Well-defined eyebrows have the power to frame your face, enhance your features and tie together any look, whether it’s natural, everyday makeup or full-blown glamour. It’s no wonder makeup artists often emphasise the importance of an eyebrow definer in your beauty kit.
With the multitude of options available — pencils, powders, pomades, gels and waxes — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But this comprehensive guide will help you understand the different types of eyebrow definers and how to select one that aligns with your brow goals.
Plus, we’ve made a list of the absolute best brow definers on the market, ensuring that there’s a perfect match for every arch you hope to achieve.
How to choose the best eyebrow definer
Determine your brow needs and desired look
To find the right eyebrow definer, start by assessing your needs and determine the look you are aiming for. Take into account your natural shape and thickness, as well as any sparse areas that may require filling in with an eyebrow definer. Think about whether you want to define your arch and create a fuller look. When choosing a definer, it’s important to consider the finish you prefer for your brows. Some people like a soft, natural look, while others prefer a more defined and strikingly bold appearance.
Choose the type of eyebrow definer
Eyebrow definers come in various forms to suit your needs. Eyebrow pencils, available in wax-based, gel-based and mechanical variations, provide precision and are excellent for filling in sparse areas and defining brow shapes. If you prefer a softer, natural look, then consider eyebrow powder, which is ideal for light to moderately full brows and gentle shading.
For a bold and dramatic appearance, opt for eyebrow pomade or cream-based eyebrow definer, which is perfect for shaping and sculpting. An eyebrow marker is designed for precise lines and microblading-like strokes, making it a foolproof brow weapon. Meanwhile, eyebrow gels and tinted brow mascaras are handy for securing well-defined brows, adding colour and hold as needed.
Match the shade and formula to your brows
Choose an eyebrow definer shade that closely matches your natural brow colour or is one shade lighter for a more natural look. For example, you can choose a dark blackish-brown or deep brown definer for black or dark brown hair and grey-brown shades for a softer yet bold look.
If you have dyed hair, consider matching the definer to your hair colour for a cohesive appearance. Depending on your daily activities, you may want a long-lasting or waterproof formula for your eyebrow definer, especially in hot or humid climates.
Look for precision and ease of use
Choose an eyebrow definer that allows you to control the application and create the desired shape. A mechanical retractable pencil and pointed-tip pen will be excellent for precision, while powder and pomade offer more control for shaping.
Opt for formulations that are free from harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulphates and mineral oils. Such vegan, dermatologically-tested and cruelty-free products not only ensure well-groomed eyebrows but also healthy brows.
How to apply an eyebrow definer
Applying an eyebrow definer requires specific techniques for achieving the best results. Eyebrow pencils or markers are ideal for quickly adding volume and definition to thin brows. Apply them with feather-like strokes, following the direction of hair growth. Start from the inner corners and work towards the tail. Fill in the inner corners using upward and outward strokes for a natural appearance.
On the other hand, pomade or powder-based eyebrow definer is best applied with an angled brush; make sure to control the product amount by tapping it against your hand like a palette. Use short strokes with light pressure, beginning at the centre of your brow and moving outward. Then, soften any harsh edges with a built-in spoolie for a polished finish.
For those seeking extra fullness, gently backcombing the brows by brushing backwards against the hair growth direction. Then, lift the hair and coat them with the product, thereby giving a fuller-looking brow.
Different types of eyebrow definers and choosing the right one for you
Eyebrow definers come in various types, with pencils being one of the most popular options. Brow-defining pencils are excellent for adding soft, naturally groomed definition to your eyebrows and can serve as a base for brow powder. Some pencils, such as the Arch Arrival Brow Definer by SUGAR (Buy on Amazon for INR 434), even feature an angled flat edge and a premium spoolie attached for precise and defined strokes. They are particularly useful for individuals with eyebrow gaps, asymmetry, or sparse tails, as they can help fill in and shape the brows effectively.
Shop eyebrow pencils here
Brow powders are excellent for filling in any gaps or sparse areas in the eyebrows, providing a softer and fluffier effect compared to other definers. Additionally, powder formulas can help set eyebrow pencils, making them last longer and creating the illusion of fuller brows when used with an angled brush, featuring a specially designed triangular slant. When choosing the shade for a powder-based brow definer, it’s advisable to select one that closely matches your natural hair colour.
