Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade Review and Routine

Brows. They take up the least amount of room on your face but are the most crucial in a final look. I don't always fill them in when I just want to run errands. But when I do make an effort to dress up my eyes or lips, I make a point of perfecting my brows. I know it isn't the same for everyone, but when I forget to do my brows when I'm rocking a smokey eye or bold lip, the upper part of my face just seems incomplete and ill-composed. I find that a well-executed brow tones a look down and keeps it all "together".

A brow product I've been loving lately is the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade. It's exactly what it sounds like- a pomade for your brows. Sephora describes it as a "smudge-free, waterproof pomade formula that performs as an all-in-one brow product", and I have to agree. This product does have a bit of a learning curve if you've never worked with cream or gel formulas. My suggestion is to get comfortable using an angled brow brush and brow powder or eyeshadow first. Learning how to master using a brush as opposed to a brow pencil or pen really makes all the difference. You have to gauge how much product you're loading onto the brush and how much pressure you're applying with. Things can go from natural, bushy brows to blocky check marks real fast if you're not careful. 

The first time I used this was for my boyfriend's friend's wedding. No kidding. I was in the hotel room doing my makeup when Brad handed the Ulta bag to me. I had completely forgot my Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow at home and was desperate to try the Dipbrow anyways. Fortunately for me, I wasn't too worried about getting the hang of things since I've had experience with applying products from a pot (I used to use MAC Paint Pot in Quite Natural in a pinch) and Aqua Brow has taught me a lot about "a little goes a long way". I was so excited and amazed how quickly I was able to fill in my brows and how the product sort of "trained" the brows into place. Of course, it wasn't able to force the hairs to lie flat but nothing can, really. A couple minutes and I was out the door. Now, the true test of this product's longevity was the fact that this wedding had an outdoor reception. I'm not talking a cool evening breeze and fresh spring air. This was full on 90+ degrees even with the setting sun. The humidity was also a force to be reckoned with. I was a bit nervous about using a new brow product for such an occasion but it really powered through the entire event! Even when my curls were falling and my deodorant was failing, my makeup was still going strong. If that isn't a testament to this product's staying power, I don't know what is.

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade, $18, available at Sephora and Ulta

As for the product itself, it is housed in a sturdy clear glass jar with a plastic screw-on lid. You get 0.14 oz of product (compared to MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme, which is 0.1 oz for $16) and it comes in 8 different shades, from Blonde to Ebony. It has a mousse-like cream texture but quickly dries down to a matte waxy finish. I use the shade Dark Brown since I have black-brown hair. My rule when it comes to brow color is to go a shade or two lighter if your hair is very dark. This way, the brows aren't so starkly contrasted against your head hair. Opposite for light hair; go a shade or two darker. Or match your hair exactly. Whatever. Brows are personal and you should always do what makes you feel great. 

When it comes to this type of brow product, I prefer an angled brow brush with short, stiff, and densely-packed fibers (natural or synthetic will work fine). This enables more control and allows you to heavily apply the product OR "fluff" your brows with color. So you really can either rock a power brow or a more natural look with this type of brush. I find thin angled brow brushes to be too time consuming and you can't really blend the hairs and product together as easily. But again, it all really matters how much pressure you apply with this product. 

This is an old dual-ended brow and flat liner brush from Smashbox. I think they revamped it and gave the brow end have longer fibers. Boo.

Now on to my routine. This is JUST my routine. I'm not making this an in-depth tutorial because I neither have the amount of hands or tools necessary. 

1. I brush out my brow hairs with a spoolie. What this does is get rid of any foundation or powder residue in my hair and helps train the brow hairs in the direction I want. 
I know. I need to trim my hairs.

2. I lightly tap my brush into the product then wipe off excess into the palm of my hand. This helps to warm up the product and make it more emollient and I still have product on my hand to work with in case I need more. 
You can sort of see how mousse-like the texture is. Really hard to explain.

3. I first apply the product at the bottom of my brow, at the arch. This is where most of the product will go and where I want to be more definition. From here, I completely fill in the arch. If you were to start tracing at the top of your brow, it can look a little too blocky and unnatural.
Sorry for the differences in exposure between photos. Clouds were being real rude.

4. Now, I trace the bottom part of my tail. This part dictates how long I want my brows to extend. Then I trace out the top part, meeting just before the end, then fill in. 

5. This last part is important. The reason I start with the arch and tail first is because that's where most of the product goes. When you reach the inner part of your brows, you want as little product as possible while still being able to put down color. This is when I start to blend the product inward, and start "fluffing" the color upwards, to mimic the natural growth of your brow hairs.
I line out the bottom then push the brush upwards, gently wiggling back and forth to deposit product. This is what I mean by "fluffing" the brows. 

6. To finish, take your spoolie again and brush your brows upwards and out. This helps blend it all together.

And TA DAH! I went from this:

To this!:

Thank you for taking the time to read this long-ass post. I hope it was informative and helpful.

xx May

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