This post may contain affiliate links.
A great eyebrow gel is a must for that modern and effortlessly cool makeup look. Brow gels help to slightly thicken up and neaten the brow hairs, so in other words, they help to enhance what you already have instead of forcing you to draw on a whole new eyebrow shape. They’re especially fantastic for those who have very fair but well-shaped brows, though anyone can use them!
Eyebrow gel is also fantastic in conjunction with other eyebrow products because it helps to groom the actual brow hairs and also adds a waterproof layer over other brow makeup. In other words, it’s worth having in your arsenal even if you prefer that bold and precise eyebrow look.
That’s why we’ve selected the best eyebrow gels available online, with all kinds of formulas for all kinds of eyebrow needs. We then cover a few other important details, like the difference between brow gel and other eyebrow products, how to choose the right eyebrow gel color, and how to actually use eyebrow gel. Let’s get into it!
Eyebrow Gel Guide: Contents
- 23 Best Brow Gels to Try
- Eyebrow Gel vs. Pencil Vs. Powder
- How to Choose the Right Brow Gel for You
- How to Use Brow Gel
23 Best Brow Gels to Try
No matter your budget or style, we’ve got you covered with a selection of the best eyebrow gels on the market!
1. Best Clear: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel
If your main requirement is a brow gel that can really keep your brow hairs in place, and you’re not looking for pigment, it’s hard to do better than this ABH brow gel. This formula is reinforced with polymers that do not budge no matter what, and it’s made specifically to work with other brow products below it, though you can also wear it alone. Buy it at Nordstrom!
2. Best for a Natural Look: Glossier Boy Brow
Boy Brow is an iconic product that’s partially responsible for the fluffy, natural eyebrow trend. It’s got a very creamy formula that truly conditions the brows and doesn’t get stiff when it dries down. The color range is a little small, but that’s okay because Boy Brow isn’t strongly tinted. It’s perfect if you prefer natural-looking makeup. To keep with the spirits of the product, make sure to brush your brows up when using it. Get it directly from Glossier!
3. Best Microfiber-Enhanced: Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel
This microfiber-enhanced eyebrow gel gives the brows both a color and volume boost, thanks to microfibers that help to amp up the brow hairs. This product doesn’t give too strong of hold, and instead, it keeps things looking soft and natural while imparting a bit more color to the skin below the brows. The color range features 10 shades, and there are even a few sizes to choose from. Find it at Sephora!
4. Best Semi-Permanent: Urban Decay Inked Brow Gel
This eyebrow gel is quite unique. It comes in a tube, and instead of a spoolie, the attached applicator is actually an angle brush, so using it is a bit more like using a pomade. The most unique thing about this formula is just how long-lasting it is. It’s meant to last for 60 hours, so if you find most brow products smudge on you, this one is absolutely worth trying. The formula is pigmented, but not overly so, and the only drawback is that the brush often gets loaded up with too much product, so be careful to wipe it down before using. Get it from Nordstrom!
5. Best Conditioning: Milk Makeup Kush Fiber Brow Gel
This is another eyebrow gel with fibers for that added volume. It’s infused with hemp seed oil, which gives a bit of moisture to the brows to keep them conditioned. The color range includes 8 shades, which is important because this really acts like a tint that alters the color of the brows. It leaves the brows looking soft and natural but still voluminous, although it doesn’t have the most long-lasting hold. Pick it up from Sephora!
6. Best Budget: Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara
Essence is one of those brands that prove that high-quality makeup doesn’t have to be expensive. This is one of the best eyebrow gels around, offering color, volume (with fibers, even!), and hold for fluffy and robust-looking eyebrows. The gel hold is enough for day-to-day, although it won’t be enough for extreme situations. The only drawback is that the color range is a little limited, so not everyone will find a match. Shop for it at Ulta!
7. Best for Soft-Looking Brows: NYX Professional Makeup Tinted Brow Mascara
This soft and long-lasting eyebrow gel is another great option if you’re on a budget. It’s a simple product with just the right amount of pigmentation for natural-looking brows, and it’s made with a lot of emollients, so while it does offer hold, it also keeps the brows looking soft to the touch. It has a very large wand, which will make things difficult for most of us, although for some it might be a great time-saver. It’s sold online via Amazon.
