Ever since I used up an entire Tarte Park Avenue Princess to pan, I’ve been wanting to love another Tarte product. Tarte Colored Clay Tinted Brow Gel ($21) came so very close. Before buying, I tried it in the color Taupe under spotty Sephora lighting. For brow products, I’ve found remarkably few companies that understand that “Taupe” does not contain red tones. Of the ones that I’ve tried, they are Tom Ford, Shu Uemura (Seal Brown) and Nars. Despite its many strengths, Tarte’s taupe does not fit into that category.
I’ve been playing with the new Nars Brow Gel ($22 each/ 0.21 oz) for about two weeks. These are a nice way to add color, shape, and emphasis to the all-important brow. Have you ever rushed out of the house without remembering to do your brows? I sure have–and the reflection in my rear-view mirror left something to be desired. Brows are so important.
Liz and I have been pretty delighted with them. They come in four colors:
- Oural: a clear gel
- Athens: a light brown suitable for many blondes (this is Liz’s shade)
- Piraeus: medium brown (this works well for my brunette hair color)
- Kinshasa: a dark brown
For the color shades (the last three, above), I found that these layered color very quickly. The gel is a good texture, and if you carefully remove the brush from the container you won’t get any clumps that might cling to your brows as you apply it. I’ve been using Bobbi Brown’s Brow Shaper, which contains about 1/3 less product at the same price point.
Between the two, I found the Nars Brow Gel to come out of the tube slightly wetter than Bobbi Brown’s. This allows me to use the Nars to give more affirmative shape to my brow–for example, to sweep all the brow hairs horizontally in a way that holds them all day and gives the brow an overall flat appearance. Also, the Nars can be used to push some of the brow hairs upwards, while sculpting the rest to the side. Also, I tended to need fewer sweeps through the brow to get good color coverage–one sweep with the Nars, and done.
The packaging and wand of the Nars is far longer than the Bobbi Brown Brow Shaper, and overall the Nars actually “shapes” the brow better due to the gel texture. Here are some good arm swatches of the four Nars shades:
Overall, the Nars Brow Gel is an excellent product. I get all day wear (and some of my days lately have been quite long!) There’s no stiffness in the brow, no flaking, no fading. I’ve had no dripping or any problems with the unusual warm, humid weather we’ve had lately (or when I was caught in the rain earlier this month). This is a professional-type product that I had confidence using even when speaking to large groups. Here’s a shot of Liz wearing Nars Athens in her brow, which she applied lightly for a natural look:
Two thumbs up for value, convenience, quality, and price (particularly when the quantity is compared to Bobbi Brown). Available at Nordstrom and other stores where Nars is sold.
Nars Cosmetics sent these to Cafe Makuep without charge for consideration for review. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see About Cafe Makeup.
Recently, Bobbi Brown introduced two new brow products based on her natural look philosophy. First, powder brow Brow Kit compacts in two colors– The Bobbi Brown Light Brow Kit (pictured above) and Bobbi Brown Dark Brow Kit ($45 each). She’s also just released the Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up ($20) in five colors (above, pictured in Blonde).
Until now, I’ve been using mostly either a Shu Uemura Brow Pencil in Seal Brown, or a Chanel Sculpting Brow Pencil in Blond Clair, or the former Chanel 3-color Perfect Brows powder compact (discontinued, formerly $70). My brows are full but light, and the color is quite uneven.
For the Bobbi Brown Light Brow Kit, the compact resembles the Chanel compact (although at a much lower price point). The compact has two light brown shades, which can be mixed to customize the shade. Also included is a magnifying mirror, a tiny pair of tweezers and a brow brush with a very, very tiny handle. As you would expect, the powder is extremely finely milled, looks natural when applied and is incredibly convenient. Personally, I use the lightest shade alone.
The bigger surprise for me was the Bobbi Brown Natural Brow Shaper & Hair Touch Up, a mascara-styled liquid product that can be quickly brushed through the brows to polish and add a touch of color. Although these products are intended to be used together, for the last few days I’ve been using the Natural Brow Shaper alone and been pleased with the results. I find that it deposits just enough color, and the wand deposits just enough liquid, to give me a polished, tamed and very natural brow. Based on convenience alone, I love the Natural Brow Shaper for a quick touch-and-go before heading out the door. This one’s worth checking out. It comes in five shades–Auburn, Blonde, Clear, Mahogany, and Rich Brown.