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My natural brows are so thin and sparse so I'm always looking for brow products that would help fill in the sparse areas without looking unnatural or too drawn-in. I have tried more than a handful of what's available in the market but I always come back to the tried-and-true Anastasia. :)
Shown in the picture above are brow products from Anastasia in shade Granite. From top to bottom: Mini Duo Brush in #7, Brow Powder Duo, Brow Wiz, and Tinted Brow Gel. I'll be reviewing each product separately and will show you the completed brow look at the end of the post. I will not review the brush because it's simply a duo brush with an angled brush on one end and a spoolie on the other. I choose the Granite family because it blends most naturally with my black hair. It's cool-toned, with a little bit of gray, taupe, and an ashy tone to it which is what I prefer for my brows.
Brow Powder Duo
The compact is pretty small and comes with a mirror. I adore the elegant rose gold emboss of the brand's logo on the lid but the shiny surface seems to attract fingerprints too easily. There are two shades of brow powder in side, one is lighter and one is darker. I like to use the lighter shade in the front of the brows and the darker shade towards the tail. You can customize the two shades to make your own gradient color as well. I find the powder to be a little hard and dry in texture which can be a good thing. Drier texture means better staying power especially on the oily skin around my brows. Both shades are moderately pigmented and in fact, they go on slightly sheer when used a light hand. The colors are completely buildable, though, and the two shades blend well together.
The pencil comes in the skinniest packaging I've ever seen and at first I thought it was going to be awkward to maneuver. However, it's actually really comfortable to hold in the hand. It's lightweight but still well-balanced. The small, fine tip allows for precise application while the included spoolie on the other end helps soften harsh edges and distribute color into the hair. One thing about the pencil is, if you have a lot of sparse areas, it may take time to completely fill in the entire brows. I always use the pencil in combination with the powder — line with the pencil and fill in with the powder.
Tinted Brow Gel
I find Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel to be one of the best brow gels on the market simply because it's richly pigmented and the brush is big enough to groom the entire brow in just a few swipes. The gel texture holds brows in place by offering a flexible, medium hold without being too crunchy (it's still a little crunchy if you touch the hair). It is non-sticky and dries down quickly to a natural-looking and flake-free finish. I have re-purchased the brow gel quite a few times already and I find that, when you open a new tube, the brush tends to pick up a little too much product, so wipe off the excess first before application to prevent the brows from looking “wet” and “bunched up”.
Mini Duo Brush #7
None of the products is waterproof so if you have bangs (like I do), they may rub off some of the product as the day goes on. If you have oily skin, it may loosen the product as well. To fix this, I usually apply a little bit of eye primer underneath and it seems to help extend the longevity a bit. Of the three, the Brow Wiz has the best staying power, followed by the Tinted Brow Gel, and the Brow Powder Duo, respectively.
My brow routine using Anastasia brow products
I outline/shape my brows starting from the bottom half and extend to the tail using Brow Wiz. Then I draw the top arch and connect the lines at the tail. Next, I fill in with the Brow Powder Duo — the lighter shade in the front, and the darker shade towards the tail using the Mini Duo Brush. I complete with the Tinted Brow Gel to hold hairs in place. I also groom the hairs during application of each step with a spoolie to blend the colors and soften the edges. Occasionally I also apply a concealer around the edges to clean up and add definition.
If you find black too harsh or unnatural-looking and brown too red/too warm, definitely check out Granite. I personally think it's the perfect shade for me and anyone who has dark or black hair. :) How do you do your brows? What's your favorite formula and shade?