For the longest time styling my brows was not something I was doing, and to be honest, I never paid all that much attention to them. The most I ever did for my brows was plucking stray hairs. Now that I’ve been filling my brows for about a year now (talk about LATE to the brow game) I look back at past photos and wonder why I hadn’t started sooner.
Over the past year I had been using just whatever brown eyeshadow I had lying around. Infact, I was particularly using Magnetic Fields from MAC (a gift) for my brows, because I thought it was a good match. You know, even though that shade has shimmer in it, it wasn’t all that noticeable on my brows. I was still quite new to brows and was a little bit frightened of how filled in brows would look on me, so I never bothered to buy any specialist products reserved for my brows. Since hitting pan on Magnetic Fields, I’ve been turning my attention to a few of the affordable brow kits on offer for sale in Priceline. So far I’ve tried two, so this will be the first product review, the next will come at a later date. The product in mention is Essence’s Eyebrow Stylist Set.
Ever since Essence launched in Australia back in 2012 I have been pretty much a fan of nearly everything I’ve tried. Customer approval rating of 9/10 for me with Essence. During a shopping trip to Priceline a few months back I picked up this brow kit and was quite excited to try it. I haven’t really heard much about this kit at all during any Essence reviews on blogs or on youtube, so I went in blind with this. Let’s see how well this purchase turned out for me. This is quite a picture heavy post, so be wary
Product + Packaging
A duo kit containing two brown pressed powders in a colour for blondes and a colour for brunettes. It comes with three eyebrow stencils, which I can see as a nice touch, but ultimately they’ll be thrown away because I don’t need them. It also comes with a little brush. I did try it, but wow was it terrible. Remember those brushes you got as a kid with the 50c watercolour paints from the dollar shop? They feel better than this brush. Anyway, the brush isn’t a huge deal, so that’s getting thrown away too. You are getting 2g (0.07 oz) of powder product for a bargain price.
Doesn’t the packaging look like a USB? It does to me. It’s more like a shell, with the powders sitting in a plastic tray insert which you need to pull out yourself. I had actually thought the cap had a tray which would pull everything out, but nope. When you take it all apart it has the powders on a plastic tray, which to be honest feels a little rubbish. The plastic is soft and feels brittle. At least the outer casing is quite hard to protect the inside. Underneath the plastic tray is a little cardboard instructional guide and the three eyebrow stencils.
Performance + Swatches
What I like most about the darker colour is that it’s quite a neutral brown, so it matches my complexion and hair colour wonderfully. The duo is only really a single for me, as the lightest colour, whilst it does swatch on my skin, it doesn’t translate at all in the brow area. I can’t even use it as a colour for the start of my brows as it can’t be seen. A little bummed by that because I thought that maybe I had a little flexibility there. Both powders in the eyebrow stylist set are matte, okay pigmentation, smooth however they feel quite dry and a little powdery. Now, I haven’t tried other products that were formulated for brows only, so I’m not sure if being dry for product formulation is a good thing when it comes to brow powders. That being said the powders do apply nicely, but you will need to build up the colour to the intensity you desire. This eyebrow stylist set in my opinion probably isn’t designed for those who want a high impact, bold, dramatic statement brow. This set will not get you there. At all. In my experience, I can build it up to a nice level where the brows look natural, and not obvious that I’ve done any filling whatsoever, so I quite like the set for this type of everyday brow look.
Longevity, I find this to last for the day without excessive fading, but maybe I might want to touch up again if I’m planning on going anywhere nice after uni is done for the day. I’ve worn this to bed, and woken up with my brows looking okay too. Not perfect, but again, they look natural.
Here’s some swatches of the powders. It took about 2-3 swipes with an angled brush to achieve the intensity of the darkest shade on the right, and 2 swipes for the light shade on the left.
Now the good stuff, seeing them on the brows. The brow on the left is filled, and the brow on the right is bare. As you can see from my bare eyebrow, I have dark, thick and long eyebrows, but they are sparse. The ONLY time my greek hair genetics have let me down! By all means, I’ll grow a moustache but eyebrows, not really. Troll genetics.
Now with both brows filled in. Can you see what I mean about this set giving more of a natural, everyday look? D has commented that my brows do look “softer” than usual, as I am quite a fan of a slightly more defined and darker brow for myself, but I quite like this as well on me.
- Very affordable
- Neutral brown colour that is perfect for my skin tone and hair colour
- Smooth powder
- Lasts a good deal of the day on my brows
- Great for beginners or those wanting a more subtle brow look
- Pigmentation isn’t all that great. Does take a little layering to achieve the intensity shown in these photos
- Dry powder
- The lighter shade can’t be used for me > waste
- Excessive packaging > waste
- Not going to use the eyebrow stencils (although a nice touch) or that brush
Will I repurchase this Essence eyebrow stylist set? I honestly don’t know, and I’m more inclined to think no. There’s still many other brow products for me to try, so who knows. I really am not a fan of the excessive plastic packaging, and whilst this is a good price, I dislike that this duo is really only a single, which attributes more waste for me. I’ll happily continue to use it and recommend it to those who want a subtle brow look.