How Eyebrow Crystals Hold Up IRL
When I first came across Benefit's Bling Brows about two months ago, I was skeptical. I mean, Swarovski crystals? For your eyebrows?? Although Audrey Kitching looked pretty cute sporting them in the promotional video produced by Nylon , I wasn't sure how they'd translate in real life.
Still, when my editor approached me with the idea to test them out over the holidays, I was intrigued. Despite being a time for all things fun and glittery, the holiday season has never been my style strong point. Due to some combination of freezing cold weather and my perpetual December food baby, I usually stick to tried and true dresses in the time leading up to Christmas and New Year's. Bling Brows would be my ticket to a funkier holiday wardrobe! Anything sparkly counts as being festive, right? I figured this would be a simple way to add some seasonally-appropriate spice to my holiday party outfits.
Once I got my hands on a set, I decided to test them out on three separate occasions — Christmas, a casual holiday party with family friends, and New Year's Eve — in order to review the product itself and gauge whether or not wearing jewels on or around your eyebrows is actually, ya know, cute.
I was pleasantly surprised by what a good value Bling Brows happen to be. For $25 you get 52 crystals in three different sizes and two colors (rose gold and a darker shade called "greige") and a pair of mini tweezers, all packaged in a metallic gold and pink tin.
The application process was far easier than I'd imagined it would be since the crystals are backed with relatively strong adhesive and are easy to re-position. I only have two real complaints: 1. The tweezers are super unwieldy. I had to abandon them almost immediately and applied all the crystals with my hands because the tweezers kept making it IMPOSSIBLE to get the jewels anywhere near my skin. And 2. The jewels are attached to this weird plastic film and they sometimes detach on their own and kind of flop around, sticking to everything in their path.
But these are minor gripes, really. The Bling Brows attach firmly to the skin and stay in place through hours of "partying" (read: hours of talking to your grandparents and getting drunk on the vegan red wine your parents are obsessed with, which is what I did while wearing them). Here's how I chose to style them.
My first foray into the world of bejeweled brows took place on Christmas Day. For the sake of journalistic integrity, I started with a look suggested by Benefit and lined the area beneath my brow with three rose gold crystals on each side (largest to smallest in size). They seemed like waaay too much at first, but after a few minutes I started to warm up to them. My grandparents and cousins all agreed that they looked more like intense eyebrow piercings than jewels, which I was down with, especially because they cut down on the potential culturally appropriative vibe (eyebrow crystals are big in Bollywood circles).
Fully aware that you can't see the Bling Brows here, but I thought I'd show the whole outfit for context.
Overall, I thought this arrangement made the brow crystals a lot edgier than anticipated. I liked wearing them this way, but my mom and I both agreed that if I weren't writing an article about this I'd probably choose to apply the jewels asymmetrically.
As you can see, I went seriously rogue on this one. I wanted to see if the crystals that I'd worn for about seven hours on Christmas would stand up to a second wear without me applying any additional glue, so I plopped one of the tiniest jewels on my nose as a stand-in for a piercing. My parents were hosting a casual post-Christmas gathering with my godmother's family, myself, and my boyfriend in attendance, so I had a decently wide audience for this.
This went over super well. Most people assumed it was real upon first glance and were impressed when I told them it was actually just a Swarovski crystal stuck to my nose. It also stayed on all night despite having already been used, so I'd estimate approximately 2 full wears out of each jewel before you need to start using eyelash glue to stick them on. Truth be told, I am obsessed with this whole "Bling Brows as piercing alternatives thing" and will probably rock this until I lose every crystal in that box.
Here's the whole look, for reference:
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve is full of things that introverted me hates: crowds, a high concentration of loud drunk people, staying at parties until well after midnight (I know, I'm a thrill a minute). But if there's one thing I love about New Year's Eve, it's dressing up. Since my outfit itself was pretty amped up, I had some trouble figuring out exactly how to style my Bling Brows for the party I attended that night.
True confessions moment: I planned on trying Benefit's suggested "on the brows" look for NYE. Really. I began the night with the best intentions to follow through, but as soon as I placed a crystal on my brow I realized that it wasn't going to happen. It looked bad. This wasn't my fave style idea in the first place, but my brows are way too thin for it to work. It would have looked like my eyebrows were made of jewels. Not cool.
For reference, I'm talking about the far right style. So cool on a lady with fuller brows than mine.
So I opted for the aforementioned asymmetrical thing, placing two greige (ugh, that color name is not okay) crystals beneath the brows on one side and just one on the other. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a clear photo of both sides, so here's the single-jeweled brow (opposite pictured above):
Truthfully, not many people noticed these, perhaps because they were distracted by the giant sequined rib cage on my chest. For some unknown reason, that grabbed significantly more attention.
I really wish you could actually see the Bling Brows in the final outfit images, but at least the photos show how versatile these crystals actually are. I wore them with everything from a girly dress to a floral sweater to a dress with freaking bones across the chest and they worked just as well with each. I recommend Bling Brows for anyone who likes their beauty trends subtly adventurous.
Images: Irene Sathue (4), Benjamin Perry (3)