Test Drive Diaries: Benefit Brow Styler
From the lens(es) of the OPPO Reno2
Consider it fact: eyebrows have the ability to make a person’s face. If there’s anything that our trials and tribulations with beauty (read: a failed brow embroidery procedure, teenage overplucking and severe overlining when the Kylie Jenner brows rose to Insta-fame) have taught us, it’s the indisputable importance of our arches. With the ability to take a makeup look from sweet to snarky and a bare face from stripped to snatched, it’s no wonder why it’s the facial feature beauty junkies tend to obsess over the most.
Naturally, the beauty scene tempts us with a whole world of options to shape, fill and sport brows that feel the truest to ourselves. One such source of temptation is Benefit, who has built up something of a reputation when it comes to brow styling. Their lineup of brow products plays mother to long-time loyalists and beauty newbies, and their stores across are fitted with Brow Bars for wax-and-go interventions. Beefing up their arsenal of products further, Benefit recently released their newest player in the filling-and-shaping game: the Brow Styler.
Fitted with four rear cameras, the OPPO Reno2
is capable of capturing up to 5x Hybrid Zoom and 20x Digital Zoom
A two-in-one product that promises 18 hours of wear and zero mess, we had to see how this product performed out in the real world. How far does the shade range stretch? Can the Benefit Brow Styler actually deliver on its promises? Could we finally have found the single grab-and-go brow product we could commit to forever?
With the help of the innovative OPPO Reno2, we sought answers in true Test Drive Diaries fashion.
Just when we think Benefit couldn’t possibly have more tricks up their sleeve, they add yet another brow product to their repertoire. The Brow Styler is a two-in-one answer to sparse, unfilled arches. On one end is a waterproof wax pencil to shape and sculpt, and on the other is a loose filling powder to fill in bald spots and create the illusion of a fuller, fluffier brow. The latter is stored in the lower half of the Brow Styler and is applied with a doe foot applicator to keep application steady, even and mess-free.
There are eight shades in total: two blonde, five brown and a single black. While not as extensive as Benefit’s Precisely, My Brow spectrum, the Brow Styler serves up a pretty impressive number of shades.
Captured with the OPPO Reno2’s Portrait Bokeh mode
Heads up for those with a preference for grayish tones, though: there is a glaring lack of those in this spectrum. The pencil and powder also swatch on darker than expected, with the blonde shades showing up as light to medium browns. There’s also a noticeable jump between shades 1 and 2, so finding a match online might prove to be a toughie.
The beauty in the Brow Styler’s double-ended appeal lies in the ability of the product to deliver a multitude of looks. While the pencil, wide and angled at the tip, isn’t the optimal tool for drawing out individual hairs, it does a great job of sculpting a bold shape. The formulation is considerably waxy, meaning that in return for your effort to produce strokes, you get a helping of budge-proof pigment.
The powder, on the opposite end, makes good on creating a softer kind of fullness. It’s milled finely enough to blend seamlessly, and the doe foot applicator works wonders in getting the product right where you need it. A pro tip: make sure to tap off the excess powder right into the lid to keep things neat and keep wastage to a minimum.
The Oppo Reno2’s view-enriching Bokeh Video Effect highlights
a single subject against a blurred background.
This mode is available for both the rear camera and
the pivot rising front camera (that’s shaped like a shark’s fin!).
When used in tandem, the Benefit Brow Styler’s pencil and powder make a defined, fuller-looking brow. Both products adhere to the brows nicely and are simple enough for beginners to use (the powder especially!). The only thing that could make the experience overall would be the inclusion of a third feature: a spoolie for blending.
The Lasting Power
In my experience, brow powders have never stood up against the test of time and sweat. It’s a difficult equation to nail, really: a finely milled powder product, long hours, Philippine humidity and perspiration––there really aren’t that many brow products that can get it right. Perhaps this is why Benefit’s Brow Styler nudged the beauty sceptic in me and urged me to see exactly how well this pencil-and-powder duo could truly perform.
I applied the product at lunchtime, following the recommended combination of pencil first, powder second. This proved to be a good combo, with the brow powder not only finishing the groundwork carved out by the pencil, but setting it too.
The OPPO Reno2 is equipped with Ultra Steady Video,
which makes subject in motion instantly smoother and more stable
Throughout the day, I subjected myself to water splashing and intentional sweating––and surprisingly, the brows put up a fight. Despite having my face completely drenched in water and patted dry with a towel, the water test did almost nothing to the brows I’d drawn on. If anything, it helped blend them out even better. The sweat test did a little more damage, but by the end of the day, my eyebrows were still standing their ground. A thorough zoom in would give away the fact that they were no longer as feathered and blended out as they were in the morning, but they were most definitely still there, sitting nice and filled and pretty below my forehead.
Captured at 11:30PM with the OPPO Reno2’s Ultra Dark Mode,
a feature that simplifies shooting in extremely low light conditions
In the end, all of this test driving begs the question: is the Benefit Brow Styler actually true to its claims?
The verdict: yes. At P2250, the Benefit Brow Styler is definitely a little heavy on the budget, but quality-wise, it’s most definitely a keeper. It delivers dependable staying power that can take you from the morning hustle to night mode. It’s designed to create minimal mess and fit nicely in your bag by keeping a one-two punch of product in a single space-saving stick.
There’s definitely room for improvement when it comes to shade range and the lack of spoolie, but all in all the product gives an answer to our everlasting need for strategically packaged, foolproof brow makeup.
Video production Cessi Treñas
Art direction and banner art Alex Lara