Ah, eyebrows. Lately, it seems like everyone's more obsessed with brows than any other part of your face. A while back, I read The Gloss' review of the cult favorite Anastasia brow powder duo. Writer Hayley Hoover was pretty "meh" about them, considering they cost 23 dollars. Still, I was curious, because this last summer was my Summer of Brow Filler. The summer I went from girl to Woman Who Filled In Her Eyebrows. Before that, I was afraid of filling in my eyebrows because I already had dark brows and I thought if I filled them in, I would look like a human caricature. But almost every single makeup tutorial I read suggested brow filler. That brow filler would be total game changer in the makeup game.
So I went to Sephora and I asked for a brow filler that, "wasn't too intense," and the sales associate led me to Anastasia, painting my eyebrows with their powder duo. After she was done magically transforming my eyebrows, I looked in the mirror. I was essentially Jennifer Connelly. So I bought the powder duo, even though I could have bought like, twenty tacos instead. But I became completely obsessed with my Anastasia brow powder.
But after reading Hayley's review, I wondered if I even had to pay that steep of a price for good eyebrows. Could I just go to the drugstore and purchase an eyebrow pencil and get the same results? I really wanted to know, so I tried three reputable brow products: e.l.f., NYX, Ramy, and compared them with Anastasia.
Here's what my brows look like when they're deglamorized. Sorry for the cRaZy eyes, it was like, 1 A.M. when I forced my fiancee to take the picture (he was super happy about it). So, as you see, my brows are pretty manageable. They're fairly easy to shape, so when I was looking for the perfect product, I didn't want anything too loud or pronounced.
This is after trying the e.l.f. eyebrow kit. Unlike Anastasia, it comes in a pigmented wax form, which was actually really helpful in keeping my brows in place (as if they're going to run off or something) and defining them. The colors were super natural-looking (I went with Dark #81303), and it was really easy to apply. Like most e.l.f. products, I am a fan.
Next, I tried NYX eyebrow pencil in Dark Brown. It was my first time using a pencil, so I had to be careful with how hard I applied it. I had to kind of adjust the shade, but the results were pretty fantastic.
I hadn't heard of Ramy before, so I was a little intimidated by the Perfect Brow Wand. It looked way too high-tech for me, like I could break it or something. But I didn't! Which was exciting. The wand came with a highlighter (which I didn't use) and brow pencil (which only comes in one shade: brown). At first, it came on a little dark, but I think I was just applying it too hard. I tried again, and the color filled my brows in a totally natural way.
And finally, the Anastasia brow powder duo, ~My First.~ I personally really like the product. It's not perfect — I have it in "Chocolate," but I have no use for the other shade, just the brown. It blends really well with my brows, and gives me a totally natural look.
The verdict? It doesn't seem like the expensive brow filler is any more superior than the three dollar brow filler. I think it depends on how you personally like to fill in your eyebrows (be it with gel, powder, or a pencil), and how much filling and boldness you really want. I was looking for something very subtle, and I feel like I can pretty much get that from any brow product.
Images: Getty Images, Gina Vaynshteyn(6)