If there’s one beauty brand universally loved by editors, bloggers, and makeup artists alike, it’s Glossier. Founded in late 2014 by Emily Weiss, the brand singlehandedly ushered in a new era in beauty: One in which minimalism and no-makeup makeup is favored over chiseled cheekbones created by contouring palettes often seen all over Instagram. The brand became a fan favorite overnight and its millennial-pink packaging can be seen everywhere — including, but not limited to, the vanities of beauty editors and the bags hauled to red carpet events by top-billed makeup artists.
Arguably the product that put Emily Weiss’s beauty brand on the map, Boy Brow is everything we want in an eyebrow product: Tinted, but not overly so; long-lasting (because having your brows melt off midday is not a good look); and super easy to use. The 2016 Best of Beauty Award-winning pomade comes in three natural-looking shades (plus a clear version that keeps hairs in place sans any tint), and brushes on easily for brows that look full and groomed, but not bushy. Yes, please.
Full disclosure: If you have oily skin, chances are Glossier’s Futuredew isn’t going to be up your alley, as it’s a serum-oil hybrid that leaves skin super glowy — even when used sparingly. But if your complexion is on the drier side, it might just be your new best friend. Infused with squalane, which hydrates, as well as nourishing oils like jojoba, grapeseed, and evening primrose, it works to smooth, soften, and brighten skin in one fell swoop. Additionally, it can be used as a makeshift highlighter — just tap a dot or two on the high points of your face for a subtle glow.
If you’re looking for an everyday mascara that gives lashes a noticeable-but-natural-looking boost, then Lash Slick is the one for you. Similar to Boy Brow, it coats lash hairs in a glossy pomade that enhances the look of natural lashes and doesn’t get clumpy, gloopy, or flaky. It’s also an excellent option for anyone who can’t be bothered to remove waterproof mascara because it comes off easily and seamlessly with just a little warm water — despite being otherwise budge-proof.
I have to be honest: liquid cheek tints are sometimes, to put it bluntly, hard to use. They’re either too pigmented, not pigmented enough, or dry too fast and leave the face a blotchy, streaky mess. Not so with Cloud Paint, which provides a sheer wash of natural-looking color for a just-in-from-the-cold flush — aka what blush is supposed to look like. The lightweight formula melts into the skin, making blending ridiculously easy — and the four shimmer-free shades (Dusk, a tawny, rose pink; Puff, a brighter, candy pink; Beam, a pretty, golden coral; and Haze, a cool magenta) are makeup bag must-haves.
For those of us who don’t have the patience, energy, or drive to double-cleanse with an oil and then another cleanser. Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser is the answer to all of your post-Happy Hour makeup-removing struggles. The bouncy, lightweight cleanser easily melts off even the most stubborn waterproof makeup and cleanses the skin, without leaving any residue (or that weird, tight, hand-me-the-moisturizer-quick feeling). It also smells like rosewater, which is a nice change from the subtle chemical smell of many other skin-care products.
Myself — and, okay, the rest of the world — have been next-level obsessed with Balm Dotcom since it first hit the market a couple of years ago. Available in an array of skin-brightening shades, the hydrating, waxy balm (blended with beeswax, castor seed oil, and a variety of antioxidants) hydrates dry skin — we’re talking elbows, knees…everything. I like using the Original, untinted version on my body, but for a pretty wash of sheer, glossy color on the lips, the Cherry shade (a juicy, fruity red) cannot be beaten.
Slather the mint-colored, kaolin clay mask onto your face to look at least marginally more alive before work the next day. About 20 minutes later, you’ll be pleasantly surprised when your skin is brighter, smoother, and more awake.
For those who prefer their highlighter to deliver a glowy (rather than sparkly) finish, Glossier’s beloved Haloscope highlighter (a favorite of pretty much every Allure editor) can’t be beaten. The highlighting stick, infused with a core of solid, vitamin-rich oil, gives the skin a dewy, almost glossy highlight — with just a hint of shimmer (thanks to glimmering particles from actual crystals). It’s super easy to apply and blend, and the three luminous shades (sun-kissed Topaz; pearlescent Rose Quartz; and iridescent Moonstone) are versatile enough to be used on all skin tones.
Glossier’s best-selling Priming Moisturizer is one of those rare products that doesn’t seem particularly special, but delivers spectacular results. The featherlight hydrating cream features a blend of potent complexion-improving ingredients (including hyaluronic acid and redness-reducing botanicals) to keep the skin hydrated all day long. At the same time, it’s gentle enough to use every day and gives the skin a healthy, hydrated glow, making it a great pick for days when foundation just isn’t going to happen. Its only qualm? It doesn’t have SPF — so you have to apply your sun protection separately.
