There are several unfortunate things I've done in the name of beauty, but over-tweezing my brows was never one of them. Occasionally, I would pluck a few stray hairs or carefully trim them with the same scissors I used to open packages (try the latter at your own peril), but mostly, I let them grow in peace. In turn, they rewarded me by not needing much enhancement. It was a prime example of the kind of healthy, symbiotic relationship that I will one day find when I can get a text back.
Of course, I still wanted them to look just a tiny bit fuller and more elongated. Some days, I would try to accomplish this with eyeshadow and an angled brush. Others, I'd try whatever brow gel, pen, or pencil happened to land on my desk that week. They were all basically interchangeable, which is to say that none of them made a lasting impression. Some brands got the color too dark or too warm. Others made pencils that crumbled as soon as I applied the slightest pressure, or deposited blurry splotches of pigment. Eventually, I learned to apply everything with a light hand, so that my brows were just barely tinted and filled in. I could have skipped this step entirely and it would have made little difference. Please observe the image of me holding a cookie below for photographic evidence. I went over my brows with a pencil that shall not be named, but can you even tell? The answer is no.
When I heard that many of my colleagues were booking microblading appointments, I gave the technique some serious consideration. Microblading, microfeathering, and microshading are forms of semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos that emphasize subtle, realistic results. The implements used are so fine that they really do a convincing job mimicking your actual hair. The only problem: I was still scared that a mistake would be made, leaving me with bad brows for the next one to three years. Having edited plenty of horror stories about microblading sessions gone wrong, I wasn't feeling great about taking my chances.
The universe must have gotten fed up with listening to my never-ending internal agonizing because it put a stop to all of that with a single package. Inside: Anastasia Beverly Hills's best brow products. Even before I got into beauty, I'd heard of founder Anastasia Soare, who made an art form out of creating perfect eyebrows. Now was my chance to find out why. I'd heard of the iconic Brow Wiz already, so I decided to start there.
I never got around to using anything else in that box.
Brow Wiz doesn't look that special upon first glance. It's a thin, waxy brow pencil—and if you're going by shape alone, you can definitely find plenty of dupes. But, ABH gets the consistency just right. It's thin enough to quickly draw super precise hairs, similar to the sharp strokes of microblading. At the same time, it has a waxiness that simultaneously helps to keep your brow hairs in place and imparts a softness that looks natural. No matter how much of a rush I'm in, I never end up with brows that are too dark or too overdrawn. They just look full, feathered, and perfectly defined. (I know that for a fact based on the number of times someone has asked me what I use on my brows, something that never happened B.B.W.—before Brow Wiz.) Then, there are the shades: the brand offers 10 and they're exceptionally good. After flirting with Dark Brown and Granite, I've eventually settled on Ebony, which ABH says is for black hair with warm undertones. That sounds confusing and I won't attempt to describe the color, but it's by far the best match I've found.
To get the perfect eyebrows, I start at the head and draw upward lines, concentrating on the sparser areas. I also lightly outline the bottom edge of my brow, tracing diagonally across until I hit the halfway point. Then, I tackle the tails, extending them with a few short lines. Start to finish, this takes about 30 seconds. Afterward, I flip the pencil, uncap the spoolie, and brush everything out so there are no harsh marks and everything is blended. And then the final, important step: I say a fervent thank-you to Brow Wiz for ensuring that I will never have to risk a microblading appointment gone wrong.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, $21, sephora.com
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