Thursday, April 23, 2015

Brow Battle: L'oreal Brow Stylist Plumper vs. Benefit Gimme Brow

[Both products were purchased by me.]

So, here's the thing. I bought Benefit's Gimme Brow in Light/Medium, and L'Oreal's Brow Stylist Plumper in Medium/Dark. But, hear me out!

I probably could use Gimme Brow in the darker shade, but when I bought it, I was still growing out a dye job and moving through eyebrow product shades, so I chose the lighter option. My hair is at its darkest (natural, not sun-bleached) shade right now, so when I bought the L'Oreal, I bought the darker option (also, the lighter L'Oreal looks way too warm).
I'm sorry the comparison of shades, then, won't be too helpful, but I'm going to show it to you anyway. I was worried that the L'Oreal would be too warm, but it isn't. Colorwise, I am satisfied with it.

The L'Oreal still looks warm here, but once applied, it's not overly obvious. However, if your brows are less dense, it would be more apparent if the color is not close to your natural brow color, so that merits consideration. Texture-wise, both products are similar; they both contain little fibers that cling to existing brow hairs. So, both of these products really only work if you have moderately full brows already - they'll add volume, and the fibers will have something to stick to. The gel will help keep hairs in place, and its tint will help fill in gaps and give the appearance of fullness. If you have really sparse brows, this isn't what you're looking for - you should opt for a pencil or something that will help you shade in your brows more evenly.

L'Oreal's Brow Plumper is a bit more fluid; Benefit's Gimme Brow has a less runny consistency. The L'Oreal also "sets" more stiffly and rapidly. You have to work quickly, and if you apply too much product in one area, it can get a little messy and needs to be fixed right away. The larger brush also makes it a little more difficult to apply (read: easier to color out of the lines), and can make it harder to evenly shade in your brows - there can be gaps. It cost me $8, vs. Gimme Brow's $24 price tag. Gimme Brow has a much better brush (tiny and dense), the finish is a bit softer (less stiff to the touch), and there is more margin for error - you can fix it up a little bit before it "sets."
You can see the little fibers on the L'Oreal brush, which is considerably bigger and not as dense. Gimme Brow has fibers, too, but this tube is almost at the end of its lifespan, so there aren't as many on the brush.

Overall, I'm torn. I like Gimme Brow's brush a lot better; it has an overall softer, fuller effect (partially due to the brush). However, L'Oreal's formula is close to the mark, and with a little practice, I think I can achieve a similar effect. The $16 difference between the two is significant, and although I would pay for Gimme Brow if I thought it was that much better, I'm not sure that it is. I shade in gaps with a MAC Brow pencil either way (I usually keep one on hand for this purpose, or if I want more dramatic brows), so that's not a huge concern. Some people have suggested using the Benefit brush with the L'oreal product, but then I'd have to constantly be washing it and whatever, and that sounds like work.

Here are FOTD shots of the two:
Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium on brows.

L'Oreal Brow Stylist Plumper in Medium to Dark on brows.
I think that I would probably repurchase the L'Oreal over the Benefit, because they are very similar and $16 could get me a MAC lipstick, or, you know, three milkshakes. If you're in the market for a brow product (or love Gimme Brow but would also rather have three milkshakes), I would consider this L'Oreal option.

L'Oreal ingredients: aqua, styrene/acrylates/ammonium methacrylate copolymer, alcohol denat., butylene glycol, acrylamide/sodium acryloyldimethyltaurate copolymer, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, isohexadecane, ammonium polyacryldimethyltauramide/ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, rayon, nylon-12, steareth-20, polysorbate 80, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium dehydroacetate, disodium EDTA, panethol, tetrasodium EDTA, potassium sorbate, silica, [+/-]

Benefit Gimme Brow ingredients: Water, Mica, Glyceryl Stearate, Polypropylene, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Peg-100 Stearate, Polyacrylamide, Phenethyl Alcohol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Laureth-7, Panthenol, Glycerin, Silica, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate. [+/-: CI 19140 (Yellow 5, Yellow 5 Lake), CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 77000 (Aluminum Powder), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77288 (Chromium Oxide Greens), CI 77289 (Chromium Hydroxide Green), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)