The 12 Best Eyebrow Products—Gels, Pencils, and More

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel offers tint and hold in one step.

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Best Brow Products
Sephora

Brow products are the sneaky favorites in a beauty routine. While not as bold as a red lip or graphic eyeliner, how you shape your brows has a major impact on how you frame your eyes and face shape overall. The power brows have is unmatched.

And like faces—not all brow products are made the same. They all have different functions and how you use them is totally dependent on what you need them for and what finish you're looking to achieve. To help break down every brow need and the best brow products out there, we turned to celebrity makeup artist Neil Scibelli and MAC Cosmetics senior national artist Gisel Calvillo to answer all our questions. Claiming the top spot is Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, because it volumizes, tints, and holds in one step.

Read on to see what advice they give on how to pick the right product and what their recs (as well as a few of our own) are for the best brow products on the market.

Our Picks

Best Overall: Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Sephora

What We Love: It volumizes, tints, and holds brows in place in the most natural-looking way.

What We Don't Love: It's a super small product for the price.

You can't talk about brows without talking about Benefit Cosmetics. Its Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel is a favorite among experts and beauty editors, containing tiny microfibers to fill in brows and give you one of the most natural-looking finishes. It comes in a wide range of shades, is water-resistant, and even has great hold to keep unruly hairs in place. It truly does it all.

Type: Gel | Size: 0.1 oz. | Colors: 10

Best Value: MAC Cosmetics Eye Brow Big Boost Fibre Gel

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Nordstrom

What We Love: It comes in a wide range of shades and instantly fills in brows for a thicker look.

What We Don't Love: A lot of product goes on at first, so a little goes a long way.

Calvillo recommends the MAC Cosmetics Eye Brow Big Boost Fibre Gel not only if you're wanting to thicken hair and fill in sparse spaces, but also if you want to change your brow color. It comes in a wide range of shades with deep pigment and boasts 24-hour longwear thanks to its smudge-, fade-, and sweat-proof formula.

Type: Gel | Size: 0.21 oz. | Colors: 12

Best Drugstore: L'Oréal Paris Makeup Brow Stylist Definer

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Target

What We Love: It's a two-in-one brow tool for a great bargain price.

What We Don't Love: The pencil part is small and you can finish it pretty quickly if used regularly.

Looking for a brow product that works well and costs less than $5? Turn to Scibelli's best drugstore pick, the L'Oreal Paris Makeup Brow Stylist Definer. "It's super comparable to the middle to higher-end price points at an accessible price," says Scibelli. "It features a thin defined point for filling in with a spoolie brush on the opposite side, and I love that the formula is waterproof."

Type: Pencil | Size: 0.24 oz. | Colors: 10

Best Splurge: Dior Diorshow Kabuki Brow Styler

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Bloomingdale's

What We Love: You get a pencil and blender all in one tool.

What We Don't Love: It only comes in four shades.

Scibelli's pick for best splurge, the Dior Diorshow Kabuki Brow Styler, is a dual-ended brow tool that effortlessly fills in brows for volume. On one end is the pencil with a flat slant, which he says creates shape and fills in brows. On the other end is the sponge-like blender, which diffuses product for a more natural finish.

Type: Pencil | Size: 0.01 oz. | Colors: 4

Best Pencil: IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Sephora

What We Love: Along with precise application for fuller brows, its formula contains nourishing hair ingredients such as biotin, grape seed oil, and green tea.

What We Don't Love: Despite having four universal shades, some reviewers claim that it's still hard to match.

The IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil is not only a precise brow pencil, but it gives you both makeup and hair benefits. Its formula is made with biotin, grape seed oil, and green tea to strengthen brow hairs and promote healthy hair growth.

Type: Pencil | Size: 0.005 oz. | Colors: 4

Best Gel: Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Nordstrom

What We Love: It has a mousse-like gel texture that feels so airy, but still has great color payoff.

What We Don't Love: It doesn't have a super strong hold.

The Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel gives you the soft feathery brows of your dreams. Thanks to its mousse-like formula that goes on lightweight, its high pigment is distributed easily onto hair for a natural look. It also contains nourishing ingredients like castor oil, panthenol pro vitamin B5, and biotinoyl tripeptide to revive and strengthen hair.

Type: Gel | Size: 0.12 oz. | Colors: 10

Best Pen: Lime Crime Bushy Brow Pen

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Lime Crime

What We Love: Its thin applicator allows for precise hair-like strokes for a natural finish.

What We Don't Love: The pigment is very light.

Scibelli likes Lime Crime's Bushy Brow Pen because its thin applicator allows for buildable coverage and gives you precise hair-like strokes to fill in spaces on the brow. As an added bonus, it's also smudge proof and paraben- and cruelty-free.

Type: Liquid | Size: 0.0236 oz. | Colors: 5

Best Pomade: Merit Brow 1980 Pomade Gel

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Merit Beauty

What We Love: It has deep color payoff that adds incredible volume to brows.

What We Don't Love: It only comes in three shades.

