Makeup Monday: Brows Get Their Own Post, Because Of Course They Do

Welcome to Makeup Monday, my weekly series on makeup; academic and postacademic job market and productivity posts will continue on Tuesday and Friday as usual.

Here is my weekly reminder:  I will not engage with makeup-shaming here or on any Facebook or Twitter comment threads. I support your right to not wear makeup, and anyone who dislikes makeup, disapproves of makeup, or wants to argue that no academic woman should be judged on the basis of makeup (which nobody is claiming anyway), I suggest you come back for my other posts on other topics.

For previous posts, see the following:

Some of you were probably wondering why last week’s Makeup Monday post, All About Eyes, didn’t include any mention of brows. Well, that’s because it’s 2017: the year of the fetishized eyebrow! And brows need their own dedicated blog post.  I mean, seriously, you would have to be living under a rock not to be aware of the intense brow obsession of our “on fleek” (sigh, yes) current moment.

This image from Anastasia, THE brow product company, illustrates the multi-step madness of the au courant brow of 2017.

Do I do this brow? I most certainly do not. I do not comprehend this recent brow thing, and I often find myself deeply mystified by  the massive painted on brows that one sees on young people these days, especially at Sephora and the like. And, who decided we need powders, pomades, gels, crayons, and pencils… all just for the brow?

But, even I have been influenced by the brow moment. It began, I’m really sorry to say, with a Facebook ad that got me.  The ad was for Glossier Boy Brow. I actually do have rather thin and sparse brows, and so when the ad popped up, after avoiding it for a couple of months, I finally gave in and clicked. Only to discover that Glossier Boy Brow is a bit of a cult item. I didn’t know anything about it, but I decided to give it a try, and my daughter was unprecedentedly impressed. It is literally the only known case of makeup traveling Mom –> teenage daughter.

Boy Brow is a good product: it does exactly what it says, and it stays on, and doesn’t flake (much; I think it does a little, after a long day).  Here’s what some Buzzfeed testers have to say about it:

Nina’s thoughts: Hands down, the best one of the four. I always thought people were overhyping Glossier products, but this is a truly standout brow gel. It’s not too rigid and the applicator makes it easy to get your lil hairs in place. If I had to buy and use a brow gel, this would be it.

Lara’s thoughts: THE REAL MVP. I hate that I like this so much because it’s so small and $16, but I will most definitely purchase this and use it every day of my life when I am not using Benefit. It’s a great color, great texture, and it just looks natural but makes my brows look way better. I’m freakin’ sold. Damnit.

Alice’s thoughts: Definitely my favorite of the four. It had the best balance of hold and color. I was so happy to see that it actually made my hairs stay put! I thought maybe the color was going to come off too dark, but it looked fine once I put it on. Will definitely be adding this to my “only-got-10-minutes-to-get-ready” morning kit.

Our overall rating: 5/5

I used Boy Brow for a few months, and liked it, until I realized that I just really didn’t have the patience to for the meticulous application of what is basically mascara on my brows.  So I simplified, and went back to the old-standby eyebrow pencil. However, even this was harder than you’d think, because it’s actually rather hard to find a REALLY DARK BROWN brow pencil that is not black.  So my issue with pencils was not so much the struggle to find a durable, quality product, so much as it was to find the one among many good products that was actually the right color. Although I definitely notice that not all pencils have equal durability, and cheaper ones are waxier with less color payoff.

This search took me through: Billion Dollar Brow Brows on Point (from Rite Aid), to Estee Lauder Double Wear, to Anastasia Brow Wiz, to Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil, and finally back to Anastasia Brow Wiz in the right color for me (which somehow I had missed the first time).

So what I now use is Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ebony.

In truth, Anastasia has been the brow specialist for a couple decades, long pre-dating the current brow obsession. So, it’s a great line, with the best color range of products that I’ve seen:


I don’t have much more to say about brows, except:  you always want to use highlighter on your browbone. I like It Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Luminizer in Radiance, which lends a nice subtle sheen!

Similar Posts:

About Karen Kelsky

I am a former tenured professor at two institutions--University of Oregon and University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. I have trained numerous Ph.D. students, now gainfully employed in academia, and handled a number of successful tenure cases as Department Head. I've created this business, The Professor Is In, to guide graduate students and junior faculty through grad school, the job search, and tenure. I am the advisor they should already have, but probably don't.


Makeup Monday: Brows Get Their Own Post, Because Of Course They Do — 5 Comments

  1. First time commenter here! I’ve really been enjoying Makeup Monday posts as a PhD candidate who wears a full face every day to teach.

    To the brow conversation, I would add that what took my brows to the next level was defining them with a highlight above AND below after drawing them on (I use one of the powder contour shades in the Kat von D Shade and Light palette). I saw a video recently of a RuPaul contestant doing the same, so I felt very proud of my makeup skillz. I use Yves St. Laurent Touche Éclat for this step, but any cream-based subtle highlighter will do.

    Thanks for posting, and I look forward to the next one!

    • I JUST bought touche eclat for that purpose and havwn’t actually started using it yet! I think i bought the wrong shade–it’s a bit too dark to be highlighty.

  2. Pingback: #MakeupMonday – Christmas Makeup | The Professor Is In

  3. Pingback: #MakeupMonday: Skin Care as Coping Mechanism and Catalyst | The Professor Is In

  4. Pingback: #MakeupMonday: How I Got My Lashes Back | The Professor Is In

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.