If you haven’t realized it by now, this is my fourth brow product review … which means I kind of, sort of, maybe have an obsession with trying out new brow products every time I run out. You would think that once I had found “the one”, my love for it would stand the test of time and I would vow to never purchase from another brand. However, makeup from prestige brands can be expensive. As much as I love BECCA and Benefit Cosmetics, they’re more of a treat here and there. The rest of the year, I budget when it comes to buying makeup basics and try to find the best quality products for less money.
One of the brow products that I recently picked up from ULTA was the Essence: Eyebrow Designer in 02 Brown. Priced at $1.99, I was pretty skeptical of how well it would perform. There had to be something wrong with it! Was it something too good to be true? Did I just waste almost two dollars? Was it like the promise of frozen banana nice cream trying to substitute for real ice cream? Even worse, what if the shade didn’t match my eyebrows? But, here we are, three weeks later and the brow game is on point! I may have to marry this one! While the design of Essence: Eyebrow Designer is similar to a lot of brow products by other brands, in the fact that it’s a pencil, there are a few key differences that make this product stand out from other brow products that I’ve used.
Now, you may be looking at the picture above and wondering if this is of three different shades of Essence: Eyebrow Designer, and I’m here to tell you that all of the swatches are 02 Brown. (Wait … what?) What I did was apply the brow pencil using different pressure ranging from light, medium, and heavy. I thought I would switch things up from the usual single swatch, given that this product looks so different depending on how it’s applied. If there ever comes a day when your shade is out of stock, at least you know that this will work in a pinch!
What I Love About this Product
- I was surprised at how well this shade worked out, even though I would consider it two shades off from my actual hair color. While my eyebrow hair is black, and this brow pencil was a dark brown, that didn’t stop this amazing product from working its magic and blending perfectly. It just takes practice getting used to using different amounts of pressure when using the product.
- Depending on the pressure that you use while applying the brow product, the overall look can read either cool-toned or warm-toned.
- The consistency was creamy and highly pigmented which made the application easier.
- The cap had a brush attached that was shaped like a sweeper brush, and it wasn’t like a rounded spoolie. This was strange to me at first, because I’ve always used rounded bristle brushes, but with some practice it actually made all of the difference in creating a natural brow look.
- As long as you refrain from touching your makeup and smudging it, this product lasts all day long without shifting.
- Essence is essentially #shelflifegoals! Have you ever seen a makeup product that has a shelf life of 36 months (3 years)? I know, right?
- I walked an intense 1 1/2 hours in 86 degree weather under the beating sun (long story) with this brow product, and it survived even through sweat. It was still perfectly on by the end of the day without smudging or fading.
- It’s easily removable with soap and water at the end of the day.
- It makes a great top lid eyeliner!
What I Don’t Love + Solutions
- The brow pencil needs to be sharpened to keep a point, especially when filling in the front of your brows to get that perfect edge, otherwise it dulls quickly. A simple trick to fix this is to make a subtle outline at the beginning of both brows, and then go in to fill the rest.
- The brush is attached to the cap; not the end of the pencil itself. You may think the brush placement is really inconvenient at first, but then you will realize that you’re getting the most out of the product and can put the brush cap on the other end of the pencil while filling in your brows.
- The product only comes in 6 shades at ULTA, but 7 shades on the Essence website. The only brow shade missing from ULTA is 01 Black, and I hope they will add it in the future, because I’d love to give it a try!
- It doesn’t have a clear plastic cap to cover the sweeper brush on the end like most brow products do with the spoolie end. This may create slight marking if you consider throwing this into a handbag or makeup bag.
(Wearing Essence: Eyebrow Designer in 02 Brown)
Essence: Eyebrow Designer definitely made it down the makeup aisle, and it’s a keeper! Now, this isn’t to say that I won’t be buying different brands of brow products in the future (because I love makeup a little too much to not try new things), but this brow product makes it to the top of my beauty budget favorites list, and is one that I’d repurchase again!
FTC: Not sponsored.