Best Eyebrow Gels

Updated July 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
255 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best eyebrow gels

Last Updated July 2019

Eyebrows gels are a unique product that can groom your brows with a natural or dramatic touch, depending on what look you want. Taming and polishing the brows is important because they frame your face’s focal point: the eyes. If you want your eyes to pop, eyebrow gels are the perfect addition to your beauty routine.

If you have a quality eyebrow gel, you can shape, smooth, and polish your way to brighter eyes. It is applied in quick, hair-like strokes upward in the direction of growth, then downward, following the tail of the eyebrow. Different formulas are available for those with thinning brows, and for different hair colors. Brow gels help you avoid fly-away brow hairs or crushed-by-pillow morning brows.

With the explosion of new eyebrow products on the market, including gels, powders, and cremes, it is more confusing than ever to find the right one. We’re focusing in this review on gel-based formulations, and have narrowed down the many options to our top five. Keep reading to learn more.

Mini versions of many brands are available for quick touch ups, or to pop in your out-of-town bag. They are also a bargain way to try out a new formula without committing to the price of a full-size product.

What is the difference between eyebrow gel, pencil, and powder?

One of the main functions of brow gel is to keep your brow hairs in a neat, natural arch. Eyebrow gel adds a look of smoothness to your brows.

Eyebrow pencils can be difficult to use and can look unnatural and crayon-like before one gets the knack of applying it. (Even then, it takes a steady but light hand.)

Powders offer soft pigment, and are in between gels and pencils as far as ease of use.

Gels do double duty, filling in where hairs are sparse while taming unruly hairs, and are a wise choice for those who lack the confidence or skill of filling in with a pencil. Brow gel is also a smart alternative to brow powder, because it glides on smoothly along the brow, and, whether you are using clear or tinted gel, slip-ups are less likely to happen than with a pigmented powder and brush. Eyebrow gels are perfect for layering, and can be used in addition to pencil or powder, to add extra smoothness, refinement, and dimension.

Cream-gel with lush volume

This thick, creamy eyebrow gel is a steal at about $18 for .15 oz./4.5 mL. It’s fun to know that the fibers used are heart-shaped. The formulation promotes perfect adherence to skin under the brow, and on brow hair, providing volume. The hemp-derived cannabis oil, which represents a big moment for cannabis in skin and beauty care right now, has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Tip: the formula is lush and generous, so start with little product on the spoolie, then add to the full effect of your liking.

Key considerations

Formula

There are several different types of eyebrow gels. Each one has slightly different characteristics, mainly in texture, that differentiate it from its competitors. With any formula you choose, it is vital the product doesn’t flake or crust.

  • Gel: Pure gel acts similarly to hair gel — it glides hairs into place and sets them for the day. The best gels offer some flexibility and are never stiff or sticky. Many people feel that simple gels are the easiest to use and the most beginner-friendly.

  • Cream-gel: A cream-gel variation will offer a slightly more moisturizing, smooth, creamy consistency. If you have dry skin and flaking around the eyebrows, a cream-gel formula may be your best bet. Because this brow gel has a creamy element, some users find it more difficult to put on or smudge while applying. There may be a longer drying time.

  • Fiber gel: These unique formulations are the most advanced, using fiber technology. Fibers embedded in the gel latch on to your eyebrows, building volume and adding dimension. If your brows are thin or sparse and you want full coverage, a fiber gel is the way to go.

Shade

Many eyebrow gels come in a clear formula. This is a fool-proof choice for those first starting out with using a brow gel product. It is natural, understated, and mistakes are virtually unnoticeable. Clear gels are also the right choice if you already have full, even brows and need only for them to stay put. They will also work well if you like to use brow pencil or brow powder to fill your brows in, and simply want to make sure the color and hair sets.

Tinted brow gels are available in a variety of shades. Some products offer only two basic tints, light and dark, while others offer up to eight different shades. If you don’t know which shade to choose, try matching your hair color. If still unsure or you are overwhelmed by the color options, simply choose a universal tone that is warm or cool, depending on your hair color.

Tinted gels are the best choice if you desire a simple routine and want to use only one product to fill in sparse or uneven brows. If a fill-in color is needed, a tinted gel does two jobs in one, offering both a more balanced look to your brows and setting them in place.

Staying power

If you are frustrated by mascara that runs or lipstick that kisses off, you might be concerned that your eyebrow gel could transfer to a friend you are greeting, or worse, to their clothing. Most eyebrow gels will detail in the packaging if they are waterproof, and many boast that they are “non-transferrable.” If this is at the top of your list of concerns, double check to be sure the formula you purchase specifically addresses this.

