Happy Monday, hopefully you’re not experiencing the Monday blues today, but if you are feeling it like I am, let’s try to get ourselves in a positive mindset and get the day under our control. For me, I’m kicking the week off by reviewing a product I pulled out of my stash a little while ago, which is the L’OREAL Brow Artist Plumper, which I use in the shade ‘Medium/Dark‘.
Brow mascara type products like this one are a lesser used product in my makeup routine typically, but I tried using my previously-stashed Seventeen clear mascara as a brow setting product in an attempt to make it work, and it inspired me to pull out a dedicated brow mascara and try it in my makeup routine. The only one I had stored from before going cruelty-free was this one, so here I am with my thoughts on it.
To clear the elephant in the room, this is not a cruelty-free product, since L’OREAL is a well-known brand that retails in China, so while they’re cruelty-free in most areas of the world, they’re not a fully cruelty-free brand. I personally opted to not support a brand that isn’t fully cruelty-free even if they don’t sell animal-tested products directly to me, although if you want to read my full ‘policy‘ on this, I wrote a comprehensive post on it. It feels a bit weird to call it a policy, but it’s more my philosophy or my approach to navigating the cosmetics market. One of the aspects of my policy is to avoid waste, and since I bought this before I went cruelty-free, I intend to try it and use it up if I like it, or pass it along to someone else if I don’t.
With that out of the way, what does this product aim to do? The ‘side’/back of the tube is rather short, but it reads:
“Brow gel mascara with fibres, for fuller looking brows.”
There aren’t any major claims like being waterproof, sweat-proof, or anything like that, so this left me in a bit of a strange predicament when reviewing it. I’m used to having a check-list of claims to monitor when testing a product, and I’ll keep an eye out for any other notable factors. For once I’m in a situation where I have a lot of freedom to just use it and see what happens which is lovely but also a bit strange.
I’m going to tackle the packaging first: it’s very simple black tube with gold text, and a dark brown handle that you twist out. I don’t own the other shades in this range, but if I recall correctly, the colour of the lid is intended to represent the shade inside. I’m not particularly attached to the aesthetic of packaging, but it is a sleek and approachable style. The packaging otherwise is very easy to work with, and the twist-up mechanism has enough resistance that it hasn’t opened up on its own in my makeup stand or in my makeup bag.
The brow mascara part itself has a small mascara wand, that is precise enough for me to work with specific areas of my brows. The thickness of the wand is more up to debate as it really depends on what kind of brows you have. In my case, I have what I consider medium-thick brows so the mascara wand is a good size to brush through my brow hairs. If you have thin brows however, this may not work for you. But what I suggest is to check out a tester in-store and see how it compares against your brows. It’s a little tricky for me to judge since it’s all about proportions.
In terms of application, I find it applies the pigment relatively smoothly and only rarely does it clump or get caught on my skin. I can usually avoid clumping by brushing off any excess product on the tip of the wand either on the side of the tube or on a tissue and that prevents a lot of clumping. In cases where I catch product on my skin, that’s usually user-error where I have slightly shaky hands.
As for the shade, as I mentioned before, I use the shade ‘Medium/Dark‘ which is a cooler-toned brown. I find the actual shade is very aptly medium-dark and sits in that weird space between the two definitions. You’ll see a little later in the post that I have naturally very dark brows, but I prefer to use a slightly lighter shade in my brows so my brows don’t look overpowering. It was a little awkward to swatch this on my hand, but I hope you can get a reasonable idea of what the shade looks like.
On the brows themselves, I like to apply them like a secondary setting product on top of my brow pencil and powder products, and don’t typically use it on its own. In my photo above, I used this product on top of The Body Shop Brow Definer in ‘Dark Brown‘ and the GOSH Brow Kit. I’ve been using all three of these products alongside each other regularly and I really enjoy the result. The overall impact of this product is a little tricky to show off, but I find it helps define the individual hairs, particularly where my brow’s tail is.
I have worn this on its own a couple of times, and it does tidy up the front and tail of my brows nicely, but I think this works best for me in my full brow routine. If I’m going to use this as my only brow product, it’s on my laziest of makeup days where I may only wear a brow product, some concealer then a setting powder. I’m getting in a phase at the moment where I’m wearing a fuller face of makeup (usually no foundation, bronzer, or contour, maybe a highlighter) as I’m enjoying experimenting with makeup at the moment.
In terms of performance, I find this lasts me all day relatively easily although if you’re prone to scratching or rubbing your eyebrows (I do this when I’m tired…) you will rub away some of the product. I’ve worn this out when running errands in the city and my brows have stayed in place and look great even after the long hike uphill home. I find what works best for me is to use it fairly sparingly as it looks more flattering. I have naturally full brows with long hairs, so I want accentuate what I have. I don’t want my brows to look any fuller than they are, just make sure that if my brow hairs move a bit, it doesn’t look messy or exposes skin underneath too much.
Overall, I’m really happy with this product, and if they were cruelty-free, I’d repurchase it. It’s the success I’ve had with this product that prompted me to buy a replacement brow mascara for when this runs out, so if anything I’m grateful I learned that I like brow mascaras. I don’t plan on leaving an affiliate link because they’re not cruelty-free and I don’t want to profit off of animal-testing, but if you don’t pursue a cruelty-free makeup bag, I suggest this product if it fits your needs.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post today, it really means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.