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I hate high-maintenance makeup routines, but this $6 brow gel is a keeper — it's like an instant eye lift

Since E.l.f Brow Lift is clear, there's no shade-matching required and its shaping effect lasts all day. Get it at Amazon.

I don't know about you, but I don't have the time (and frankly, the patience) for super-involved makeup. Give me some tinted moisturizer, mascara, maybe a bit of lip color and I'm set. That said, videos about eyebrow shaping started popping up all over my social media feeds, and after a while, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. One product in particular — E.l.f. Brow Lift — really seemed to be making the rounds, with beauty influencers raving about its ability to keep brows shaped for hours while giving the eye area a more lifted appearance. And for just $6 at Amazon? I decided to give this brow gel a go. Here's my review:

This clear gel helps tame unruly eyebrows and provides more definition to enhance the upper-eye area. 

$6 at Amazon
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$6 at Walmart$6 at Ulta Beauty

First impressions

The E.l.f. Brow Lift gel is clear and comes in a small pot, and I loved not having to worry about matching the shade of my brows to the product. I did have to purchase an applicator, as there isn't one included, but the total for both items came out to just $10. (I went with the E.l.f. Brow Lift Applicator, which is $4.)

Now, while I might watch many a "Get Ready With Me" makeup tutorial, I'm by no means a pro when it comes to applying products to my own face. And considering I'd never done anything to my brows before — save for exactly one wax treatment a zillion years ago — I braced myself for a steep learning curve.

To my surprise, I was pleased with the results the very first time I tried it — it's that user-friendly. All I did was bend the spoolie end of my applicator to allow it to fit into the pot of gel better, dipped it in and used it to brush my eyebrows in an upward direction. Because I have hooded lids, my upper-eye area tends to look small and dark, so I figured directing my arches up would create more space for a less-shadowy look. Plus, feathered eyebrows are what I'm seeing all over social media these days.

I've gotta tell ya, it worked! After brushing the product up through my brows, I took the flat end of the applicator and honed the shape a bit, while pressing down for a laminated effect. I did see a bit of white residue after applying the gel with the spoolie, but the flat end wiped the excess away, leaving me with neat-looking brows and a brighter upper-eye area. (Check out the before and after photo below.)

the author showing their eyebrows before and after using the brow gel / the clear brow gel and applicator
Now that I've tried brow gel, I'll never go back. (Britt Ross/Yahoo/Amazon)

E.l.f. Brow Lift final thoughts

I'm happy to report that my newly shaped brows stayed in place all day, but I was able to remove the E.l.f eyebrow gel when I washed my face that night without a struggle. The whole process of applying the gel took all of five minutes, and now that I've gotten the hang of it, I'm finished in about two.

I'm stunned by how much of a difference shaping my eyebrows makes; my entire eye area looks more lifted and awake, and my brows have more definition and refinement. They're also fluffier and less patchy-looking, and now I have more space for applying eyeshadow (assuming I want to add another step to my routine). Using this product is so much cheaper than paying a professional to shape my brows, and it has earned a spot in my permanent routine.

Thousands of fans

Amazon shoppers can't get enough of the E.l.f. Brow Lift, either — over 3,900 of them deemed it worthy of a perfect five-star rating.

"After I turned 50, my brows seemed to lay flat," shared one impressed shopper. "I saw a tutorial that if you lift the brows, it is an instant facelift. THIS WORKS! I have used clear mascara and other gels, but it never lasted throughout the day. I love how this does not flake, and if you use it with a lash brush, this product makes the brows look so much fuller!"

"This product is amazing without being too over the top," gushed another happy buyer. "I love it because just a little brow grooming lights up my aging eyes in a nice way. It holds all day without being stiff or feeling like you have product on your brows. A little goes a long way. I will definitely buy this again!"

"TikTok put me on this, not gonna lie," admitted a final fan. "As someone with thick and defined brows, I haven't found something that worked to keep them in place longer than an hour. This product, however, was a MIRACLE. I wore it to an outing that lasted over eight hours ... they really do not move after you use it. The only downside is you have to buy or use your own spoolie." (Keep scrolling for more deets on what I use!)

At just $6, I'm gonna stock up on this stuff!

$6 at Amazon
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$6 at Walmart$6 at Ulta Beauty

Psst: Here's the E.l.f Brow Lift Applicator I use to slick it on:

This tool's dual-sided design makes applying brow gel a breeze. I start by bending the spoolie side so I can dip it into the gel at an angle, then swipe it over my brows, shaping them up as I go. Next, I take the flat end and fine-tune the shape of my brows while wiping away any excess product. Takes me two minutes, tops!

$4 at Amazon
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$4 at Ulta Beauty$4 at CVS Pharmacy

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.