It also comes in a Balance version for oily skin, which one reviewer says is “formulated to prevent and heal blemishes with antibacterial, soothing bamboo extract and willow bark extract, which is a natural derivative of pore-clearing salicylic acid.”
To define and fill in your brows, you don’t have to splurge on a trip to the salon to get microblading, lamination, or brow-tinting. Hell, you don’t even need to reach for an expensive, high-end brow product if you don’t want to. Your local drugstore offers plenty of affordable brow-grooming options — no matter what state your brows may be in. It’s got everything, whether you need an amazing clear gel because you’re blessed with perfect arches or a pencil to will fill in even the thinnest, sparest brows.
Keep scrolling to discover 17 drugstore eyebrow products beauty experts always keep in their kits!
Maybelline New York Brow Fast Sculpt Brow Mascara
Filling in super-dark brows can get messy without the right products, and that’s why Allure beauty editor Devon Abelman sticks to Maybelline New York Brow Fast Sculpt Brow Mascara. Its deep and widely spaced bristles coat every single brow hair, and its hardening formula holds them in place all day.
If you like fluffy, pushed-up brows, look to Revolution Beauty’s Soap Styler, a sticky formula that’s perfect for achieving the soap brow trend. It looks white in its pan but glides on clear, so someone of any skin tone or hair color can use it.
The trio of shades in CoverGirl Easy Breezy Brow Powder Kit add extra depth and dimension, creating the illusion of fullness — and never the reality of smudginess, which is why it took home a 2018 Allure Best of Beauty Award for best brow powder.
L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara
The angled brush on the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara perfectly fluffs and arranges arches to give them perfect definition. The 2018 Best of Beauty winner for best clear brow gel holds hairs in place but also comes in three other shades (blonde, light brunette, dark brunette) to fill in any gaps.
For those who have natural brows that are hard shade to match, New York City-based makeup artist Stevie Huynh suggests the Nyx Eyebrow Cake Powder. “It comes with a wax that you could use before to intensify the powder and to groom the brow to shape,” he explains.
Thanks to fibers in the formula that cling to individual brow hairs, this Best of Beauty winner helps thicken and elongate your natural brow hairs. The Maybelline New York Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer is also a favorite of New York City-based makeup artist Ashleigh Ciucci because its formula has a “slight reflective quality which mimics the natural highlights in our brows.”
If you want a sharper tail, she has a quick tip for you. “Dip into the applicator tip with an angled brush and paint the gel on for precision,” Ciucci recommends.
Allan Avendaño, a Los Angeles-based makeup artist, has several drugstore brow product picks, but he calls the L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer his go-to. “It has a fine point that you can use to draw fine lines to mimic hair,” he says. “The end has a brush that you can use to blend those lines in and comb brows into place.”
“For those who are all about all-in-one products, I love the Revlon Brow Fantasy Pencil and Gel,” Avendaño says. On one end, you’ll find a traditional brow pencil formula that fills in the gaps along your brows. Then, you can comb it before locking it into place with the brow gel on the other end.
Allure editorial director Sam Escobar likes to refer to the CoverGirl Easy Breezy Brow Fill + Shape + Define Powder Eyebrow Makeup as the ultimate lazy-day brow definer. The Best of Beauty Award winner is that easy to use. All you have to do is sweep the spongey applicator over your arches, and the powder fills in gaps while defining their shape.
New York City-based makeup artists Vincent Oquendo and Nina Park are fans of the Joah Brow Down To Me Precision Brow Pencil, a super fine-tipped pencil inspired by K-beauty. “The colors it comes in are spot-on,” Oquendo says. “I find it very hard to get a good ashy brow pencil with depth beyond the makeup counter, let alone the drugstore. So when I stumbled upon this pencil, I was like, ‘Sign me up.'”
Maybelline New York Brow Drama Sculpting Eyebrow Mascara
Los Angeles-based makeup artist Fiona Stiles prefers this brow mascara option from Maybelline because of its the curved spooley. “I find it gives more control than a mini, straight one,” she explains. Plus, the Brow Drama Sculpting Eyebrow Mascara’s formula isn’t too thick or too thin, Stiles adds, and the color selection covers all the bases.
Maybelline New York makes several brow products that professional makeup artists swear by, though. If you prefer a pencil, Carissa Ferreri, who works with Gina Rodriguez, recommends the Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil. “This mechanical pencil with its unique diamond shape allows for defined strokes of hair that look very natural,” she explains. “It’s perfect for subtly filling in or adding a bold, bushy brow. It’s also my favorite because it has a short round spooley brush on the other end, which is essential when shaping brows.”
