In eighth grade, my best friend at the time told me I should consider shaving my eyebrows, advice that made me self conscious about them for years, and which I'm very glad I didn't follow. I was obsessed with getting the thin eyebrows that felt like status symbols in the 2000s, but my mom advised me not too. I guess it's true what they say moms know best. Last week I wrote about my tiny lips insecurity so it only felt right to balance it out with my big eyebrow confidence. Basically, I've come a long way since I was 12 (thankfully).
My hair almost always goes down to my waist, and it's so heavy a doctor once prescribed me a haircut when I had a bout of bad headaches. My eyebrows were built to match. They're thick, they're dark, and they're sometimes unruly. I didn't really love them until they suddenly became a trend and everyone would compliment me on them. Needless to say, I don't think my friend from eighth grade went on to be a trend forecaster.
My mom was always scared I'd pluck them to death, so I never did anything to them until college, when I started to like the way they looked. But I couldn't help but notice every other hair seemed to have a mind of its own. I started getting them threaded regularly just as a touch-up, and I've never been as consistently happy about a beauty decision in my life.
Then when the pandemic started in March, I completely abandoned all beauty care that didn't take place in my bathroom — obviously. And even though salons are now open, the only thing I've gotten done are my acrylic nails. Everything else gives me too much anxiety, and I'm not ready to have someone who I don't know's face so close to mine to thread my eyebrows. They haven't been done now in almost exactly a year.
At first, I was too worried about everything and anything other than my eyebrows to care about how they looked. But recently, I started to fixate on how they just needed a little bit of TLC. I decided to buy a tube of Benefit's famous 24-Hour Brow Setter because I had seen it on Instagram and had run out of my Glossier Boy Brow.
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I was hopeful that it would live up to the hype, as it has thousands of five-star reviews at Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom. And it felt that every other beauty routine I watched on Instagram included the brow setter. If you're unfamiliar, it's basically an invisible brow gel that helps to shape and set your eyebrows for a full 24 hours. If you happen to apply a pencil or any product onto your brows beforehand, it's meant to lock that in as well for an equal amount of time.
Since my eyebrows are already dark to begin with, I don't normally fill them in. I went in straight with the brow setter when it arrived and swiped it across my right brow. Instantly, it lifted my hairs perfectly and the custom brush with long bristles helped me pull them all into place. Within seconds I was able to nearly replicate the shape I get when my brows are threaded, and it felt almost too good to be true.
Best of all, it seems that no matter how many coats I apply, you can't tell.This product doesn't flake or clump. It looks so natural, my sister was convinced I was lying when I told her I hadn't been to our threading place in months. I'm honestly reconsidering if I'll even need to return post-pandemic, because this brow setter doesn't just get the job done but gets my brows to that perfectly ruffled state everyone on TikTok seems to want to emulate. Soap brows who? The only thing I wish is that my eighth grade self could see me now. And if I'm being honest, I'm sure my ex-friend would probably be jealous too.