testing testing

The Serum That Gave Me the Eyebrows of a Jonas Brother

May 2018 vs. August 2018 Photo: Courtesy of the author

I can’t say when my relationship with eyebrows started to change, but it was probably when I first saw Zayn’s. Dark and full and just a little unruly, Zayn’s eyebrows look like they’d probably form a unibrow if not for the occasional tweeze. Against that standard, mine seem patchy and unimpressive. My boyfriend has joked that my eyebrows look like they’re on life support — a comment that, while not in the greatest taste, isn’t altogether untrue. And so when I read Wendi McLendon-Covey’s endorsement of RapidLash and saw that they made a product called RapidBrow, I wasted no time calling it in.

RapidBrow comes in a little bottle similar (I think) to mascara. Every morning and evening, you shake it and brush some of the clear liquid onto your eyebrows. That’s all. The key is compliance — and patience. For a week, nothing happens. For two weeks, nothing happens. Then, somewhere around the 30-day mark, you catch your reflection and notice that the outer corners of your eyebrows, which usually look bald from the side, have blackened as if swiped with Boy Brow. From the bottom, top, and straight on, too, they’ve filled in, like reverse metamorphosis into caterpillars. After two months of using RapidBrow, I don’t quite look like Zayn, but there’s a hint of a Jonas brother — not Joe, but maybe Frankie.

I asked brow expert (and Best of New York tinter) William Scott what was going on. “Serums do work with time and consistency, though probably not for everyone,” Scott says. “They won’t give you hair you never had but can help regrow hairs that have gone dormant from overtweezing or make finer hairs grow longer and thicker.” Scott notes that because I’m Asian — fairer skin and black hair — the changes may appear to be more dramatic. It’s interesting to note that on the RapidLash website, nowhere does the product claim to grow hair (ctrl+F it) though words like “voluminous” and “density” and “nourish” are generously tossed around. Everything I’ve read says that once you stop using it, results disappear, too.

Whether RapidBrow is actually regrowing hair or just helping it to appear thicker, the best part (depending on your purposes) is the subtlety of the difference. It doesn’t look like I got microbladed or took up kabuki — it looks like me, only dialed up. Even people who notice a difference don’t know they do. A few weeks ago I went in for my twice-a-month haircut, and my barber said he liked my contacts. Confused, I told him I always wore contacts. “But not colored ones,” he insisted. “You’re wearing light brown ones today, aren’t you?” I wasn’t, but I only figured out what he meant about a beat too late. “Thank you,” I thought, “my brows are thicker.”

More Strat-approved eyebrow enhancers

Some experts disagree on whether castor oil does anything, but our beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton spoke with a brow expert who swears by it. It’s a cheap first line of defense: ““If you have patchy eyebrows, castor oil is amazing for stimulating hair growth. I’ve seen castor oil seriously help people’s eyebrows out.”

Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens uses a similar eyebrow serum called RevitaBrow: “You have to put in the time​ with this stuff, and honestly it might not be until you re-up your second tube that things start to really reveal themselves​; you’ve got to sit tight till around the two- to three-month mark​. People say good stuff about castor oil, but​ it just never did anything for me; this stuff, however, has helped me approximate what I had going on pre–ninth grade before I tweezed it all away. It’s just not cheap, and it’s not fast.”

Glossier’s Boy Brow is beloved by everyone from Strategist senior editor Margaret Rhodes to Rio Viera-Newton, who keeps it in her purse at all times: “This teeny-tiny magic brow pen is the perfect way to give yourself a bushy brow on the go.”

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The Serum That Gave Me the Eyebrows of a Jonas Brother