L’Oréal Paris Havana x Camila Cabello Gotta Give Liquid Brow
The L’Oréal Paris Havana x Camila Cabello Gotta Give Liquid Brow could easily be mistaken for a liquid eyeliner in your makeup bag. It has a similar formula, but touts an angled applicator that helps you outline and fill in your brows. Avendaño says the unique way to fill in brows may be weird to use at first, but it’s easy to get the hang of. “I like to put the product on a brow comb or spooley brush to blend it and create a full brow,” he says. “It’s actually quite an easy way to do your brows.”
Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow
If you don’t need any added color and just want to tame your brow hairs, the Maybelline New York Great Lash Clear Mascara for Lash and Brow is a great option. “It’s invisible but helps keep the brows in place,”Quinn Murphy, a makeup artists who has worked with celebrities like Lily Aldridge, Dakota Fanning, and Isla Fisher, explains. You can seal in powders or pencil with it, too. “It’s a great grooming product or final touch to the brows,” he adds.
Robin Black, founder of Beauty Is Boring, is a self-professed brow product snob who generally gravitates towards higher-end picks. However, she finds the Nyx Micro Brow Pencil “surprisingly good.” Reason being? “The thin tip allows for precise application,” she explains. “And I love that it comes in eight shades, including deeper cool tones.”
Another one of Black’s drugstore exceptions to her high-brow product taste is the Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencil. “[Revlon has] revamped this classic with an angled tip that makes filling in your brows easy and quick,” she explains. It comes in five shades, but Black wishes it came in a medium taupe and a cool dark brown. Let’s put that into the universe.
When Avendaño needs a basic tinted brow gel, he reaches for the Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Mascara. “Sometimes you don’t even need to fill in your brows with a pencil,” he says. “This tinted brow gel does all the work with a couple of simple swipes.” He loves how it comes in three shades, which he considers to be great universal hues that suit most brow colors.
As protective face coverings are still very much a part of our day-to-day life, the eyes will continue to be the focal point of our makeup looks. Whether you prefer a sharp cat eye or a fun graphic look, CoverGirl’s Perfect Point Plus Liquid Liner is as bold as it gets. Designed with an easy-gliding felt tip for smooth, quick-drying application that lasts up to 12 hours, it comes in three shades, Black Onyx (true black), Charcoal (slate gray), and Espresso (rich brown) to pair with every look imaginable.
Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Ultra Glow Highlighter
Not only is the one-and-only Pat McGrath gracing the February Allure cover, but she’s also been busy behind the scenes bringing her latest Divine Rose II collection to life. Although every item, including the runway-previewed Mothership VIII Eyeshadow Palette, is sure to leave you breathless, I simply can’t wait to drench my skin in the ethereally rosy-golden Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Ultra Glow Highlighter in Divine Rose. This gel-meets-powder illuminator practically makes your cheekbones visible from outer space — and at the very least, spices up your Zoom dates.
BioBlender by EcoTools 100% Biodegradable Makeup Sponge
After years of research and development (alongside John Nanos, who holds a Ph.D. in organic polymer chemistry), the BioBlender by EcoTools 100% Biodegradable Makeup Sponge is finally available to the masses. Made out of just five vegan ingredients and packaged in 100 percent plantable paper, this eco-friendly beauty tool degrades within four months in a home compost setup, compared to regular makeup sponges that waste away in a landfill for over — wait for it — 50 years. It’s even embedded with a “plant me” message to remind you to do your part.
Originally launched in 2013, Giorgio Armani Beauty has finally launched a revamped Sí Intense Eau de Parfum that essentially feels and looks like a warm hug. Just look at that inviting, honey-like hue. Blackcurrant nectar, Isparta rose, and patchouli ramp up to the bottle’s most intense note, vanilla, making this the perfect cozy winter (or spring) scent.
If you prefer to cocktail your brow routine with different formulas, Kevyn Aucoin’s True Feather Brow Marker Gel Duo was made for you. Infused with mung bean and red clover extract to promote fuller-looking brows, the tinted marker is equipped with an ultra-fine brush tip to create precise, realistic-looking hairs and fill in sparse areas. On the flip side, an invisible gel fluffs up your filled-in (or naked) brows and provides flexible hold. Choose from four different shades: Ash Blonde, Warm Brunette, Brunette, and Dark Brunette.
