As beauty editors, we get bombarded with a ton of new products every day (we know—tough life). "Reviewed" is a series where we report on some of the best products we’ve tried. Whether it’s a drugstore lipstick that lasted all day or a hand cream that saved us this winter, you’ll find all of our favorites in this column. Enjoy!
My brows are typically a two or three-product operation: Though the aim is always a natural-looking arch, at minimum I always use a pencil and clear gel, sometimes followed by a powder if I’m looking for a bit more oomph. But always looking to cut down on time and counter space, I was even more excited than usual to see Glossier’s tell-tale pink bubble wrap appear on my desk last week. After hearing rumors that the brand’s long-awaited Boy Brow ($16) was the product to end all other brow products, I hoped its arrival would mark a new, lower-maintenance era in my arch-grooming routine. It only took a quick jaunt to the office restroom to confirm this, as well as the fact that there really isn’t anything else like it on the market.
Boy Brow’s name is a nod to its unique make-up. “The formula we developed is similar to pomade and is actually inspired by old-fashioned men's mustache wax,” Emily Weiss told me this week. “It'll condition, groom, and fluff your brows for a polished look with flexible hold and a touch of natural color. And the tiny, tapered spoolie brush makes application really simple, so the product catches all your little brow hairs without getting on your skin or clumping.” It’s available in black, brown, and blonde.
Weiss says that it was important to Team Glossier to develop a product that represents a new era in eyebrows—one that’s (finally) about just letting them be, with just a little TLC. After a pendulum swing from the over-plucked apostrophes of the ‘90s and early aughts to the dramatically filled-in arches of the past few years, it’s nice to know that we’ve landed in a happy, low-maintenance middle ground. We can’t all be Cara Delevingne, so let’s stop trying to transplant her illustrious arches onto our own faces.
The new approach isn’t completely hands-off, but it’s about subtly enhancing (and celebrating!) the brows we were born with. To this end, Boy Brow is a pomade, not a gel, so it defines hairs and provides hold without any crunchiness. As Weiss noted, the tint is sheer enough that it isn’t painfully obvious and doesn’t leave a mess around hairs (the worst), but it results in a a really believable wash of color. My main brow issue is that while they’re technically thick, the hairs on the tails are blonder than the rest, making them look balder than they actually are. Regular dyeing usually corrects this, but it’s nice to know that I’ll now be able to stretch time between appointments with just a few mess-free swipes of a spoolie brush.
That being said, it’s worth noting that the product works best on well-endowed brows. It tames and tints existing hairs, so another Byrdie editor found that it didn’t work quite as well on her sparser arches. (In those circumstances, a powder or pencil is probably the way to go.)
Weiss says that Glossier doesn’t have any other brow offerings in the works, since the team formulated Boy Brow specifically as a homer un product. But we both agreed that those searching for an untinted formula should look no further than the brand’s Balm Dotcom ($12), which is also great for taming and defining arches. As for the best way to apply either product, here’s the approach, straight from the source: Brush upward and outward, paying special mind to the “sprouts”—those are the little hairs that tend to stick up in the front of the brow, indicating a really un-touched, youthful arch. And isn’t the plant analogy kind of great? Finally, our brows are something to be nurtured, rather than plucked, groomed, and tamed into unnatural submission.