Product Review: Wow Brow by e.l.f. cosmetics

When doing my makeup, I have to say that my least favorite part is doing my eyebrows. Just like a winged eyeliner, brows can be such a great statement to set off a look but can also go wrong so easily. One leans in too much, one is too arched, one tapers beautifully while the other is too pigmented….or is it just me? They also are incredibly trendy. Fluffy? IG crisp? 90s thin as a wisp? Laminated? Tamed? Eye, eye.

I have decent brows but fell victim to overplucking in the 90s. I probably get them shaped once or twice a year and do not pluck them whatsoever unless I am 2 days from a unibrow or one is really out of place. Let’s just say I’m thankful that brows with rogue hairs are in (or at least that’s what I tell myself). I’m working with something here, so my needs may be different than someone with blonde or barely there brows.

When I’m looking for a brow product it needs to have certain factors to end up in my basket:

  1. Holds my brows in place but isn’t crunchy or flaky. I do tend to wear a lot of moisturizing products and get oily throughout the day, so it needs to have enough oomf to not break down.
  2. Be a true neutral brown because my undertone pulls pink/warm, but my hair is platinum blonde. The slightest bit of warmth will make me look ruddy.
  3. Fills in my brows but is forgiving. I want to do a few swipes and forget it. If some is slightly out of place I want it to blend vs look like a Sharpie marker mishap. I wear a sheered-out Dr. Jart Premium BB most days as my makeup so it needed to be natural enough to not look garish on a barely there makeup job.
  4. Not cause adverse effects like drying out my brows and making them fall out, causing breakouts in my brows, etc.

What is e.l.f.’s Wow Brow?

The Wow Brow is an eyebrow product which contains a pigmented tint and little hair-like fibers that cling to and help fill in brows. It is a gel-wax formula meant to groom the brows with the wax, and dry down to stay in place with the gel. Per e.l.f.’s website, their products are also vegan and cruelty free which ticks other important boxes for those whom are cause-conscious.

Ingredients per e.l.f.’s website:

NET WEIGHT 0.12 oz. (3.5g), Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, C10-13 Isoparaffin, Glyceryl Stearate, Kaolin, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Peg-100 Stearate, Mica, C9-11 Isoparaffin, Nylon-66, Tocopheryl Acetate (Ve), Polyacrylate-13, Phenoxyethanol, Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina), Polyisobutene, Sodium Glycerophosphate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polysorbate 20, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499)

You’ll see that there is a hefty amount of alcohol and waxes, which makes sense given the gel-wax formula. The nylon is likely the little fibers that help to fill in the brows.

My experience

A few things drew me to the Wow Brow. When I bought it, I was in school full-time and working part-time so both my dollar and time budget were nil. I was in Manhattan, so even sneezing seems to cost you $30. I wasn’t doing my makeup much, the NYC aesthetic is less is more (can you go from getting rained on, to a windy train tunnel and pull your hat off at dinner and look ready to go with a few hand swipes through your hair) and I didn’t need a huge pot of product. I hadn’t tried an e.l.f. product before; I saw the reviews were mostly favorable and called it a dupe for both Glossier and Anastasia Beverly Hills products. Great! Into my bin it went.

Upon my $4 purchase I didn’t have very high hopes. The tube was very small and when I pulled out the little wand it looked to be somewhat dry and flaky which looked a little messy. The small tube is also black, so it easily falls down into my makeup bag and is sometimes both hard given its size and bland packaging. This is not a deal breaker but if you’re trying to do your makeup in a flash, digging around for it everyday is sort of a drag.

I’m wearing Wow Brow in neutral brown here in my headshot.

I swiped it on in about 17 seconds. What I appreciated is the color I purchased, neutral brown, was in fact a very neutral brown. My sandy brown, slightly auburn-tinged brows were a deeper brown color. They didn’t look fake. My inner brows are where things tend to go wrong for me because one side those hairs stick straight up, the other side leans. This is my major frustration with doing my brows because getting the inner edges to look even takes too much time and is hardly right. This was pretty easy because the brush just sort of put them in place. The right side with the leaning brows I just brushed straight up a bit, tabbed some of the product in the sparse spots left over, and all was looking pretty good I must say. Pretty freaking great for barely-there effort and $4. It stayed on as I wanted, didn’t cause me irritation, and literally in the past month 3 people have told me I have great brows. Ok then!

Final thoughts

I really enjoy e.l.f.’s Wow Brow and will definitely repurchase. I originally was a little bummed on the size of the product, but it seems to have lasted me quite a while. I was able to easily apply it and customize a bit with brows lifted or smoothed out with the tiny brush, but it isn’t as precise as a thin eyebrow brush and pomade if that is the look you like. It removes effortlessly which is great for me because I want to hang on to every eyebrow hair I have. I have had a pimple or two in the eyebrow area since using this, but I can’t say that it is caused by the product as I’m generally acne-prone. Just make sure to remove it at night since the wax can be clogging to the skin.

There are some drawbacks. I wouldn’t say that this is a bullet-proof formula; if you are someone who works in the elements and might get rained on, wants to wear this around the pool, is very oily, it might not be for you. I have brows, so I cannot comment on what it is like for someone with barely there brows that need to be drawn on to show. There are also only 4 colors to choose from, so those with deep black brows, red, or very blonde likely won’t find something that works for them. I wouldn’t expect this from a $4 product, but there are others on the market that combine conditioning and growth serums that both help keep brows in place while helping sparse brows grow. It wouldn’t be fair to compare those to Wow Brow, but if that is something you’d want you’d either need a separate growth product or to try something else.

Overall for someone with eyebrow color ranges in the neutral light-to-dark brown, and wants an affordable product that looks natural and performs really well, I highly recommend you try e.l.f.’s Wow Brow. For a $4 product you can easily get in just about any drugstore or online, it’s also really easy to snag while you’re running other errands. Go out and try it!

Overall: 4/5

Price: $$$$$

Packaging: 3/5

Have you tried Wow Brow or another brow product you love? Drop us a line in the comments.

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