It doesn’t matter if your face is graced with thin, sparse arches or the full, bushy brows of Instagram dreams. Chances are an Allure editor probably has a brow shape similar to yours. We’ve spent hours and hours in front of tiny mirrors plucking our own (occasionally going overboard, we will admit) and sitting in the chairs of experts who thread, wax, and tint our arches. Some of us also can’t leave the house without filling in our brows, which means we’ ve tested all of the best brow products on the market.
To share the knowledge gained from all our in-office and real-life experimentation, we’ve rounded up our favorite, long-lasting products for filling in, thickening, brushing out, and holding our brows in place. Everything is accounted for — Powders, gels, pens, pomades, and pencils — plus the most genius tips and tricks we’ve learned from makeup artists (and each other) along the way on how to use our go-to tools.
Ready to find your new favorite brow product? Keep scrolling to see our picks from brands like Benefit, Hourglass, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and more.
• The Kosas Air Brow Tinted Clean Volumizing Eyebrow Gel is a light and airy gel that tames hairs while adding a bit of pigment to hide sparse areas. The formula is also pretty outstanding — it features castor oil to keep brows shiny and biotinoyl tripeptide-1 which helps make hairs stronger and healthier. For these reasons, we awarded it a 2021 Best of Beauty Award.
• The Thick it Stick it! Thickening Brow Gel Mascara by NYX Professional Makeup is way more than just a cute name. This product tints brows in its seven shades and makes them appear thicker, thanks to plant fibers in the formula.
• There’s no doubt that Benefit Cosmetics knows brows, which is why the brand scooped up two wins during this year’s 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards. One of the two wins is for the Gimme Brow Plus Volumizing Eyebrow Gel — a brow builder that deposits tiny fibers that mimic real hairs and fill in sparse brows. The tint comes in 10 shades so you can perfectly pair your brows with any hair color.
• You’ll find the Benefit Gimme Brow in the Limited-Edition Allure Best of Beauty Box. For just $65 (or $40 exclusively for Allure Beauty Box members), you’ll get beauty products worth $210 in value. Check out beauty’s top subscription box on TikTok at @allurebeautybox.
• Whether you consider yourself busy or lazy, Tarte’s Busy Gal Brows enhances, shapes, holds, and adds long-wearing color that gives off a natural look all in one swoop — with no stickiness, might we add. No wonder it won a 2018 Best of Beauty Award for best tinted gel.
• The One/Size by Patrick Starrr BrowKiki Nourishing Tinted Brow Gel holds a triple-fiber blend in the formula that consists of little hair-like fibers to mimic brow hairs. Plus, there’s coconut oil in it to smooth and keep hairs soft and moisturized .
• Milk Makeup has perfected the formula for textured, dark brows with its Kush Fiber Brow Gel. Without looking crunchy or dry, it coats brows with itty-bitty fibers that lengthen and volumize in shades that are never too warm or too cool.
• Former Allure editor Devon Abelman says Eyeko’s Brow Gel is her go-to on lazy days. “After blending my foundation to airbrushed perfection and drawing on graphic liner, I don’t have very much energy left to fill in my brows,” she says. “This tinted gel takes all of five seconds to sweep through arches, fill in any gaps, and keep them in place all day.”
• At first glance, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze Styling Wax looks like clear brow gel in a jar but, it’s so much more than that. This is an easy-to-apply wax that provides hairs with extreme hold all day long. Take it from Allure news editor Nicola Dall’asen: “I brush my hairs almost straight upward with this product and they stick. For hours,” she says.
• Maybelline New York’s Tattoo Studio Brow Lift Stick isn’t your typical brow product. This wax stick fills in sparse areas while the plastic spoolie (the lifter brush) blends it all out as you brush through the hairs.
• The Haus Laboratories The Edge Precision Brow glides across skin to fill in all of your pesky gaps and sculpt the sharpest arches for everyone that uses it. Not to mention, this product is available in 13 shades and is an Allure 2021 Best of Beauty winner — need we say more?