8. Best for Smudge-Proof Color: Maybelline TattooStudio Waterproof Eyebrow Gel Makeup
This is an intense eyebrow gel with a lot of color payoff and a ton of persistence. The formula is meant to last up to 2 days, and while we don’t recommend keeping makeup on for more than a day, that feature can certainly be useful for those who lead an intense lifestyle and need their brow gel to stay put. Since the pigmentation is quite strong, this bridges a gap between traditional eyebrow products and brow gels, helping to reshape the brows while also thickening up individual hairs. It comes in 8 shades when you buy on Amazon.
9. Best for Fool-Proof Application: Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch-Up
If you want a product that’s easy to use and that will give the most natural-looking boost to your eyebrows, this is the best eyebrow gel. It’s primarily a setting gel, although it has a slight color. It comes in 5 shades, which is plenty considering the gentle pigmentation. The wand is just the right size, so you can brush it over your brows in seconds to enjoy a cleaner and more put-together look. You can buy it at Nordstrom.
10. Best for Diffused Brows: Kaja Brow Blowout Fiber Gel Brow Definer
If you’re a fan of K-beauty, then you will probably gravitate towards this brow gel that gives a natural, fluffy, and diffused look to the eyebrows. We love the name “blowout” because it’s a great metaphor for the increase in volume your brows get (whereas other brow gels give the kind of volume you’d get from teasing the hair). The shade range is on the cool side, with only 4 color options. Purchase it at Sephora!
11. Best for Setting Other Products: MAC Cosmetics Brow Set
If you’ve already found your favorite brow filling product and just need something to lock it in place, this is the best eyebrow gel to choose. It gives the brows just a hint of a healthy sheen but is undetectable otherwise, and it really keeps the brows in place no matter in which direction you decide to brush them. We also appreciate the size of the spoolie. While such a large brush would be a little unwieldy for a colored gel application, for a clear one it just speeds things up. Find it at Nordstrom!
12. Best for Instagram Brows: L’Oréal Unbelieva-Brow Longwear Brow Gel
A brow gel doesn’t always have to be subtle, as this intense L’Oreal product proves. It is a little bit more like a pomade, but it comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator as well as a separate angle brush. This gel has strong pigmentation and a quick-drying formula with waterproof polymers. Applying it requires some expertise and practice, but the long-lasting results are impressive. You can get it at Amazon in five shades.
13. Best for Soft Hold: RevitaLash Hi-Def Brow Gel
If your main goal is to keep your brows in place but still have them look soft to the touch, then this is the best eyebrow gel to try. It is made with Soft Flex Polymers that create a film over the hairs but without that dry, crunchy feel. It also includes peptides and oat beta glucan to nourish the hairs. You can pick it up in clear or tinted, depending on your needs, although, keep in mind that even the tinted version has light pigmentation. Order it from Dermstore!
14. Best Micro-Wand: Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows Eyebrow Gel
If you have very skinny brows or are just obsessed with precision, then you will love the itty-bitty spoolie of this brow gel. It’s perfect for capturing and emphasizing every baby hair without ever clumping or depositing too much product. The formula is creamy and buildable with enough pigmentation for filling in missing spots, but once it dries down, it has good longevity. It comes in 4 shades at Nordstrom.
15. Best Water-Based: Tarte Tarteist Brow Gel
Most brow gels have water-less formulas, which help with the holding powder but often dry down to look a little crunchy. That’s not the case with this clear brow gel, which is a little moister and more hydrating and, as a result, keeps the brows looking softer throughout the day while still setting brow color and keeping hairs in place. Shop for it at Sephora!
16. Best Two-in-One: Smashbox Brow Tech To Go
If you’re in need of both an eyebrow pencil and gel, this product should do the trick. One end is an eyebrow pencil with a thin, angled shape, while the other is a tinted brow gel with a soft but long-wearing, waterproof formula. It’s fantastic for minimalists or to have in your travel beauty bag! The only drawback is that there are only two shades available. It’s sold at Ulta.
