Makeup » Powder, Pomade, Gel vs. Pencil: What Brow Product to Choose?

Powder, Pomade, Gel vs. Pencil: What Brow Product to Choose?

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With so many eyebrow products out there on the market for you to use to fill in brows, it can be tough to settle on that perfect product. Ultimately, choose what will be most comfortable for you to apply, and that will give you the effect you want! You can even combine different kinds of eyebrow products in order to get longer-lasting bushy eyebrows, and to create some really complex yet nuanced effects. How to tell the difference between different kinds of eyebrow products?

Eyebrow Pencil

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.

This classic choice for filling in brows is easy and versatile. It can give an ultra-clean eyebrow, or a more boyish one, depending on your application technique.

With an eyebrow pencil, the lighter your strokes, the more natural the filled-in eyebrows will look, whereas heavier strokes will have a more defined effect. You can use a spoolie after applying pencil eyebrow filler to soften harsh lines.

Types of Eyebrow Products: Eyebrow Pencil

Eyebrow Powder

This is my personal favorite choice for filling in brows. A powder has to be applied with a thin angled eyebrow brush, but it makes for a very quick and easy application that can give a softer brow.

Eyebrow powders 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.

Dipping the brush in some water before filling in the brows will give a pomade-like effect. Most eyebrow powder palettes come with two shades, so you can give yourself an ombre brow as well.

If your skin gets sweaty or greasy easily, you can use eyebrow powder to set a pencil or a pomade, for a longer-lasting filled-in brow.

Types of Eyebrow Products: Eyebrow Powder

Eyebrow Pomade

The longest-lasting, and possibly biggest bang for the buck eyebrow filling option is the pomade. Like a powder, it also must be applied with a thin angled brush.

Eyebrow pomades usually come in a little pot, a little like a gel eyeliner. They 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.

It can give a very defined shape but probably isn’t worth the fuss if you prefer more boyish and bushy eyebrows. With pomade, a tiny bit of product goes a loooong way. Some gels behave very similarly.

Types of Eyebrow Products: Eyebrow Pomade

Mascara-Style Eyebrow Gel

This is the perfect product to achieve those high-fashion boy brows. Eyebrow gel is easier and subtler. You can use it in addition to a pencil, pomade, or powder, because this kind of product, instead of filling in the gaps between your eyebrow hairs, is actually applied to the brows themselves, darkening them, thickening them, and helping brush them up for a boyish look or downwards for a more groomed look.

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. For those who have naturally full brows, an eyebrow gel can be a great option.

Types of Eyebrow Products: Eyebrow Gel

Photos via Sephora