It’s been a while now since my brows have lost the density of youth, and until not long ago, my solution to keep from looking like the Mona Lisa was to fill them with a little eyeshadow or eyeliner.
However, one day an acquaintance who is a MUA gently let me know my brows looked too black, and she was right; she also suggested I look for a product specific for brows, preferably in a brown tone. So I decided to try these two inexpensive ones.
The angel: Bell Cosmetics Secretale Ideal Brow Pencil
This pencil is available in three shades of brown, and mine is nº 3, a nice dark-almost-black brown that looks quite neutral and natural. Although I liked it at first try in the shop, I must say at first I had some lingering doubts about this product, resulting from a less-than-stellar experience with another product from this line; however, in the end it went above and beyond my expectations.
I really dislike those excessively drawn-on, overdone #instabrows, and I hate having to fuss in the morning with brows that have accidentally veered into Insta-territory when filling them… which unfortunately happens more often than I like, or rather, it used to happen: application is a breeze with this pencil, and I can get my brows to look the way I want them in no time; it has just enough pigmentation to fill out the brow and bring it back to life, and no more, so the risk of ending up like you’re auditioning for the part of Frida Kahlo is low.
The mine is firm, and can be sharpened to a very fine point to draw individual hairs, or leave more rounded to fill up larger areas; it takes a while to become worn down, so I anticipate that this pencil’s going to last me a long time.
This pencil’s stroke looks like a powder aplication: it enhances brows but not so that they look artificial, unless you insist in drawing and redrawing (and who has time for that in the morning?); still, if you decide you’re not happy with the application, it’s easy to remove the excess with the brush conveniently located on the opposite end.
Note however, that even though it’s easy to remove this way, I’ve also put this pencil to the test in the long, torrid summer that’s typical of my area, and found that it stands its ground like a champ: no messes, no smudging, no fading.
My rating for the Bell Cosmetics Secretale Ideal Brow Pencil: 5 points. It is easy to use in sparse brows like mine, with very little risk of brow horrors (it can happen, but you’d have to be very insistent or heavy-handed in overdrawing your brows), it looks nice, it’s long-wearing… I simply cannot find a single con about this product, and I’d probably repurchase when it wears out, in the distant future… because it also looks like it’s going to be a very long-lived product – not bad for 5.49€
The demon: Technic Brow Gel
Besides the pencil, I also wanted to try a gel type of product for filling and grooming eyebrows, and given the low price of this one (about 2-3€), curiosity made me take home the Technic Brow Gel in Dark, the darkest (duh) in a range of three, just like the product before.
However, in this case curiosity killed the browless cat: every time I’ve used this brow gel I’ve felt like a little girl messing with her mother’s cosmetics for the first time, with the results that can be expected, something I hadn’t experienced in a very, very long time.
To be fair, I have to admit I’m a novice with this type of product, and possibly I chose the wrong one for me. I’m now thinking that this type of product just may not be the right one for my particular needs… as you can see in the photo, my brows are very sparse, and in hindsight, it may be that a gel or pomade aren’t really right for this scenario… however, I also don’t think I’d recommend this to someone with bushier brows looking to groom them.
Why? Because it’s a gummy mess: right out of the tube it has a rather fluid consistency, but upon applying it and combing it, it quickly becomes pitch-like, unwieldy and patchy, clumping the hairs and leaving the brows the way you see in the image; most of the time I end up removing it with cleansing water and reaching for the pencil, which does its job without pulling stunts like these and making me waste time.
Being very, very, very careful to apply the teeniest, tiniest hint of product to a rebel hair that needs to be put in its place, I can perhaps manage to make it look okay, and not like I tried to blacktop my brows, but frankly, I just don’t have the time or the patience for fiddling with my brows in this manner.
In short, I wouldn’t recommend this gel to anyone like me, with thinning brows and unused to brow gels… it could be that someone more versed in the fine art of making brows out of nothing at all might be able to use it, I don’t know… Or perhaps it could be useful for someone with much thicker brows than mine, who is looking for a product to tame and lacquer in place very bushy and coarse brows. Or maybe it could be just the thing for someone who plans to go as Groucho Marx for next Halloween…
As for me, this product has the dubious distinction of being the first in this blog to get a rating of 1 point. Wouldn’t buy this again even if someone paid me to wear this out on the street.
1 point: No! Never again, not even if you gave it to me, or even paid me to wear it.
2 points: I didn’t finish the container and it’s very unlikely I’d buy this again. It might work for you, but it does nothing for me.
3 points: Meh. I’ll use up my jar/tube, but I don’t think I’d buy again. It might work for you, but it doesn’t do much for me.
4 points: I like it. It’s nice and does its job. I might buy this again, if I find nothing I like better.
5 points: I love it! It does its job very well, I find it a pleasure to use, and it’s earned its place in my beauty routine.