Here’s a relatively unusual post from me today! I have a makeup tip. It’s something I found so profoundly changed my perception of an area on my face that was bugging me, that I had to share. So today’s post is an ode to MAC Browset! Not a sponsored review or anything, just a girl who fell in love with a new product she bought. 😉
This is for those faux redheads out there who, like me, have naturally dark and relatively full eyebrows, that they wish were just a touch lighter, to better match their red hair! Or for that matter, anyone who’d like to temporarily lighten and change the appearance of their eyebrows a tad! In my case, it’s to give an overall slightly lighter and more auburn look.
I have annoying eyebrows. To me, anyway. They have a pretty nice natural shape but they’re long, they grow down, they’re unruly, they grow like weeds, and if I’m not careful, I can wake up looking like a gorilla if I’m a little lax about my routine. I could probably make them look even tidier, but man, there’s only so much effort I’m willing to put in. Lazy vintage girl sometimes, sorry.
Anyway, the one thing that really bugged me when I last went red was my dark eyebrows. I could (and did, and do) use products to add more of a red tone to them, but it always felt like it was just red hanging out with dark brown. Which it was. It worked, but it never satisfied me completely. Especially in artificial light where they looked even darker and the auburn didn’t shine through. I know some redheads pull off dark eyebrows fantastically, but on me, to me, it never jived the way I wished it could. And I know that’s just me being super critical of myself, but such is life.
I didn’t want to lighten them with bleach or dye them because I have enough hair maintenance going on as it is, and that just seemed like a big drag! What if they go too light? How do they look growing out? How often? Etc… etc… nope, sorry. So it had to be a product I could apply temporarily.
I looked at lots of tutorials and articles online and none really fit the bill—the majority just said what I was already doing. Using some combination of dry products (pencils or powder), with a brow gel or mousse to tame. Been there, was doing that already. Marginal results. You can make light eyebrows dark but it’s damn near impossible to get dark eyebrows light.
Then I just randomly stumbled across one tutorial and it changed everything! I watched the woman transform her naturally very dark eyebrows to a somewhat lighter brown, and the product she used that pushed it over the edge was MAC Browset in Girl/Boy. The key to my eyebrow castle! All I needed to do was combine it with my products for more of an auburn result, suitable for redheads.
Let me tell you, eyebrow life changing product for me, here!! MAC Browset comes in a little mascara tube with a spoolie. Girl/Boy is a light brown copper color. Way lighter than my eyebrows so I was worried at first, but it blends in easily by just carefully applying it with very small strokes with the spoolie (I really use just the tippy top for extra control, and let it all dry a minute and go over a second time if needed). It essentially paints the hairs, but when you then use a dry spoolie or brush to brush the eyebrow hairs into place, it ends up looking pretty natural, and not like you’ve painted a product over your brows. Which you know, you have.
Here’s my face with only one eyebrow done, the other is completely natural, with no eyebrow products applied at all. Look at the difference! Obvious, but my left eyebrow is fully done my normal way (I’ll explain the other products below, don’t worry) but finished off with MAC Browset, and my right is the one that was left natural (but I see has a bit of a white cast to it from my foundation and powder, sorry).
Here’s a closer up (it’s really hard to photograph eyebrows!)…
While that’s the most dramatic difference, for a better comparison, I wanted to show you what one of my eyebrows looked like doing my previous “normal” eyebrow routine for red hair, but without the MAC Browset on top (and actually skipping the last step, which would have been to use a gel or mousse to keep them in place).
This to me is the clincher:
Totally nothing wrong with that other eyebrow, but can you see how much darker it looks? Almost darker than my natural brows, in a weird way. Yeah, it has a bit of an auburn appearance to it from the other products I used, but it’s still pretty dark in comparison to the eyebrow using Browset. And up close below, I think you can see that’s even more noticeable, especially at the fullest part of my eyebrow (oy, I can also see it’s time to wax again, story of my life, ha ha).
So then, all we have left is to see what it looks like when both brows are done up. Voila!
In case you’re wondering, here’s the full product rundown of what I’m using here on the “new and improved” eyebrows. The only change is the last product:
- penciling in the shape with Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil in Auburn, using small strokes
- adding Illamasqua Eye Brow Cake in Stark Auburn (a powder), with an angled brush
- highlighting above/below brow slightly with MAC eye shadow in Blanc Type (I alternate between this and Benefit High Brow pencil, which is better for hot days when powder tends to disappear in a flash)
- finishing off with MAC Browset in Girl/Boy (MAC describes the color as “fawn blonde”), using just the tip of the spoolie applicator to lightly coat the strands, then using a dry spoolie to brush the hairs in place, going over it again a second time if the result isn’t what I want the first time (usually because I’m being very light handed, so I don’t overdo it!)
Yeah, seems like a lot, but honestly, it just takes me a couple of minutes. And I can now achieve somewhat lighter looking eyebrows, but more importantly, they go even better with my red hair than what I was doing before, and they no longer look like the dark brown eyebrows they really are. I was just missing that final product!
Gigantic transformation? Okay I’m probably being a little dramatic because I’m excited, but I do think it makes a pretty big difference. It’s $17 and I know that’s a bit steep for one little product to finish off your eyebrows, but I do think one tube is going to last me ages. You could also investigate dupes—a very light brown mascara might do the trick, too. For me though this was $17 extremely well spent!
Of course like anything makeup-related, it all boils down to personal preference. Most people don’t give a flying fig about your eyebrows. But if something makes you feel better, that’s what it’s all about! And now that I have MAC Browset in my arsenal, I definitely feel a lot happier about my eyebrow situation. 🙂
Cheers to the little things that bring us joy! Have you found a makeup must-have lately??
Filed: Vintage Dibs and Dabs