Colourpop xAnimal Crossing: New Horizons Collection
Save up your bells because you’ll want to spend all of them on Colourpop’s hyped-up Animal Crossing: New Horizons Collection. Inspired by iconic characters, such as Tom Nook, Isabelle, and the Able Sisters, this latest beauty-and-video-game crossover is stacked with pink-, green-, brown-, and purple-themed eye shadow palettes in a variety of matte, matte sparkle, metallic, and pressed glitter finishes. If you’re looking for unadulterated glitz, you can choose between Balloon Pop Super Shock Shadow (a metallic pink-silver single eye shadow) and Bellionaire Glitterally Obsessed (a gold, self-sticking glitter gel) — or frankly, pick up both.
Rounding out the launch are two baby-pink and coral powder blushes reminiscent of the cosmo flowers and wildflowers found on the island. And whether you lean towards pink, coral, or caramel tones, you’re bound to find a fruit-tree-inspired Mini Lip Tint Duo that fits your mood to a T.
$7 to 12 or $125 for the full collection (Shop Now)
Glow Recipe Blueberry Lip Pop
Glow Recipe is no stranger to reformulating its products, and the Lip Pop is the latest to undergo an upgrade of its own. Now 35 percent bigger in size (3.1 grams to 4.2 grams, to get hyper-specific) and available in a permanent blueberry-infused shade, you don’t have to worry about ordering refills as frequently. This three-in-one wonder gently exfoliates, hydrates, and adds a gorgeous berry-pink tint to your lips. Go forth, swipe, and reap the multitiered benefits.
Velour Beauty Vegan Luxe Lashes is the brand’s biggest step towards going 100 percent mink-free in 2021. Swipe on a layer of adhesive glue or the Best of Beauty-winning Lash & Go Eyeliner and plop on any of the 13 new styles, like Run The World for a gradient lengthening effect or the spike-patterned She-E-O for extra drama. Just like that, you’re the proud owner of soft, fluttery lashes.
Patrick Starrr’s latest product, the One/Size Secure the Blur Makeup Magnet Primer, creates a mattified base that’ll grip onto your foundation for all-day hold. A powerful trio of niacinamide, witch hazel, and glycerin minimizes the appearance of large pores, evens skin tone, and controls shine, so all you’re in charge of is showing off your flawless beat.
As the newest addition to the faux freckle family (which also includes Freck OG and Freck XL), Freck Noir was specifically created to complement mid-to-dark skin tones. Simply stamp on a small cluster of dots, and then, quickly tap your fingers on the not-yet-dry pigment to create subtle copies wherever you’d like on your face. If you’ve been in the market for a product that’ll change up your look with minimal effort, this is it.
Bésame Cosmetics The DisneyMary Poppins Collection
Although your makeup bag might not be magically bottomless, there’s definitely room for Bésame Cosmetics’ The Disney Mary Poppins Collection. Based on Mary’s signature floral design and actual lip and cheek colors used in the beloved films, the Practically Perfect Powder, Poppins Red Lipstick (rich red), and Mary’s Cream’s Rouge (dark pink rouge with a hint of coral) might just make you break out in song.
Formulated with a silk-like ester for a one-and-done kind of glide (no tugging involved), Lawless’s Forget The Filler Definer Liner checks off all of the boxes eco-conscious beauty lovers might have. It’s certified “Clean at Sephora,” sustainably sourced — it’s made out of FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) wood — and vegan. You’ll find your perfect my-lips-but-better shade in Burnish (mid-tone nude with a hint of red), Coco (cool-toned deep brown), Honey Rose (pinkish-mauve), or Pink Sand (universal neutral pink).
Let’s face it: You probably haven’t been wearing much makeup this year. It’s been months of staying home, wearing loungey clothes, and covering half of your face with 2020’s hottest accessory, the fabric face mask. For these reasons, you may not have had an excuse to beat your face the way you normally do. But with the holidays upon us — arguably the most glamorous time of the year — it’s the perfect time for you to get back into the swing of your makeup-wearing ways, so you’ll need to be ready with all of the winter 2020 makeup trends to complete your looks. Holiday parties won’t look the same this year, which means the glam won’t be the same either. Whether your gatherings are of the in-person-socially-distanced variety or are completely virtual (and you’re wearing pajama bottoms under your dressy top), you can use these fun winter makeup trends to create makeup looks that make you feel like things are slightly normal. Of course, if you’re headed to a party in person, hopefully masks are required — which means you have the opportunity to put all the focus on your eyes. And if you’re celebrating from behind your webcam, then you can do a full face using some of this season’s trends. Ahead, some of the most in-demand celebrity makeup artists on what they think the biggest winter makeup trends will look like, from dramatic eyeshadow to glossy skin.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #29 series on my blog.
