If, like me, you started doing your makeup in the late noughties, before the explosion of the online beauty community, then you may remember that brows looked very different at the time. Pencil thin rather than fluffy and bold, we spent more time plucking them than filling them in, and all most makeup brands offered were eyebrow pencils in two, maybe even three shades if you were lucky.
Fastforward to today however, and drugstore brands have really upped their game, offering all kinds of different options depending on your preference. And yet somehow, as a blonde, finding the perfect shade that doesn’t make me look like I sharpied my brows on seems almost impossible. So I’ve picked two products, the Paradise Brow Pomade & Brow Artist Xpert Eyebrow Pencil, from L’Oréal’s extensive and promising looking brow range, and I’ve put them to the test. Keep reading to find out if I’ve finally find my holy grail brow products.
Paradise Brow Pomade
Most pomades I’ve looked at seem to carry a Blonde and a Taupe shade, which usually look far too dark for my taste. Imagine my surprise when I came across this one and it’s three shades of blonde for £9.99! I went with the lightest one, which is 101 Blonde.
I’ll admit, I was also drawn in by the cute packaging. It’s very similar to the one Benefit use for their ka-BROW!, but in a pretty rose gold (nope, I’m still not over that trend!). It includes a similar brush hidden inside the lid, although I haven’t used it as I prefer my Anastasia Beverly Hills 12 brush.
The only other pomade I have tried is in fact the ABH Dipbrow, also in Blonde. My first jar was actually in Taupe, but the company decided to reformulate and make all the shades darker for some reason, so I had to switch. These two might share the same shade name, but put them next to each, and the similarity stops there.
The L’oréal pomade isn’t as soft as the ABH one, and sometimes you need to dig a little to get the product out. I like to use the lid as a palette to warm the product up before applying it to my brows. This might seem time consuming, but I was having to do this with the ABH one too to avoid getting too much product on my face. I actually like this stiffer consistency, as I find it a lot harder to make mistakes, which means I spend less time cleaning my brows up with concealer afterwards.
Now of course, when I did my brows today, the one I used ABH on came out better than it has in months. Go figure. I do however much prefer the shade of the L’Oréal pomade, as it is much closer to my hair and feels a little more natural. Plus it’s a about half the price.
I am most impressed with the staying power for this one. I started wearing it while we still had the heatwave going on, and by the time I would get home my brows were still in place. This was definitely never the case when I used Dipbrow, which would just sweat off on the tube. In my eyes, this is pretty much my dream pomade, and I’ll be reaching for it for the month’s to come.
Edit: since I first drafted this, the product has dried out some more, but I think this may be my fault as I managed to leave the top unscrewed for about 24 hours. Whoops. I planned on buying some of Inglot’s famous Duraline, and I will let you know if that helps!
Brow Artist Xpert Eyebrow Pencil
Some days though, using a pomade takes a little too long, so a couple of month’s ago, I switched to pencil instead (also because it gives a much more natural finish), so I had to pick one up to compare. I’ve seen these larger, triangle tipped brow pencils before, but hadn’t tried one myself. Unable to find the lightest shade Cool Blonde however, I settled for Warm Blonde for £6.99, thinking it would be nice to compare it to the pomade and see which one I liked the most. And then I had a bit of a nasty shock.
Here it is next to my NYX Micro Brow pencil in Taupe (also the second shade in their range). Take a close look at both pencils, and tell me: does the L’oréal one actually look blonde to you? Because when I opened it, it was so warm and dark that I thought it was mislabelled, and I actually went back to Boots the next day to make sure it wasn’t. Turns out, it looked the same as all the others.
I will say that this pencil does have a good little spoolie on the other end, and when you apply it, it is lovely and creamy without applying too heavily. even with a light hand however, it comes out way too dark on me. I feel like I would have enjoyed this shade when I had dark red hair, as the warmth would really work with it.
This has also brought me to the conclusion that these thicker pencils are not for me, as I found it hard to get a precise application with them, but I can see how some people would enjoy these. At the end of the day, I was pretty happy that this was the free item I got as part of Boots’ 3 for 2 offer on L’Oréal products (in case you are wondering, the third item was the Life’s a Peach blush, and that was definitely worth the money!).
So with one product a complete fail and the other a resounding success, I think I can say that I’m pretty happy with today’s results! If, like me, you struggle finding lighter brow products to help give you a more natural finish, then I would definitely recommend giving it a go. It is on the higher priced side of drugstore makeup, but I can already see myself purchasing it again when I run out.