If I was stranded on a desert island, I'd take this $4 product

The Make Me Brow gel by Essence is only $4.

While my eyebrows have come an extremely long way from what they looked like under the influence of Gwen Stefani and Xtina, I still hate how clusters of my brow hairs grow in opposite directions: The front grow upwards, the tail grows downwards, while the hair in the meat of both brows have stopped growing entirely. Maybe it’s a mix of both my Asian genes and haunting consequences of beauty trends of decades past, but regardless of what it is, I can now never leave the house with naked brows.

There’s just something about brows that magically make your face, and so even on my off days, without a drop or dust of makeup on my face, I need to wear some sort of brow product to look and feel, well, like a human being. And while many would have a hard time narrowing down just their desert island product, I could name you my choice without hesitation, and that is the Essence Make Me Eyebrow Gel Mascara.

Essence make me brow eyebrow gel mascara

Shop it: $4, Shoppers Drug Mart

The mascara is a great dupe for Glossier Boy Brow ($20), and helps me effortlessly create the look of full brows of my dreams without breaking the bank. Did I mention it’s only $4? Its tined gel formation contains small fibres that help fill in the gaps and creates definition.

On top of fillings of power or pencil (varies with how I’m feeling (or which ever one happens to be closer to the mirror I’m using) and/or even alone, I like to finish my brows with a couple coats of this brow mascara to not only create the illusion of thicker hair for dimension, but helps tame brow hairs in place.

Essence Make Me Eyebrow Gel Mascara on my brow

And if you know me, you know I like my brows to look a particular way. For a believable brow, my trick is to not go against the direction of the growth of your brow hairs, really focusing on the front of the brow. Manipulating the look of your natural arches can easily make your brows look flat and boxy. For ultimate 3D-effect, I like to use both shades Browny Brows and Soft Browny Brows.

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