The Ultimate Cat Eye
Daniel Chinchilla, the celebrity makeup artist behind some of Ariana Grande’s most iconic red carpet cat eyes, says the classic look will be back in a big way this winter. “Cat eyes are an easy and sexy way to play up your eyes and feel done up,” he says. “What I love is that you can go as natural or dramatic as you want.” You can even add a glitter liner on top of your traditional black, or go with a bolder color for something more fun. To get the perfect shape, he recommends starting from the end of the eye and pointing it towards the top of the ears. Then gliding liner inward. If you’re using a pen liner, whether it’s felt or brush tip, the more you press down, the thicker your line is, so you’re able to maintain full control.
2. Drama in the Eyes
Another holiday season classic, revamped. “As we get closer to holiday, the coming trend is going to be full-on glamour,” says Tanno. “[You don’t have to] just pick one feature to focus on — you can go for both [dramatic] eyeshadow and matte lips.” She says that Lady Gaga loves a monochromatic look from lash to brow, which you can achieve by washing an eyeshadow all over the lid and up the crease and using colors in the same family to add slight definition. “With any matte lip product it is key to make sure to prep your lips first,” she says. Matte finishes show more texture on your lips, so start by exfoliating your lips with a scrub like Lush’s Mint Julips. Next, apply a bit of any lip balm — the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm is ultra-hydrating — and blot. Fill in your lips with a matte lip crayon like Haus Labs’ Le Monster Matte, and add a bit of concealer around the mouth to have a really sharp, standout pout.
3. Fluffy Brows
First came the over-tweezed brows, then the Instagram-favorite blocky brow, and now, fluffy, natural-looking brows are on trend. “I like this trend because by brushing the brows up and making the hairs straight,” says celebrity makeup artist, Patrick Ta, whose signature stamp is a full, fluffy brow. “It changes the face shape and creates a more angled look and lifts the face.” Chinchilla also thinks this trend will be huge this season, especially since face masks will continue to be worn well into the winter. “Brows are such a focal point on the face so I love making sure they make a statement,” he says. Try out a product that tints and volumizes your brow hairs without making them appear drawn on or overly done, like the Patrick Ta Beauty Major Brow Shaping Wax or Glossier Boy Brow. Use a brow pen like Urban Decay’s Brow Blade to fill in any sparse areas.
4. That Glow
“Winter usually leans a little more matte when it comes to skin and makeup, but changing it up and giving the skin a glow is going to be huge this season,” says Ta. Sarah Tanno, celebrity makeup artist and Global Artistry Director for Haus Laboratories, is also sure that this will be a trend this winter. To get the look, she recommends “sweeping blush and bronzer above the cheekbones from the temple to the nose and draping a highlighter across the top to find your best light.” Topping your color product with a glossy highlighter can really add dimension and depth to your look. Finalizing the look with an ultra-glossy lip can really complete it, giving your whole face a dewy, glowy finish. For highlighter, check out Patrick Ta Beauty’s Face Gloss or the Nudestix Nudies Glow in Hey, Honey. Tanno loves using the Haus Labs Head Rush Blush Duo in Bouquet & Ribbon. For lip gloss, Dose of Colors has a wide array of flat and glitter glosses with high-shine finishes, or you can use the Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(cover) Hydrating Coconut Lip Oil as a clear topper over your lipstick.
5. Get Graphic
You’ve probably seen graphic eyeliner looks all over Instagram so it should come as a surprise to you that both Chinchilla and Ta are predicting that the trend will be huge this winter. “It’s a great way to play with a little color without having to master the art or eyeshadow blending,” says Chinchilla. “Best of all, there are no rules!” Ta adds, “I love the fact that you can play and change the eye shape. I think it’s a fun trend that you can wear year round, it’s playful and fun, and it’s a way to play with color without having too much color on the eye.” Chinchilla recommends taking a tiny detail brush to a product like the KVD Vegan Beauty Super Pomade because they’re “super easy to use and are completely waterproof.” If you need a little more control and prefer a pencil format, the Colourpop Creme Gel Liners are hyperpigmented and easy to manipulate on the eye. Mix and match different colors and play with shapes or negative space until you achieve your desired effect.
