The relationship that the beauty industry has with gender fascinates me. Beauty brands are constantly trying to define femininity and shape what it means to be a woman, a certain kind of woman, rather. It’s rigid, and, more so, it’s boring.
But I don't need to tell you that.
What is even more interesting to me is how women, men and those across the gender spectrum use beauty to shape people’s perception of them.
Beauty isn’t just makeup for a lot of us, it’s an inseparable part of our gender identity, whatever that may be. It’s an essential part of introducing ourselves to the world every day.
As we all know, definitions of masculinity are comically limited. While women have aisles of beauty products dedicated to them in drugstores and entire stores filled with lipstick and mascara throughout the mall, men’s products are sectioned off to one “grooming” aisle packed with plastic gray bottles filled with blue gels that have all smelled the same for 50 years. Being a dude has never been any fun.
Which is why it’s odd, then, that Glossier decided to name their new brow product “Boy Brow.”
If they’re trying to imply that boys have stronger, fuller brows, then they have apparently never met any of the women on the Sicilian side of my family.
Full disclosure: I am a Glossier truther. Ever since they sent me the Phase 1 set, I’ve kept a close eye on the brand to see what they're gonna do next.
Their Priming Moisturizer isn’t my every day go-to, but it’s an old standby (a year-old standby, to be precise. Happy Bey-lated birthday, Glossier!)
The Mega Greens Galaxy Pack detoxifying mask is what I reach for any time I need to get my pores in check because it really does the job, and you’ll never, ever catch me without my Balm Dotcom. I’d rather leave my phone behind than that balm, aside from the fact that I can’t Tweet from a balm. I've tried.
Glossier’s whole concept is to perfect your face and let your natural self shine through, instead of covering it up with layers of foundation and concealer.
A brow product makes perfect sense as a new addition because, and I know you know this, better, bolder brows really pull your whole face together.
This product couldn’t have come at a better time because I’ve been doing the shit out of my brows lately, so much so that I’ve been thinking about looking into permanent makeup.
Here are my dumb brows:
COULD BE BETTER.
The product is pretty straightforward. It’s a tube about the size of a cigarette lighter, with an equally small wand with a brush on the end, all about the size of a sample size mascara.
From pencils to pomades, I’ve tried juuust about every brow filler out there, so I wondered how Glossier’s would stand up against the competitors. Thus far, they’ve managed to bring something unique and innovative to each of their products, and turns out Boy Brow is no different.
They describe the product as a creamy wax, though I’d say the consistency is more of a cream pomade, to give you an idea.
On the applicator, the product is opaque, but when brushed through your brows, it softly grabs each strand and helps keep them in place as you shape them. It makes brows look bolder and thicker while still making them look natural and untouched.
Here is the "after:"
As you brush through your brows, some of the product darkens the skin below, so it acts almost like a brow pencil and pomade in one. Colored waxes that just cling to the brow hair without meeting the skin below have a way of somehow making brows look both too sparse and too severe at the same time.
Fun fact: My brows are like, two completely different shapes, and that's only more obvious when I use a product like this that enhances without totally reshaping.
This isn't the product's fault, I'm just trying to cover my bases before y'all get sassy in the comments. If the uneven brows were my fault, believe me, I'd know. Like, do you have any idea how much time I spend looking at myself in the mirror?
As with almost everything else in beauty (nail polish, mascara, foundation) it’s better with two coats. However, you can overdo it on your first pass if you’re not careful.
The cream wax is light, soft, and very malleable, which is what makes it build so beautifully. For this same reason, though, if you brush on too much on your first go-round, the product will start building on itself instead of just your brows, making it seem like your brows are wet and clinging to each other.
Brush on one layer, give it just minute to set, and then give it a second coat.
Boy Brow fits in perfectly with the rest of the Glossier collection because application is effortless, and the results take what’s already good about your face and make it great. Makeup takes a back seat and all that’s on full display is that pretty face of yours.
Follow Tynan and his brows on Twitter @TynanBuck.