Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MAC Show-off and Girl Boy Brow Set Review, Photos, Swatches and Comparisons!

mac brow set review

MAC Show-off and Girl Boy Brow Set

MAC Brow Set ($15) is a brush-on gel that brushes the brow hairs in place and deposits a sheer tint to the brows. Think of it as mascara for your eyebrows! It doesn't stiffen the brows, and it doesn't flake. It can also be used on the sideburns and facial hair. 

MAC Brow Set is available in four (4) shades: Clear, Girl Boy (Fawn blonde), Beguile (Full-bodied taupe) and Show Off (Rich brown). 

MAC Girl Boy Brow Set (left) and Beguile Brow Set (right)

MAC Brow Set is an absolute "Holy Grail" product for me, and it's a product you don't really hear much about. I'm not sure where I originally heard about it, but I know it was a product I stumbled upon on accident. I'm pretty sure I received it in a swap, with no real aspiration to have it. It ended up being a product that's a part of my daily "routine" for well over a year now and I don't ever like to go without it!

I've never really been a brow gel type gal. Although brow gel should of been a necessity for me as I have long, coarse brows that are quite unruly - unless they are freshly trimmed. I never really liked the way brow gels made my brows look. Most of the time they made my brows literally look like I have gel in them.. yuck! Clear mascara doubles as a brow gel, but I liked to particularly avoid it all together. What actually worked the best for me was good old fashioned hairspray.

Yep! Just spritz a little hair spray on a clean spoolie and comb it through your brows. Those babies aren't going anywhere all day. You just have to be careful not to apply too much or you'll feel the stiffness every time you move your brows. haha!

Now, although my brows are coarse, they have no shape. Therefore, I have to resort to filling them in every day. Of course, I always try to find a brow filler that matches my brow color to the "T", but because my brows are so dark, when I fill them in, they sometimes look a little too dark, too harsh. And, depending what product I use, the "filler" is sometimes detectable. What I love about Brow Set is, because it's tinted, it will lightly coat your brow hairs with the tint, and it instantly blends everything together. Your brow hairs and your filler, that is! I like using Show-off when my hair is dark brown and Girl Boy when my hair is any lighter. Girl Boy looks a little scary in the tube, but you can control how much you want applied. My natural hair is dark brown, but it fades naturally to a medium brown with coppery-auburn tones. When it usually reaches that point, I dye my hair dark. But, while my hair is light and my brows are dark, Girl Boy Brow Set lightens my brows to match my hair color better - no bleach necessary. It also is great for when my hair is highlighted.

These tinted Brow Gels are great for those of you who change your hair color often and your brows don't always match, you have gray/white hairs in your brows that need covering up, if your brows are light and need darkening, if you don't want to bleach your brows, etc.

The formula is also fantastic. It has a distinct scent.. flowers for sure, but can't put my finger on which in particular. Also, it doesn't make my brows look "gelled" and it keeps my brows in place very well. Also, I've had my tube of Girl Boy for at least a year and it's still running strong.

Like mentioned, Brow Set is available in 4 different shades (one being clear) to match light, medium and dark hair. I wish there were a couple of more "in between" shades, but the colors are versatile. I'd also like to purchase Beguile sometime in the future.

Swatches of Show-off (top) and Girl Boy (bottom).
Both Brow Sets applied to my brows after they've been filled in with MAC Espresso eyeshadow.

There are also similar products out there.. not mentioning brown mascaras.
Left to Right: ELF Eyebrow Treat & Tame in Dark, ELF Eyebrow Treat & Tame in Medium and Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette.

I think the ELF Treat & Tames are awesome, and I use them just as often as I use my MAC Brow Set. Plus, they are only $3 each and most of the time ELF has 50% off sales. The difference is that MAC Brow Set is much more pigmented and it holds the brows in place better. Still, great product and will re-purchase again.

Now, the Revlon Brow Fantasy. Eeeeeh. Not a big fan. The pencil works fine, but the tinted brow gel is useless for being tinted. It's so sheer that it does absolutely nothing.. it may as well be clear. 

Here are swatches of all products mentioned..
Top to Bottom: MAC Show-off Brow Set, MAC Girl Boy Brow Set, ELF Eyebrow Treat & Tame in Dark, ELF Eyebrow Treat & Tame in Medium & Revlon Brow Fantasy in Brunette.
Have you tried any of these products? What do you think about them? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Oh Natty awesome tip about the hairspray and spoolie! I want to try the ELF ones since they're only $3 but looking at your swatches "DARK" seems to be lighter then "MEDIUM" haha definitely a great post! I LOVE how Girl Boy looks on you! Totally deceiving in the tube but looks great on!


  2. Thats awesome! Eyebrows are such a big deal to me! Groomed eyebrows really make your makeup look better.

    I want to try that MAC eyebrow gel!


  3. I love the MAC brow gel too and use it everyday, however since my brows are very thin sometimes it gets everywhere:p But if you have thin brows like me, the brow gel will make them look a bit full er and plump, almost like you have more hair. I want the clear version now too.

  4. I've tried MAC brow set in girl boy. I like it but i think its too light. I think Beguille is a better color but I think its also discontinued?


  5. You have the most perfect eyebrows! Great tips. I didn't like the Revlon stuff either ... didn't show up!

  6. Thanks for the review. This is the first I've heard of MAC's brow set. Also, like everyone has already commented on, you do have beautiful eyebrows! i wish mine looked like yours.

  7. This is so funny because I use that exact same hairspray to tame my brows! ;)

  8. you have really nicely shaped eyebrows! :)