• Fenty Beauty’s MVP Ultra Fine Brow Pencil & Styler is available in 14 shades (extensive for the brow category). This formula is waterproof and smudge-proof so it’ll last all day, no problem. Plus, the built-in paddle brush combs, shapes, and blends the pigment all out for the best-looking brows every time.
• The best part about Makeup By Mario’s Master Blade Brow Pencil is that it’s extremely unlikely for you to snap the pencil’s pigment, thanks to its innovative packaging. It has an automatic slide-up feature that delivers the perfect amount of product to distribute to your brows. So when you’re done filling in your brow, just slide the pigment down so it’s ready for the next use.
• For only $3, the benefits of the E.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil is unmatched. The drugstore-savvy formula contains grapeseed oil to condition hairs and vitamin E to nourish both the hairs and the skin under them.
• Available in ten hues, the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer features an ultra-slim pencil tip (measuring in at a 0.5-millimeter tip). This precision allows users to recreate tiny, hair-like strokes to fill in sparse areas, all for under $10.
• There’s more than meets the eye with Uoma Beauty’s Brow-Fro Fro to Go. Sure, it’s got a triangle-shaped pencil at one end (which is great for filling in gaps), but it’s the added powder highlight shade encased in a sponge -tip applicator that makes it an all-time favorite for associate news editor Gabi Thorne.
• This innovative brow pencil combines all the best parts of a pencil, a powder, and a wax, so it’s no wonder the double-ended design took home a 2019 Best of Beauty Award. The triangular tip on the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil creates the illusion of fullness by adding dimension to individual hairs, smoothly concealing those pesky over-plucked areas for uniformly dense, defined brows.
• “At first I thought this ultrathin, retractable pencil was too skinny, but by my second use I recognized Anastasia Brow Wiz is genius,” says former Allure editor in chief Michelle Lee. “The tip is so fine that it mimics actual hairs. It’s the perfect shaper and filler, plus the spoolie brush strikes an effective balance between soft yet firm. It’s changed my brow game from Groucho to great if I do say so myself.”
• Associate beauty director Sarah Kinonen says she never leaves home without Sisley Paris’s Phyto-Sourcils Design 3-in-1 Eyebrow Pencil. “It’s that good. I particularly like it because it fills in any sparse gaps in my blonde brows without looking like I ‘ve completely colored them in,” she says. “The pencil also comes with a built-in highlighter for the inner corners of my eyes, which is a nice added touch.”
For spottier brows, Allure editors reach for the Stila All Day Waterproof Brow Color. The felt tip of this brow pen has the ease of a liquid liner so you can draw on fine, believable hairs in seconds. And once the hair-like lines are set, they won’t smudge no matter where your day takes you. Plus, the ink is packed with skin-soothing ingredients like honey, aloe, and chamomile extract.
We’ve all settled for brow products in shades that were close-but-not-quite-perfect. Well, those days are over with Sigma Beauty’s Color Shape Brow Powder Duo, which picked up a 2019 Best of Beauty Award. Each duo comes with two shades of soft-finish brow powder, allowing you to custom mix the perfect shade with full creative control. Consider it an invitation to unleash your inner artist.
• Selena Gomez knew what she was doing when she created her beauty brand Rare Beauty, but more specifically, the Brow Harmony Shape & Fill Duo. In each of the six shade palettes is a putty-like creamy pigment to keep hairs in place, and a powder to fill in sparse areas. You also get a two-in-one applicator. This features an angled brush for application and a spoolie to brush through hairs.
If you’ve yet to discover this game-changing conditioning serum, prepare to have your mind blown. The seven-time Best of Beauty Award winner — most recently in 2021 — boasts a potent, peptide-rich formula that strengthens and adds shine to hairs, banishing brittleness, and bulking up sparse areas that are suffering from environmental stressors or over-tweezing. But before you get overwhelmed by the price tag, just know that one editor credited Revitabrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner with saving her patchy brows.
Allure’s former director of editorial operations Amanda Meigher can’t get enough of Grande Cosmetics GrandeBrow. “Sure, it has somewhat outdated packaging, but my brow czar, Bob Scott, got both my mom and me hooked,” she says. “The formula is perfectly tinted and it includes a serum that grows your brows too.