17. Best Nourishing: Laura Mercier Eye Brow Gel
While it’s not technically advertised as such, we think this is the best eyebrow gel for conditioning the brow hairs. It’s a water-based formula with hydrators like glycerin and sorbitol, which keep the hair feeling and looking soft throughout the day. It still offers hold with the help of film-formers, but it’s not intense. If your brows are delicate or break easily, this is a great choice. It’s available at Nordstrom.
18. Best Luxury Clear Gel: Givenchy Mister Brow Groom Universal Brow Setter
Givenchy is one of those brands that always make us feel fancy. While we wouldn’t go so far as to say that this clear brow gel is better than some of the more affordable options on this list, it’s still a solid choice. It offers good hold without any residue or “crunchiness” and has a lighter formula than some other clear brow gels we’ve seen. It includes a touch of panthenol to condition the hairs. Purchase it from Sephora!
19. Without Applicator: Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow
Maybe you already have your favorite eyebrow gel applicator, or maybe you like to switch things up! Either way, having an eyebrow gel that comes in a squeeze tube without an applicator can be useful for some. You can achieve totally different effects by applying it with your own spoolie or brow brush. The formula itself is phenomenal, with strong pigmentation that dries down to be waterproof and smudge-proof. Grab it from Sephora!
20. Best Shimmer: Urban Decay Brow Finish Gel
Shimmery brows are probably not something you’d want to rock every day, but they do add a unique touch for the occasional night out or for a quirky Instagram photo. It gives the brows a glossy, golden finish that is absolutely mesmerizing. This formula (which also comes in Ozone that is a typical clear) has incredible hold, so you can expect it to hold up through dancing and sweating. Get it from Sephora!
21. Best All-Natural: W3LL People Natural Expressionist Brow Gel
The film-forming polymers in brow gels are not particularly natural, so if you’d rather avoid those, you still have options. This brow gel is made with coconut alkanes along with a whole range of nourishing botanical extracts, and it’s even vegan-friendly.
The pigmentation is just enough without being too much, and the color selection, though small, should be flattering for most. The hold this offers isn’t as strong as with a synthetic formula, but it should still keep your brows in place for most of the day. Shop for it on Amazon!
22. Best Universal Brow Tint: Eyeko Brow Gel
If you’re a makeup artist or someone who likes to change their hair color often, then having a tinted brow gel that’s designed to be “one-size-fits-all” can be very helpful. In reality, this shade won’t work for everyone, but it will work for most dark blondes and brunettes since the pigmentation is on the light side. It has excellent hold, and the brush is the perfect size. Order it from Dermstore!
23. Best Luxury Tinted: Chanel Le Gel Sourcils Longwear Eyebrow Gel
It’s hard to resist the elegant Chanel aesthetic, which works so well with the elegance of a good brow gel. This formula is flawless, with just the right level of pigmentation for tastefully made-up brows and very long-lasting hold. It only comes in two colors, unfortunately, though there is also a clear shade. Find it at Nordstrom!
Eyebrow Gel vs. Pencil Vs. Powder
We’ve already hinted at the idea that eyebrow gel is easier and subtler, but let’s get into exactly what it is and talk in more detail about how it differs from other eyebrow products.
Brow gels come in tubes that are reminiscent of mascara, with a similar albeit much smaller spoolie applicator. The gel itself can be clear to help comb and neaten up the eyebrow hairs to make sure they stay in place, or it can be tinted to also help slightly darken or alter the color of the brows.
The gel formulas are usually made of a mix of water, emollients, and film formers so that when they dry down, they help to keep the brows in place much like a hair gel. They can also include nourishing ingredients that support the integrity of the brow hairs and the skin below them.
When used alone, both tinted and clear eyebrow gel won’t radically change the shape of your brows. It’ll just add a bit of “oomph” and can also slightly alter the direction of your hair, which is especially useful if you’re into that ‘80s-reminiscent brushed-up brow look.
Most other eyebrow products, on the other hand, are meant to color the skin below the eyebrows, which can be done lightly to give the illusion that the brows are fuller or can be done more heavily to seriously alter the look, color, or shape of the brows.
