, after fourth grade music class, a boy started calling me “big brows” as I slipped my recorder back in its case. A few more kids joined in the chant. I ran home crying, locked myself in the bathroom and proceeded to hack away at the thing with a pair of craft scissors.
When I looked up at the mirror and saw the patchy horror I’d created, the tears turned into full on sobs. My ever-understanding mother sweetly filled in my sad, spotty unibrow with a pencil every morning before school until it grew back.
I never touched it again. That is until one fateful sleepover with my friend, Steph.
We woke up at her grandma’s house after a night of watching the weirdest movies we could dig up in the rental shop (Our Friday night ritual — highlights included Novocaine and Drop Dead Fred). Between two bites of her Alpha-Bits, Steph casually suggested tweezing my unibrow. I accepted. I may have been wearing pink fleece pyjamas, but staring back at the separate, skinny entities that were now my brows (plural), I felt like a woman.
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Flash-forward to today, age of #browgoals and microblading, and I won’t lie, I feel somewhat karmically vindicated that my chunky caterpillars are now deemed covetable. Instead of plucking them into oblivion like I once did, I now flaunt them proudly, coating them with any brow gel that promises to boost their bushiness. Take that, bullies! Over the years, I’ve put dozens of tubes to the test in a search for my one and only. Here’s what my research has revealed.
If you only buy one brow gel, go for …
Benefit Gimme Brow+ Eyebrow Gel, $32, sephora.ca
Some gels are more akin to glue, leaving brows hard, flat, and flaky. Not this guy. Its tiny fibres latch onto skin and hairs to yield full, fluffy arches à la Brooke Shields circa The Blue Lagoon. Good news: The cult fave is now available in more shades than ever.
If your brows are quite full …
Glossier Boy Brow, $20, glossier.com
The millennial fave is worth the hype, serving up a model off-duty cool girl look you’d expect to see in Chelsea. But if you need actual filling in, you’ll need to precede this with a pencil.
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If you’re after precision …
Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brow Gel, $31, charlottetilbury.ca
The bristles of this tiny brush are practically microscopic, grabbing every last little hair without ever smudging onto skin. Translation: It’s virtually foolproof. Just swipe and go!
If you’re feeling thrifty …
Maybelline Tattoo Studio Brow Gel, $15, maybelline.ca
The volumizing formula joins forces with a sculpting spoolie to deliver serious density. Bonus: It’s water- and transfer-proof so your brows won’t ever run down your face.
If you’re all about multi-tasking …
Smashbox Brow Tech To Go, $32, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Gotta love a good 2-in-1. First, colour in sparse spots with the water-resistant slanted pencil. Next, lock your look in place with the clear setting gel and boast glorious brows all day long.
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