Does anyone else have that one menu item that you desperately want to love as much as everyone around you, yet no matter how many times you dabble, it never quite does it for you? Well, that's kind of how I feel about tinted brow gel. (And, if you want to keep talking about food, it's also how I feel about Pho—don't come for me!) But, I digress, back to brow gel! No matter how many brands or formulas I try, I always gag at the way it looks on me. Everyone else I know can't seem to live without their prized tube of the stuff (and I always think it looks great on other people), I just can't get behind it. That said, what I do love is clear brow gel. In fact, it's one of three makeup products that I'll use every single day no matter where I'm going or what I'm doing. (Even if it's just laying on the couch and eating my weight in Postmates.)
I'm incredibly minimalistic when it comes to my brows. As far as maintenance, I barely touch them, and I just get them cleaned up by a professional two to three times a year. Makeup-wise, the only products I use are my fave brow pencils (and sometimes Glossier's Brow Flick $18) topped off with clear brow gel. And, if I'm going makeup-free, I'll skip all of the former and just do the latter. That said, not all clear brow gels are created equally. I've tried formulas that have comedogenic (aka—pore-clogging) ingredients that cause me to get painful little pimples embedded in my brows, and there are also plenty of options on the market that are too wet and gloopy or too stiff or just annoyingly remove any product you have on underneath when you swipe it through. Over the years, I've become a clear brow gel Goldilocks of sorts, and below, I'm sharing 13 winners—ranked—that have earned my seal of approval. Keep scrolling for the best clear brow gels of all time, according to me.
13. Sephora Collection Clear Brow Gel
I'll just be honest—I haven't been impressed by any clear brow gels I've tried from the drugstore. However, this one from Sephora Collection comes in at a similar price point, and I really f*ck with it. I like the tapered, cone-shaped brush (which I always feel lends a more precise application), and despite how lightweight it is, it really sets and hardens the brows with steel-like force. I usually want something with a semi-lighter, somewhat flexible hold, but when I mean business and don't want to have to think twice about what my brows are doing hours later, this is the one I turn to. Plus, you really can't beat that $12 price.
12. Hourglass Arch Brow Shaping Gel
I know a lot of people who swear by this best-selling formula from Hourglass. Although I agree that it's one of the best clear brow gels out there, I do find the brush somewhat polarizing. I don't really find the dual-sided shape super necessary, and for someone with thinner brows, it feels a little clunky for me. However, if you have bulkier brows, I can see the appeal as it lends an extra helping hand in the shaping and definition departments.
11. Milk Makeup Kush Clear Brow Gel
I like this clear brow gel for multiple reasons. Again, the small, tree-shaped brush is dope for getting every last itty bitty hair in place, the formula is super clear (I've found some are kind of cloudy—not cute) and it keeps things set and in place but in a way where they still feel flexible and not like cement. Plus, it has great ingredients like nourishing aloe, cucumber, and hemp-derived cannabis seed oil so you're nourishing and conditioning your brows, to boot.
10. Grande Cosmetics GrandeBROW-FILL Volumizing Brow Gel
If you're someone who's wanting to beef up your natural brows, this peptide-enriched option from Grande Cosmetics is a smart option. It has mini volumizing fibers which make your arches look fuller instantaneously, but the nourishing formula also works to thicken things up long-term, too.
9. Well People Expressionist Brow Gel
Well People's tinted formula is a known best-seller, so I'm thrilled that the brand came out with an ultra-clear version, too. It boasts clean, plant-based ingredients, sculpts, defines, and dries without feeling stiff or getting flaky, and your eyebrows will also thank you for strategic growth-enhancing ingredients like castor oil, olive oil, and aloe. Plus, as a bonus, you can use this one on your lashes!
8. Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel with Lamination Effect
Benefit Cosmetics makes some of the most iconic brow products of all time, so it's no surprise this clear formula with 24-hour staying power ranks high on my list. It mimics the look of laminated brows, if that's the vibe you're after sans spendy treatment.
7. MAC Brow Set
Such an OG! This is maybe the first clear brow gel I ever owned, and years later, it's one I still always have on hand. My brows don't feel sticky or overly stiff when I wear it, and it also adds a photogenic hit of shine that I happen to really like. It's a long-wear formula you can feel safe in for about 8 hours, and it will never flake, pill, or clump on you. It's also resistant to sweat and humidity which makes it my clear brow gel of choice during the summertime or if I know the tequila will have me breaking out some moves later on in the evening.
6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Strong Hold Clear Brow Gel
No brow product roundup could ever be complete without Anastasia Beverly Hills, and I have to give snaps to this top-rated clear tube. It's long wearing, it appears perfectly clear on all hair colors, and it's even dosed with a calming hit of chamomile to ensure your arches stay shiny, soft, and as healthy as possible. For the peeps who want a no-monkey-business strong hold, this is the one I would recommend. (Even Hailey Bieber is a known fan!)
5. Make Beauty Clear Brow Gel
This is a very chic brow gel, and it's one of the only clear brow gels to win Violet Grey's coveted seal of approval. Brows look plump and lifted, and the cutting-edge formula features advanced polymers for definition and hold plus phytobioactive silver linden which is rich in polysaccharides and protein to promote healthier, fuller brows in the future.
4. Glossier Boy Brow
Fact: A more famous brow gel than Glossier's all-time best-selling product, Boy Brow, simply does not exist. Try it for yourself, and you'll understand why it's a cult favorite. Unlike so many brow gels, which can get gummy, flaky, or tacky, Boy Brow is a creamy and brushable formula, effortlessly thickening, shaping, and grooming any type of brow. The solution contains healthy conditioning agents like oleic acid, lecithin, and soluble collagen, and celebrities go absolutely nuts for it.
3. Kosas Air Brow Clear + Clean Lifting Treatment Eyebrow Gel with Lamination Effect
Kosas can simply do no wrong in my mind, and the brand's brow products are, not surprisingly, exceptional. One of the reasons I adore this clear brow gel formula above others on the market is that it really works for me like a clear setting gel and a growth serum—and is there anything better than a two-for-one product? Kosas is always at the forefront of innovation, and the fact that this whimsical little wand lets you have your cake and eat it too makes it a must-have on this list. Yes, it will help lift, shape, and define your existing brow hairs, but the lush ingredients will also stimulate new hair growth in the long-term, too.
2. Beautycounter Brilliant Brow Gel
I've been a big fan of this invisible brow gel ever since its launch a few years ago. (When a product remains a staple in my routine despite how many beauty-centric thingamabobs I try on a weekly basis, I know it's good.) The brush is super-duper small, so you get a very precise application (this is a top priority for me), and I love how well it shapes and sets my brows with zero clumpiness and flaking while still keeping them feeling soft and hair-like. Plus, the ingredients are amazing. Glycerin, to keep hairs soft and flexible, aloe, to keep everything soothed and hydrated, and acacia Senegal gum, to hold your work in place.
1. Kimiko The Brow Sensei
This brow gel from renowned makeup artist and brow expert Danielle Kimiko Vincent is THE clear brow gel that re-ignited my belief in brow gels. This little dose of heaven gives me everything I want from a clear brow gel. The vegan formula boasts growth-enhancing and hair-strengthening peptides, plant extracts, and antioxidants to encourage the bold, bushy brows of your dreams, and the lightweight formula also provides the perfect amount of hold for lifted, but not overly stiff, brows. Plus, unlike so many clear brow gels I've tried, it doesn't move or lift off the other brow products I've applied (like pencils or powder).
Shop more brow essentials I love:
Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.
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