eyebrows on fleek

(GIF: Giphy)

After almost two years on the beauty scene, ColourPop recently launched its debut line of eyebrow products, and frankly, this is the best beauty news of 2016 so far. Perhaps best known for its matte liquid lipsticks, the budget-friendly brand has a knack for creating instantly iconic products that amass a fervent cult following. Until now, my only experience with ColourPop has been through reporting its launches and various celebrity collaborations, most because their products are available online only, and online shopping for beauty products that I’m not already completely familiar with makes me really nervous. So, when I got my hands on ColourPop’s new Brow Pencils ($5 each) and Brow Colours ($6), I was beyond stoked to get them all up on my face and tell you all about them.

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If you’ve ever ordered anything from ColourPop before, you probably know how great their packaging is. Since this was my first time, though, I was very pleasantly surprised at how subtly pretty it is:

colourpop brow

I mean, right? The metallic finish on the sleeve makes everything feel so elegant—definitely not something I was expecting from an under-$15 purchase.

I don’t want to bombard you with information and excitement, so let’s do this in an orderly fashion. First up, we have the Brow Pencils:

brow pencilsThe complete set comes in a perfectly color-coordinated box with a handy little color guide. Each pencil is double-ended, with the pigment on one side and a spoolie on the other, leaving you with no excuse to not blend your color and brush your brows into shape. The pencil itself is a self-sharpening twist-up one not unlike the cult-fave Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. My one complaint is that, once you twist the product up and out of the pencil, you can’t twist is back down. In a way that’s a good thing because it prevents you from using too much, but I also twisted it up pretty high in order to get a good look at it, and I was nervous that putting the cap back on would ruin the pencil. Luckily, it didn’t, but you understand my concern.

Here are all eight colors swatched out on my conveniently paper-colored arm:

colourpop brow swatches

L-R: Blondie, Honey Blonde, Dope Taupe, Arched Auburn, Red Head, Bangin’ Brunette, Black ‘N Brown, Jet Set Black

I should note that I barely pressed down on my arm with each pencil, and I still got that really intense color payoff from each shade. I also love that there are two colors for red heads, because so many other brow pencils either neglect gingers altogether or assume that they’re all orange à la the Weasleys.

After a brief deliberation, I decided that Honey Blonde was probably the closest approximation to my shade, which is odd because I never considered myself to be a blonde in the first place. But I digress (I’m really not a blonde, though).

Here are my brows in their natural, unpolished “Before” state:

colourpop before

I almost always have something on my brows, be that clear mascara, a lightweight brow pencil, or Milani‘s relatively high-coverage brow color, because years of waxing and nervous plucking of my brows have left them a little sparse. I went completely product-free for the sake of this review, though, so you’re welcome.

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The application process is just like any other brow pencil: I brushed my brows up, used light, small strokes to fill in any empty spaces or sparse areas, and once I was satisfied with the finish, I blended the color in with my natural brows to keep them from looking streaky or too drawn-on. Here’s how a filled-in brow looks compared to a natural brow:

colourpop one and oneImmediately, the side with the filled-in brow looks more polished and put-together, and all it took was 30 seconds and a little bit of eyebrow love. Satisfied with the color, I filled in my other brow:

colourpop after

I’m so, so impressed. When I say I barely touched my brow with the product and achieved that color, I’m not exaggerating. These pencils are super pigmented, and I love how perfectly the shade managed to match my hair color (which, when I got hair extensions, I learned is actually pretty difficult to match). Here’s a before-and-after shot, just so you don’t have to keep scrolling back and forth to see the difference:

colourpop before and after

The Brow Pencil was going to be worth the money no matter what because, really, $5 isn’t going to break the bank, but considering this is going to be my new go-to brow pencil, I’m pretty damn pleased.

Next up, I went to try out the Brow Colours, the packaging for which is equally pretty:

colourpop brow colors

The eight shades are exactly the same, so, in theory, you don’t have to worry about too much color variation. Here’s what each little product pot looks like:

colourpop individual color

They’re just too cute, and I’ve always loved ColourPop’s holographic logo. Brow tints like these always require the use of a brush which, unfortunately, was not included with the brow colour set. Unfortunately, I think that’s the case with all of them, which seems like an oversight on ColourPop’s part to me. I mean, technically you could use any stiffer, synthetic angled brush you already have in your arsenal, but shouldn’t a brow color come with all the tool you need to use it?

Things that are even more awkward, though: I had every intention of reviewing the Honey Blonde Brow Colour just as I had reviewed the Brow Pencil, but I physically couldn’t open the jar. I tried three separate ones, gave them to my co-worker to try, and then we accepted defeat. On one hand, it’s great that they’re protecting the integrity of the product by sealing it up so tightly, but on the other hand, maybe don’t seal it so tightly that you’re protecting it from me. I’d like to believe that the Brow Colour is just as good as the Brow Pencil, but unfortunately, I can’t personally vouch for it. I shall keep trying, though, and update you if I ultimately acquire the adequate amount of upper body strength to open the jar.

Verdict: ColourPop’s debut brow products are the shit. That is all.

ColourPop’s Brow Pencils and Brow Colours are currently all out of stock, but keep checking back on ColourPop’s website for a re-stock!

(Photos: Sara Steinfeld/The Gloss)