Using a waterproof and sweat-proof eyebrow definer such as the Benefit Cosmetics Goof Proof Brow Powder (Buy on Nykaa for INR 2250) can give a long-lasting, well-blended and defined brow look. However, if you have dry skin, you may want to consider alternatives to powders.
Shop eyebrow powders here
Pomade is a popular choice for creating bold and well-defined eyebrows. Its rich, creamy texture provides exceptional definition and can offer a subtle hold to keep brows in place. To achieve the best results with pomades such as Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade – Dark Brown (Buy on Nykaa for INR 2280), using a small, angled brush is recommended for generous filling and precise shaping of the eyebrows. This brow definer is particularly advantageous for those who have gaps in their brows, offering a quick and effective solution for filling them in. Additionally, it can enhance the appearance of naturally thick brows, making them appear even more powerful and defined.
Shop eyebrow pomades here
A marker-style eyebrow definer, similar to liquid eyeliners, excels at concealing scars and bald spots with hair-like strokes. Makeup artists often favour this option for its versatility, as they mimic natural brow hair, providing dimension when filling and feathering. Eyebrow definers like the Charmacy Milano Ultra Thin Stroke Pen (Buy on Nykaa for INR 446) work well on top of powder for natural-looking brows.
Look for products with a slim, angled or forked tip for precise application. Markers are humidity resistant as they’re long-lasting and suitable for oilier skin, but you’ll need a steady hand for precision.
Shop for eyebrow markers here
Gels have become a sensation in the world of eyebrow definer. They’re quick and easy to use, adding colour, providing a light hold, and making your brows look fuller. They also stand out in their ability to maintain brows in a precise shape, resulting in a sculpted yet voluminous appearance with a subtle tint.
A gel-based eyebrow definer can work for anyone, and if you have unruly brows, you’ll especially like how they tame and groom them. Opting for a fibre-infused brow gel like the Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Brow-Volumizing Fiber Gel Mini (Buy on Nykaa for INR 1450) is a great choice for grooming and enhancing your brows, making them appear fuller and well-tamed.
Shop eyebrow gels here
Wax is a valuable eyebrow definer for taming unruly brows and keeping them in a neat, uniform shape throughout the day. It effectively holds down scraggly hair, making it an excellent choice for wiry brows or hair that grows in different directions.
Wax can also serve as a base for a powder-based eyebrow definer. For instance, the Too Faced Fluff & Hold Laminating Brow Wax (Buy on Nykaa for INR 1913) provides a clear, natural finish while adding volume, texture and total control to your brows, resulting in a fluffy and perfectly polished appearance with just the right amount of hold. It’s especially useful for locking stubborn hairs in place, essentially laminating your eyebrows for a clean look.
Shop eyebrow wax here
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– What is an eyebrow definer?
An eyebrow definer is a cosmetic product used to enhance and define the eyebrows. It comes in the form of a pencil, powder, gel, or pomade and is designed to help shape, fill in and emphasise the brows.
– Is it important to use an eyebrow definer?
Well-defined and fuller eyebrows can complete your makeup game, making definers an important addition to your makeup bag. It can help you easily draw arches and fill in gaps, creating perfect brows. This is especially valuable in case of uneven brows, as a good eyebrow definer can create a balanced, symmetrical appearance.
– Which eyebrow definer is best for me?
The ideal eyebrow definer depends on your preferences and needs. If you want a natural look, consider a pencil or powder. For more defined brows, opt for a gel or pomade. Ensure the shade of the eyebrow definer matches your natural brow colour and select based on factors like hold and ease of application.
– Where can I buy eyebrow definers?
You can purchase eyebrow definers from various online retailers like Nykaa, Myntra and Amazon, as well as in the online and offline flagship stores of different makeup brands. These platforms offer a convenient way to explore a wide range of options, compare products and read reviews to make an informed choice.
– Are eyebrow definers waterproof?
Eyebrow definers can come in various formulations, with some labelled as waterproof or water-resistant. This indicates their ability to withstand moisture and stay in place longer, even when exposed to sweat, rain or humidity. If you need a waterproof definer, check the product’s label or description to ensure it meets your requirements.
(Prices of the products mentioned in the story are subject to change)
(Hero image credit: Rdne Stock Project/Pexels; Featured image credit: Alena Darmel/Pexels)