Happy Wednesday! As we get into the middle of the work week, let’s have a chat about a makeup product I’ve been testing for just over 2 months now. This is the NYX Eyebrow Gel, which I have in the shade ‘Espresso‘.
You can find NYX in both Boots and Superdrug, so if you’re a fellow UK resident, you can find this brand fairly easily. This eyebrow gel retails for £6.50 at full price, which is what I consider fairly affordable.
It is worth noting: NYX as a brand is owned by L’OREAL who test on animals where required by law. While NYX has cruelty-free on their packaging, it is worth bearing this little bit of information in mind, if you don’t want to support parent companies who still test on animals where required by law. This is something I’m still working through my feelings about, but if you know where you stand on this issue, I want to make that explicitly clear for you so you can make informed choices.
So this is a style of eyebrow product that is quite outside of my normal routine and my comfort zone. Typically, I use a brow pencil to fill and shape my brows, a brow powder to fill in if I feel like I need some extra coverage and to set it down, and a brow gel with a mascara wand style applicator for days when I want a more subtle brow look.
I’ve tried brow pomades like this sort of thing a couple of times, but find they dry out before I can really make a proper dent in it. So this was a historical purchase of mine that appealed to me because the tube packaging made me think it would prevent it drying out as quickly.
As pictured above, the tube comes in a little cardboard box which has the following claims on it:
“What it is: A pigmented lightweight brow gel.
How to use: Squeeze a small amount onto a clean, dry surface. Lighting dip brow brush into gel and outline brows. Fill in and thicken as desired. Brush out brows to blend harsh edges. Set with clear or tinted brow mascara.
Results: Defined, shapely brows, natural-looking brows.
Tip: Mix any combination of shades for your perfect match!”
The claims part is pretty concise, so there isn’t a lot to really talk about there. But what stood out to me that I want to critique is the ‘tip’. For people who are happy to buy more than one shade of a product to get creative in finding their shade, I completely respect that choice. However, it irks me a little when brands suggest it because I personally don’t like having to buy more than one of a product to find a match. It feels a bit cheeky to me as brands could try to work a line of products to be flexible to their consumer base instead. Obviously I abstain from following their tip, but that’s my 2-cents on it.
In the how to use section, it suggests the product is meant to be a multi-purpose brow product, in the sense that you’re meant to be able to outline and fill the brows instead of using two separate products. I think whether that’s the case really depends on your brows and the tools you use.
As I said earlier, I have the shade ‘Espresso‘ which is a very dark, slightly warm brown. My natural hair colour is more on the cool side, so it’s a tough too warm, but I make it work. When it’s swatched in a ball like photographed above, the warmer tones aren’t as obvious, but where it’s slightly smudged, you can see the warmer undertone.
I use the ‘243 Brow Brush‘ from the Primark PS Pro Eye & Eyebrow Brush Set, which has a flat brush head, and the thickness is half the width of my brows. I like this brush for this brow gel because it’s a nice size to quickly but efficiently place and disperse the gel throughout the bulk of my brows to fill them in.
In terms of the amount of product I need, I barely need more than the tiniest dot. The swatch above is what’s left after using it to fill in my brows, so I do find I waste more gel than I actually use. This is pretty annoying, as while I can control how much I squeeze out after it starts appearing, by then it’s already more than I need. So it’s a frustrating case of it could be the perfect “a little goes a long way” but I can’t control it enough to actually prevent waste.
It’s also quite inconvenient for me that I need to squeeze this out on to a surface, which is typically the back of my hand. It means I have to take extra time to then clean up my hand, so it’s not ideal if you find you’re often in a rush to get ready. While I rarely have situations where I’m in a rush, it does take up more time in the morning than I would like.
So let’s get to the gritty part: how it looks on my brows. We’re gonna start with a before photo, where I’m bare-faced and looking very tired. You also get a glimpse of my office setup in reverse: normally I sit in my office chair, but I like this position better because the natural lighting is more consistent.
My brows are naturally made up of longer brow hairs, where there tend to be gaps in between the hairs where they’re prone to moving around. They’re fairly full, but because they like to move around, it can make them look a bit wild and unruly. So I like to fill in the bulk of my brows just to help create some consistency in the shape even when my hairs are still stubbornly doing their own thing.
