We should call this decade the decade of the brows because if you haven't noticed, eyebrows are kind of a big deal. Lately the trend has been pretty much anything goes brow-wise so long as they're bold and beautiful. I've seen super sculpted, razor-sharp brows, thick, au-natural brows and everything in-between.
I'm still what I would consider a brow noob, but I'm fully hooked on the importance they make for a look. Doing my brows has now become an essential part of my beauty routine, right up there with foundation and mascara. Can't leave home without it!
Up till recently, I'd only ever used brow pencils to fill in my brows. Pencils have the advantage of giving you a really precise shape and ability to draw in fine hairs, however they do have drawbacks. Firstly, I hated having to sharpen the damn things all the time. Plus, they're easy to overdo and it can be tricky to find the right shade, as many brow pencils come too light or too red/warm toned for me.
That's when I discovered brow shadow. Unlike pencils, brow shadows have a more natural finish and are easier to build up in color. Also, you can often get them in palettes that include two shades that you can mix together to create your perfect color, or which come packaged with other brow-related items like waxes, gels, or highlights to finish off your look.
A while back I was kindly sent over the new Pretty Easy Brow Palette from Clinique to try. This all-in-one brow kit contains everything you need to get your brows, dare I say, on fleek.
|Swatches: the Clinique Pretty Easy Brow palette powder, highlight and tinted wax|
Clinique Pretty Easy Brow Palette contains a brow powder, tinted brow wax and powder highlight, as well as two double-ended brushes. The brushes are really handy if you don't have any tools yourself and consist of a sponge applicator, a synthetic angled brush, a spoolie for blending and a synthetic shadow brush.
If you look closely at the included applicators you'll notice they contain numbers on them that I assume correspond to the numbers beside each pan, but when you actually use them this way it doesn't make much sense. The only ones that actually useful in my opinion are the spoolie (critical to have to brush out any excess powder) and the angled brush for applying powder. In any case, I found all of the included brushes too soft and I only ever use the spoolie. Instead, to fill in my brows I use a Sephora brand eyeliner brush which is much stiffer and picks up the brow powder better.
|Left to right: before and after|
Sadly, the Clinique Pretty Easy Brow Palette only comes in one shade and they seem to have chosen us Asians as their target audience because this brow powder is perfect for me. I have warm brown-black hair and the dark warm ash brown is a spot-on shade match.
The brow powder is soft and easily blendable if applied with a gentle hand. I usually go in first with the powder, filling in any gaps in my hair line and thickening the top of my arch to give the illusion of fullness. Then, I'll go over my brows again, particularly at the tail end, with the brow wax to tame any stray hairs getting out of line. Lastly, I'll use a small eyeshadow brush to apply some highlight to my brow bone. The highlight shade is a super subtle ivory that gives just a hint of light on my NC20/25 skin. On weekends, this might be the only thing I do to my eyes alongside mascara in order to give just a hint of "doneness" to my face.
Just to illustrate the difference even more, here's a full face shot of my face with and without filled in brows:
See how much more defined my features look and how they make my eyes pop out more? It's a subtle difference but oh so effective!
At $43, this palette is not cheap, but is one of those instances where I say "take all my money!" because I love this product so much. Seriously, I'm not tempted by any brow pencil no matter the hype on the blogosphere because this palette has sold me on the virtues of brow powders. Using a brow shadow may seem trickier than a pencil, but at least for me, I found the two to be equal in terms of difficulty but I much more prefer the look of shadow over pencil.
How do you do your brows? Share your tips & tricks!