Showing posts with label brows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brows. Show all posts

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Granite

A few months ago I found myself in the awkward position of having changed my hair colour to a cerise pink with purple undertones, which looks red in some lights, pink in others, and purple sometimes too.  Suddenly, my favourite rose pink lipliner, which was a perfect brow match for my previous hair colour, was all wrong.  Naturally, since I was visiting the US, I went to Sephora and asked for help choosing a new brow colour which didn't match my hair, but was cool toned enough to be a good match.  The makeup artist pointed me towards Anastasia's Brow Wiz and I've been hooked ever since.

Brow Wiz is a dual-ended product, one end containing a very, very fine pencil, and one end containing a mascara spoolie style eyebrow brush.  The pencil end is fine enough, soft enough, and pigmented enough that it easily fills in and shapes brows for a defined look, even where brows are a bit patchy.  After application, you can use the brush to soften the pencil and to tidy up any misaligned hairs.

It doesn't offer anything by way of taming - if your brows are unruly, this product alone won't tame them - it just offers natural looking colour for perfectly defined brows.  It also comes in an impressive range of shades - nine of them to be exact - meaning that you can get a good match regardless of your hair colour and skin tone.  Granite is suggested for those with very dark hair with cool, ashy tones, and despite my hair being bright not dark, it contrasts well, with the coolness of the shade making for a complimentary match.

At £15.50, Brow Wiz is more expensive than high street brow pencils, but worth it if you struggle to find a shade to match, or if you're looking for the most natural way to fill in gaps.  Find it at BeautyBay.

Disclosure:  Bought by me.  I actually bought two, that's how impressed I was.  I'll be buying them in twos from now on.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Revolutionary: Using Lipliner for Coloured, Defined Brows

A little while ago, I went to an event.  As I sat down on a makeup artist's chair, she said:

"Oh, let me just touch up your brows a little"

I panicked.

"You're not going to fill them in with brown eyebrow pencil are you?"

said I, quaking in my pink hair, terrified of weird non-matching brown eyebrows.

"Of course not, I'm going to use pink lip liner.  You'll get a good shade match and it'll hold better than eyeshadow."

said she.  And thus, my eyebrow routine was changed forever and I embarked upon a quest to find the perfect pink lip liner to use on my brows.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Too Faced Instant Attitude Brow Highlighting Pencil

This chunky Too Faced crayon is called Instant Attitude Brow Lift, and it's designed to highlight the browbone.  Unlike many other brow highlighting products I've tried, this one contains no shimmer whatsoever - it's a light, creamy matte shade which has a sculpting action when applied under the brow on the browbone.

It's a simple product, but it's a good one.  The effect is subtle and brightening, adding definition to the eye area without sparkle, which is a welcome change.  It can also be used anywhere else you want some subtle lift - I like using it on the cupid's bow (the v bit on your top lip).

At £19 it's more expensive than Benefit's £15.50 High Brow, which is a similar matte product, albeit a pale pink one rather than a bone/cream.  The shade is certainly good for those of us with paler complexions, but I can't really imagine how this'd work on deeper skintones - it does sheer out well when blended, but it still has a fairly strong colour which might be too much of a contrast on darker skins.

Find it now at BeautyBay.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Quick Pick: Benefit Gimme Brow

Benefit Gimme Brow is a bit of a classic, and it's recently been reformulated and repackaged, with a new, smaller tapered brush and even more brow building, hold giving goodness.  There are still two shades available - a lighter ashy brown, and a deeper brown with a neutral base.  Given that neither are the right colour for me, I borrowed my sister-in-law's brows to show you a before and after.  Emma has great test brows for this sort of product - her brows are a little patchy, a bit curly, and very unruly.  Let the before and after begin!

Left: no Gimme Brow; right: Gimme Brow
I used the darker shade as Emma's dark brown hair and brows were a better match for it than the lighter ashy shade (which my Mum immediately stole, pronouncing it excellent for aging ladies with sparse brows).  I applied it using sweeping strokes going upwards from the thickest part of the brow, drawing it lightly along the length of the brow, paying particular attention to the middle part of Emma's brows, which had a new patches.

