If there's any patch of hair that has my utmost respect, it's the eyebrow. Those few inches of forehead lashes continue to dictate social media trends, the beauty industry, and the overall fortitude of a face decade after decade — whether it's the thin '90s brow fad that evaporated my mom's follicles or the thick upside-down Nike swooshes we etched onto our faces in 2016. The majority of this "utmost respect" stems from the fact that I eat up eyebrow culture like it's only thing on the menu. Especially when I hear there's a TikTok-famous $10 NYX brow gel advertising "a 16-hour-long hold," "zero flakes," and "limitless looks" in its on-site description. What am I going to do, not add it to my next NYX, Amazon, Ulta, [insert drug store here] haul? You know that I not only clicked "Add To Cart," but also detailed the entire experience, below.
Here at Refinery29, we love a hidden gem as much as we love a viral product that lives up to the hype — and NYX's vegan, cruelty-free Brow Glue certainly falls into the latter camp. The 0.17 fl. oz. tube features a 4.3-out-of-5-star rating and 16,000+ reviews on Amazon, as well as another 4.3-out-of-5-star rating and 1,500+ reviews on NYX's site — making this product (as well as its five other tinted colorways) the definition of most wanted. One Amazon reviewer even ditched her risky hairspray regimen after one purchase. "Forever I would use hair spray to hold my eyebrows and throughout the day I would sweat through it and it wouldn’t last," the thrilled reviewer writes. "This product is awesome, I’ve had it on my brows for a 9-hour shift and they are still in place!"
Fresh out of the box, the bottle is noticeably tiny. This makes it excellent for purses and the $9 price tag understandable. The bristle applicator is somewhat stubby but cuts through the viscous gel with a vengeance when placed back inside. Upon opening it again, I noticed that the gel was tacky enough to hang off the applicator a tad without dripping — which, meant zero mess and no wasted product. In the moment, I did, however, wonder why it's advertised as "non-sticky" when it appeared like as though I siphoned a bottle of glue from an elementary classroom. But that was never a concern to begin with. It was time to apply.
This applicator immediately picked up every follicle on first swipe just like God and the brand intended. About four brushes and one necessary re-dunk of the applicator into the bottle later, my eyebrow was fully saturated in a light goo that clung onto my skin for dear life. I exclaimed "oh wow," in the moment and repeated the same steps on the other side of my face — which left me with two immaculately uplifted, arched-to-perfection brows.
I immediately took to the blow dryer because A. I watch many drag makeup tutorials and they always do this after literally glueing down their brows with Elmer's, and B. it felt like it was necessary because it wasn't necessarily quick drying. That being said, after about a minute of powerful air, I was met with slick brows enhanced by a subtle sheen and defined hairs. NYX's Brow Glue clapped its hands and yelled, "Places everyone!," to which my forehead lashes instantly obliged.
The 16-Hour Hold In Question
Quite frankly, I don't think I've ever worn make up for 16 hours straight, so I can't back up that claim. But, I can attest to an impressive 7-hour-long hold...especially if you don't touch your face. For the first five hours or so, I might as well have injected my eyebrows with Botox. Those things did not move — whether I was running for the bus, laughing with co-workers at the office, or subconsciously scrunching them at my computer every once in awhile. But, around hour seven — while they were definitely still in place — I could shift the hair around with a light finger swipe if I wanted to, and unfortunately, one day I did. My skin does, however, run oily and I'm prone to sweat no matter the weather. But, remember the purse-perfect size? I reapplied with ease. It didn't smudge my brow pencil strokes or clump up any foundation either.
It's sticky and goopy when wet; thick and tacky when applied; sleek and glossy when dried. The Brow Glue deserves a spot in makeup bags, whether you're keeping those thick 2010s swooshes alive, saying goodbye to your arches for the trendy straight look, or thinning them down despite my mom's warning. It lasts all day, doesn't smudge makeup, and I still have a little bit left in my tube after about a 40 to 50 days of daily use. Only those on the hunt for fluffy, care-free follicles should look to other viable options. Ah eyebrow culture, you never disappoint. And NYX Brow Glue, you'll always be famous.
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