The Merit Brow 1980 Pomade is a tinted pomade gel that shapes, grooms, and adds color to brows to really make them fuller. "I use this when I'm looking for something as simple as Glossier Boy Brow but with actual color payoff," says Danielle Fox, InStyle senior social media editor. "It also truly does add volume to give you that 80s look." It also contains nourishing hair ingredients like vitamin B5 to strengthen hairs.

Type: Pomade | Size: 0.08 oz. | Colors: 3

Best Tweezers: Tweezerman Slant Tweezer

Tweezers
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Also available at Ulta

What We Love: The 25 degree slanted tip works against the brow bone to precisely remove hairs with minimal pain.

What We Don't Love: It's a bit pricey.

The Tweezerman Slant Tweezer is a classic and a must for any brow grooming needs. "I've been a longtime fan of [it]," says Scibelli. "The 25-degree slant really helps to grip each hair quickly and efficiently. It's also extremely durable and lightweight for travel." It firmly and evenly removes hair from the root.

Type: Steel Tool | Colors: Multiple

Best Powder: Joey Healy Luxe Brow Powder

Eye Brow Products
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Also available at Amazon

What We Love: It adds natural definition to brows and fills in sparse spaces easily.

What We Don't Love: It only comes in four shades.

InStyle associate editorial director, Kylie Gilbert loves the Joey Healy Luxe Brow Powder to fill sparse areas of her brows and says it has a less harsh look than what a pencil might give. "I was admittedly a bit skeptical when celeb eyebrow specialist Joey Healy first showed me my shade corduroy since it has a grayish hue, but it is somehow the perfect universal shade for blondes or light-medium brunettes," Gilbert says. "It's also waterproof and stays all day."

Type: Powder | Size: 0.15 oz. | Colors: 4

Best Wax: Patrick Ta Major Brow Shaping Wax

Patrick Ta Major Brow Shaping Wax
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Also available at Patrick Ta

What We Love: It shapes and defines brows while also giving you the ultimate soap brow effect.

What We Don't Love: It doesn't have the strongest hold.

If you've been wanting to take part in the soap brow trend at home, turn to the Patrick Ta Major Brow Shaping Wax. Fox says that this makes doing the trend by yourself so easy. "Just add water, get the product on your brow brush, and the wax will give you gorgeous fluffy brows in two strokes (per brow)," she says. It also contains nourishing ingredients like peptides, glycerin, and olive oil to promote healthy hair growth and keep hair soft.

Type: Wax | Size: 0.17 oz. | Colors: 2

Best Hold: Anastasia Beverly Hills Strong Hold Clear Brow Gel

Anastasia Beverly Hills Strong Hold Clear Brow Gel
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Also available at Nordstrom

What We Love: It locks unruly hair in place and you get a nice laminated finish.

What We Don't Love: It can leave a bit of residue behind for some.

InStyle assistant commerce editor Emily Cieslak likes the Anastasia Beverly Hills Strong Hold Clear Brow Gel to hold her naturally full brows in place and says that this is a splurge that is totally worth it. "Compared to cheaper formulas, it's not as thick, making it easier to get that precise, laminated look," says Cieslak. "It seems to hold them in place for hours, and it never flakes or causes breakouts. For a one and done look, reach for this gel."

Type: Gel | Size: 0.26 oz. | Colors: 1

What To Keep In Mind

Formulas

There are different formulas to pick from when it comes to brow products and they all have different functions (we'll get to that later). But brow products normally come in pencil, liquid, gel, wax, or powder formulations. Which one you use is based on what type of grooming you're looking for.

Shaping

Grooming and shaping your brows do more than just keep unruly hairs in place or create a full voluminous effect; it frames and balances your face shape. "It's amazing how brows can really create instant symmetry on the face," says Scibellli. "From sparse brows to those needing a drop more color in the brows, filling in the brows can really bring your features forward."

"Grooming brows gives you a finished look," adds Calvillo. "It adds a frame to your eyes that also allows your eyes to stand out."

Your Questions, Answered

How do you pick a brow formula?

According to Calvillo, picking which formula works best for you is all about what the desired brow finish you want or what your brow needs are. If you have thick brow hairs, she says you'll want to stick to a pomade or brow gel to set hair in place. Scibelli adds gels can also add volume and thickness and that pomades usually have longer wear and offer more flexibility with shape and size.

Both Calvillo and Scibelli say that pencils and liquids are great for drawing and filling in spaces if you have thin brows, while powder thickens the appearance for a fuller brow.

How do you apply a brow product?

Application also depends on which formula you go for. Scibelli says that if you're using a pencil, start where the brow needs the most filling in first. He then says you'll want to use small quick strokes to mimic the appearance of real brow hair while filling in. Calvillo says that pens will be used in a similar fashion to pencils.

Pomades and powders can be used to fill in places that are sparse. For gels that are meant to keep hair in place, Calvillo says to apply all over in the same direction to keep them looking groomed and uniform.

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