dupe or don’t? – eyebrow gel

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Processed with Snapseed.

I am obsessed with eyebrows. When the eyebrow craze first began I didn’t think it would affect me very much, I have blonde eyebrows naturally so I assumed it didn’t really make a difference since they weren’t very visible. Flash forward to the present, I make sure my brows are my version of perfect daily, I get them threaded and tinted every month, and have many products dedicated solely to their upkeep. Before I started tinting my eyebrows, and even a bit now, I relied so much on eyebrow gel. Beginning with a warm blonde color to now a light brown I’ve tested many many eyebrow gels. I recently saw a Pinterest dupe for Benefit’s Gimme Brow and Essence’s Make Me Brow. I was somewhat surprised when I saw this considering I have had extremely different experiences with each, so I thought I’d share!

benefit’s gimme brow gel review

This was my go to eyebrow gel this past Spring before I started tinting. Aside from the adorable aesthetic of Benefit packaging I was pretty happy with my brow gel initially. The pigment is fairly buildable and the added fibers gave a bit of life to my blonde brows. However, after using this product for about a week I noticed that I was breaking out around my eyebrow, and even a little under the hairs. Now this could have been from my recent eyebrow threading, could have just been a bad skin week but I blamed it on the gel in my mind. After about a month of use I was completely happy with the product, however, I ran out of it shortly after! So clearly this product wasn’t the best economical choice for adding as much color as I wished for my blonde brows.

ingredients:  AQUA (WATER), MICA, GLYCERYL STEARATE, POLYPROPYLENE, MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE, PEG-100 STEARATE, POLYACRYLAMIDE, PHENETHYL ALCOHOL, C13-14 ISOPARAFFIN, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, LAURETH-7, PANTHENOL, GLYCERIN, SILICA, ALTHAEA OFFICINALIS ROOT EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE, SODIUM BENZOATE. [+/-: CI 19140 (YELLOW 5, YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 42090 (BLUE 1 LAKE), CI 77000 (ALUMINUM POWDER), CI 77007 (ULTRAMARINES), CI 77163 (BISMUTH OXYCHLORIDE), CI 77288 (CHROMIUM OXIDE GREENS), CI 77289 (CHROMIUM HYDROXIDE GREEN), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77510 (FERRIC FERROCYANIDE, FERRIC AMMONIUM FERROCYANIDE), CI 77742 (MANGANESE VIOLET), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE)]. N° 07567/A

essence make me brow gel review

I purchased this eyebrow gel right after getting my eyebrows tinted. The tinting is non-permanent so it faded after ~3 weeks and I needed a gel to touch up the spots that appear until my next tinting appointment. Now one thing that changed when I got my brows tinted aside from the coloring, was that they appeared fuller and sharper, hence I do not need that much build when it fades. The essence brow gel also has very buildable pigment, easy application and it goes for $3 at Ulta (the best part).

ingredients: AQUA (WATER), ALCOHOL DENAT., VP/VA COPOLYMER, GLYCERIN, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, NYLON-6, DISODIUM EDTA, GALACTOARABINAN, TROPOLONE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, MICA, SILICA, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE).

final review

Above I have highlighted the common ingredient in each product, what I notice most was that the color/pigments that were added. The ingredient CI 77491, 77492, 77499 which are iron oxide pigments and CI 77891 or titanium dioxide were found in both products. Which might explain why I found the color of each to be very similar despite what the label said. The CI in each of these ingredients stands for “Cosmetic Ingredient”, which is simply the nomenclature used by the regulatory body that monitors the colors in cosmetics. Fun fact: pigments are the only ingredients that are regulated in cosmetics by the FDA.  Anyways back to the review… if you’re looking for a cheap eyebrow gel that has buildable pigment and easy to apply, the essence product is the way to go. However, if you’re interested in creating fuller brows without the hassle of using powder or a pencil I’d definitely recommend the Benefit one. Overall I enjoy the essence product much more now that I tint my brows, mainly because it saves me a lot of money.

Have you tried either of these experiences? Have a different dupe for the Benefit brow gel? I’d love to hear any comments or questions you have below! 

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