Her brows look much tidier in the after photo, and the area just before her brow tapers off looks more even.  I love that the brow area looks clean and well defined but also totally natural - neither Emma nor I are fans of the super-defined and blocky HD brows look, and Gimme Brow gives you enough definition whilst still looking like a natural brow.

Gimme Brow is available now from Benefit counters and stores, and online at the Benefit website, where it costs £17.50 - not cheap by any means, but definitely worth the cash if your brows need natural looking hold and colour.  Also, during the month of March, you can get a complimentary brow shape at Benefit counters in Debenhams stores in celebration of Brow Arch March, which aims to raise money for Look Good Feel Better.  Simply donate and then head in store for your free brow shape, safe in the knowledge you're helping women suffering from cancer to Look Good Feel Better.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Review: By Terry Eyebrow Mascara in Sheer Auburn

I'm always complaining that there aren't enough eyebrow products for redheads.  I recently complained within earshot of the lovely lady who does the PR for By Terry, and she immediately offered to send me their Sheer Auburn Eyebrow Mascara, which, she promised, would be red enough to suit my hair.

When I swatched it, I scoffed a little.  It's brown, thought I.  Brown with a little bit of red.  Not red enough for me.

By Terry Eyebrow Mascara on left eye
But actually, it's got a fairly strong red undertone, and whilst it's not quite as close a match for my bright red hair as the Illamasqua eyebrow powder I usually use (shown below), it's not bad at all.  It's a more natural, neutral, less shouty red brow, and I can see it working for those with darker or more auburn toned reds really well.

Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Stark
Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Stark + By Terry Eyebrow Mascara in Sheer Auburn
However... the two products layered together gives me my perfect brow.  The Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake adds the brightness, and the By Terry Eyebrow Mascara tones it down and fixes the brows firmly in place.

All in all, then, I'm somewhat split on this one.  The format is lovely, although I do wish the brush were a little smaller, as even on my thick brows I have sometimes accidentally transferred it to my browbone.  The texture of the gel is excellent - it dries quickly, fixing the brows in place, but doesn't feel crispy or stiff.  The pigmentation is great - sheer but buildable.  But for me, it's not something I'll use alone, which doesn't make it an essential.  Oh, and it also costs a whopping £26 - far too much for a tiny tube of eyebrow gel.

If you're a big By Terry fan, or you have auburn hair and struggle to find a good red brown brow product which fixes your brows in place, it's worth a try - but at that price, I'd definitely recommend trying in-store at Space NK before you part with your cash.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Review: Eyebrow Shape at Shavata

A few weeks ago I went down to Shavata's new Brow Studio in Knightsbridge, where the lady who brought threading to the UK has set up shop alone, expanding from her concession in Harrods.  Most of her customers have simply moved with her, she tells me, and given the state of my brows when I left, I can understand why.

First off - the photo above is a computer rendering, not a photo, as Shavata hasn't yet had professional photos taken, the new studio being only a month old.  Inside, it does look similar to the rendering above, but not exactly the same - the colours aren't quite so striking, and there aren't quite as many embellishments and illustrations on the walls.  There are, however, plenty of eyebrow related quotes - my favourite is "eyebrows are sisters, not twins".  Very true.  Rather strangely for an upmarket beauty salon, the music played was all courtesy of a London radio station, traffic news and all.

Anyway, on to my brows.

This is a photo I took for a mascara review a few weeks ago.  My brows are growing in a bit, a little untidy, but not too bad.  Or so I thought.

This is a photo I took for another mascara review shortly after my Shavata brow shape.  Much, much better eh?  The brows are completely clean with no straggly hairs, and whilst the overall thickness has been maintained, my brows are a lot less heavy towards the inner corner of my eye.  I like, very very much.

Unfortunately the process of getting them into this shape wasn't quite so enjoyable.  One of Shavata's specially trained staff spent a short while trying to convince me to tint my brows dark brown (which I found strange, given that I walked in with my brows coloured auburn as they always are), and then moved on to discussing the shape when I refused a tint.  After agreeing to keep the thickness but generally tidy and streamline, she whipped out her cotton and began threading.

It was agony.  AGONY I tell you.

She told me repeatedly that it hurts more the first time, but I've had my eyebrows threaded regularly for quite some time now, and I've never experienced such a painful treatment.  The cotton broke several times, such was the force of it, and my eyebrows were red and angry afterwards.  And I actually cried out a couple of times - granted, I am an absolute wuss when it comes to eyebrow threading, but it was much, MUCH more painful than usual.