6. Living in Liner
Another eyeliner trend for the season is what Tanno is calling “lived-in liner,” citing it as one of Lady Gaga’s current favorite makeup styles. Lived-in liner is a smudged, smoked-out look that you can achieve with just one easy product: a malleable eyeliner pencil. Look for a soft pencil like the Haus Labs Eye-dentify Gel Pencil or the Marc Jacobs Beauty Gel Eye Crayon Eyeliner that gives you a little play time. Line your eyes with the pencil and use a smudging brush like Makeup by Mario’s E 5 Makeup Brush to create your desired shape. Pencils like the ones from Haus Labs and Marc Jacobs dry down so that you don’t have to worry about them budging all night long.
Top four French makeup artists have spoken about high-quality, democratically priced future cult classics that they stock up on in U.S. drugstores. Here, 12 steals you should add to your beauty repertoire, with some of my tips along the way.
Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
“When you have bangs, dry shampoo is your best friend. I also use it to give my hair texture and help shape and style it. I love the mini travel size version.”
My tip: working early mornings and late evenings leaves me no desire to wash my hair as often as I’d wish, so, this bad boy has been my third-day staple for years! It comes in a variety of different scents and sizes, as well.
“You can create a smoky eye on the go in just two minutes. I bought the entire shade range and pick one each day based on my mood.”
My tip: the shade MILK from this lineup is an industry staple white base, perfect for other shadows to pop on the lid or in the waterline. No-budge formula of this pencil has been around for years for a good reason.
“This mascara not only makes your lashes look longer and full, but lets you easily add more than one coat without clumping.”
My tip: this industry staple is one for a reason, with almost every brand out there trying to recreate their own version of a result that this mascara gives you. Volume, length, separation, longevity – it has it all. It also comes in a waterproof version, and a variety of fun shades!
“I keep a few of these with me so I can use it on my clients and give it to them for touch ups or a night on the town. The formula is rich, velvety, and easy to apply, and the pen doesn’t need to be sharpened.”
My tip: if you can’t find this product in your local stores, I recommend Maybelline’s SuperStay Ink Crayon as an alternative.
“I mix this serum into foundation to get rid of bags. I place two drops into the palm of my hand, add one dot of foundation, blend with my finger, and smooth it from the inner to outer corner of the undereye area.”
My tip: for a quicker and better result, use this product by itself before makeup application. Perhaps along with a moisturizer, while you’re working on the eye makeup or brows.
Oh boy, my eyebrows were a casualty of the early teens in the sense that when I say I tweezed them into one singular line of hair, it’s not at all an exaggeration.
After time passed and trends evolved, I finally decided it was time to restore the damage I’d done on my brows. Thankfully, my brows — through years of training — rose from the ashes like a phoenix, and now, I tend to them like the miracle story they are. That of course includes using a brow gel on the daily so they look their best.
And since I generally try to scale back my makeup-wearing days to care for my skin, I often prefer to restock my usual makeup staples from more budget-friendly options — which is exactly how I found my new holy-grail brow product, the NYX Cosmetics Control Freak Eyebrow Gel.
As is the case with most great makeup discoveries, I started with a Google search and ended up on Amazon. In my quest to find a dupe for my usual brow gel, I came across this NYX one thanks to the thousands of glowing reviews of the formula. Then, after spotting the $5 price tag, it was on my mind to purchase within seconds.
Since I first tried Glossier’s Boy Brow years ago, I’ve been sold on it. It gives my brows just enough hold without feeling sticky and locks them in place throughout the day unlike any formula I’d used before. But with a $16 price tag, I wasn’t above finding a dupe, which in and of itself gives me a high, if you will. And based on the reviews, it’s clear I’m not the only one who’s made this discovery.
“I bought this because I ran out of Boy Brow and didn’t feel like paying for a refill,”said one Amazon shopper. “I’m SO glad I didn’t. I will be using this from now on. This holds brows in place and isn’t heavy. You only need to sweep over the brows one time and you’re good. For such an affordable product I’m seriously so impressed, I don’t usually buy cheap makeup but this has blown my mind and now I’m wondering why I’ve been spending so much money on products that might work as well as drugstore brands.”
I’d have to agree. The clear gel tames my brows into a natural and defined shape, and keeps them that way throughout the day without ever feeling heavy or sticky. And at a price tag that’s less than a latte, it’s one staple I plan on keeping in my makeup bag for a very long time.
If there’s one brand that’s proved it’s worth the hype, it’s Glossier. Basically every new launch immediately lands on top of the best Glossier products charts. It’s not hard to see why: Glossier is a master class in brand identity (see: its millennial pink packaging, “G” merch, and dreamy but realistic ads), it’s perfected the art of the no-makeup makeup look, and it’s got a fanbase so loyal that shoppers will patiently wait (often out the door of its showrooms) to get their hands on whatever just hit the shelves.