A lot of people choose to use multiple types of brow fillers. Pencils, gels, or powders are applied first in order to fix the shape of the brows or to make it look as if they are denser, and then the brow gel can be applied in order to amp up the actual brow hairs themselves and to set them in place.
Eyebrow pencils are the most old-school and well-known. They can come in roll-ups or as sharpenable pencils and are usually made of a blend of waxes and pigments. They require a steady hand to apply and are great for filling in the brows in a solid shape or for mimicking individual hairs. They are usually fairly pigmented, so it’s easy to overdo things with them.
Next, there are eyebrow pomades, which usually come in a little pot, a little like a gel eyeliner. They are applied with a separate brush, and like a pencil can be used to fill the brows in all-over or to mimic hairs. They tend to have the strongest color pay-off as well as the best longevity.
Finally, there are eyebrow powders, which usually come pressed like an eyeshadow. An eyebrow powder gives a very diffused wash of color, so it’s great for soft-looking, shaded brows, though it cannot mimic the look of individual brow hairs.
How to Choose the Right Brow Gel for You
Finding the right eyebrow gel color for you requires a fine balance between your skin tone, undertone, and hair color. If you’re just looking for a clear brow gel, it’s much easier, but if you’re aiming for color, get ready for a bit of theory.
Brow gels are colored to mimic natural hair colors, so they are usually in the brown family with varying levels of darkness or lightness. While with traditional brow pomades, you should aim for a product that is about a shade lighter than your brow hair color, it’s better to choose a brow gel shade that matches your hair color more closely.
If you have extremely light eyebrows, you will even want to choose a color that is a shade or two darker. Finally, if your hair is dyed, you will want to choose an eyebrow gel that will help your brows and hair go together more harmoniously.
As you probably already know, brown is a color that’s made up of a mix of all three primary colors. Depending on how it is mixed, a brow gel can be a little more yellow-based, a little more red-based, and even a little blue-based although, that’s less common. A touch of black can give a brow gel a gray tint, which is also very useful.
The most common pitfall for blondes and brunettes is choosing a brow gel that is too red-based. Unless you have strawberry blonde, red, or auburn hair, you should stay away from brow products that have red undertones. Most blondes will benefit from a yellow-forward brow gel, although neutral or ash blondes will do better with a gray-based taupe that is on the lighter side.
For brunettes, a neutral, slightly gray-based dark brown brow gel is almost universally flattering, although, if your hair is very rich, then a chocolate brown with a balanced and neutral blend of all primary colors will be the most flattering.
How to Use Brow Gel
The great thing about eyebrow gel is that it doesn’t require the same precise shaping and carving techniques as other eyebrow filling products. The best time to use an eyebrow gel is after you’ve applied your complexion makeup and either before or after your eye makeup.
We actually recommend filling in the brows before putting on eye makeup since brows act as a frame for the face and will allow you to better gauge how much eye makeup you really need.
• If you use other brow filling products, use those first. The order should be cream or pomade, then brow powder, and finally a brow gel to set everything.
• To start applying the brow gel, uncap the wand from the lid, and then, to avoid a clumpy look, wipe off any excess product on the lip of the tube or on a tissue.
• If you’re also using your brow gel to give your brows some shape, start with the tail and work your way forward over the arch and then to the front. Focus on getting product on the hairs first, and then, if necessary, press it gently into the skin to deposit some color below the hairs. You can use the tip of the wand like a brush to achieve micro strokes.
• When applying the brow gel to the front third of the brow, be careful to use a light hand so that the front looks more diffused and natural. Otherwise, you can end up with blocky-looking eyebrows.
• Use a clean Q-tip or spoolie brush to blend out any clumps or patchy spots.
• Once you’re happy with the color, use your brow gel one last time only over the hairs to set the brows into place. Make sure your wand isn’t saturated with too much product.
• For a simple and clean look, brush the hairs with their natural grain, which can differ from person to person. For most, this means the hairs at the front half of the brow should be brushed on a diagonal going upwards and outwards, and then from the arch to the tail, they should be brushed outwards and slightly downwards.
• For a bushy “model brow” look, brush the hairs upwards so that they stick up vertically.
Photos via Instagram