Goodbye, sad brows.
I'll never be the girl with Cara Delevingne eyebrows. Sadly, I wasn't born with thick, full, movie star arches. And, like many teens, I got a little excited with the tweezers in high school, and my brows have never recovered—even 15 years later. I label myself a minimalist when it comes to makeup, and I've never been one to paint on a full face with thick black liner, smoky shadow, or false lashes unless for very special occasions. My day-to-day routine usually consists of swiping on some mascara before running out the door, and that's me doing the most for my eyes.
But of all my annoying little insecurities, my sparse eyebrows are certainly up there. I've tried different brow pencils and pots, but found myself scrubbing my face with makeup wipes before leaving my apartment, returning my brows to their naked, bare state. The results were just too drastic for me. Products were either gloopy or sticky, making my blondish, barely-there arches look plastered-on, or the pencil was extremely dry, making my eyebrows look like two etchings. Ugh. Over the years, I've even recruited beauty pros to help me find products that would look more natural on my face, but always left the store empty handed.
I was just about to give up on my brows when I received a package with the new Benefit Brow Contour Pro ($34; sephora.com), which launched earlier this month in five shades. It already has over 1000 5-star reviews on Sephora, so I knew I'd be in great company.
At first, though, I was a little skeptical. Don't get me wrong, Benefit nailed the packaging. The 90's-inspired four-in-one brow tool took me back to those multi-color pens from middle and high school (cue nostalgia), and I felt excited to be playing with makeup all over again. To use, you click down on the shade you want, then twist the pen's body until the product comes out. Fun, right? But would the product actually function properly and look good?
I clicked the lighter shade to fill the first half of my brows and went to work, noticing that the texture of the product was smooth and creamy. I followed up with the darker shade, filling the arch of each brow to the ends, creating dimension with the two hues. Because the product is creamy and generous when applied, I used my own spoolie to blend, resulting in soft, beautiful brows. I was shocked. I capped off my fuller brows by cleaning up the edges with the definer and using the highlighter to give a pretty, natural sheen at the brow bone. Although I opted for more natural-looking eyebrows, you can easily build the brow drama with this pen.
Benefit's Global Brow Expert Jared Bailey tells me that when choosing a shade, aim to pick a definer shade that's lighter than your skin tone, since it's intended to create contrast. From there, choose your brow hair shade (blonde, brown, or brown/black). You use the definer shade to crisp up the edges of your brow and blend with your finger or a hard-angle brush. "If you colored outside the lines, the definer shade can also act as an eraser," Bailey explains.
The tip is flat and thicker than your average pencil, making this pen best for blurred, soft brows, as opposed to meticulously fine penciled brows. One tube with four colors is perfect for traveling. I always toss it in my bag before I head to the office so I can touch up on-the-go.
The pen claims to be waterproof and deliver 24 hours of wear (all the yes), and I wouldn't doubt it. Using this brow pen throughout August, the product didn't budge or streak in New York City heat and humidity, which is no small feat. Now, if you saw me on the street, you would for sure get eyebrow envy. I'd bet my Benefit pen on it.