The best brow products you can buy from pomades to powders

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I used to be really overwhelmed by the concept of filling in my eyebrows. If I'm being honest, it seemed a little scary! How would I make it look natural? But now it's one of those makeup steps I never skip. A well-groomed, well-defined brow just kind of brings my whole face together. Advertisement

My brows are shapely to begin with, thanks to years of obsessive tweezing - not over tweezing, thankfully. But I like to run a bit of pigment through them to give the impression of additional thickness and to make the hairs stand out against the rest of my face. Doing my brows takes a cumulative five seconds, but it makes a world of difference for my finished makeup look.

All brow products are not created equal, though it may appear that way on the surface. That makes the search even more confusing. How do you choose between all the gels, tints, pomades, and powders on the market?

You could go through the trial-and-error of testing countless options until you find your perfect match - or you could read on for five foolproof picks we recommend.

Here are the best brow products you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

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The best brow powder and pomade overall

The best brow powder and pomade overall
Why you'll love it: Laura Mercier's Sketch & Intensify combines pomade and powder to give your brows the perfect amount of dimension and intensity.

Whether you're shooting for the blocked, sharpened look of Instagram brows or something more subtle, Laura Mercier Sketch & Intensify is a great option. The miniature two-pan palette comes with both a powder and a pomade to help you customize to the level of definition and thickness you desire.

A lot of brow pomades feel stiff and heavy, but this wax/gel mixture is flexible and lightweight. If you accidentally apply too much you can smooth it out by running a dry spoolie through your brows. In fact, I recommend doing this anyway whenever you apply a brow product with a brush to blend everything together and give a softer, more natural finish.

If you have bushy brows you may want to top this product off with a tinted or clear gel, but otherwise the pomade should be enough to hold the hair in place for all day. Sketch & Intensify comes in three shades: Ash, Blonde, and Brunette. The pomade and powder are two slightly different colors, which keeps your brows from looking one-dimensional.

This product is essentially an upgraded version of the discontinued Laura Mercier Brow Powder Duo, which was a favorite of beauty editors at The Strategist and Total Beauty.

“The wax mixed with the powder creates a very natural look and has incredible staying power. It took me years to find my soulmate eyebrow [sic] product, and this is it! Highly recommend,” says one Nordstrom reviewer about Sketch & Intensify.

Pros: Wax/powder combo ideal for customization, compact package for travel

Cons: Only comes in three shades, pricey

Buy the Laura Mercier Sketch & Intensify Pomade and Brow Powder Duo at Macy's for $28

The best brow gel

The best brow gel
Why you'll love it: Boy Brow is cool-girl brand Glossier's best-selling product, a one-step gel that fills in and thickens brows in a single swipe.

If you've read my articles on Insider Picks before, you'll notice I recommend a lot of Glossier. Emily Weiss' millennial pink-tinged brand is my personal favorite for everyday staples, and its number one bestseller, Boy Brow, perfectly encapsulates why.

Like most of Glossier's lineup, this is a totally no-frills, one-step item that adds basically zero time to your makeup routine but yields big results. Inside the white tube is an itty bitty wand that grips every single hair — even the ones so small you didn't know they were there — coating each one with a "creamy wax formula" containing beeswax, carnauba wax, oleic acid, and lecithin.

This is the only gel I've found that tints and thickens my brows while keeping them soft to the touch so it's not the most obvious that I'm wearing makeup. It comes in Brown, Black, Blond, and Clear, so there's truly a Boy Brow for everyone, though I'd love to see Glossier come out with tinted shade for redheads!

Beauty experts can't get enough of Glossier Boy Brow. It won an Allure Best of Beauty in 2016, was named a "game-changer" by Teen Vogue in 2015, and has been mentioned in countless other publications.

Pros: Natural finish, one-step brow product, works alone or over pomade/powder, four shades

Cons: Easy to apply too much product the first few times you use a fresh tube

Buy Boy Brow at Glossier for $16

The best brow powder

The best brow powder
Why you'll love it: Shimmer in your brows sounds like a dystopian nightmare, but Kat Von D Brow Struck Dimension Powder is anything but a makeup disaster.

