I know it isn’t too long since I wrote my Brand Breakdown on my NYX lipstick collection but I recently bought some NYX brow products that I have absolutely fallen for so I wanted to get this post up as soon as possible so that I could tell you all about them. I should at this point probably point out that I am not sponsored or paid by the brand to talk about them – I hate that I feel compelled to write that with all of the recent controversy about disclosure etc. but that is a subject for another day. Today (as with every other day) I just want to blab about my love of makeup. In this particular post, I will be comparing and reviewing all of the NYX brow products that I have tried thus far.
Let me start with this fab picture of my naked brow so we have an idea of what we’re working with here. I have been attempting to grow them out lately hence why they’re so chaotic at the front but in terms of thickness, I’m having little joy. My brows are quite dark but I find that they are very ashy and grey looking when left unfilled in. I love the look of thick, natural brows but can’t seem to master that with my own brows so I usually go for quite a defined look instead – adding colour, structure, a more defined arch and a little bit of length. That’s my own personal preference but hopefully when I describe the products below, you will be able to work out which would best suit your taste.
I’ll go in chronological order, seeing as my obsessive organisation means I have to create some kind of structure. Many moons ago when I had black hair, I tried the NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder – what a name! – and loved it so more recently, when I dyed my hair this dark red colour and was looking for a brow product to match, I decided to rehash my love affair with this. I picked up the shade 04 Auburn/Red. There are four other shades available on the Boots website – Blonde, Brunette, Black/Grey and Dark Brown/Brown although online I have spotted a sixth shade – Taupe/Ash.
The small handy plastic compact features two brow powders, a brow wax and two brushes. I like that there are two colours in the kit as it means you can use a combination of both to create a more natural brow. I am not a fan of brow wax and this one is a pretty standard clear wax that leaves your brows a little shiny looking. I tend to skip it.
The two brushes included are a small spoolie which is decent and an alright angled brush. I have used the spoolie quite a bit – as you can see! – but the angled brush would only ever get use if I was really stuck. It’s usable but only in a pinch.
None of that matters to me though as I’m really only interested in the brow powder itself. I decided to post pictures of both shades separately so you could get a better idea of the colours.
This is the lighter shade which I think is quite obviously too light for me but would be a great colour for strawberry blondes or anyone with a lot of warmth in their fair hair.
The darker shade is perfect for my deep red hair and ideal for those with very warm brown hair through to dark natural reds. I love this shade and think it warms my entire complexion as well as being a great match for my hair.
Here I am with the darker colour on my brows. Apologies that the photo is a bit washed out – I am fairly certain I have pinpointed the problem so hopefully I can prevent it from happening in future! – The texture of the powder is beautiful and easy to apply. I find it workable from a light layer of colour to a more defined structured brow and I find that the wear time is good too although I would probably use a brow gel over the top. You could, of course, use the supplied wax. I think this is a great option for most people and is definitely one to consider if you are only dipping your toe into the world of eyebrows as it is the easiest to use of all the products I’m going to show you.
The kit will set you back €7.75 which I think is great value even if, like me, you’re going to skip the wax and brushes.
Then, sometime last year, I was contacted by a PR from the brand and offered the opportunity to try the NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencils. After my amazing experience with the powder, I couldn’t wait to give these a go. I was sent four shades out of the eight available.
These are retractable pencils with a brow brush on the end. I like that the colour of the pencil is represented on the end as it makes it easy to spot the colour I’m looking for in my drawer. Handy, considering I have four! The brush isn’t my cup of tea. I definitely prefer spoolies!
The first colour I was sent was 01 Light Brown which is an incredibly warm orange-toned brown. It looks ridiculous on me even though my hair is warm toned as it is far too light and looks almost like a mustard colour in contrast to my natural brows! Although to be honest, I think this is a pretty bizarre colour for most people. I could only see this working on those with very warm strawberry blonde hair. It’s a strange shade.
The next shade I tried was 06 Taupe which is everything that I think Light Brown should have been. It is a neutral light brown and will work for most people with light to medium brown hair or blondes who like their eyebrows a little darker.
Next I have the shade 07 Charcoal. Now when I hear charcoal, I think of a cool toned dark brown but this is a grey pencil. A straight up grey eyebrow pencil. I don’t get it. I have seen similar colours work for those with icy white blonde hair or those with artificial grey and silver tones but anyone else can forget about it unless they want to look old before their time.
