Before it became socially acceptable to pay so much attention to your eyebrows, mine had to be content looking on at other women's fat caterpillar brows, while hoping that a heavy eye (with a lot mascara) would distract from their own wispy, sparse, blondeness. But no more, babes.
These days I arm myself with a bare eyelid and an eyebrow pencil, and boom! Backstage model greatness. Sort of. But just like any explorer arriving at a new and exciting terrain, I've been running around wild-eyed and a little panicked over the wide range of brand choice. One that caught my eye (lol) in particular was Glossier and their seemingly god-like Boy Brow. Stuffed to the brim with nourishing acids and plumping collagens, but also free from parabens and alcohol, this brow mascara looks perfect.
That is, until you realise that it's not vegan (beeswax), and not even vegetarian (atelcollagen). Then there's the small matter that they aren't sold locally, and even if you did throw your carbon footprint to the wind and wanted to import it, you couldn't - they only ship around the States and in Puerto Rico. Bummer! Like, big time. Have you seen what this stuff does?
Not to be deterred, I went around hunting for a suitable replacement. This led me to Essence's range of brow enhancers. They're not stocked with collagen or any growing agents, but they are cruelty-free (albeit not approved by Leaping Bunny), and made in Europe (Poland) to EU Cosmetics Regulation standards. In the sacred words of every struggling conscientious buyer, 'that's good enough for me'.
So, I grabbed a few of their products to try out - I'll list them here with a short review. At the time of writing, Essence South Africa's website was down, so I've used Takealot links. But if you're a local honey, you'll find the South African platform here.
Essence Eyebrow Designer (Soft Blonde). R28. Cheap as chips and twice as cheerful, this is a great run-of-the-mill brow pencil with a handy brush to soften the effect. Will definitely make this guy a regular feature on my makeup stand. Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara. R51. That one was a mouthful. A direct replacement of Glossier's Boy Brow, Make Me Brow doesn't have all of it's cousin's good features, but it's damn close enough to the real thing. Brush your baby hairs at the base of your eyebrow (the end closest to your nose) up for a sleek, fuller look. If you've got fair skin, you could rock a nineties vibe by using a shade darker than that what matches your hair's natural colour. I tried this mascara in Browny and Blondy - love them both to bits. Essence Make Me Brow Powder Pen in Soft Blonde. R51. Ooh, I dig this pen, you guys! It comes on quick and full-on - a welcome change from a mascara and pencil combo that can take up a lot of time. Just make sure to run an eyebrow brush through your hair to keep the effect natural(ish).
Cool beans, babes. That's it. Let me know if you've checked out these Essence goodies or if you have any other Glossier dupes you'd like to share. I'm definitely all ears, there! Sending you all good vibes.