There is nothing quite like a full face of makeup to make you feel put together and on the top of your game. If you’re looking for a confidence boost, it can be a world-class one, once you find products that work for you.
But for the day-to-day, if a long morning routine feels like more of a drag than a way to get you moving and grooving, you might be wondering how you can get the same self-assuredness without sacrificing the knowledge that you’re showing up as your best self.
And while learning to be comfortable going makeup-free is definitely an option (and something we should probably all be comfortable with from time to time!), sometimes finding a makeup routine that flatters your features and makes you look like you’ve put in an effort without overwhelming your schedule or your face is really all you need. But where do you even start?
We think it’s probably best to start from the top—by which we mean your eyebrows! Especially over the past few years, eyebrow grooming has had a totally new lease on life. Whereas in the 90s and early 2000s you hardly spared a thought for your brows beyond basic grooming, now we’ve all realized how important eyebrows can be to your overall look!
They even have a major impact on how well we recognize one another, so if you want to find a slightly lower effort makeup routine but still want to maintain your signature look, keeping your brows on fleek is a great way to do that.
The other key factor is finding products that save on time and effort but sacrifice absolutely nothing by way of results. It’s a tall order, but we can think of one product in particular for the job: eyebrow gel. But what does eyebrow gel do, and how do you use it?
What Is Eyebrow Gel?
Eyebrow gel is effectively like mascara, but for your eyebrows. Where you may rely on mascara to elevate and illuminate your eyes with none of the difficulty—or decision-making—involved in eyeshadow, eyebrow gel can work much the same way for your brows. It’s a simple, one-step product that gives you bolder brows if you want them, or else just keeps your brows looking neat and tidy all day while adding a much-needed boost of hydration.
What Does Eyebrow Gel Do?
In general, there are two different kinds of eyebrow gel. There’s clear eyebrow gel, and there’s tinted eyebrow gel. Which one you use just depends on the state of your natural brows and your personal style!
Clear eyebrow gel is perhaps the more versatile of the two. It’s also the obvious choice if your brows are naturally dark and bold as is and you don’t want to go too overboard by applying tinted gel—but you still want everything to be neat.
It hydrates and basically gels the hair of your brows into place without making them look wet, or resulting in any flaking. At least, all that is true for our Ultra Hold Brow Gel—we can’t speak for other brands.
Tinted brow gel is a better option if your brows are a bit thin or a bit fairer than you’d like. You can pick a gel that compliments your natural hair color, and use the tinted brow gel to not only hold the hair of your brows in place but create the appearance of fuller, thicker brows.
And because gel clings to the hairs that are already there rather than drawing new ones like other tools, the result is super-natural. No one will notice that you’ve put makeup on your brows—they’ll just think you look inexplicably amazing that day, but not quite be able to put their finger on why.
Our Ultra Defining Brow Gel comes in six different colors to help you find the right match. If tinted brow gel is your preferred route, you’ll want to select a color that’s actually a shade or two lighter than your natural color, unless you’re actually aiming for a more stylized bold brow, in which case, go on with your bad self.
By going lighter, you’ll end up with softer, more natural-looking brows. It’s also important to consider your undertones when deciding which color will suit you best. If you’re a brunette, for instance, with cooler tones to your natural hair, you’ll want more of an ash brown, whereas someone who leans toward summer hues would be better off with an auburn.
Anything Else Before You Get Started?
Now that you’ve decided to give brow gel a whirl, and even settled on which type you’d like to use, there’s one more consideration before we get into how to use eyebrow gel. And that’s the shape of your brows!
When it comes to keeping your brow routine low maintenance, there’s nothing more crucial than having a great base from which to work. Eyebrow gel isn’t going to change the shape of your brows or create totally new hairs—it’s just going to enhance and tidy up what you’ve already got going on. So it’s important that you like what’s already there first! If you’re trying to get as close to waking up like this as possible without going the semi-permanent route, you’re going to want to spend some time figuring out what the best eyebrow shape is for your face.
You can do this by visiting a professional technician to have your eyebrows threaded or waxed if that’s your jam. You can also do it at home! There are two main ways to find the best brow shape for you.
