As far as brow horror stories go, mine was actually a blessing. The year was 2002, it was a Friday night, and all my friends were getting their eyebrows waxed at the mall. Well, except me. When it was my turn to sit down, the waxer gave me one look and some real talk: "I could wax you, but honestly you don't need it," she told me. "Just tweeze. Trust me." Being left out of this coming-of-age ritual was, of course, devastating to eighth-grade me who only wanted to look like Drew Barrymore. But fast-forward to my twenties, and it's been a real joy not having to spend the time and money trying to finding the best brow growth serum. (Colleagues tell me it's this one, though, if you're curious.)
So when microblading—the semi-permanent eyebrow procedure that gives you full, natural-looking eyebrows—came along, I sat yet another brow trend out. It's not that my brows wouldn't benefit from some slight filling-in, I've just held steadfastly to the advice that hasn't steered me wrong in 16 years. Also, I hate needles and I hear it's hella painful. So there's that.
But now, the best of both worlds has arrived: Maybelline's Tattoo Studio Brow Tint Pen. Unlike most clunky brow markers, this one has a four-pronged tip that give you the same realistic hair-like strokes as a pro microblading tool. It's also got a slanted design that makes it easy to flick and follow your brow's natural shape.
I mean, just look at this thing in action:
Not only does the angled design make it faster if you're doing a rush-job in the morning—and, honestly, who really wants to spend more than 30 seconds on their brows each day?—I've also found it keeps you from getting too heavy-handed at the tail, which is where most people's brows tend to be the most sparse.
The formula also boasts a lofty 24-hour smudge-free claim, and while I haven't slept in it, the swatches I made on my hand in the morning legit didn't budge until I washed them off at the end of the day. And after a week of testing, same goes for my actual brows, which are probably are the most important gauge. The best part of all, though? Unlike microblading, which costs an upwards of $1,500, this pen is only $10.
I never did get to properly thank my fairy brow godmother. But hopefully this counts as paying it forward—if only to save some 14-year-old's brows for two decades from now.
Maybelline Tattoo Studio Brow Tint Pen, $10, ulta.com
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