Well, here it is, my last official review of 2019. And what better than to talk about brow gel – one of my favorite beauty items to try, along with mascara and concealer. Ever since I started this blog I’ve been going on and on about my love for the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper (I included it in my drugstore ‘Best Of’ list for lip and brow products). It was one of the first brow gels that I really fell in love with, but it’s a bit hard to find now in stores sadly. So I recently picked up its more widely-available sister product – the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Boost & Set – after hearing some good reviews on YouTube.
Hopes were high, so let’s talk in some detail now about my thoughts on it and how it compares to the Brow Stylist Plumper.
WHAT IS THE L’OREAL BROW STYLIST BOOST & SET?
Brow gel mousse formula. Skinny angled brush for precise application. Creates natural to thicker eyebrow makeup.
The art of brow made easy. L’Oréal Paris presents the Brow Stylist Boost & Set™ Brow Gel Mascara. Our 1st brow gel mousse formula easily glides onto brows to boost volume and set for a natural to thicker eyebrow makeup look. The angled skinny brush styles brow hairs with precise and controlled application.
Comfortable, all day wear. Smudge-resistant. Ophthalmologist tested. This eyebrow mascara is suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. Packaging may vary.
MY THOUGHTS ON PACKAGING
Nothing too fancy or interesting here, to be honest. This has a very lightweight, sleek plastic tube with a long cap that easily unscrews. Actually the cap comprises more than half of the product’s total length; the component with the actual product is quite small. I really like the long cap here because I find it very ergonomic.
Interestingly, the cap-to-component proportions on the Brow Stylist Plumper are nearly reversed – the cap is much smaller than the component. It’s also bulkier in width than the Boost & Set.
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON APPLICATION AND BRUSH
The Boost & Set has a very small, thin and angled brush that contains color pigment and volumizing fibers that attach to your brow hairs to bulk them up. I’ll cut right to it – there is wayyyy too much color on the brush when you first take it out of the tube. Make sure you remove most of the product before you start application, otherwise you’re going to have seriously, seriously overloaded brows! I kinda hate when that happens because I feel I’m wasting a lot of perfectly usable product.
However once you’ve done that, application is much easier. The formula is somewhere between a mousse and a wax so it clings well to the hairs, but it’s still a little wet at first. Not gonna lie, I’ve had a few mess-ups that I’ve had to bring in a cotton bud to fix; not completely ideal. My brows are the last step in my makeup routine, and usually I want to spend no more than 1-2 minutes on them.
The Brow Stylist Plumper is much, much easier to apply. It also lays down color and adds volumizing fibers, but the small, tapered brush is not nearly as loaded with product as the Boost & Set. So there’s no fuss, really.
RATING: 3.5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON SHADE RANGE
There are three colors available – Blonde, Light Brunette, and Dark Brunette – plus one clear formula. I picked up Light Brunette which I feel is the perfect shade for me, despite my auburn hair; not too dark or ashy. I’d love to try the clear formula one day. (Side conversation: why aren’t auburn brow products a thing? Perhaps because there’s less of us out there, or perhaps it’s the strong aversion we have to warm-toned brows? Anyone else have an opinion?)
I’m surprised they don’t also have a black, but perhaps the Dark Brunette is really dark? Not sure since I never tried it. But I’m glad they’ve expanded the shade range since the Brow Stylist Plumper, which only comes in two measly shades.
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
MY THOUGHTS ON HOLD AND WEAR
After you get through the slightly frustrating application process, the finished look on the brows is lovely. Fluffy and wispy, but also slightly thickened. This formula holds the hairs in place very well throughout the day, which I was pleasantly surprised about. For some reason I thought my brows would droop or fall eventually, but they didn’t. I wouldn’t say it’s quite on par with hold that the NYX Control Freak has, but it’s pretty darn good. It’s certainly much better than the Brow Stylist Plumper in that department.
If you fill in your brows with a pencil or powder beforehand and then put this over top, you’d have an amazingly dramatic brow for sure!
RATING: 5 / 5 ⭐️
Read this: Glam Makeup Gift Guide Holiday 2019
MY THOUGHTS ON PRICE
L’Oreal has this listed for $10.99 for 0.10 fl. oz. but you can certainly find this half-price at retailers like Ulta, Target or Walmart. It’s a solid brow gel that delivers on its claims at an affordable price. HOWEVER when you compare it against the Brow Stylist Plumper, things get very interesting. That has 0.27 fl. oz. of product for only $8.99. So they took away over half the amount of product but increased the price by $2.00. That’s slightly disconcerting, wouldn’t you say?
RATING: 4 / 5 ⭐️
Overall I do like using the L’Oreal Brow Stylist Boost & Set even though the application can be a bit messy at times. It gives the brows a big, volumized look that I absolutely love, and that stays all day. I am disappointed that, for whatever reason, they decided to increase the price from the Brow Stylist Plumper but skimp on the amount of product. That being said, I think the formula on the Boost & Set is much better. Oh well.
Have you tried the Boost & Set before? What’s your favorite drugstore brow product? I’d love to know!