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How do I Choose the Best Eyebrow Brush?

By N. Swensson
Updated May 21, 2024
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An eyebrow brush can be used for grooming or to apply eyebrow powder, which helps to darken and even out the appearance of eyebrows. Brow brushes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials and are often part of a set of several different cosmetic brushes. Choosing an eyebrow brush depends largely on personal preference and the purpose for which it is being used. Budget may also be a determining factor, as brushes can cost anywhere between $1 and $25 US Dollars (USD).

There are a few different types of eyebrow brush, each with a different purpose. One kind of brush looks like a miniature plastic comb on one side and a small brush on the other. These brushes are usually used for grooming the eyebrows and preparing them for application of a brow gel or other makeup. Another kind of brush is small and angled and is primarily used to apply eyebrow powder. Some brow brushes may also be flat across the top or pointed and serve the same purpose as an angled brush. When buying an eyebrow brush, choose the one that makes application easier.

Another factor to consider when buying an eyebrow brush is the type of bristle. In general, brushes with natural bristles are considered better than synthetic. Although brushes with natural bristles can be more expensive, they can make makeup application easier and give a more even, natural appearance to the eyebrow. Another advantage of natural bristles is that the brushes last longer and can be more durable than synthetic varieties.

A brow brush that will be used for makeup application should be the appropriate size and thickness for the person using it. Having the right sized brush makes it easier to stay within the area of the natural eyebrow when applying eyebrow powder. If the eyebrows are thin and sparse, a smaller, thinner brush may make it easier to properly shape the brows. Those with thicker, heavier brows may need to use a larger brush to get an evenly applied look.

The texture and stiffness of an eyebrow brush may be important as well. These are largely a matter of personal preference. Some may find it easier to apply makeup to the brows with a stiffer or softer brush. In general, a softer brush will give a more natural look to the brows, while the effect from a stiffer one can be darker and more dramatic because it will pick up more of the product being used.

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Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Apr 06, 2012

What do you gals think about eyebrow pencils with the brush at the end? Do you they work well? Would you recommend it?

I've seen a couple of different kinds by high end makeup brands. It's basically an eyebrow pencil and it has a brush on the other end. But it doesn't look like a typical eyebrow brush. It's kind of like a brush and comb in one, similar to mascara wands.

I read @Oceana's comment and if a mascara wand works so well for her brows, I think these eyebrow pencils would too. What do you think?

By discographer — On Apr 05, 2012

@fify-- I don't know if this will make sense to you, but eyebrow brushes should not be too soft or too stiff.

If it's too stiff like yours it will not blend well into the hairs and will give you a very harsh look. It will also take you much longer than necessary. If it's too soft, then you won't get any precision and the color can go all over the place. So look for something in between.

I personally think that synthetic eyebrow brushes work better for gel type and brushes with natural bristles work better with powder. I feel the same way about eye makeup brushes when it comes to gel and powder eye shadows.

By fify — On Apr 04, 2012

@lighth0se33-- Oh no! She plucked them out?! I think she should have shaved them if she wants to draw her eyebrows in. I would not have the patience to draw in entire brows every single day. I would also worry about it fading or smudging. I'm impressed if your friend can do it.

I don't have many makeup brushes and I only have one eyebrow brush. It's a really cheap one and it's very stiff. I don't like it much. It's too stiff to properly apply the color. I might also be using it wrongly. I apply cream eyebrow color with it, not powder. Maybe the brush is actually meant for powder eyebrow color, I really don't know.

How can I tell if a brush is made to be used for eyebrow powder or eyebrow gel? How should it be shaped? Is a synthetic one better or an all-natural one for eyebrow gels?

By Oceana — On Apr 04, 2012

I use an old clean mascara brush to groom my eyebrows. After buying a tube of mascara, I discovered that I didn’t like how lumpy it looked on my lashes, but I didn’t want to throw the brush away.

I washed it with soap and water until it was totally clean, and then I let it dry. The little bristles were perfect for running through my brow hair, and I had no need to buy a separate eyebrow brush.

As a bonus, the brush also worked great for separating my lashes. When I use it on my lashes, I dampen it first, but when I use it on my eyebrows, it works best when dry.

By wavy58 — On Apr 04, 2012

@shell4life - I’m the exact opposite way. Brushes seem to work so much better than combs for me, and my eyebrows are of medium thickness.

The problem with combs is that they have spacing between the teeth. Most eyebrow brushes don’t have any spaces between the bristles, so there is no room for certain hairs to stay stubbornly out of place. The tightly packed brush bristles sweep them all up at once.

I like brushes that are sturdy yet not too thick. These seem to work the best for my brow type.

By lighth0se33 — On Apr 03, 2012

My friend uses an eyebrow brush to fill in her brows. She plucks all the hair out, which I think is a mistake, but she seems to think that brow powder looks better than natural hair.

She always uses an angled brow brush. She says that other kinds will make a mess on your face, because they don’t focus the powder in one direction.

I have watched her apply her eyebrow powder with the angled brush before, and I must say that it does seem like a good tool for this. She can even mimic hair by angling the brush in the direction that the hair would grow and using small strokes rather than one solid line.

By shell4life — On Apr 03, 2012

I have thick, wiry eyebrows, and brushes don’t seem to do much for me. I prefer to use the small plastic combs instead.

Though the thicker brushes with stiffer bristles do move my brows around a little, they don’t do nearly what a comb can do. My eyebrows tend to turn downward, probably because I stress out a lot, and I need something very stiff to swipe them back up where they belong.

Luckily, when I bought my first eyebrow brush, it had a comb on the other side, so I didn’t waste my money on this purchase. If I ever need to buy another one, I will probably just buy a single eyebrow comb, though.

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