Do brow products have to be expensive? That of course depends on your brow needs. I am of the opinion that brows is an area I can skimp on when it comes to my beauty expenses. My brows are pretty decent: a bit of filling in and some more definition is all they need to frame my face. No need to shape or reshape them (in my opinion), which is why I like to keep things simple and affordable. I decided to try some affordable options by Catrice and Essence.
What made me want to try these was because I am running out of my favorite brow pencil by Soap & Glory, which is not readily available where I live. At €3.99 for the brow powder and €2.59 for the brow gel, I figured this would be a very safe bet, even if it didn’t work out well. But let me tell you: these products are great. So great even, that one of the two products in this review, I’ve already repurchased.
Catrice Velvet Brow Powder
The brow powder is a pretty straightforward product. It comes in a pen like shape and has a spooly at the end. The spooly is nothing to write home about: it is too sparse and the bristles too spikey for it to be effective. Maybelline does a very similar product to this, but theirs has a pencil on the other end. I prefer that combo, but the shade of this is a million times better than the Maybelline.
The product is applied by using a sponge tip applicator. This does not make for a very precise brow application, but for me that is not necessary. I do my brows before I do the rest of my make up, which makes it easy if you get messy: you simply wipe it away. The sponge picks up product every time you twist the cap back on. This means there isn’t a whole lot of product in this, but at such an affordable price point, that really is not such a big issue.
Essence Make Me Brow brow gel
A good brow gel is a must have. Even if I don’t fill in my brows, I will always use one. My brow hairs are quite long and difficult to tame, so I like setting them in place with a little bit of this. Where some brow mascaras can make your brows feel wet and then crispy, with a shiny effect, this does not do that. It is a tinted brow gel with little fibers that should make your brows to look fuller.
The applicator is itty bitty which makes this product insanely easy to apply. It is quite wet at first, but it doesn’t dry crispy, yet keeps everything nicely in place. This does have a tendency to clump up a little bit in places, but I solved that by brushing my brows through with a spooly. Some say this is a dupe for the Benefit Gimme Brow, but I have never tried that product, so I can’t say anything about that.
You can see the brow powder on the left and the brow gel on the right. As you can see, the powder has a very cool, ashy undertone. That is a great feat, especially for a drugstore product, which have the tendency to run quite warm toned. Case in point: the brow gel. You can clearly see the difference in undertone between these two products. While more warm toned though, the brow gel still works well on my brows.
I don’t like my brows too neat. I want them to look natural, not stenciled on. And I think these products give that effect. The brow powder gives a filled in, but quite natural and soft look. The brow gel adds some definition to the hairs. This brings dimension to the overall brow look.
Can you guess which of these products I repurchased? It’s the brow powder! While I like the brow gel, I have other options that I still would like to try more than continuing to use this. But I can imagine myself repurchasing this for future use. The brow powder is the true gem here. I love the effect it gives and the color match is spot on.
Do you agree that brows can be affordable?