5 Best eyebrow gel makeup tips: best budget eyebrow gels 2023. Eyebrows gels are a unique product that can groom your brows with a natural or dramatic touch, depending on what look you want. Taming and polishing the brows is important because they frame your face’s focal point: the eyes. If you want your eyes to pop, eyebrow gels are the perfect addition to your beauty routine.
If you have a quality eyebrow gel, you can shape, smooth, and polish your way to brighter eyes. It is applied in quick, hair-like strokes upward in the direction of growth, then downward, following the tail of the eyebrow. Different formulas are available for those with thinning brows, and for different hair colors. Brow gels help you avoid fly-away brow hairs or crushed-by-pillow morning brows.
With the explosion of newly available eyebrow products, including gels, powders, and cremes, it is more confusing than ever to find the right one. This review covers gel-based formulations, but we also outline pencils and powders to help you choose the right one for you.
What is the difference between eyebrow gel, pencil, and powder?
One of the main functions of brow gel is to keep your brow hairs in a neat, natural arch. Eyebrow gel adds a look of smoothness to your brows.
Eyebrow pencils can be difficult to use and can look unnatural and crayon-like if you don’t yet have the knack for applying them. (Even then, it takes a steady but light hand.)
Powders offer soft pigment and are in between gels and pencils as far as ease of use.
Gels do double duty, filling in where hairs are sparse while taming unruly hairs, and are a wise choice for those who lack the confidence or skill of filling in with a pencil. Brow gel is also a smart alternative to brow powder because it glides on smoothly along the brow, and, whether you are using clear or tinted gel, slip-ups are less likely to happen than with a pigmented powder and brush. Eyebrow gels are perfect for layering, and you can use them in addition to pencil or powder for adding extra smoothness, refinement, and dimension.
There are several different types of eyebrow gels. Each one has slightly different characteristics, mainly in texture, that differentiate it from its competitors. With any formula you choose, it is vital the product doesn’t flake or crust.
Gel: Pure gel acts similarly to hair gel — it glides hairs into place and sets them for the day. The best gels offer some flexibility and are never stiff or sticky. Many people feel that simple gels are the easiest to use and the most beginner-friendly.
Cream-gel: A cream-gel variation will offer a slightly more moisturizing, smooth, creamy consistency. If you have dry skin and flaking around the eyebrows, a cream-gel formula may be your best bet. Because this brow gel has a creamy element, some users find it more difficult to put on or smudge while applying. There may be a longer drying time.
- Fiber gel: These unique formulations are the most advanced, using fiber technology. Fibers embedded in the gel latch onto your eyebrows, building volume and adding dimension. If your brows are thin or sparse and you want full coverage, a fiber gel is the way to go.
Many eyebrow gels come in a clear formula. This is a fool-proof choice if you’re first starting to use a brow gel product. It is natural and understated, and mistakes are virtually unnoticeable. Clear gels are also the right choice for full, even brows that you only need to keep in place. They will also work well if you like to use a brow pencil or brow powder to fill your brows in, and simply want to make sure the color and hair are set.
Tinted brow gels are available in a variety of shades. Some products offer only two basic tints, light and dark, while others offer up to eight different shades. If you don’t know which shade to choose, try matching your hair color. If still unsure or you are overwhelmed by the color options, simply choose a universal tone that is warm or cool, depending on your hair color.
Tinted gels are the best choice if you desire a simple routine and want to use only one product to fill in sparse or uneven brows. If a fill-in color is needed, a tinted gel does two jobs in one, offering both a more balanced look to your brows and setting them in place.
If you are frustrated by mascara that runs or lipstick that kisses off, you might be concerned that your eyebrow gel could transfer to a friend you are greeting, or worse, to their clothing. Most eyebrow gels will detail in the packaging if they are waterproof, and many boast that they are “non-transferrable.” If this is at the top of your list of concerns, double-check to be sure the formula you purchase specifically addresses this.
Eyebrow gels come with different types of applicators. A common type is the “spoolie”, a mascara-like wand that allows the user to deposit just the right amount of gel by stroking the tip against the opening of the container. It is an ideal choice for clear gel, making smooth strokes a breeze. Tinted gel applied with a spoolie may take a little practice, but will do the trick.
Other products feature a miniature spoolie. These are designed to reach into small corners without product spilling over to unwanted areas.
A “spoon brush” is another type of applicator that assures precision application.
Some brow gel applicators are sponges and look like lip gloss wands. These are best used with mousse-like textured gel and are not recommended for beginners, as application can be difficult.
5 Best eyebrow gel makeup tips: best budget eyebrow gels 2023
Brow gel formulas are proprietary, but generally, you will find they contain moisturizers and humectants like glycerin and panthenol, and moisturizers like sodium hyaluronate. Naturally derived oils, like hemp-derived cannabis oil, or chamomilla recutita are natural, feel-good ingredients. Tinted versions often include mineral-based ingredients like mica and iron oxides.
Did you know?
Many brow gels stop short of being completely vegan because of their use of beeswax or honey.
5 Best eyebrow gel tips: best budget eyebrow gels 2023
Eyebrow gel prices
Eyebrow gel prices range from a mere $12 all the way to $50.
Most commonly, however, quality eyebrow gels can be found in the $22 to $28 ballpark. If the packaging is important to you or makes you feel a bit more special, paying for the products with extra cool packaging, which are in vogue right now, is worthwhile.
Eyebrow gel newbies may not know how to apply the product to get the best coverage with the least amount of product on the brush. Here is a basic lesson:
Swipe the brush across brows in quick, upward strokes in the direction of hair growth as the brow goes up. Remember to use a light hand — you can always go back over and build coverage.
With a tinted gel, lightly sketch hair-like strokes where needed, and follow your brow shape down the tail to the end.
Avoid using one thick layer. Start small and build — you’ll be surprised how little product you need per application.
Don’t be afraid to gently “saw” the applicator back and forth in each area with a light touch; doing so will help distribute the gel evenly on the front and back of the hair and encourage adherence of the gel to your skin — not just hair.
Move the wand around a little bit with each dip into the container to smooth out the consistency of gel that may have been sitting for a while.
Using both a regular mirror and a close-up mirror is helpful, and keep comparing the two views as you work.
Fill in the barest or most uneven areas first, then go back over the other part of the brow. This deposits the gel on the place you need it the most and thins out the amount you have left on your brush so both parts of the brow are even.
Q. Could the ingredients in eyebrow gel damage my brow hair?
A. Many eyebrow gels contain humectants that actually condition the hair. However, if your brows are especially fragile, avoid eyebrow gels that contain PEG-polyethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, or fragrance.
Q. Do I need eyebrow gel if I already use a brow pencil?
A. While brow pencils are fabulous for filling in color and balancing brows, a pencil alone will not keep your brown slicked in the right direction. Adding eyebrow gel over the pencil will secure the color and make it less transferable. If you are concerned the look will be too heavy, choose a clear eyebrow gel. If you want a more dramatic look, choose a tinted gel formula.
Q. One of my eyebrows is fuller than the other. How can I balance them out using eyebrow gel?
A. Many people’s eyebrows are not perfectly symmetrical. Brow gel offers an easy way to balance out your look. You may have a mini cowlick on one of their brows, and if so the hold of a good eyebrow gel will keep the cowlick at bay. If one of your arches is a bit higher than the other, a tinted gel is a subtle way to adjust that without spending too much time, energy, or skill.