The Best Budge-Proof Brow Buys

Brows are massive business in the beauty world – which explains why there are hundreds of products out there promising to shape, define and enhance your arches. But not all live up to the hype – from pencils to waxes, gels to pens and everything in between, here are six which get our vote.
All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

The Pencil: Charlotte Tilbury Brow Cheat, £22

Why We Love It: New from Charlotte Tilbury, this has a fine nib ideal for emulating hair-like strokes, while adding long-lasting density and discreet shape. It has a waxy quality, too, that really goes the distance – be sure you apply it lightly and focus on the sparsest areas first to prevent your brows from looking overdrawn. Smudge-proof, waterproof and sweat resistant, it sets fast, but emollients like carnauba wax keep it creamy, so you have time to play with it and get the results you want. Bonus points go to the added vitamin E, which works to nourish wayward hairs.

How To Use: Start by brushing your brows into your preferred shape – this will allow you to see where the uneven areas are which need filling in. Once you’ve done that, use deft, upward strokes with the pencil to better define the shape. Focus on the sparsest areas first to prevent your arches from looking overdrawn. Use feather-like strokes in the direction of your hair growth, towards the tail of your brows. Then fill in the gaps or anywhere else you feel needs it most. 

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The Powder: Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake, £18

Why We Love It: Available in a huge selection of shades, these brow powders were designed with every skin tone and hair colour in mind. The formula is easy to work with, too, thanks to its sheer texture that quickly adds shape and definition without looking too heavy. You can use it dry, but also wet if you want to add to the colour intensity and extend the life of your look, too. As with all the products on this list, keep your application light – you can always go back over things if needed. 

How To Use: If you want a softer – but longer-lasting – look, make brow powders your go-to. Use a small, angled brush to apply this – it will lend better colour, while also helping to evenly distribute product throughout your brows. Try to use brushes with stiff bristles to ensure application is precise and seamless. Once you’ve coated your brush, dab it on the back of your hand to tap off excess, then sweep it through your brows in the direction of your hair growth. Use a light-handed approach and comb back through with a clean spoolie to soften everything up. 

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The Gel: Morphe 2 Brow Crush Tinted Gel, £7

Why We Love It: We’re big fans of this bushy brow gel at SheerLuxe. With a small brush head, it lets you build bulk and density to mimic the appearance of thicker brows. A must-try for those who love the ‘boy brow’ effect, just be sure to wipe the wand against the tube to take off any excess product to avoid despositing too much at once.

How To Use: Easy to use, this always delivers great results. Remember to take off any excess first, then use small, light-handed strokes to softly backcomb your brows. Brush against the natural hair-growth direction so it wraps around each brow hair for a fuller, fluffier look. Then take the brush back the other way to smooth everything out. 

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The Pen: Urban Decay Brow Blade, £14.40 (was £18)

Why We Love It: This product’s been dubbed as microblading’s make-up equivalent, and we can see why. Not only does it deliver razor-sharp precision, it also adds extra depth and dimension, creating the illusion of fullness with zero smudges in sight. The slimness of the two tips makes it easy to use, too. Start with the pencil to fill in any sparseness, then follow up with the inky end to build up colour in light strokes. You’ll find the effect stays put all day long, too, without flaking or going crispy 

How To Use: Use this pen to extend the shape of your brows and to create realistic, hair-like strokes. Find a starting point where your brows are sparser, then use short dash-like strokes to mimic the look of your natural hairs. The formula is quite wet, so it’s easy to work with and very forgiving if you make a mistake. Use a powder on top for further definition if you like. 

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The Cream: XX Revolution FleeXX Brow Pomade, £8

Why We Love It: This brow pomade ticks all the boxes, but best of all, it’s affordable. Rich, creamy and easy to apply, it’s a great way to sculpt and shape your brows for a more intense finish. Plus, it comes with a handy brush to make application even more seamless. Once you’ve applied it, you’ll find it sets quickly and goes the distance – this won’t smudge or flake come 4pm – impressive given the £8 price tag. 

How To Use: Creamy and easy to blend, this Brow Pomade is brilliant for creating hair-like strokes. Dip an angled brush into the formula – you want one with short, stiff bristles – then brush the colour on with light, short motions. Always start at the centre of your brow, then gradually work outwards to complete the shape. 

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