Korea: Redefining Sharpie Brows
Lately my beauty obsession has been falling firmly in the eyebrow camp. Are you a beauty company that wants my money? Make a gimmicky eyebrow product - I'm in. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you'll also know that I have an affinity for Korean popular culture. Actualy, quite a few readers came here from reading my blogs and recaps of Kdramas (there are links to some of my articles in the FAQ section at the top of the page). Kdramas led me to a love of Kpop, which led me to an interest in Kbeauty. (Does anyone say Kbeauty? I hope not, as it sounds incredibly obnoxious. I will never use such a non-word again.) Taking all this information into account, you can imagine my reaction when I spotted a display at Sephora for Chosungah 22's Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker: A Korean brow product that looked like an old school marker on the outside and had the weirdest, most inscrutable brush on the inside. Are you imagining this?
I bought it, because I'm me, and I have a sickness. I hate to admit that I bought it without super high hopes, but I did have an optimistic curiosity. (I didn't think it would be terrible, but I was wary of the weird brush.) The great thing about Sephora though, is that they foster optimistic curiosity, and if I tried it for even a week or two and didn't like it, I could return it! So it was an experiment worth undertaking. This beauty experiment, however, paid off, because holy cow, this little product is weird (which is always appealing to me) but also works really, really well.
Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker comes in four shades, which is refreshing for a Korean brand. Typically, Korean beauty is made for Korean/Southeast Asian people. And that's it. So if you're looking for blush or mascara or skincare, then great! But if you're looking for something that needs to match your skin tone or hair color and you don't have the same coloring as a Korean person, well then you might be out of luck. I think though, that because the West is getting more and more into Korean beauty by the second, we might start to see more Korean beauty brands try to tap into a broader market. It seems that the four shades of Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker should work for most people. I bought Medium Blonde, or as I like to think of it, the Orange Marker. The other shades are Light Blonde (The Yellow Marker), Grey Brown (The Pink Marker), and Black Brown (The Purple Marker).
The packaging really is just like a highlighter or sharpie you'd have in school. It even has a little clip on the cap so you can put it in your pocket protector and do touchups in the bathroom between classes. Not that you'd need to, because Brow Maker is a waterproof, super long-lasting formula. The applicator, however, is like nothing I've ever seen before. It's really two applicators in one. There's a semi-spongey end piece, and then a base that Chosungah 22 calls a "Mohican brush." If you Google Mohican brush, do you know what comes up? NOTHING. So that's not really a cosmetics term that's sweeping the market. I think they mean that because the brush really only has bristles on one side, it's like a mohawk. I think? Jury's out on that one. No matter what you call it, this crazy application contraption is kind of intimidating and completely unintuitive. But not to worry - the box comes with instructions!
If left to my own devices I would have used Brow Maker with the two steps completely reversed, because I am used to first filling in my brows and then setting them with brow gel. But Chosungah 22 is steering you in the right direction with their... directions, so TRUST THEM. I do have a few amendments to the instructions though, after much practice with Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker: After you use the "mohican brush," you'll see where you need a little extra filling in with the pointy end of the brush, but be careful and use a light hand - that spongey brush holds a lot more pigment than you'd expect, and it's super easy to end up with a glob of brow gel where you just wanted a hint of color. Also, once you're done filling in any sparse areas with the triangular end, it's a good idea to go back with the mohican (psh!) brush just to comb through everything, even it all out, and make sure you don't have any clumps or weird concentrations of pigment from your filling-in stage. Once you get the hang of using Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker, though, these steps really fly by and the whole thing takes far less time than filling in your brows with one products and setting them with another. It's essentially an all-in-one miracle brow filler, tamer, and perfecter.
The one caveat to Dong Gong Minn Brow Maker, though, is that it's not a great product for those who have very sparse brows to begin with. I have eyebrows that I like to fill in considerably, but I have a lot of hairs there, and before years of waxing my brows into teensy little lines, I had bushy eyebrows that defied all reason. This is a product that needs to adhere to the hairs and build on what is already there, so if you don't have a lot of eyebrow to begin with, there's not much this will do for you, and a pencil will probably be more your speed. If, however, you have quite a few eyebrow hairs, but they can have some sparse patches, or they aren't all the same color (I suffer from both of these conditions) then this product is a total game changer. It's also yet another example of the many, many times I have thought, "What a weird thing... I should spend money on it!"