Because the ink doesn’t go as deeply into the skin as body art, microblading fades over time. Depending on your skin type, it could last one to two years. Sometimes, you even need a touchup four to eight weeks after your first appointment.
However, getting that touchup right now isn’t exactly an option. With salons across the U.S. shuttered due to the COVID-19 outbreak, people have been trying professional services on themselves, like facials and haircuts. But at-home microblading is absolutely not an option. Luckily, brow pens that create the same effect — no painful incisions necessary — exist. Sure, their hair-like strokes for the illusion of fuller, defined arches last only about two days, but the pens work in a pinch. They provide a quick touchup for your next Zoom meeting and will hold you over until you can finally make an appointment with your favorite cosmetic tattooist once again. For those who’ve never gotten the procedure done before, consider this a way to satisfy your microblading curiosity, too.
Most of the brow pens on this list take a three-pronged approach to master a microblading effect — literally. Milk Makeup and Maybelline New York launched pens with toothed applicator for quickly etching on lines that look just like naturally grown brow hairs. MAC and Urban Decay also make ones with felt or brush tips like your go-to liquid liner, so you’ll be used to maneuvering it. No matter what applicator you prefer, you’re sure to find a suitable option for your brow grooming routine on this list of best brow pens for creating a microblading effect, below.
Essence The Eyebrow Pen
The Essence The Eyebrow Pen is a no-nonsense take on the toothed marker trend. Rake it through your arches with short, upward strokes, and your handiwork won’t budge until you wash your face. Fans of the tool also speckle on faux freckles with the pen.
Glossier Brow Flick fills in where Boy Brow doesn’t. The latter tames and fluffs up arches; the paintbrush-like applicator of Brow Flick, on the other hand, focuses on the details.
Fill in gaps and add definition where you need it, but keep this tip from New York City-based makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes in mind: the pen works best on “completely clean, oil-free brows, so you shouldn’t have any moisturizer on them or any oils or serums or any skin-care product — and no highlighters.”
Comb the L’Oréal Paris Micro Ink Brow Pen through your brows like a little brush to bolster every hair for up to 48 hours straight. Its applicator has the sharpest edge on the market. Flip it over and elongate the tails of your arches with it.
The ingredient list for the Milk Makeup Kush Triple Brow Pen could be confused for a skin-care product as it touts aloe, sunflower oil, and CBD oil – all to help nourish your brows and the skin underneath them. The pen is offered in a whooping eight hues in warm, cool, and neutral tones of blonde and brown, as well as auburn and black, so you’re find to find your perfect match.
The Revolution Pro Build & Grow Brow Serum Duo wants to be a part of all of your beauty routines. While doing your makeup, uncap the pigmented side in one of three variations of brown: ash, warm, and dark to sculpt your brows.
When it’s time for your nighttime skin-care regimen, remove the white cap to reveal a market-like applicator to coat your arches in a transparent serum. We can’t attest to its hair growth claims, but millet seed extract and panthenol are sure to moisturize the area.
The forces of a pen and powder join together in one powerful baton. One of the MAC Shape + Shade Brow Tint is an ultra-fine felt tip liner to fill gaps; the other houses a self-depositing sheer pigment in its cap that clings onto the spongey tip. Smooth it onto arches to add dimension and lock in your brow look all day long.
Press down the tip to conveniently replenish the long-lasting inkiness of the Maybelline New York TattooStudio Brow Tint Pen — a genius feature most of the other pens lack. (For the others, store them cap side down to force the pigment to collect at the tip.)
Another thin brush tip option if the three-pronged applicators intimidate you: the Sephora Collection Microblade Effect Brow Pen. You can pick from two universal shades – light and deep – to make the faux microblading process that much more foolproof.
Although the Urban Decay Brow Blade is the priciest option on this list, it’s the perfect selection if your partial to a pencil. The two-in-one solution has a tiny retractable one that’s equally as neddle-like brush applicator for a subtle stain. Its shade range is also the most numerous with nine to choose from, including a universal color called Taupe Trap.
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.