It may be 2021, but I’m still recovering from a severe condition known as ’90s brows. Thankfully, I just found a cure: the new Huda Beauty #BombBrows Pencil. If you were alive or at least aware of beauty trends back in the late ’90s and early to mid-2000s, you might remember how thin brows were in. Christina Aguilera, Drew Barrymore, Gwen Stefani, me—we all had barely there brows. Some were so severe they called back to the silent-film era, when stars like Jean Harlow wore pencil-thin brows in order to visually emote to audiences. Made sense then. In the ’90s? Not so much.
I have to admit, it’s odd to think about all of us running around with thin brows, especially since for the past decade or so, thick, fluffy brows have been the norm. As the 2010s grew closer, brows began to grow back. When Cara Delevingne’s popularity blew up around 2012, her gorgeous, naturally thick brows were enough to convince us to cancel our wax appointments and light a candle for our permanently damaged brows.
After one particularly traumatic waxing appointment, when my waxer was in a bad mood and somehow shaped my left eyebrow into a checkmark, I knew I had gone too far. It was time to repent for my beauty “sins.” I stopped waxing for years, save for some minor threading and a few maintenance plucks here and there. But I grew desperate, kicking myself for touching my perfect, natural brows that were once so thick. I’d go through stints of not plucking them at all, trying to get used to their unruliness (the habit of a manicured brow was still hard to shake).
I tried a brow serum that sprouted a few cherished hairs but nothing dramatic, and gummies that grew hair on the sides of my nose bridge but not where I needed them to. I wasn’t ready for microblading or an eyebrow transplant. My best bet was to find my personal, holy grail arch saver—and after all these years, I think I finally have.
Huda Beauty recently came out with its first-ever brow product: the #BombBrows Microshade Brow Pencil. While I have used plenty of great brow pencils (I love Benefit Precisely My Brow, Fenty Brow MVP, and the new Haus Beauty), I knew this one was different right when I saw it.
What truly sets Huda Beauty's #BombBrows apart from the rest is its superfine pencil. The 0.9-mm tip is the perfect size to create precise, natural-looking strokes, but is still pigmented enough so you’re not constantly going over and filling in the same spot (which I tend to do with other pencils). “I was determined to create a pencil that could mimic the hairlike strokes of a permanent microblading procedure, but for a fraction of the price,” Huda Beauty’s founder, Huda Kattan, tells me over email. “Precision and control are so key when creating any brow look.”
For my particular brows, she suggested I concentrate on micro-shading in just the sparse areas, and to apply the pencil straight on rather than press it at an angle. This gives it a more realistic and finer finish. And because of the ultra-fine tip and pigmentation level, only light pressure is needed, so my Hulk grip had to learn how to chill. “Practice with fewer strokes in sparse areas and then add more as you go, to start defining the shape,” Huda adds. “Better to add as you go than to overfill.” My brows never looked better (well, except for in eighth grade, when they were still naturally full).
Because the product is waterproof, I haven’t had to deal with smudging, so if someone (or I myself) throws a glass of water in my face, I’ll be fine. However, it’s something to keep in mind at the end of the day when it comes time to wash my face. My go-to micellar doesn’t remove it well without rubbing, and I don’t want to risk any more trauma to my brows. Huda says an oil-based makeup remover, such as her Wishful Clean Genie Cleansing Butter, works best to break down the product, and to follow up with your normal cleanser. Like Huda, I’m all about the double cleanse.
Since beauty and fashion trends are cyclical, it’s only a matter of time for thin brows to come back in again, though some of us, namely yours truly, may have learned our lesson the first time. In any case, if you’re looking for your own holy grail brow product, don’t hesitate to give this one a try.
$17.00, Huda Beauty
Originally Appeared on Glamour