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You could say that my brows were ahead of their time. Growing up, boys teased me about them, likening their full, bushy shape to that of the fuzzy caterpillars on the playground. And compared to the thin, delicate arches of the popular girls in my class, I felt hypermasculine in comparison. Well, not only have I fully embraced my naturally thriving brows, but enhancing them with makeup is among my favourite steps in my getting-ready process. And thanks to Benefit Cosmetics’ latest launch, I, truthfully, think they’ve never looked better.
You see, I’ve tried it all: pencils, tinted gels, powders, and even the viral "soap brow" pans of clear goo. I’ll admit, when you’ve got ample brows like mine, you don’t need a ton of product to snatch them. But at the same time, they require a certain level of product hold to maintain a shape — and here’s where Benefit's Fluff Up Brow Wax, £23.50, comes in. (Fun fact: R29's beauty director and Gloss Angeles podcast host Sara Tan is also a fan of this stuff.)
I recently got my own brows laminated by Benefit’s global brow expert, Jared Bailey, who literally defied what I thought my brows were even capable of. The result: a natural yet fierce brow that frames my face and adds structure.
Brow lamination changes the pattern of the brow hairs. The semipermanent chemical treatment allows your esthetician to maneuver the shape of your brow hairs before setting them with clear wrap — aka lamination. After getting the treatment done, my next plan of action was to find the perfect product to style my brows and enhance the brushed-up effect of my lamination. Fluff Up is slightly thicker than a clear gel (which, for the record, I also use Benefit’s version), and it is soft and pliable yet substantial enough to shape and set brows to a desired look.
Excellent juice aside, let’s talk about the wand. Unlike shorter, wider brow brushes that deposit a lot of product, the elongated, tapered brush on Fluff Up allows you to actually work the product in just where you want it. I find that with a longer brush, I also use fewer strokes distributing the product since it does so much of the work for you.
Forty dollars is a lot to spend on a single brow gel, but if you've spent hundreds on multiple products that don't deliver on their claims, you know the frustration. Plus, having used it in a variety of climates (everywhere from the brisk ski slopes in northern Japan to balmy waterfront dinners in Sydney), I can say with confidence that it keeps brows looking flawless for hours on end — and is truly worth every penny.