Tuesday, August 26, 2008
In Focus: Anastasia Five-Item Brow Kit
I've always said to people that even without makeup, anybody can totally revamp and improve the way they look with just the simple step of changing the appearance of their brows. Even without a smidgen of makeup on the face, a girl (or guy) can look groomed, polished, and presentable with beautifully arched brows. The trick however is to properly do it. I've been a little insecure about my brows, mainly because of the uneven hair growth and its shape. I do get to have my brows waxed regularly, but filling them in with the right products has always been a challenge.
With that in mind, I tried the Anastasia Five-Item Brow kit, and it really made a huge difference in my brows, mainly due to the fact that it helped me achieve a much better brow shape. The kit is like training wheels for brows. It teaches you how to properly mark the areas of your face where the brows should start and end, and it also enables you to properly fill in, groom, and highlight your brows and the area around it with the correct tools. The end-result: beautiful brows that frame your face perfectly.
All the products in this kit are great, but my favorites are, well, actually everything except the brow stencils, because those are the only ones I don't use everyday. And yes, I use the rest of the items everyday, and if I don't have time, I use the tweezers every few days or so when I see some regrowth. Here are the items in the kit and my take on them:
1. BROW POWDER DUO
A two-shade compact applied to create beautiful and natural brow effects. This sheer to medium opacity powder includes the antioxidant Vitamins C and E. The emollient formula is transfer resistant and comes with two shades per compact to ensure not only the perfect brow shape but also the perfect brow color. This product is available in five two-tone shades.
My take: I love the powder duo because it is different from the usual eyebrow powder I'd used. It's a little bit tacky in consistency, and hence doesn't fade as easy as those in mere powder form. It has an emollient-rich formula that sticks to the hairs and skin without looking gunky. I like that it effectively shapes my brows quickly, without muss or fuss, with the help of the angled brow brush also included in the kit.
-Use short, light strokes to fill in sparse brows.
-Apply the powder on the brow using the Duo Angled Brush #10, the Angled Cut Large #17A, the Mini Duo Angled Spooley Brush #7, the Angled Cut Small #15, or the Small Brow Shader #23.
-Apply the darker color fist where the brows are sparse, and then brush the lighter shade over the entire brow.
-Use the Spooley brush to pull the color through.
2. MINI DUO ANGLED / SPOOLEY #7
A personal use version of the Angled Cut/ Spooley Duo Brush, The Anastasia Mini Duo Angled/ Spooley Brush is an essential tool for grooming brows and everyday application of brow products.
-Use the Spooley brush to pull the excess color out of brows and lashes.
My take: Love, love, love this mini tool! I do exactly what Anastasia has advised her customers to do with this brush. I use the angled brush to apply the color on the brow, then use the spooley to even out the color all over my brows, and to brush off excess color. Perfect little tool, makes doing brows so much easier. If I am really in a hurry, this is all I need to do my brows right.
-Using the Angled Cut Brush, apply the brow product in the direction of the hair growth.
-Use short, quick brush strokes.
-Using the spooley end, brush upward and outward to pull the excess color through the brow.
3. BROW GEL
A clear gel fortified with botanical hair conditioners and essential oils to keep unruly brows in place all day without flaking.
-clear gel formula
-Film-forming polymer helps define and hold the brow.
-Contains Botanical and Essential Oils for hair conditioning.
-Hyaluronic Acid helps to maintain moisture.
-Chamomile extract for soothing.
My take: Well, obviously, I use this after I shape and fill in my brows to maintain the color and shape. I like the staying power of the gel and it really does help to keep my brows in perfect shape all day. It is also a no-brainer to use, and it just takes seconds to apply it.
-Apply after Perfect Brow, Perfect Brow Powder, or Brow Pomade.
-Withdraw wand from case and wipe excess product from around the base of the brush.
-Stroke gently and outward to achieve the most flattering shape.
-Designed with precision
-exclusive to Anastasia and created for use by professionals
-Provides efficient and thorough hair removal
My take: I probably don't need to explain what this tool is for, but I use it regularly, and it does work good. I love the feminine pink color, and it's stainless steel so I don't need to worry about it rusting.
-Tweeze hair outside of stenciled area.
-Pull hair in the direction of the hair growth.
Included are Petite Arch, Slim High, Medium and High Arch Stencils to achieve a true Anastasia shape at home.
This unique set comes with four classic eyebrow stencils to suit any face shape.
My take: If you have sparse or thin brows, or if you overplucked your brows and would need a guide while your hairs grow back, this is the product for you. It will guide you as to where your perfect arch is located, how thin or long the head and tail of the brows should be. It is time-consuming to me, though, and would not use it every day except during those days when I feel my brows are unruly or out-of-shape enough to seek outside help.
-Use the stencil with an Angled Cut Brush, Brow Pomade, Perfect Brow Pencil, and/or Perfect Brow Powder.
-Choose the stencil that aligns with both the front and tail of the brow, and has as much of your natural brow inside the brow cutout as possible.
-A is the point through the center of the nostril (not the nose) directly up to where it intersects the end point of the stencil cutout.
-B is the point through the edge of the nose diagonally to the opposite end of the stencil cutout.
-Fill in the arch with the Angled Brush.
6.EYE LIGHTS MATTE
Available in 4 shades: Camille, Shell, Buff and Apricot.
A very versatile cream-to-powder pencil that creates a soft matte highlight under the eyebrows. A smooth and matte base for the eyes and the face that moisturizes and protects the skin.
My take: This is not included in the kit but I am including this in my review because this is a great product and would truly complete the beautifully arched brows look. I am loving this because it instantly gives the whole face a lift. Because it is matte, it gives the most subtle highlight underneath the arch or on the browbone, and the effect is just gorgeous. It gives the whole eye area a fresh, awake effect. It also highlights the just filled in and groomed brows, greatly improving the appearance of the entire face. Can also be used on the lips.
-Apply directly along the brow bone underneath the brow hair.
-Blend up and outward using the index or pinkie finger.
-Ideally applied along the lip line and blended well before applying lip pencil and color.
I have done this tutorial in another entry, but I am reproducing it here instead of just linking it so everybody can see the whole concept, the entire picture in one entry.
Apply Almay liquid eyeliner. Using the Anastasia angled brow brush and brow powder, mark the point through the center of the nostril directly up where it intersects the end point of the brow stencil cut-out (Point A) where the brow should start, and the point through the edge of the nose diagonally to the opposite end of the stencil cutout (Point B), or where the brow tail should end.
Choose the stencil that aligns with both the front and tail of the brow (points A and B) and has as much of your natural brow hair inside the brow cut-out as possible. I chose the Petite Arch stencil. Using the angled brow brush and brow powder contained in the kit, fill in the stencil shape and the arch. By the way, I already tweezed stray hairs earlier using the Anastasia tweezer found also in the kit.
Use the spoolie in the kit to groom hair and to blend the brow powder into the hairs. Apply brow gel in the kit; brush upward to condition and hold the shape of the brow all day.
Apply the highlighter underneath the arch, and blend in using a q-tip.
Using the 219 pencil brush, apply Baby Petals on inner to mid lower lashline, and Top Hat on mid to outer lower lashline. Line waterline using Graphblack Technakohl liner. Apply mascara.