Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Anastasia Brow Products: A Run-Through

Anastasia Beverly Hills was launched by makeup artist Anastasia Soare in 1997. While they make a small variety of makeup products, the company has focused primarily on creating cult-favorite brow products, like the Brow Wiz pencil and the Clear Brow Gel. I have a hard time finding products that work for my sparse, fine brows, but there's a good chance that if it comes from ABH, I'll like it.

Obviously, this isn't every brow product Anastasia has made: I haven't tried their tinted brow gel, the brow pen only comes in two warm-ish shades that don't appeal to me, and I'm not patient enough for most brow powders. But I definitely want to go over the products I have tried, which constitutes about half of their brow line.

Anastasia Dipbrow - Soft Brown and Taupe

 Wearing Soft Brown on the left and Taupe on the right.

The newest product in the Anastasia Beverly Hills product line is the Dipbrow Pomade. A densely-pigmented cream, you need the tiniest amount of this product to get the job done. It's become popular on Instagram for people who like really drawn-on drag queen brows (nothing wrong with that, but that's really what they are), but you can get a more natural look with this product by using as little as possible and drawing it on in tiny, gentle strokes.

On top of being pigmented, Dipbrow is incredibly long-lasting. I've worn it for 12-hour days and walked through rainstorms with this stuff on, and it didn't budge. You'll need oil to remove it.

Unfortunately, a lot of the Dipbrow shades are quite warm/red. I prefer a much ashier product. It also takes a few seconds to dry down; if you run a spoolie through your brows before the product has fully dried, you may pull off chunks of it.

Perfect Brow Pencil - Medium Brown

My Perfect Brow pencil in Medium Brown is actually a deluxe sample, bought cheap on Reddit.  I actually didn't expect to like the pencil at all because multiple reviews have called it "waxy" and "lacking in pigment," and I mostly bought it for this review. However, I ended up kind of liking this pencil.

The Perfect Brow pencil definitely is a bit waxy, but not enough to feel uncomfortable or to pull out your brow hairs. The harder formula makes it easy to draw on individual brow hairs. It can look a bit clumpy and fake, however, on the sparser portions of my brows; I have to quickly smooth over any tiny clumps with my finger.

Brow Wiz - Medium Brown

 The most popular Anastasia brow product is definitely the Brow Wiz pencil. The pencil itself is a creamy twist-up, which applies easily to the brows with little pressure. As long as you don't press too hard, you can get a very natural look. It's also a very thin product, which makes it easy to draw on individual brow hairs and avoid overdoing it. There's also a tiny brow spoolie on the end of the pencil.

My one qualm with the Brow Wiz pencil seems minor, but it's a major annoyance for me: if you aren't careful, you can put the lid for the brow spoolie side on to the pencil side, smooshing your product. The caps are two different sizes, yeah, but it's easy to mix them up if you're in a hurry.

Clear Brow Gel and #12 Brush

I've been obsessed with the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel for years now. It makes my brows look slightly glossy, but not "fake" or coated the way clear mascara does. It also holds the hairs in place for hours on end without feeling hard or crunchy. If I want to brush my hairs up, the way they are here, I just use a tiny amount of the brow gel, applying in small, upward strokes. My only qualm with the brow gel is that it smells pretty funky.

The #12 brush is also fantastic. While it's considered a "partner product" to the Dipbrow Pomade, I can see it working with a lot of brow powders, creams, and even eyeliners. I also love that it has a teeny, tiny brow spoolie on the other end because I hate carrying tons of brushes when I travel.

So what should I keep?

All of these products are pretty great, but I can't keep every single one. Hence, I decided to look at the shades and choose what was most flattering on my face. As these swatches show, the Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Seal Brown and the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown are both slightly ashy brunette shades. Dipbrow Pomade in Taupe is, by contrast, quite light and golden...and, as I mentioned previously, most of the Dipbrow shades read neutral-to-warm for me. It's hard to find a truly ashy shade in the line.

Just to make sure I wasn't going crazy with regards to Dipbrow's too-warm shades, I did a very scientific poll on Makeup Alley. Here are some of the responses:

Yeeeeep. It's Perfect Brow or Brow Wiz--those ashier shades--that most people think look better on me. The next ashy shade in the Dipbrow line, Medium Brown, is too dark for me. It's a real shame, because I absolutely love the formulation of the product and would continue to use it if I could get a good shade.

I'm in love with the brow gel, the #12 brush, and Brow Wiz; they're staples in my collection. I don't think I'd purchase a full size of  the Perfect Brow pencil, since I prefer the Shu Uemura Hard Formula brow pencil, but the tiny size and decent formula make it a great product to drop in my makeup bag for touch-ups.

Last, but not least, here are close-ups of me wearing all of these brow products.


  1. I recently discovered a nice ashy pencil, Yves Rocher's eyebrow pencil in Ash Blonde:
    I admit to looking down on non-high end brands sometimes, but this one is a winner for me.

    1. I used to use La Femme's Taupe pencil a lot--$2 and very nice!

  2. I like all of them but Taupe and Soft Brown are the most natural.

  3. I'm a fan of ashy shades for brows, too. I like perfect brow on you.

  4. I am loyal to the Brow Wiz; my complaint is that the spoolie breaks off too easily.

  5. I am freakishly weirded out by the fact that Dipbrow in TAUPE is very much not a taupe. *facepalm*

    1. It isn't! It's just the blonde shade, but a tad less yellow!

  6. This is MONTHS late to the game, but I like Brow wiz on you out of all of these.

    1. I'm smarter about finding new comments now, so I found this! I like the Brow Wiz, too! You just run through the damn things so quickly.