I wanted to take a photo to show you how bizarre it is but it didn’t really translate. You can see it is far too cool toned for me but you can’t tell how grey it is in reality!
Finally I have 08 Black which is pretty self explanatory. I have done three makeup courses and have read countless makeup books and every one of them says to never use black on your brows. I am not somebody who likes makeup “rules” – I think it is an art and you can do what you want. However, in my experience, artificial black brows look navy or grey and far from natural. Dark cool toned browns are best to go for and in all of my years having black hair I would go so far as to mix a pure black in with a dark brown for an intense dark colour but I would never wear plain black on my brows.
I think this picture demonstrates why you shouldn’t use black on your brows pretty well. They look navy….
I like the consistency of these pencils. They’re fairly easy to use – if a little too fat in the nib – but definitely workable! They are pigmented and last well. I just hate the colour selection. Three out of the four shades I was sent would suit a very tiny minority of people and are quite frankly strange choices. There are four other shades available that I haven’t tried – Auburn, Brown, Medium Brown and Dark Brown – which all sound so much more wearable (although didn’t Light Brown deceive us?!) but to be honest, while I like the formula, I don’t love it enough to try any more colours in the range. For €7 each, they won’t break the bank but I would make sure to swatch the colour in store before making a purchase!
One of the newer additions to NYX’s brow arsenal is the NYX Micro Brow Pencil and from the second I read about this online, I had been dying to try it. Many are hailing this as a dupe for Anastasia Brow Wiz – although I haven’t tried that to compare! It took a while to reach our shores but then I immediately picked it up and I love it. Apologies that that was a bit of a premature exultation. I should have put in a spoiler alert.
The Micro Brow Pencil features a spoolie on one end and a very finely nibbed retractable pencil on the other. The spoolie is great – hard and firm – perfect for grooming brows and brushing excess product out. The nib is divine! It takes a little bit of practise but it is ideal for creating tiny brush strokes to mimic actual hairs.
As you can see there is a huge difference between the size of the nib on the Auto Brow Pencil and the Micro Brow Pencil. Frankly I think NYX should take the Auto Brow off the market, forget it ever happened and just sell the Micro Pencil as their ultimate eyebrow pencil. It is phenomenal and definitely feels more like a high end product in terms of performance and design.
I picked up the shade Brunette which I am still a little unsure about but I feared Auburn wouldn’t be dark enough for me as swatches online made it look a little light. There are five other shades available on the Boots website – Blonde, Chocolate, Ash Brown, Espresso and Black – although I have seen Taupe doing the rounds on other websites too.
This is really buildable and I think is ideal for those looking to create a really natural brow although if you prefer more definition, I wouldn’t rule it out either. It costs €10 making it the priciest of the bunch but as I already said, it works like a product that would cost three times as much. For reference, NYX’s pencil offers 0.09g while the Brow Wiz only offers 0.085g and costs almost double the price at €17.90.
Finally I have the NYX Eyebrow Gel, another product that I couldn’t resist trying and picked up at the same time as the Micro Pencil. This looks similar to the Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow that everyone raved about but again I haven’t tried it so can’t talk about comparisons.
This comes in a squeezy tube which is pretty unusual and is a gel packed with pigment. That little blob there in the photo would probably do six eyebrows – a little goes a really long way. I use this with an angled brow brush and find it easy to use although I have been using eyebrow gels and pomades for a while and know that they take a little trial and error at the beginning.
I picked up the shade Chocolate which I adore and there are only four others in the range – Black, Blonde, Brunette and Espresso.
This is definitely best for those who prefer definition and a sleek tailored brow but it is probably my favourite of the bunch and definitely the one I reach for most often. It costs €7.75 and I think it is well worth it for those who are a fan of gels.
Here are swatches of all of the products side by side so you can get an idea of the diverse shade range over all. I don’t have two colours the same!
Overall I have been highly impressed by NYX’s brow products and can’t wait to see what they release next! NYX products aren’t available in any Boots stores in Ireland but they are available to order online from the Boots website and can be shipped to your home for €5 or to your local store for free!
Have you tried any of NYX’s brow products?
What is your favourite type of product to use?
Disclaimer: The Auto Eyebrow Pencils were sent to me as PR samples. I am under no obligation to mention them on my blog and it does not affect my opinion of the products in any way. No affiliate links were used.