So, overall impression?  Incredibly good eyebrow shape, but at the cost of a fair bit of cash (£25) and a fair bit of pain.  Worth it for the results, but I think I'll go back to my usual place for maintenance of my new shape.  

Disclosure: Treatment provided free of charge for review.  

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A little KIKO haul

My closest friend lives in Stratford, which means I often end up doing the odd tour of Westfield shopping centre on my way to or from the station there. The other day I wandered into the KIKO store and decided to treat myself to a few bits. (Here are said bits.)

Firstly, a single powder eyeshadow with a super-interesting pseudo-liquid texture and a surface design that makes it look like it's been swatched by a giant's thumb. Its official name is "Water Eyeshadow". This stuff is made out of very slippery particles - must be some kind of silicone. It's a cool taupe with a dark base. The finish is lovely - richly pigmented, pearly and multi-faceted. It cost £8.90. I can't help putting my thumb on it.

Secondly, an Eyebrow Marker (great descriptive product name). This was a bit of a gamble as basically all eyebrow colours, whether they're liquid, powder, pencil or anything else, tend to look reddish on my skin. This one is pretty good - it's a greyish, cool light brown. The payoff is very very light, meaning that there's little danger of terrible Sharpie-marker eyebrows. You can wear it very subtly. It cost £5.90.

Finally, a liquid eyeliner (Super Colour Eyeliner). It's a black base with bottle green shimmer. The formula is polymer-based (i.e. it flakes or peels off, rather than smudging). It's a bit on the thin side, and doesn't produce an opaque line on the lid. This was on sale for around £4, but its full price is £6.90.

Swatches. Are you feeling that taupe?

Assembled together on face:

I'm really happy with these, especially the brow marker. KIKO is one of those wildcard brands - I never know whereabouts on the mass-to-prestige spectrum it's supposed to sit, although the packaging and the quality I feel are quite similar to MAC. Not that I've bought any MAC in quite a long time. But then it sells nail polish for just £2.50, suggesting it's a bit more drugstore.

In the UK its distribution is too small for it really to have an established market niche. There are 2 KIKO stores that I know of in London, one in each branch of the Westfield shopping centre (Stratford and White City). I don't know where it sits in its native Italy in terms of price point.

What's your take on KIKO, if you've tried it?

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Love: Illamasqua Eyebrow Cake in Stark

This is my new best friend for brows.  Illamasqua Brow Cake is a product Sarah has long raved about thanks to the Motto shade being the perfect cool toned ashy taupe with not a hint of red - pretty much the exact opposite of what I need when it comes to a brow colour.  I'm not quite sure why I never investigated Illamasqua for brow shades before - perhaps because I've become used to having to use eyeshadow to get the reddish tone I need after failing to find a brow product that wasn't too brown.

Anyway, I'm really glad that Stark found its way into my basket during a recent online order.  It's the perfect eyebrow shade for me - it's red enough, not too red, with enough of a brownish base that it doesn't look clownish when applied.  I LOVE IT.

Granted, I could get this effect by using my eyeshadow shade combo, but having the one compact is easier to transport, quicker to apply and quite frankly less risky in the morning - my eyeshadow adventures have led to me leaving the house with extremely red brows (or worse, mismatching ones) a few times.

I've been using this stuff dry with a reasonably firm angled brush, but you can also dampen your brush and use it wet - which obviously gives you a much more strong, defined brow effect.  I like mine a little softer, so I'll continue to use it in powder form.

If you're in need of a very red brow powder, I'd highly recommend this one.  Find it at Illamasqua, where it'll cost you £14.50.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

A brief note on brows

I see this sight in the mirror every morning when I'm halfway through my makeup, and it never fails to remind me of the Power of the Brow:

Left: brow filled in with powder. Right: ungroomed puny brow exposed to world.

I never used to fill in my brows, finding that every pencil I tried was either pitch black or created terrifying ginger eyebrows due to red undertones. I wandered around with both brows looking like the sad example on the right up there.

