When you want a really quick brow look, a good brow gel is going to be your best bet. There are oodles out there on the market to choose from but they’re certainly not all created equal. Some are clear, and some are tinted; some create fullness, and some lock your hairs into place; some are thick with fibers, and some are lightweight and waxy. You get the idea. There’s also many different price points you can peruse but – great news – I’ve tried enough gels to safely say that you don’t need to search beyond the drugstore for this category. Like with mascara, the drugstore just kills it here!
So I’m sharing with you today my top three recommendations for the best drugstore brow gels. I feel each of them excels in a slightly different way, which we’ll discuss as we go along. Now I should point out here that if you are sparse in the brow hair department, a gel even if it’s tinted will likely not be enough to give you a really full look. You’ll need to go in with a pencil or pen first to create some fullness, and then use the gel as a topper or finishing touch.
Let’s get started!
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THE BEST FOR FULLNESS AND HOLD
First stop on my short tour of the best drugstore brow gels of course had to be the Maybelline Brow Fast Sculpt. For those of you who know, you know, but if you’re new around here this is my all-time fave brow gel. I honestly can’t stop talking about it!
It comes in a whopping 7 shades plus one clear, and it’s fabulous for both creating fullness and locking your hairs into place for near all-day wear. It’s a great one-and-done for those of us who have fuller brows to start with. The brush is very cool; it has a longer side with bristles that are great for combing through the hairs and sculpting them, plus it has a shorter side that helps tint the hairs. I have both the tinted version (in Soft Brown to be exact), and the clear version, and I love both dearly. Check out this post or this post for more Brow Fast Sculpt love!
The only downside I have to mention is regarding the tinted version in particular. The brush comes out with way too much product than you’ll need, so be aware of that. Just give it a quick clean before you apply to prevent an overloaded brow.
THE BEST FOR SOMETHING LIGHTWEIGHT AND MOUSSEY
Since I wrote this post last year comparing the e.l.f. Wow Brow to the Glossier Boy Brow I seriously can’t stop hearing people talk about them in the same sentence. They are near dupes for one another, so if you always wanted to try Boy Brow, head over to your local drugstore or mass retailer and pick up this baby instead.
The e.l.f. Wow Brow is truly awesome and for only $4.00(!) it’s an absolute steal! This is a fiber gel that’s going to nicely bulk up your brows as you comb through, but it has a very lightweight and somewhat moussey or waxy texture. Your brows will have some flexibility to them, as opposed to a formula that will set them more firmly in place like the Maybelline Brow Fast Sculpt, for instance. The e.l.f. formula does offer some hold, but it’s not nearly as strong as the Maybelline. It comes in 4 shades, by the way, with my preference being Neutral Brown.
THE BEST CLEAR BROW GEL
If you don’t care for tinted brow gels or you just want something to use after you’ve filled your brows in with a pencil, the NYX Control Freak Eyebrow Gel is my top pick for a clear formula. I fell in love with this one hard in 2019, which you can read all about in this post.
By far this has the biggest brush of any product mentioned in this post, but somehow I still find it really user-friendly (probably because it’s clear and not tinted). This is 100% about the hold: comb this formula through your brows and they will stay in place all day long, no exaggeration. I remember wearing this on some pretty windy days and my brows still didn’t budge! I’m also happy to report that I experienced zero white cast or crispies when using this product, which can be such a pain with clear formulas.
What are your recommendations for the best drugstore brow gels? I’d love to know!
xo, and be well, Erica
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YES! The elf wow brow and maybelline fast sculpt are top teir tinted brow gels, I’ll have to try maybellines clear gel after reading this :))
Aren’t they just the best?! I used my Maybelline clear gel today actually. Such a classic for me 😉. The tinted version is better with overall hold, I’d say, but the clear is so good for something really quick.
The NYX brow gel sounds like it’s right up my alley. 🙂
It’s the best for something quick but effective!