Anastasia Product Review (1): Eyebrow Kit and Eye Lights

by PJ on Monday, July 14, 2008

in makeup,makeup - eyebrow

(Anastasia Five-Piece Brow Kit in Medium Ash)

The eyebrows are probably the most crucial part of makeup application but can be the hardest to get right. Properly done eyebrows not only frame your eyes but also have a face-shaping effect. Yet, they themselves should be “invisible” and blend in with the rest of your face. (If the first thing people notice are your eyebrows (or the lack of them…), you are doing it wrong.)

Today I am reviewing Anastasia‘s Five-Piece Brow Kit and two brow highlighters. Next week I will review some of Anastasia’s other brow products.

Anastasia’s Five-Piece Brow Kit is essentially a DIY brow-shaping kit. The idea is to use the pre-made stencils to achieve the ideal brow shape. I will first talk about the general steps of the use of this kit and then share my thoughts.

After locating where the brows start and end (check here for tips), you choose a stencil from the four that best matches the shape of your brows. You then use the brow brush to apply the Brow Powder Duo inside the cutout. Then tweeze the hair outside the filled-in area, particularly the hair under it. After that, simply blend and use the Clear Brow Gel to set the brow.

(the four stencils)

I am sure very few people have the exact same shape as one of these cutouts (in terms of thickness, length and arch). One of my initial issues with them is that all the cutouts are too long. But, after locating where the brow begins/ends, the right stencil is simply the one that has the closest arch. Then, as long as I place the arch of the cutout where my natural arch is and make sure the starting/ending points of the brows are inside the cutouts, I can simply fill in where needed. After tweezing and some blending to soften the edges, the result is relatively natural.

Most of us don’t have totally symmetric eyebrows, and we do need to be flexible and “go with the flow” a little bit when we use the stencils. Forced symmetry doesn’t always look optimally flattering.

One reader asked me some time ago (before I tried this kit) whether any of the four Brow Powder Duos would suit people of East-Asian descent with jet black hair. I have black hair myself, and I think Medium Ash (seen above) suits me quite well. The darker shade on the right of the duo is a matte dark cool brown with just about enough grey undertone to look natural for those with black hair. (But I usually use a dark grey eyeshadow as a brow powder. The one I am currently using is Rimmel’s eyeshadow single in Jet Black.) Texture-wise, the powder is smooth and glides on easily.

I am quite pleased with the brow brush in this kit. The feel of the bristles is not overly stiff like those from MAC and Bobbi Brown (which I think are too stiff) and is similar to that of Shu Uemura’s 6 OB Badger brush for eyebrows.

The Clear Brow Gel has a light texture and gently sets the brows. Since this is formulated to act somewhat like a hair styling product, it is not surprising that it has (quite a lot of) alcohol. If your face is sensitive to alcohol, carefully apply the gel to the brow hair and avoid contact with the skin.

Overall this is a fairly good kit if you need some general guidance on brow-shaping, especially if you need reassurance on where to tweeze. It is also something worth having if you are starting out with makeup and want to invest in some good-quality basics.

Also from Anastasia’s range are two brow highlighters, Eye Lights Matte (right) and Eye Lights Shimmer (left).

(Eye Lights Shimmer in Lace (left)
and Eye Lights Matte in Camille (right))

Eye Lights Matte has a satiny matte finish that doesn’t look chalky, while Eye Lights Shimmer has a softly metallic sheen. Eye Lights Matte in Camille is pink-toned and Eye Lights Shimmer in Lace has a golden undertone. Both are multi-purposed and can be used elsewhere, such as the inner corner of the eye. (Both have very good staying power as well.) As a brow highlighter, I prefer the matte one, which gives a soft-focus finish and delicately highlights the brow bone.

Next week I will review some of Anastasia’s other brow products, including Perfect Brow Pencil, Tinted Brow Gel and Brow Filler.

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