Then I had a brow epiphany when my mum gave me some makeup she'd bought and then decided against. (My mum has never worn makeup - go figure.) There was a grey-ish brown shade in her rejected stash that turned out to be my ideal brow colour. Nowadays I've found some alternatives, and Illamasqua's Motto is the one I always recommend for those who find everything else too red.

Do you fill in your brows? Powder or pencil? Did you have a eureka moment, or have you always filled in your arches? Tell us in the comments.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Shavata for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

This silvery black-and-white collection from brow maestro Shavata Singh is a real departure from the usual pink-themed breast cancer charity tie-in products.

It's been developed to support Breakthrough Breast Cancer, a charity which funds research into the the causes of breast cancer, and also works to get early detection, precise diagnosis and improved treatments for the illness. These products carry a 30% donation to Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

There are two versions of  the tweezers, which cost a very reasonable £9.95, and given that they're from Shavata should be top quality. Both have a tiny target at the top with the campaign name around the edge.

The compact (£12.95) is what's really calling to me. I love the 1960s mod feel the target creates, and the smooth silvery surfaces. The dinky clasp is also really cute.
The Shavata Fashion Targets Breast Cancer range is available in Shavata Brow Studios in Harrods, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Debenhams stores nationwide and online at

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Quick Pick: Veet High Precision Facial Wax

Fact: I have a very short attention span.  I get bored with plucking my eyebrows past removing the obviously dark blonde / light brown hairs which make them look messy, and I can barely be bothered to remove those fine, light hairs which don't really mess with the overall shape, but rather stop the brow from looking super sharp.  So, I decided that I would have a go at this new Veet Facial Wax, to see if I could get a truly killer brow look.

The kit comes with a tube of water soluble wax which you heat up in a cup of hot water, much like I used to do with Hot Oil hair treatments when I was fifteen.  There's a precision stick for applying the wax with ultimate carefulness, but I've found that the slanted tip of the wax tube is actually reasonably precise in itself.  The premise is pretty simple: you warm the wax, squeeze a bead out of the tube, apply it to the area to be waxed, smooth on one of the reusable waxing strips, and once set, pull off against the direction of growth.

Now, admittedly, my forays into using this kit haven't yielded immediate, quick results like a professional eyebrow wax.  I have had to go over the area under and atop my eyebrows a couple of times to ensure every little hair is removed, which can leave my eyebrow area looking a little bit red and raw.  The redness calms down within half an hour or so, and even if it's not the quickest thing in the world, it's a darn side quicker than using tweezers to remove every tiny follicle, even if you do need to do the last bits of tidying up with a tweezer regardless of your waxing skillz.

So far, I've used the kit twice - and twice have been incredibly impressed by my sharply defined, clean brow area.  Granted, I've spent half an hour per session on my brows - but the results are worth it, in my mind.  My brows, once filled in, look like someone's actually spent some time and effort on them, and the lack of even the tiniest hairs makes my eyes look wider, and my eye area look cleaner.  Love it.

Veet High Precision Facial Wax is available from Boots, where a kit will cost you £8.49.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Swatches: HD Brows in Vamp

This month's GlossyBox contained a rather sleek looking black compact containing four matte eyebrow shades.  The timing was rather wonderful, given that I'd just somehow lost my favourite Chanel brow pencil, and was looking for a replacement product.  

The four shades double up as high pigment eyeshadow or powder liner.  The included brush works rather well for both brows and for use as eyeliner.  As you can see, I had to attack the reddish shade immediately to see if it worked for me.

Swatched, you can really see the depth of pigmentation in the powders - this is a very light fingertip swatch, and the colours are still very deep and true.  Unfortunately, the reddish shade is not red enough for me, so this palette is likely to be used as an eyeliner palette instead of as a brow palette - which is a shame, as the texture of the brow powders is lovely; soft, blendable, and not at all crumbly. 

If you're blonde, brunette or black haired, you might find that this palette provides you with a good match and likely some eyeliner shades to boot.  If you're a redhead, you'll probably find that none of the shades really have enough red in them to blend in well.  Still... at £19.95 a palette, this isn't a half bad product regardless of the fact I can't use it on my brows thanks to that excellent pigmentation.

If you'd like to find out more about HD Brows, you'll find lots more detail at their website (although I can't for the life of me figure out whether consumers can buy the HD Brows palette online or not).

Disclosure: I received September's GlossyBox as a PR sample.
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