From pencils to powders to pomades, every day it seems like there’s a new way to fill in your brows. So how exactly do you figure out which one to use? Benefit Cosmetics’ global brow expert Jared Bailey explains their differences.
1. If you want softer brows, try a powder.
“Powders are best suited for beginners and people who are looking to add an overall wash of color to the brow. These also tend to work better with people with finer brow hair because you want the powder to go underneath the hair and onto the skin for a softer finish,” says Bailey.
2. If you want to build volume, try a brow gel.
According to Bailey, “brow gels, especially tinted fiber gels, are the easiest way to bulk up thin brows and make them look more defined.” Pro tip: Brush against your hairs (opposite the direction they grow in) before brushing them up and out to finish. This has a similar effect to backcombing your roots for more volume.
3. If you want to fill in a specific area (or scars), try a microliner.
The fine-point tip on a microliner creates tiny, hairlike strokes. “Simply take your pencil and make a few strokes slightly above your natural hairline. Remember to leave space in between each stroke to create the illusion of real hair,” advises Bailey.
Get the look: NYX Cosmetics Micro Brow Pencil ($12); Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil Ultra-Fine Shape & Define Pencil ($24); Dior Diorshow Brow Styler ($29)
4. If you want dramatic brows, try a pomade.
“Pomades are good for creating crisp, defined lines and are especially helpful if you prefer a stronger brow. The creamy formula allows you to easily dial up or dial down the drama,” says Bailey. Tip: Apply sparingly using an angled brush for the most precision.
Get the look: Docolor Duo Eyebrow Brush ($5); Milani Stay Put Brow Color ($9); Makeup Revolution Brow Pomade ($9); Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Waterproof Brow Mousse ($29)
5. For the most natural-looking brows, you should mix formulas.
Bailey recommends starting with a powder in a lighter shade first. Then go in with a microliner in a deeper shade to get those texturized, hairlike strokes on top.