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Tinted Brow Gel Woes

You might ask yourself: why aren't these type of posts just titled as comparisons? That's a fair question since comparisons are precisely what they are. When I say 'woe' I'm hoping to convey the angst one might suffer through to find the best suited product for them. Lots of time and money, literal trial and error goes into finding what we like the best right? Right.

Tinted Brow Gels www.modenmakeup.com
T - B: M.A.C Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set 'Quiet Brunette', Maybelline Brow Drama 'Deep Brown', L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper 'Medium/Dark' and Revlon Brow Fantasy 'Brunette'

Tinted brow gels are not a new product on the market but more affordable lines have been producing them than ever before. My initial hypothesis was that all this is is mascara for your eyebrows; they're all the same thing so just get the cheapest one. Errrr no so much. There are a few things to consider when selecting the one that would best suit you: do you have brow hairs naturally or do you have to create your brow? Do the majority of your brow hairs grow in the 'right' direction or do they run wild like Stanford Prince? Do you require the additional help of fibres to fill in sparse areas or are your brows naturally full? Will you be using the gel independently or just to 'set' the work you've previously done with a brow pencil or pomade? Yeah all that.

Fuh my one part I like to use tinted brow gels on their own. I don't have to create a brow and in between waxes I do need a bit of hold to keep longer hairs from flying all over. Of course I could just trim them but I ain't even playin wid dat.

Most Expensive - M.A.C Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set. $17USD/$54BDS DP for 5 g / 0.17 US oz.

From their website: "A non-greasy formula with a small precision brush that softly sets hairs. A brush-on gel that grooms and defines brows into shape while naturally shading them to create subtle or dramatic looks. The non-greasy formula softly sets hairs, providing a healthy-looking sheen in six new hues to match any hair colour – from deep ebony to shimmering soft gold-brown. Small Christmas tree-like brush applies the gel with total precision.

Key Claims and Benefits
  • Waterproof
  • Long-wearing, 8 hours
  • Flake-proof and smudge-proof
  • Non-clumping
  • Sweat- and humidity-resistant
  • Ophthalmologist tested
Usage

Apply to brows by combing through hairs with brush applicator
".

Available in six shades as stated. I have 'Quiet Brunette' which is described as a "muted mid-tone grey". Now that I see that description I should have gotten 'Bold Brunette' which is a "muted blackish brown" but alas...

The only issue I have with this is the price. The wrong shade was recommended to me and I honestly thought nothing of it until I saw how ashy my brows looked in photos taken with flash at night. The 'Small Christmas tree-like brush' is the perfect size for distributing product without worrying about it getting all over your eyelid and forehead. The pigment is opaque enough to fill and define the brows without looking overdone...well, of course once yuh don't over do it. I can't speak to the eight hour claims but the product does keep my brows in place and the pigment is not broken down by sweat. Of the products mentioned M.A.C also offers the widest shade range.

Ingredients: ISODODECANE, AQUA\WATER\EAU, TRISILOXANE, SORBITAN OLIVATE, PTFE, DIMETHICONE SILYLATE, SORBITAN TRISTEARATE, POLYISOBUTENE, PANTETHINE, PANTHENOL, KAOLIN, CHOLESTEROL,  METHICONE, DIISOPROPYL ADIPATE, TRIHYDROXYSTEARIN, COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX\CERA CARNAUBA\CIRE DE CARNAUBA, MICROCRYSTALLINE WAX\CERA MICROCRISTALLINA\CIRE MICROCRISTALLINE, SILICA, SILICA SILYLATE, NYLON-6, HECTORITE, PROPYLENE CARBONATE, TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE, QUATERNIUM-90 BENTONITE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, MAGNESIUM SALICYLATE [+/- MICA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), IRON OXIDES (CI 77491), IRON OXIDES (CI 77492), IRON OXIDES (CI 77499), BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE (CI 77163), BLUE 1 LAKE (CI 42090), CARMINE (CI 75470), CHROMIUM HYDROXIDE GREEN (CI 77289), CHROMIUM OXIDE GREENS (CI 77288), FERRIC AMMONIUM FERROCYANIDE (CI 77510), FERRIC FERROCYANIDE (CI 77510), MANGANESE VIOLET (CI 77742), ULTRAMARINES (CI 77007), YELLOW 5 LAKE (CI 19140)]

Least expensive - Maybelline EyeStudio Brow Drama. $16.35BDS for 0.23 fl. oz. / 7 ml

From their website: "The bolder brow. It's easy now! Sculpts and tints brows in one easy step.