But just like with anything that seems too good to be true, those who aren’t fully aboard the Glossier train often wonder whether its products are actually worth it. Does Boy Brow really transform your eyebrows in few single swipes? Is Cloud Paint seriously as good as its painfully cute tube would lead you to believe? Do the Body Hero products actually feel as divine as they look in the ads? If the Glossier reviews ahead have anything to say, the answer is a resounding yes.
Scroll on for GLAMOUR’s honest Glossier reviews to see what’s absolutely worth spending your money on.
Glossier Boy Brow
There’s a reason this product is Glossier’s top seller (and inspiration for so many copycats): It’s awesome. I love everything about it—its tiny tube, its teeny brush that separates and grooms so well, its super-sticky, nonflaky, semiwaxy formula that holds hairs in place for days. Even better, Glossier finally expanded its shade range to include an auburn shade for redheads like me. —Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor
Everyone says the last thing they want in a concealer is cakey-ness. Having makeup visibly settle into the fine lines we all have isn’t cute and defeats the purpose, for me, of wearing makeup to begin with. What I love about Glossier’s Stretch Concealer is its texture. It’s so lightweight and dewy that it’s almost impossible for it to cake up. I started using it not just under my eyes to cover circles but also on my eyelids to give my face a more pulled-together look, as well as to cover redness under my nose and at the corners of my mouth. It looks super natural—some might say too natural if ultra-full coverage is the goal—but it works wonders for me when I don’t feel like a full face of foundation and want a light glow while still hiding my skin issues. —Perrie Samotin, digital director
I don’t always wear makeup—but I will wear lip balm, which is why the Balm Dot Com formula is so appealing to me. It’s light and moisturizing without being sticky, but is tinted in these gorgeous shades that make it seem like I tried. Cherry is my go-to color, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of them. —Shanna Shipin, commerce editor
I love how the Lash Slick formula goes on evenly and the brush “combs” so each lash is accentuated. I also appreciate that the tiny fibers add oomph without turning my lashes into spider legs. Whereas other mascaras go on wet and immediately leave dotted marks below my brows, Lash Slick magically stays put—from the moment I put it on until I wash it off at night. I was nervous, since it’s water-resistant, not waterproof, but I’m happy to report that it doesn’t flake or smudge. —Kimberly Fusaro, branded content director
I’ve been a fan of Glossier since day one, and most of its products have made their way into my daily routine (hi, Boy Brow!). But my love runs deepest for its Milky Jelly Conditioning Face Wash. The texture is unique—the only way I can describe it is cushiony—and it never leaves my skin feeling tight or stripped. I use it in the morning on dry skin and at night after an oil cleanser or micellar water to remove makeup. The smell is incredible: It’s like roses and lipstick, but it’s subtle enough not to irritate my sensitive skin. I will always have a bottle in my bathroom because it works, and it honestly just makes me happy when I use it, which is what beauty is all about. —Bella Cacciatore, beauty assistant
Normally I’d roll my eyes at anything being called “aesthetic skin care”—meaning, a product that imparts skin-care benefits but also looks incredible on—but that’s exactly what this oil-serum hybrid is, and the glow it gives your face is impossible to scoff at. Futuredew gets its skin-glistening magic from light-reflecting minerals, but it’s also got all the things you’d look for in a great hydrating serum: jojoba, grape seed, evening primrose, and rosehip oils, along with squalane to help lock in moisture. The number of compliments I’ve gotten on my skin has increased tenfold since I’ve started using it. No lie. —L.S.
I won’t lie: When I first tested this by drawing swatches on my hand, I was unimpressed by the pigment payoff. But when I tried it on my eyes, I realized that’s where it’s magic comes to life. The buildable formula makes the whole experience less high-stakes. If your line goes awry, it’s fine, because it isn’t intense dark black until you draw a few layers. This means less of a heart attack for those who haven’t mastered a cat eye and more versatility from day to night. The brush tip is superthin and glides along your lash line for a subtle vibe that feels very Glossier, and the control is top-notch! When I washed my hands, the swatches didn’t budge. —Erin Parker, commerce writer
With all the handwashing I’ve been doing since COVID hit, this rich—but not sticky—hand cream has been a godsend. It smells like the brand’s fragrance, You, which is clean and fresh with a slight hint of florals. I wish I were going more places these days, because this is the kind of cute packaging you never get sick of pulling out of your bag. —L.S.
