Fact: The beauty crowd is willing to experiment with just about anything to achieve full, feathery brows. From the Old Hollywood-inspired soap brow craze to Elmer’s Glue (it’s makeup artist Sir John’s secret weapon), the industry isn’t afraid to get creative. Now, many leading beauty brands are launching brow waxes, meaning that achieving those fluffy arches is easier than ever before. Even if you’re adept at using pencils or powder, it’s totally understandable if you’re a little unsure about how to use a brow wax. This is where the pros come in — TZR got the low-down from experts on the best approach to the buzzy product.
Sure, you might be thinking — how exactly is this different from a brow gel? Well, according to Gita Bass, a celebrity makeup artist who works with Tina Fey and Laura Dern, a wax gives you even more hold than a gel, and never gets stiff or flakey. “It even works well on coarse, stubborn hair, and since it doesn’t set like a gel, you can keep molding your brows to get the look you want,” Bass tells TZR. “The extra hold and play time you get allows you to create really gorgeous feathered, extra lifted brows that don’t move.” Additionally, Mai Quynh, a celebrity makeup artist whose clients include Chloë Moretz and Sandra Oh, explains, “the texture [of a wax] helps position unruly hairs as well as separate and help brow hairs stand up better.”
In addition to extra hold, Bass notes that a wax tends to be more conditioning than a gel, which contributes to overall brow strength. For instance, Iconic London’s Brow Silk is formulated with ingredients such as jojoba seed oil, shea butter, and candelilla wax (which is ideal for people with skin sensitivities) that both nourish and moisturize the brows. Then there’s Patrick Ta’s Major Brow Shaping Wax, which is infused with peptides to support new brow growth, as well as glycerin and olive oil that soften and condition hair.
To use the wax, you’ll also need a spoolie on hand. Once you’re ready to go, Bass recommends twirling the spoolie into the product, and then repeat this motion on the back of your hand or the cap of the wax to ensure you have thin, even layer of product that’s free of chunks. Pro tip: Less is more. You can always go back into the wax and add extra product to your brows if need be.
“Next, brush the spoolie through the brows using upward motions and gently press the hairs down as you go using either the spoolie or your finger,” Bass explains. Keep brushing and molding the brow until you achieve your desired shape. “If you want your brows to lay flatter, gently press them with your finger to hold them down,” says the makeup artist.
When you’re happy with how your brow shape looks, you can then pull out your other go-to products. “Next, fill in any sparse areas using a powder or a brow pen, rather than a waxy pencil which will just move the brows out of place and won’t adhere well to the wax.” Again, be sure to apply your brow wax before your color products as the wax might distort those areas of pigment and make your brow look blurry or unnatural. For those who prefer a brow pen, Quynh says you can go in and draw hair-like strokes into areas that need it. Et voila! You have yourself Cara Delevingne-esque brows in just a few minutes.
So, now that you’re a brow wax expert, you can start shopping for your ideal product. Below, find the best brow waxes on the market.
We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Shop The Best Brow Waxes
Leave it to Anastasia Beverly Hills to release a brow wax that's already hard to get your hands on not long after launching. It's currently sold out on the brand's website and Sephora, however, you can still shop it on Ulta (fast though). The universal color works on each and every hair shade. And the pretty rose gold packaging doesn't hurt, either.
Fenty Beauty's Brow MVP Sculpting Wax Pencil & Styler is the perfect wax for summer. With the sweat and water-resistant formula, you won't have to worry about the product moving around. To apply, use short strokes all over your arches. Then, go in with the brush on the other end to set everything in place.
Ornami Skincare's Take a Brow is filled with all the good stuff. Its hero ingredients include coconut oil, glycerine, olive oil, and bamboo extract. To use, first spray the mist provided into the product. After waiting 15 to 20 seconds, twirl the spoolie into the product. Lastly, shape your brows to your desired look.