Why You'll Love It

Eye Studio Brow Drama from Maybelline New York. Our first brow mascara to take brows dramatically bold and sculpted in two easy steps! Only with our tinted Sculpting Gel + Sculpting Ball Brush. Provides a natural and even colored finish.Zero clumps! Comfortable to wear.

For Best Results

Brush onto eyebrows in light upwards strokes.
Follow along brow contour.
For a more dramatic look, use darker tint
".

Available in three shades of which I have the darkest '260 Deep Brown'.

Sweet price. More product than the M.A.C version. Nice colour. So far so good. Then we get to this 'Sculpting Ball'...I don't know what they were thinking. If you don't have full brows just walk away. I have to take my time and work with this wand lest I get the product all over the place.

Ingredients: AQUA / WATER / EAU, STYRENE/ACRYLATES/AMMONIUM METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER, ALCOHOL DENAT., BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ACRYLAMIDE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE COPOLYMER, ISOHEXADECANE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE / AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE, NYLON-12, POLYSORBATE 80, STEARETH-20, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, SORBITAN OLEATE, DISODIUM EDTA, PANTHENOL, TETRASODIUM EDTA, POTASSIUM SORBATE SILICA [+/- MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR, MICA, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES, CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE, CI 77007 / ULTRAMARINES, CI 75470 / CARMINE, CI 77742 / MANGANESE VIOLET, CI 77510 / FERRIC FERROCYANIDE]

Tinted Brow Gel applicators www.modenmakeup.com
The Maybelline wand is the second from the right

Best Brow Filler - L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper / Brow Stylist Plumper. $38BDS/$19.30BDS (respectively) 0.27 oz / 7 ml 

L'Oreal Says: "Fiber-infused gel formula enhances brows. Fills in hair for even texture. Adds a natural-looking tint.

The Art of Brow made easy. In one stroke, subtle brows go more intense. Tint, plump and set with the precision mini-brush. The fiber-infused brow gel adheres to even the finest hairs, leaving them fuller and more defined. Also available in Transparent shade.

How to use:

1. Start with clean brows.
2. Apply in short upward strokes following your brow shape and comb through to blend and plump brows
".

Available in two colour shades, again I have the darker option 'Medium/Dark'. The difference in the product name is based on where you get it. Cave Shepherd gets 'Travel Retail' stock so you'll see product labelled as you would in International Airport Departure Lounges. Collins gets US Domestic Stock so what you'll sometimes see is a different name, shade options and certainly a cheaper price. As we've shared numerous times with you on our Instagram account, Collins is the local distributor for a lot US drugstore brands so they'll almost always have a cheaper price than iMart, Massy Stores, Paradise Beauty Supply etc.

L'Oreal got it right with the brush shape: it's very similar to the M.A.C one except the L'Oreal wand is longer and the actual applicator is less densely packed. I hope you can see in the photo above that their 'Christmas tree looking brush' (second from left) is more spiral in nature than the M.A.C version. How this formula shines is with the addition of fibres. If you already have brow hairs and are just looking to define your existing shape this is the product for you. I've found that this is all I need after a fresh wax. I did notice though that when I'm due for an eyebrow trim this formula doesn't have enough power to hold those longer hairs in place.

Light to Medium Shade and Medium to Dark Shade Ingredients: AQUA / WATER / EAU, STYRENE/ACRYLATES/AMMONIUM METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER, ALCOHOL DENAT., BUTYLENE GLYCOL, ACRYLAMIDE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE COPOLYMER, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ISOHEXADECANE, AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE / AMMONIUM POLYACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE, RAYON, NYLON-12, STEARETH-20, POLYSORBATE 80, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, DISODIUM EDTA, PANTHENOL, TETRASODIUM EDTA, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SILICA.

