I Have Thin, Light Brows & This Is The Only Brow Gel I Trust
When beauty experts—be it makeup artists, aestheticians, or the like—see my natural brows they always assume the same thing: Oh, dear, you over-plucked in the '90s didn't you? It's an all too common story: The pencil-thin aesthetic encouraged many to tweeze away full, lush brows. And then by the time thick, bushy brows came back "in style," the hair follicle had been irreversibly damaged—leaving scores of women longing for more.
But here's the thing: I just have thin brows. They've always been little slivers of hair; and what makes it worse is they are a lighter shade of brown than my natural roots—so they look even slimmer. It made my life easier when I was young (no begging my mom to allow me to get them waxed; no painstakingly long time in from of a mirror plucking them away), but now? Not so much!
My daily makeup routine has essentially stayed the same since my early 20s: A light wash of foundation (to cover post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or the occasional rosacea flare-up), a dab of under-eye concealer on a bad day, a swirl of rosy blush, and brow pencils or gel. The first three are really just a personal choice: They make me feel more dewy, fresh, and confident! But the brow product? That I need. Without it, I look like an alien or one of those avant-garde editorials where they bleach the model's brows.
Not a good look.
Since I'm a beauty editor I jump around between products—testing out new ones, going back to my classics—but one product I do not change is my brow gel. I was sent Thrive Causemetics's Instant Brow Fix Semi-Perminent Eyebrow Gel last year, and it has since become the only gel I trust.
Thrive is a clean makeup brand that also has a strong philanthropic mission—hence, the "cause" in "Causemetics." For every product that's purchased, the brand donates an additional product (or monetary fund) to one of their partnership charities.
And while I love their mission—I use the product because it works. They have a special, proprietary pigment blend that coats each strand with rich color. Think of this like a brow mascara. It's going to give you color and thickness. (A simple clear gel, this is not: Your brows will appear fuller and stand out.) But what I love the most is that as you wear it regularly it ever-so-subtly tints your hairs. Within a few weeks of regular use, I was skipping the step on the weekends, and my brows still looked defined. I am a firm believer that beauty should make your life easier, and this does exactly that. Prior to using it, I had played around with powders and brushes, pencils and gels—I even tried out "brow extensions" at one point in time. (Not worth the money or trouble, in my opinion.) It was an annoying and time-consuming step. Now my brows are fluffy and fuller in a few swipes—and stay that way.
It also has a B5 complex to help keep hairs strong, and something that they call a "gray delay" complex to ease age-related color loss. So it's not only an aesthetic thing, it helps the health of the hair.
Now, if I'm getting really dolled up, I'll still reach for a pencil (like the one below) to etch in a few hairs here and there. But for the most part, my brows are now a non-issue. If you need brow help, too, I can't recommend this enough.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.