EXPERT TIP

If you have very dark brows, avoid using very dark brow gel. Go for clear, or a shade slightly lighter than your natural brow color. This will keep brows looking natural and soft.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you are using clear brow gel along with a pencil or powder, give the wand a good swipe with a washcloth when you are through to keep the pigment from getting into the clear gel.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Applicator

Eyebrow gels come with different types of applicators. A common type is the “spoolie”,  a mascara-like wand that allows the user to deposit just the right amount of gel by stroking the tip against the opening of the container. It is an ideal choice for clear gel, making smooth strokes a breeze. Tinted gel applied with a spoolie may take a little practice, but will do the trick.

Other products feature a miniature spoolie. These are designed to reach into small corners without product spilling over to unwanted areas.

A “spoon brush” is another type of applicator that assures precision application.

Some brow gel applicators are sponges, and look like lip gloss wands. These are best used with mousse-like textured gel and are not recommended for beginners, as application can be difficult.

Ingredients

Brow gel formulas are proprietary, but generally you will find they contain moisturizers and humectants like glycerin and panthenol, and moisturizers like sodium hyaluronate. Naturally derived oils, like hemp-derived cannabis oil, or chamomilla recutita are natural, feel-good ingredients. Tinted versions often include mineral-based ingredients like mica and iron oxides.

DID YOU KNOW?

Many brow gels stop short of being completely vegan because of their use of beeswax or honey.

Eyebrow gel prices

Eyebrow gel prices range from a mere $12 all the way to $50. Most commonly, however, quality eyebrow gels can be found in the $22 to $28 ballpark. If packaging is important to you or makes you feel a bit more special, it’s worth it to pay for the extra cool packaged products that are in vogue right now.

Other products we considered

We gave consideration to Benefit 24-Hour Brow Setter Shaping and Setting Gel because it does a great job of setting and keeping brows in place. This is its main feature, and many customers swear by the 24-hour promise. However, some users say that the gel tends to flake or feel crusty. Urban Decay Brow Finish Gel was another close contender. Lightweight and waterproof, those two features alone may be enough to try it. Users like that it keeps their brow pencil in place. But, the 16-hour-hold promise may be a stretch.

Dewy and natural with conditioners

This lightweight formula dries quickly and never flakes or looks crusty. The spoolie, a mascara-like wand, deposits just the right amount of product, which stays flexible, never stiff. This clear formula won’t interfere with your base if you use pencil or powder, yet is also perfect for a natural, makeup free appearance if you are wearing it on its own. Hydrating chamomile conditions brow hair, so the gel acts as a treatment product as well.

Tips

Eyebrow gel newbies may not know how to apply the product to get the best coverage with the least amount of product on the brush. Here is a basic lesson:

  • Swipe the brush across brows in quick, upward strokes in the direction of hair growth as the brow goes up. Remember to use a light hand — you can always go back over and build coverage.

  • With a tinted gel, lightly sketch hair-like strokes where needed, and follow your brow shape down the tail to the end.

  • Avoid using one thick layer. Start small and build — you’ll be surprised how little product you need per application.

  • Don’t be afraid to gently “saw” the applicator back and forth in each area with a light touch; doing so will help distribute the gel evenly on the front and back of hair and encourage adherence of the gel to skin — not just hair.

  • Move the wand around a little bit with each dip into the container to smooth out the consistency for gel that may have been sitting for a while.

  • It is helpful to use both a regular mirror and a close-up mirror, and keep comparing between the two as you work.

  • Fill in the barest or most uneven areas first, then go back over the other part of the brow. This deposits the gel on the place you need it the most and thins out the amount you have left on your brush so both parts of the brow are even.

If you aren’t achieving the desired effect with your eyebrow gel, your brow shape may be the root of the problem. Try shaping them in accordance with your face shape.

FAQ

Q. Could the ingredients in eyebrow gel damage my brow hair?
A.
Many eyebrow gels contain humectants that actually condition the hair. However, if your brows are especially fragile, avoid eyebrow gels that contain PEG-polyethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, or fragrance.

Q. Do I need eyebrow gel if I already use brow pencil?
A.
While brow pencils are fabulous for filling in color and balancing brows, pencil alone will not keep your brown slicked in the right direction. Adding eyebrow gel over the pencil will secure the color and make it less transferable. If you are concerned the look will be too heavy, choose a clear eyebrow gel. If you want a more dramatic look, choose a tinted gel formula.

Q. One of my eyebrows is fuller than the other. How can I balance them out using eyebrow gel?
A
. Many people’s eyebrows are not perfectly symmetrical. Brow gel offers an easy way to balance out your look. You may have a mini cowlick on one of their brows, and if so the hold of a good eyebrow gel will keep the cowlick at bay. If one of your arches is a bit higher than the other, a tinted gel is a subtle way to adjust that without spending too much time, energy, or skill.

The team that worked on this review
  • Amber
    Amber
    Writer
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey