Brow Breakdown: The definitive guide to different brow products

I’m a big believer in the power of the brow. The way you do them can make a huge impact on your look, so if I could only choose one thing to make up on my face, this would be it! There are so many new brow products and formulas coming out though, it gets pretty confusing (and overwhelming) to choose the best one for you. If you’re a brow beginner, or even a full-on brow junkie, here’s the 411 on different brow products and how you can use them to get your kilay on fleek!

Crystal’s bare brows

Crystal’s bare brows

Brow Pencils

Most of us start our eyebrow journey with a classic pencil. They come in many different shapes and sizes that you can categorize by their tip (fine tip vs. sword tip), consistency (creamy vs. waxy), and form (standard vs. retractable) among others. Brow pencils are versatile enough to transform your brows to anything between naturally lush to full-on glam. Which pencil is best for you all boils down to your personal preference. Luckily for us, it’s easy enough to cop a good eyebrow pencil under the P200 mark!

Crystal wearing the Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Wonder Drawing 24hr Eyebrow Pencil (left) and Christian 2in1 Longlasting Eyebrow/Eyeliner Pencil (right)

Crystal wearing the Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Wonder Drawing 24hr Eyebrow Pencil (left) and Christian 2in1 Longlasting Eyebrow/Eyeliner Pencil (right)

This isn’t true 100% of the time but for the most part, the creamier the product is, the more pigment it would deposit on your skin. So if you want soft, natural looking brows with almost undetectable product, drawing brow hairs one by one with a fine automatic pencil like the Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Wonder Drawing 24hr Eyebrow Pencil (P500) would get the job done. For a lusher, stronger-looking brow, a creamy formula like the Christian 2in1 Longlasting Eyebrow/Eyeliner Pencil (P495) will give you more intensity.

Brow Pen

While versatile and beginner-friendly, pencils can be notorious for fading throughout the day. Much like a pen to an actual pencil, the edge of brow pens is that they stay put and are more precise than the pencil. We’ve raved about the K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow Liquid Pen (P895) more times than we can count because it’s a nice pen that can give you natural-looking eyebrows that stay on like a trooper.

Crystal wearing the K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow Liquid Pen

Crystal wearing the K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow Liquid Pen

Brow Powder

Like mixing up your looks? A brow powder can be used dry for a soft-looking arch, or wet for a more high impact look. It’s also easier to build up volume using a powder than a pen or pencil, simply because you can cover a larger area at a time. A downside to brow powder however is that when used dry, fading can be an issue. You want to make sure that the powder can adhere to something tacky such as an eye cream or lid primer.

Crystal wearing the Estee Lauder Brow Now All-In-One Brow Kit

Crystal wearing the Estee Lauder Brow Now All-In-One Brow Kit

Liz loves the Estee Lauder Brow Now All-In-One Brow Kit (~P1,700) for brows that look full but not bushy. If you want the budget option, we have eight brow powder recommendations under P500. Considering that you don’t need to use much per application and the versatility it affords your looks, brow powders are the most cost-effective option for keeping your brows on fleek.

Brow Mascara

There are a few good reasons why you may need brow mascara in your life. One, if you have unruly brows that could use some taming. Two, if you have colored hair and you want to match your brow color to your dye job. Three, if you have super fine brow strands that look like they barely exist. Four, there are days when you just don’t have the time or patience to pencil and powder your arches.

Crystal wearing the Pink Sugar Honey I’m Good Brow Mascara

Crystal wearing the Pink Sugar Honey I’m Good Brow Mascara

It takes a bit of work to master the art of the browcara and even then, you might not be able to achieve a more defined shape as you would with any other product. But because it coats the individual brow hairs with product, nothing beats brow mascara for dimension. Wearing it alone can make your brows look lush without too much effort. There are lots of good, affordable ones, too, including the Honey I’m Good Eyebrow Gels from Pink Sugar (P349)!

Brow Gels or Brow Pomades

Brow gels or brow pomades are your best bet if you want to achieve the full Instagram gradient brow effect. Applied with an angled liner brush, it’s easy to create bold, lush, defined brows that won’t fade or budge even after a long, sweaty day. The downside to them, however, is that they can be too attention-grabbing when the rest of your face isn’t fully made up, so save these for glam occasions.

The current PV fave is the new Benefit Ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Color (P1,400) but if you’re on a budget and feeling a bit creative, you can try making one yourself with stuff you may already have at home!

Crystal wearing the Benefit Ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Color

Crystal wearing the Benefit Ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Color

Clear Brow Gel or Serum

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the clear brow gel or serum. This is perfect for girls with naturally thick eyebrows ala Cara Delevigne who just need to brush their brow hairs into place. You can also use this to condition your brows!

Celeteque’s Eyebrow Nourishing Serum (P595) is formulated with Biotinyl Tripeptide-1, Panthenol and Pro-vitamin B5, which keep your brow hairs healthy. If you want them to have a more lush growth (raise your hand if you’ve ever overplucked), you can use a treatment like the Lashem All Eyes on You Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum (P3,600).

Crystal wearing the Celeteque Eyebrow Nourishing Serum

Crystal wearing the Celeteque Eyebrow Nourishing Serum

The world has gone so far in the eyebrow department, don’t you think? Remember that you don’t have to stick with just one product and depending on your needs, layering on different formulas can actually work wonderfully!

Left to right: Christian 2in1 Longlasting Eyebrow/Eyeliner Pencil, Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Wonder Drawing 24hr Eyebrow Pencil, K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow Liquid Pen, Pink Sugar Honey I’m Good Brow Mascara, Estee Lauder Brow Now All-In-One Brow Kit, Benefit Ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Color

Left to right: Christian 2in1 Longlasting Eyebrow/Eyeliner Pencil, Holika Holika Wonder Drawing Wonder Drawing 24hr Eyebrow Pencil, K-Palette Lasting 2-Way Eyebrow Liquid Pen, Pink Sugar Honey I’m Good Brow Mascara, Estee Lauder Brow Now All-In-One Brow Kit, Benefit Ka-BROW! Eyebrow Cream-Gel Color

Personally, I like the pen + powder +  clear brow gel combo for photographs but I can make do with just a pencil or clear brow serum on regular days. How about you, what’s your eyebrow routine like?

Photography by Samantha Gonzales