The Brow Gel That Broke The Internet

I found the Refy Brow Sculpt where I get most of my makeup tips nowadays: on my FYP, in one of those get-ready-with-me videos that feels like a FaceTime. Creator and model Eloise Dufka was prepping for a sushi date with a love interest (TikTok dating content is my vice). I was only half watching until she pulled out an unassuming matte-gray tube that unscrewed into a kind of jackknife of a brow product: a tiny spoolie coated in white gel-wax on one end, with a shaping brush-comb on the other.
After spotting the same tube in a TikTok makeup tutorial again, and again, and again, it became obvious that this thing could make eyebrows look laminated.
A UK-based brand, Refy Beauty (Redefining Beauty, abbreviated) was created by British model and influencer Jess Hunt, who, from a young age, molded her thick, dark-blond eyebrow hairs into a look that we now describe as 'laminated' — and people always coveted it, even before it was trendy. "I have always had my signature brow look," Hunt says, "and my following have always wanted to know how I achieved it."
Prior to creating Refy, Hunt's brow routine was complicated. "I was using 3 different brow gels and 2 brushes just to keep [my eyebrows] in place," Hunt says. Jenna Meek, an industry friend who later became the Refy co-founder, watched Hunt dig through her bag of brow gels before a photoshoot and gave her a push: Draw what your 'dream' brow tool would look like, Meek advised. Hunt sketched a prototype for The Brow Sculpt. After contacting a lab and tinkering with the design, Refy Brow Sculpt launched direct-to-consumer on the brand's UK website in November of 2020.
The timing was perfect. Brow lamination was on the rise through 2021 and became far and away the most popular eyebrow trend of 2022. Almost immediately, the Refy Brow Sculpt gained traction on social media. "We launched the Brow Sculpt during the pandemic, so lots of people discovered our brand through Instagram," says Hunt. Soon, people from all over the world were trying to buy the Refy Brow Sculpt after seeing it on a Reel or TikTok. "The Refy girl is scrolling on Instagram and TikTok looking for inspiration from creators and influencers," says Hunt. "Most of [our] customers and followers actually found Refy through their favorite creators."
In the past few months, it hasn't been hard to be influenced. There are currently 132.3M views on TikTok videos tagging Refy Beauty Brow Sculpt. From a shopping perspective, the demand has been "insane," says Hunt. "We ordered enough stock of Brow Sculpt to last us 6 months and it sold out in 6 weeks." Taking notice, Sephora jumped on board to get Refy's Brow Sculpt in U.S. stores.
So why have people become crazed about the Brow Sculpt? According to Dufka, the gel and brush combo make the laminated aesthetic achievable, lifting and jelling the brows into place. "There's something about the laminated-eyebrow look that makes me feel so much better about myself," she says. For @kylei.ann, another creator on TikTok, the Refy Brow Sculpt is "hands down the best brow product" they've ever used to get "droopy eyebrows" to "stay lifted."
However, as many fans note, the Brow Sculpt formula takes a beat to understand. "When you first apply the Brow Sculpt to your eyebrows, it applies white," Hunt explains, which can be a little jarring, especially if you have dark brows (it looks a little bit like glue). "You shouldn’t worry though," Hunt adds, "it dries down clear."
There's a bit of a refined technique to the application, too. You want to use the spoolie side to brush the white-to-clear wax through your brows for hold — only a light brush-though — then use the opposite comb side to gently spread the wax, molding the brow hair into that slicked-to-skin effect akin to professional lamination. Creator @andrea_yamhure on TikTok, calls out the dense-hair comb attachment, specifically: "It really, really grips" even the most stubborn eyebrow hair.
Many popular TikTok brow routines feature the Refy Brow Gel. A big tip across the board: Only use a teeny bit of gel and keep the double-pronged comb clean (because it will collect residual wax). Many people recommend wiping the spoolie on the side of the tube to make sure it's a light application. "You only need a small amount of the product," says Hunt. "We advise you apply the Brow Sculpt on to a clean face and ensure that both brushes are clean before brushing through the brow. This means there will be no transfer of any excess product and it won’t interfere with any makeup."
On Reddit, there's an active thread where brow connoisseurs discuss the key differences between the Refy Brow Sculpt to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze, a potted pomade that functions more like a soap brow kit. Most people prefer Refy, saying it has the best hold out of every other gel formula on the market.
Other alternatives to Refy are the Benefit 24-HR Brow Setter, which is a clear formula with a double-sided brush for shaping; it's less likely to leave a residue but the brush is finer, so the grip won't be as tight. Other's recommend the Patrick Ta Brow Lamination Gel. Kosas also has a clear, lifting gel as well. All hover between $20-$30, so quite a bit cheaper than a professional lamination treatment, closer to $120. For Hunt, a temporary result was always the goal. "I personally relate to the 'laminated brow' trend, although I don’t actually like committing to lamination," she explains. A Brow Sculpt gives a laminated finish, "but I can wash it off at the end of the day and still have gorgeous, healthy brows."
Of course, Hunt is quick to point out the laminated brow trend is just that: a trend. "I don’t think the look is for everyone though," she says, "which is why we try and educate the customer that you really can use the Brow Sculpt in a lot of different ways to achieve your desired look." Me? I don't ascribe to a laminated, brow-stuck-to-skin aesthetic, but I do find that a little bit of the Brow Sculpt keeps my brow hairs any which way I comb them.
Given that Refy is a UK-based brand, its products, including the Brow Sculpt, still feel a little if-you-know-you-know (the minimal branding helps). People who get comments on their brows are quick to recommend Refy, but many still hesitate with the pronunciation.
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