The first is more intuitive. You can find your brow shape simply by knowing your face shape. This isn’t a particularly scientific method and there are, as with everything, exceptions to the rule.
For example, if you have a round face, it’s recommended that you groom your brows into more of a high arch, to help lengthen your face and open up your eyes—but maybe that’s just not you. It’s also possible that your face shape falls between two, or you’re not entirely sure which face shape you’d categorize your own mug as. This is all totally normal and common—rules like this are really just guidelines to help steer you in the right direction.
The other way is a little bit more scientific. It’s called brow mapping, and it relies on the idea of the golden ratio. If that term sounds familiar but you can’t quite place it, you’ve probably heard it while studying art, history, or even mathematics. It’s just a classical way of explaining why certain things just make your eyes happy—like flowers, architecture, and even vegetables.
You can see why you’d want to apply this tried and true method to your face! If you’re trying to get your eyebrows into fighting shape at home using brow mapping, all you need is a makeup pencil and a thin makeup brush.
You place the brush from the corner of your nose to the inner corner, middle and outer corner of your eye. The point at which the end of your brush crosses over your brow is where the beginning, arch, and end of your brow should appear, respectively. Again, only you know what’s right for you—if you map your brows and are kinda like “eh, not for me” that’s totally fine, and you can proceed with whatever shape you’re comfortable with.
The important thing is that you’re happy with the state of your brows and, more importantly, you’ve taken care of any hairs that stray outside the intended line of your brows. Because brow gel clings to your natural hairs, especially if you’re using tinted brow gel, you can end up highlighting some things you’d rather keep hidden.
How To Use Eyebrow Gel
Here’s the good part: using eyebrow gel is super freakin’ easy. Like, you won’t be able to believe it looks that good with so little effort. Whether you’re normally a low maintenance kinda gal or you’re struggling to find enough time in the morning as you adjust to working from the office again post-pandemic, brow gel is going to be your new favorite cosmetic.
While we’ve been focusing on making eyebrow gel your end-all, be-all brow product for an easy morning routine, it’s important to note that you can also totally use brow gel as part of a more complicated process. If you prefer to use powder or a pen to help fill in your brows, you can use a tinted brow gel to crank the color up a notch and give your hard work some staying power—and if you want the hold without the color, you can, of course, use clear brow gel at the end of your brow-care routine. Think of it like hairspray for your brows—without any of the icky crunchiness.
If you’re looking into brow gel because you want a way to emphasize and tidy up your brows without having to learn a whole new skill set, you may be getting nervous here—but don’t worry. Brow gel is so simple, it doesn’t have any learning curve to speak of. The hardest part is probably choosing the right color for your natural coloring!
All you have to do is pull out the applicator and, like with mascara, make sure there aren’t any clumps. You’ll also want to wipe the end of the spoolie back into the tube if there’s gel clinging to the end of it. You just want a nice, even coating on the applicator of the product.
Next, you want to brush it onto your neatly groomed brows. It’ll feel wrong at first, but you’ll want to brush the brow gel against the natural grain of your brows. It’s okay if they look a little mad scientist-y during this step!
This just allows the eyebrow gel to full coat every hair and make sure you’re getting the best possible coverage. This step is especially game-changing with tinted brow gel—trust us, if your eyebrows are too thin or too fair for your liking, but you’ve never been impressed with tinted eyebrow gel before, skipping this step is probably why. It makes a huge difference!
Once you’re sure every hair is fully coated and ready to go, you’ll just need to brush everything back into place. Most of the time, you’ll just push the hairs back in line with their natural growth, and make any final adjustments. But if you’re into, say, fluffy brows, all you need to do is finish by brushing the hairs upright. Whichever direction or formation you choose, your brow gel will dry (without flaking or feeling stiff!) and voilá—perfect brows in, what? A minute flat?
Whatever has been holding you back from getting into brow gel, we’re here to tell you, it’s time to let it go! Especially if you’re looking for a low-maintenance product that gives you amazing results, figuring out how to use eyebrow gel will make a huge difference to your brow game. Even if you already have a lineup of beloved brow products, eyebrow gel may just be the missing link when it comes to giving you a perfectly polished, yet natural, look that stays all day.
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