Battle of the Drugstore Brow Gels


I’m quite the latecomer when it comes to grooming my brows. I’ve never had them professionally done, mostly because I hate paying for things I can do myself (no, I don’t have perfect brows, and tweezers don’t always cut it, unfortunately), and because generally speaking, my brows are fairly low maintenance. They’re not overly sparse or thick, and they have a decent natural shape, but I definitely need to go in with tweezers and brow razors every so often. Also, the thought of sitting there with a pencil or powders/angled brushes and then a clear brow gel seemed like it would take up ages in the morning. Therefore, it’s kind of been the last item on my makeup radar.

But recently, with the spate of tinted brow gels hitting the market, I thought it’d be an easy way to fill in some of the sparser bits with a couple swipes without having all the fuss of a full brow routine. I believe the first one that I saw was the Benefit one, which I would still like to try, but somehow can’t find the wherewithal to spend $30 on such a small amount of product. So I decided to bide my time, and sure enough, a ton of drugstore imitations flooded the market. The first one I was able to get my hands on in Canada was the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara, which I have in the shade Soft Brown, the third darkest (out of four) shades. I’ve been using this for a while, and it’s a bit of a perplexing product. The colour is good, it’s a medium ashy brown, which meshes well with my naturally black brow hairs (my natural hair colour is a dark reddish brown), but the brush is inexplicable to me. It starts out as a regular mascara wand, and then has a big bobble on the end, which is difficult to use on the tail part of the brow. I’ve made it work so far by just wiping away any excess product that gets on my skin, but that’s the one thing I would like to be different.

The next product that was released a bit later is the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper Brow Gel Mascara, which I have in the shade 380 Medium to Dark. This one is a tad darker than the Maybelline and has a tiny wand which works great for combing through brows, especially since mine are not thick.

Lastly, and the most recent discovery of mine, is the Rimmel Brow This Way Brow Styling Gel, in 002 Medium Brown. This colour is vastly different from the others – much warmer, like a chocolate brown. The brush is also a larger version of the L’Oreal one, which can get a bit messy sometimes.

In terms of staying power and crispiness, all three are pretty good – they hold brow hairs in place all day without any weirdness or crunch to them. The only thing I’d really say is that there isn’t much colour selection if you require a vastly different colour than brown or blonde. They’re all awesome for a really low-maintenance brow routine, but I’d recommend the L’Oreal as the standout product in the drugstore if you are looking for something like this.

What brow gels have you tried out and what did you think? What would you recommend?

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