I don’t shape my brows a lot, except to fill the underside of my brows to create a consistent shape. My brows are definitely sisters and not twins, with one being more arched, and the other more curved. I don’t really care to try and make them perfectly symmetrical, as I prefer to just work with their natural shape, just tweezing away the stray hairs as they grow back.
The front of my brows are where I typically make a bit more effort, as that’s where the sparsest areas are. I usually do this with a mix of brow powder and a pencil, but for the sake of this review, I’m using only this brow gel for anyone who only wants to use one step for fill and shaping their brows.
Now we jump to a full face of makeup. As I said already, I only used this brow gel for my brows and not my other steps for the sake of the review. I think I created a natural looking brow, filling in the worst areas but not looking over-filled or heavy.
I only used the ‘243 Brow Brush‘ that I referred to earlier for filling in my brows, although a slimmer angled brush would have been effective for the front of my brows, where in hindsight I want to fill in some more. I notice this particularly with the front of my brows, which I am self-conscious about.
In terms of longevity, I haven’t any noticeable issues with it fading throughout the day, and sometimes it can be extremely stubborn to wash out of my brows. Micellar waters work well enough for removing them, but I find cleansing oils are more effective. So for my day-to-day makeup habits where I typically cleanse my skin with micellar water, it isn’t so stubborn to remove that I avoid using this gel.
Typically though, I use a brow mascara to help give my brow hairs some direction and hold while filling them in a bit, this gel for filling in the bulk, and then a brow powder to set the two previous steps in place. I’ll occasionally grab a brow pencil for very small areas like the arch/curves of my brow that need precise filling in.
Overall, this is a product I have mixed feelings about. While I have no complaints about the performance of the gel itself, it is packaged in a way that feels really wasteful. While the tube is more efficient for the lifespan of the gel, it’s tricky to squeeze out the tiniest amount to prevent wasting it. On the other hand, I don’t enjoy pomades in tubs because they dry out really quickly. So ultimately, I’m very difficult to please.
Would I repurchase this in the future? Probably not. It’s a very affordable product, considering I’ve barely made a dent through the tube, but I don’t like that I waste more product than I use. I’m also unsure about where I stand on ‘cruelty-free’ brands that are owned by non-cruelty-free parent companies. So while I’m figuring that out, I’m abstaining from buying from NYX. Would I buy similar products though? From my experience with this product, I am nervous to. Not because this product is bad, but because I didn’t like the wasteful experience I’ve had so far. But it’s something I’ll ponder how to deal with and take it from there.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, it means a lot to me to receive your support. I hope you are happy and healthy, and I’ll speak to you again soon.
- NYX Eyebrow Gel (in ‘Espresso‘)
- Revolution Fast Base Concealer (in ‘C1‘ as an eyeshadow base)
- I Heart Makeup U R The Best Thing Eyeshadow Palette
- The Body Shop Colour Crush Eyeshadow (in ‘Sand By Me‘)
- Collection Work The Colour Nude Eyeshadow Palette (skin tone shade for the brow bone)
- K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h (in ‘Brown Black‘)
- Maybelline Lash Sensational Lash Multiplying Mascara (in ‘Black‘)
- Missha The Style Fitting Wear Pore Cover Primer
- Revolution Fast Base Stick Foundation (in ‘F1‘)
- E.L.F. 16hr Camo Concealer (in ‘Fair Rose‘)
- No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder (in ‘Fair‘)
- Essence Matt Touch Blush (in ‘60 Cherry Me Up!‘)
- No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick (in ‘210 Berry Shine‘)
Makeup Brushes Used:
- Primark PS Pro 243 Brow Brush
- B. Cosmetics Eye Contour Brush
- EcoTools Bamboo Eyeshadow Brush
- Real Techniques Shading Brush
- EcoTools Blending Brush (unsure of exact name, from an eyeshadow travel kit)
- EcoTools Large Eye Brush (from eyeshadow travel kit)
- EcoTools Detail Brush (unsure of exact name, from an eyeshadow travel kit)
- EcoTools Wonder Cover Complexion Brush
- EcoTools Retractable Kabuki Brush
- Real Techniques Blush Brush