L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper www.modenmakeup.com
As seen in Collins

Tinted Brow Gel applicators www.modenmakeup.com
T - B: M.A.C Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set, Maybelline Brow Drama, L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper and Revlon Brow Fantasy

Best Concept - Revlon Brow Fantasy. $22BDS (Cave Shepherd) Pencil - 0.011 oz. / 0.31 g. Gel - 0.04 fl. oz. / 1.18 ml

From Revlon: "Your best brows made beautifully simple. The pencil defines and fills in with soft, blendable, natural color. Our sheer tinted gel styles, shades, and sets. Brows have never looked better. Features: • Pencil defines and fills • Sheer tinted gel styles, shapes, and sets"

From Ulta: "Brow Fantasy defines, colors, and sets your eyebrows in 2 easy steps. Use the Defining Pencil to fill in your brows, then follow by brushing on the sheer tint gel to shape and set your brows. Fragrance free. Ophthalmologist and consumer tested. Suitable for contact lens wearers. How to Use:First, pencil in brow color with short, light strokes following the natural direction of brow hair growth. Next, brush sheer-tint gel through brows and let set. Remove with any Revlon Eye Makeup Remover. Keep pencil point sharp with Revlon Universal Points Sharpener".

Available in four shades. I have the second darkest which is 'Brunette'. Again, this shade a grey undertone which looks ashy in flash photos taken at night. This effect could be due to user error though. Maybe I apply too much.

Revlon Brow Fantasy www.modenmakeup.com
As seen in Paradise Beauty Supply
Old formula and packaging (left) vs. new.

This product was made YouTube famous by MakeupbyTiffanyD. She loved it for the two-in-one functionality. Brow Fantasy was on the market for a long time; it probably was one of the first brow gels available at a cheaper price. While it has to be commended for the idea it falls down in practicality. There's a strong possibility that you will finish one end before the other. Also, if you're just buying for the gel there isn't much product.

You can see in the preceding photo that the Revlon applicator is the longest. It has a similar density to the M.A.C one but due to the shape more product is in contact with the brow than any of the others. Although, upon application in photos, it appears to me to have an ashy undertone it looks to be the warmest shade in the swatch photos below.

Tinted Brow Gel swatches www.modenmakeup.com
L - R: M.A.C Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set 'Quiet Brunette', Maybelline Brow Drama 'Deep Brown', L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper 'Medium/Dark' and Revlon Brow Fantasy 'Brunette'
Outside. No flash.

Tinted Brow Gel swatches www.modenmakeup.com
L - R: M.A.C Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set 'Quiet Brunette', Maybelline Brow Drama 'Deep Brown', L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper 'Medium/Dark' and Revlon Brow Fantasy 'Brunette'
Indoors. Flash.

Ingredients - Gel Contains: Isododecane, Trisiloxane, Silica, Paraffin, Polysilicone-6, Dimethicone, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Trihydroxystearin, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Capryl Glycol, 1, 2-Hexanediol. May Contain: Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, 77492, 77499), Titanium Dioxide (CI77891).

Ingredients as listed on Ulta's siteGel Contains: Isododecane, Dimethicone, Talc, Cyclopentasiloxane, Silica, Polysilicone-6, Paraffin, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, PPG-12/SMDI Copolymer, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Trihydroxystearin, Propylene Carbonate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Dehydroacetic Acid, Sorbic Acid. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.

Over the years the packaging of the Brow Fantasy has changed and apparently the formula as well. Most noteable is the new inclusion of talc. Looking at all the ingredients lists, Maybelline and L'Oreal have the most similar formulas - L'Oreal owns Maybelline if you didn't know - while M.A.C's version has the most waxes/ slip agents.

Something else that's evident from these photos is how much product each applicator dispenses. The M.A.C and Revlon give the most product payoff 'per dip'. That's something else to consider especially if you're relying on colour to fill your brows vs. just needing a gel to sculpt and hold them.

I hope this post has shared enough information to assist your decision making. The only one of these that I would repurchase is the L'Oreal product...but this time from Collins.

And yes, a transparent brow gel comparison is in the works.

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