Shimmer is usually the last thing you think of when you hear the words “natural makeup,” but it’s is exactly what makes the Kat Von D Brow Struck Dimension Powder such a great pick. Well, technically they’re called “light-catching 3D pigments.”

But let’s call a spade a spade — this is a brow powder with glitter in it.

The product boasts a “hybrid two-in-one primer and powder formula” that gives you long-lasting, natural-looking brow. Yes, natural. The shimmer gives each brow hair a dimensional, realistic finish, rather than making you look like the newest member of the touring circus. The concept actually makes sense, since real hair isn’t usually one flat color.

Brow Struck Dimension Powder is vegan and cruelty-free and comes in seven colors. Editors at PopSugar, Allure, and Cosmopolitan UK have all noted the surprisingly natural look of this light-catching powder.

Pros: Vegan, cruelty-free, comes in seven shades

Cons: Bulky packaging, pricey

Buy Kat Von D Brow Struck Dimension Powder at Sephora for $20

The best brow pencil for less than $10

The best brow pencil for less than $10
Why you'll love it: Some consider the NYX Micro Brow Pencil a very effective dupe for a popular and way more expensive brow pencil beloved by the beauty influencer community.

You’ve heard of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, right? Of course you have. People love it, but it’s pricey. Luckily, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil is a convincing dupe — for less than $10. And with more than 4,100 reviews on Ulta, it’s a fan-favorite in its own right.

On one side is a thin pencil that allows you to draw in your brow hairs using ultra-fine strokes. The other end contains a built-in dry spoolie for combing brows into place and making sure the pencil is fully blended.

It’s so similar to the Brow Wiz that many of the Ulta reviews directly compare the two products. “Goes on and lasts exactly the same as a brand that costs double the price!” writes one fan. “Literally a cheaper Anastasia brow pencil with the exact same quality, not to mention it's half the price,” says another.

It also has a superior shade range to many other top picks on the market, with eight colors ranging from Taupe to Black.

Writers and editors love the NYX pencil, too. This product has been recommended by Cosmopolitan UK, Rank and Style, Influenster, and Allure.

Pros: Affordable, double-sided pencil/spoolie, eight shades

Cons: Might be tough to find a shade match for non-brunette and black hair colors

Buy the NYX Micro Brow Pencil at Ulta for $9.99

The best brow tint

The best brow tint
Why you'll love it: Don’t have the patience to fill your brows in every morning? Wunderbrow is a temporary tint that stays put for up to three days.

Want really long-lasting brows? Wunderbrow is a semi-permanent tint that lasts up to three days. Imagine — you can fill in your brows and not touch them again until Wednesday. Oh the seconds you’ll save!

On the surface this is a brow gel like all others, with a fluffy spoolie that deposits the tint onto your hair and realistic hair fibers that help fill in any bald spots. But the color lingers far longer due to the waterproof, smudge-proof, transfer-proof formula. When you’re ready to remove, wash the area with an oil cleanser.

Of course the downside is that if you typically use an oil to remove your makeup you won’t get the temporary tint effect, but you could always adjust your cleansing routine if this is something you’re interested in trying out.

Wunderbrow has over 12,000 Amazon reviews and a 3.7 star rating. A couple of reviewers note there’s a bit of a learning curve and that they prefer to apply with a brush rather than the spoolie it comes with, but most agree on the remarkable staying power.

“[T]his product is absolutely a god send and stays on for an amazingly 3 days! It's great. It's easy to take off. Just rub on some baby oil, rinse with soap and water, and it's gone. Waterproof, smudgeproof, sleep-proof, sweat-proof, anything-proof!” writes one fan.

Marie Claire beauty editor Chloe Metzger called it “perfect for anyone with commitment issues.”

Pros: Long-lasting tint, fibers for thickness, budge-proof

Cons: Difficult to control the amount of product on the spoolie

Buy Wunderbrow on Amazon for $16.50