Glossier’s reformulated Generation G lipstick is a new favorite of mine. I love how comfortable and moisturizing it is. I use the color Zip, which is sheer and buildable, so I can apply it on the go, but still packs such a punch that I don’t need to wear anything else with it. It’s the perfect red lip for those who are a little bit color-shy like me. —Khaliha Hawkins, producer
Until Body Hero, I believed the one metric that mattered in lotion was how well it moisturized. I was a noob! Innocent and impressionable! But as soon as I found this (attractive!) stuff, I learned the truth. A good lotion will make your legs look longer, your skin feel dewier, and your bod smell like a fresh-picked flower. I’ve reordered it three times. —Mattie Kahn, culture director
I’m all in on highlighting pretty much 365 days of the year—but most especially when I’m feeling a little run-down. The combo of crystal extracts and actual moisturizing oils in Haloscope ensures that I look fresh-faced and dewy while it hydrates my skin at the same time. A dash on my cheeks, brow bones, and the bridge of my nose, and I’m good to go. —Abby Gardner, news writer
I used to swear by Nars Orgasm Blush—and it’s still a fave!—but ever since I tried Glossier’s Cloud Paint, I have trouble using anything else. Cloud Paint is incredibly easy to apply (I use my finger), and it blends seamlessly on my cheeks. The tiny tube is also deceptive; it actually lasts me months even though I use it every day. As for the color, I’ll alternate using Beam and Puff between seasons. Beam is orangey, so it gives a pretty glow in the summer, whereas Puff is a light pink that looks great when I’m more pale. —B.C.
After I cleanse my skin at night, I swipe this glycolic acid toner all over my face and neck in order to remove excess makeup residue and keep my skin smooth. Thanks to powerful hydroxy acids (AHA, BHA and PHA), it works to gently exfoliate, unclog pores, and fight breakouts. I’ve totally seen a difference since I added it to my routine. —Jillian Ruffo, contributor
I have my eyebrow routine down pat: I apply a primer/growth serum and use my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz and that it’s. Two products and I’m done. However, after trying Glossier’s Brow Flick in Black, I realized that my eyebrows were missing some serious definition. Brow Flick definitely made my brows stand out more than they originally did, and as I grow them out to be the big bushy brows I want, it’s become the perfect subtle addition to my routine. The tip is thin and precise, and you can wipe/brush out any mistakes you make. —K.H.
I’ve been a fan of the Body Hero lotion since it launched, but lately I’ve been more into oils, so this couldn’t have come at a better time. Like its older sister, the packaging is cool and expensive looking, and it makes me smile every time I see it in my bathroom. The oil itself is super lightweight—it’s a dry oil so you can put jeans on right away or roll around in clean sheets without leaving a mess—but it feels really nourishing and lush. My favorite part, though, is the scent; the perfect soapy neroli that makes me smell like a rich European baby. I have no complaints. —B.C.
Glossier’s shimmery Lidstar eye shadows have been a mainstay in my makeup bag for years, so when the brand revealed it was launching matte eye shadow, I had high hopes. While I wish the packaging were a bit more interesting (really, how can you beat Lidstar’s mini test tubes?), the formula more than makes up for it. The colors are matte, yes, but they still go on with the sheer, buildable consistency Glossier’s eye shadows are famous for. The dry-down, meanwhile, looks like powder without any of the telltale dryness or cakey-ness. My favorite is the blue shade, Pool, that reminds me of the powder blues that were big in the late ’90s—but look perfectly in place for 2020. —L.S.
Let me preface this by saying I am not a bar-soap girl, and yet I am obsessed with this exfoliating bar. First of all, I hate how much body scrubs leave a trail of grounds at the bottom of my tub, and a lot leave my already oily skin feeling like there’s a thin film over it. This is hydrating yet tough on rough patches of skin, and I love the little well on the bottom of the bar that lets you drop a bit of body wash on top so you can cleanse and exfoliate in one fell swoop. —L.S.
This may be a hot take, but I don’t use many—if any—Glossier products in my daily routine. (I know, I know.) There is one exception, though, and that’s Wowder. The loose powder manages to give my skin a matte yet dewy appearance without feeling too cakey. It’s like putting an IRL filter over your skin. —Anna Moeslein, senior editor
It’s kind of incredible how easily these eye shadows wake up your face. I seriously put it on in the back of a cab without a mirror—that’s how easy they are. With one swipe and smudge on your lid, it leaves the prettiest soft wash of color behind. Most days I wear Lily, the lilac color, with mascara (my current fave is by Maybelline), and it gives the illusion I put much more thought into getting ready. And if I had a late night out? I’ll put Moon in the inner corners of my eyes to brighten them. —L.S.