It’s fair to say the world of brows has gotten a little complicated. While we appreciate options, it can be overwhelming trying to pick the right tools when it comes to perfecting our brows. Especially given there are at least six different types of brow products you can choose from!
Is it all simply about personal preference or is there a reason you should be using a pomade over a pencil? We spoke to Australian brow artist Jazz Pampling to find out what brow products we should be using and how to use them.
Best for: Creating natural-looking definition and hair-like precision
Who should use one: “Brow pencils are great for just about everyone,” says Australian brow artist Jazz Pampling. “They are generally easy to use, come in many shades, and you can throw them in your bag for simple no-fuss touch-ups.” They’re great for filling in gaps and sparse tails and can help fix asymmetric brows.
How to use it: “You can use a brow pencil to really fill the brow in heavily or as light as a feather,” says Pamlping. “When I apply pencil it’s usually just in the gappy areas of a brow that need some love.” Rather than starting at the inner corner of your brow, work on filling in the most sparse areas first. It's easy to go a little heavy-handed with your first few strokes of a brow pencil, so focus on the areas that need the most coverage first. Use short, feather-like strokes that mimic brow hairs in the direction of the hair growth.
Top tip: Use a spoolie to brush out the brows once you’re done to blend and soften the look.
Product to try: Ere Perez Almond Eye Pencil
“One of my all-rounder favourite shades is Amy Jean Micro Stroke Pencil in #3.”
Jazz Pampling, Australian brow artist
Best for: Creating a textured bold brow look
Who should use one: If you have very sparse brows, a brow pomade can help to quickly build a more structured brow shape. For those who already have thick brows, a pomade can up the intensity on your brows for a more dramatic look. Brow pomades tend to have a highly pigmented colour pay-off.
How to use it: “I find pomades great for applying in fine hair strokes, which mimic real hair, if you have the patience for this application process. It’s the best way to fill your brows in but it’s fiddly and takes time to really learn to nail it,” notes Pampling. You’ll need an angled brow brush with stiff bristles to apply a brow pomade. Jazz recommends Rae Morris Jishaku #16: Brow Definer Brush for the job. Dip the brush into the pomade then sweep it across the back of your hand to remove any excess product. Paint on short, light brush strokes throughout the brows, angling the brush so your lines are as thin and hair-like as possible.
Top tip: “Whatever you do, don’t leave the lid off, as it will dry the product out,” warns Pampling.
Product to try: Eye of Horus Brow Sculpting Clay
“Brow pomades are great for longevity and creating solid defined lines.”
Jazz Pampling, Australian brow artist
Best for: Creating a soft yet fuller brow look
Who should use one: “Brow powders are less likely to create such solid defined lines, so many people prefer it for this reason. It’s very gentle on the brow hairs also, which is one of the reasons I personally use brow powder,” shares Pampling. “I use it to fill in the gaps of a brow.” They’re also a great option for oily skin types, but are best avoided if you have dry skin.
How to use it: Dip an angled eyebrow brush into the powder then dab it against the back of your hand. Lightly sweep it throughout your brows using short hair-like strokes. Always start at your arches first. Layer the powder until you’ve created the shape and intensity you’re after.
Top tip: “Try and find an angled brush that’s not too fluffy and not too sharp. When the brush is too sharp, you’ll find the lines are too defined and harder to blend out. While a chunky brush makes it harder to control where the powder goes,” explains Pampling.
Product to try: Lust Minerals Mineral Brow Dust Pressed
Eyebrow gels and brow mascaras
Best for: Beginners and setting brows in place
Who should use one: “Brow mascaras are hands down my favourite brow product,” says Pampling. “We should all have brow mascara in our beauty bags, even if it’s a simple clear brow mascara. It’s one of those products that adds a little love to the brow without overdoing it. They help brows look fuller, hold the hairs in place and can even cover your greys.”
How to use it: Pull the spoolie out of the brow gel tube and wipe off any excess. Gently brush the spoolie backwards and upwards through the brows against the direction of growth to pick up the hairs and coat them in the gel formula. This will also create a fluffy, fuller look. Then, run the spoolie through the brow hairs again, this time in the direction of the hair growth to smooth and tidy the shape.
Top tip: “The downside to brow gels are they won’t really create a better shape for your brow, so if your brow needs shape then you’ll need a pencil or powder first before using a brow mascara to finish.”
Product to try: Ere Perez Aloe Gel Lash & Brow Mascara
Eyebrow pens and brow markers
Best for: Recreating the look of individual hairs
Who should use one: “Brow pens can be great for creating individual hair strokes with ease as they usually have a fine felt tip end,” says Pampling. They can help fill in sparse lashes or closely replicate the look of microbladed brows without the commitment.
How to use it: “Be mindful in application that you don’t want to hit the skin too hard when applying, it can be too dark if you do,” explains Pampling. Wherever you have gaps, apply the eyebrow pen in a gentle hair-like stroke in the direction of your hair growth.
Top tip: “Try your best to barely touch the skin for the ultimate finish,” says Pampling.
Product to try: MCo Beauty Tattoo Brow Microblading Ink Pen
Eyebrow wax and brow soaps
Best for: Taming unruly brows
Who should use one: If your brow hairs grow in a variety of directions and you need something to help set them in place, a brow wax or brow soap is essential. Eyebrow waxes come in clear and tinted formulas, often alongside a powder in an eyebrow palette.
How to use it: “Brow wax is often used to help brow powder stick. It can be a great base to powder so you’ll have the longevity that powder often loses,” notes Pampling. Before applying your brow powder, use an angled brush to apply a wax to the brows in short, upward strokes. Use the wax to manipulate your brow hairs into your desired shape. If you’re using a brow soap, first spritz a spoolie with water to dampen it. Then, rub the spoolie against the soap to coat it in the gel-like formula. Comb the spoolie through your brows in an upwards motion to enhance and set the shape. Apply a tinted brow colour over the top to fill in any gaps or intensify the look.
Top tip: “Brow soaps tend to have a fluffier finish and are great for controlling big brows, setting them in place and generally holding all day.”
Product to try: BrowKo Brow Soap