When you’re at your first event for a brand whose products you genuinely love, you probably shouldn’t forget to use your indoor voice when remarking that you are an “eyebrow cynic”.
Particularly when said brand is the world’s biggest brow brand, and the event that they’ve invited you to is the the launch of the epic new Benefit Brow Collection.
Not content to boast merely the world’s two bestselling brow products – Brow Zings and Gimme Brow – Benefit set out a couple of years ago on a new mission: “to create a collection that magically solves each and every brow dilemma”. The result? Revamped favourites and new products in an expansive range of shades – something like 50 products in all – all presented in sleek silver packaging.
Now, I am very much a Benefit brow girl – in the sense that making my eyebrows presentable, for me, involves semi-regular appointments with a lovely lady called Sarah at the Debenhams Argyle Street counter. While I was wearing brow makeup at the Benefit event, it was only because I recently got a free Gimme Brow volumising gel as part of the brand’s regular Bold is Beautiful women’s charity fundraiser month back in May, and I thought that I should make an effort. I had no desire to add another step to my daily beauty regime – but I have to admit that these clever little products are leading me down the path to conversion.
One of the things I love the most about Benefit is that as well as making make-up in the traditional sense – your single use products like foundations, lipsticks and mascaras – they specialise in products that can be used in different ways depending on the look that you are trying to achieve and the issues you are trying to solve. Their tints, primers and colour correctors are so versatile, and will last you for ages. The same principle extends to the Benefit Brow Collection: the products can be used on their own or in all sorts of combinations, to create all sorts of looks.
It’s an approach that does lend itself to what I’ve taken to calling “primer fatigue” – the notion that no product is much good without an equally expensive product that has to be used first – so I almost groaned out loud when introduced to the first new product in the range: the BROWVO! conditioning primer (£21.50)*. But after having one in my possession for a week I’m sold on the concept: you can wear it on its own, for fuller and healthier-looking brows, or under makeup for a longer-lasting look. You can also, if you want, wear it overnight to let the nutrient-rich keratin and soy protein formula condition your brows while you sleep, although that’s something I haven’t tried yet.
As well as being fantastically named, the Goof Proof Brow Pencil (£18.50) is a self-sharpening, waterproof pencil available in six shades. You can use the pointed end to shape and define your brow and the wide tip to fill – but if that isn’t enough for you, there’s also a Precisely, My Brow (£18.50) pencil in the range should you wish to draw in natural-looking hairs! The full-size version of this product comes with a blending spoolie-brush on the end – I got the mini one free with last month’s Elle magazine, because narrowing down my choices from the range to the two products I wanted to properly test was impossible…
…which is clearly why a self-described “eyebrow cynic” went home with the fanciest product in the range, clearly. Ka-BROW (£18.50)* is a cream-gel brow colour product which can be used to shape, fill and define even the sparsest of brows. A little of this goes a long way – especially since I went for the darkest of the six available shades – but you can go as dramatic as you like. This is also the product from the range I’d label Most Likely For My Sister to Steal: she’s home for the summer in eight days’ time, so I’ll let you know how I get on.
For my final product choice, I opted for 3D BROWtones (£18.50)* – a highlighting gel designed to enhance lighter brows, and soften darker ones. I actually rechristened this Sparkle Brow on the night, because I am a child and also because when worn over the darkest shade of the Ka-BROW it adds some really pretty, subtle definition. This one can also be worn on its own if you so desire, but I’ve been enjoying the combination.
But how would it all fit together, and how much time would it waste in the morning that I could have spent in bed? Answer: five minutes, because if you enjoy playing with eye makeup anyway, as I do, putting on your eyeshadow gives the Browvo! conditioning primer ample opportunity to dry.
(Bonus FACE, on which you cannot actually make out the brows due to fringe action. Products used: all of the above plus La Prairie Cellular Swiss Transforming Cream*, Benefit Sugarbomb powder, Urban Decay Alice Through the Looking Glass eyeshadow palette, Soap and Glory Supercat liner, Urban Decay Vice lipstick in Backtalk*.)
I think that working with the brands that you love, and that you actively use, is the holy grail of blogging: they get to channel your legitimate enthusiasm and (probably) years of experience with their products; you get to save on the stuff you’d have actually bought. That said, I didn’t expect that upon walking into my pre-booked appointment at the Benefit Brow Bar in Debenhams on Tuesday afternoon, I’d be told that, actually, I was getting this one for free – so that was a delightful surprise.
Perhaps this eyebrow cynic will be getting invited back after all..?
Have you tried any of the new Benefit brow products?
This post contains PR samples, but all opinions are my own and unbiased.