REVIEW | Urban Decay Inked Brow

urban decay inked brow neutral nana review swatches

I’m sure a large number of people remotely interested in beauty products has seen an ad or two with those peely lipsticks or brow “tattoos”. I won’t lie, although I know all those products are too good to be true, that hasn’t stifled my interest in them whatsoever. The idea of semi-permanent makeup, especially for lips and brows, is very appealing to me since I’m the person who wishes that their lips are an unnatural shade of red and loves the look of full-on bushy, unruly brows. A product I’ve come across which kind of sits within this realm of semi-permanency is the Urban Decay Inked Brow Gel. This is a type of brow product I’ve never tried before, so I felt the urge to try it and review it for all of you to fulfill my ongoing quest to finding the best brow products to rule them all. Keep reading to see if this was all that and a bag of potato chips!

Overview

The product has the following description:

This high-tech gel creates waterproof brows that are smudge-resistant and sweat-resistant for up to 60 hours. The long-wear formula is flexible and won’t flake, fade, or transfer. Apply product directly onto brow hairs or skin with the cruelty-free, angled brush to create your desired shape.

Based on other descriptions of the Urban Decay Inked Brow, this brow gel isn’t meant to be applied in a precise manner, but rather more like a general application of colour to the brows. I picked up the shade ‘Neutral Nana’, which is described as a ‘neutral brown’. The reason why I went with this shade and not ‘Dark Drapes’ is because this was the only shade that didn’t look overly warm. I also didn’t want to get the darkest shade to avoid having my brows looking too harsh. Word of caution, however, compared to other ‘neutral brown’ brow shades in my collection, it leans much warmer.

urban decay inked brow neutral nana vs benefit goof proof brow #4 vs anastasia beverly hills dipbrow medium brow vs anastasia beverly hills brow powder dark brown swatch
Swatch of Urban Decay Neutral Nana vs. Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil in Shade #4 vs. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Medium Brown vs. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Dark Brown

Formula & Application

The formula is definitely a gel-like consistency, almost goopy. The product is not overly pigmented upon a normal and initial application – you don’t need to be super careful when applying it to the brows. In fact, I found I had better results when I wouldn’t even wipe product off the brush before applying it. I would just apply it directly to the sparse areas of my brows (e.g. the tail and the front) and just brush the product along my brow hairs to shape them as I desire. It looks a bit strange at first, but as the product dries, it looks less pigmented and gives a very natural look to the brows.

urban decay inked brow neutral nana before and after
Bare brows before and after with Urban Decay Inked Brow in Neutral Nana; images of brush applicator

As shown in the comparisons, although it isn’t 100% perfect, it does a pretty good job of applying a general wash of colour to the brows. It also keeps the brow hairs in place all day. I’d say the hold is just as good, or even better than some other brow gels I’ve tried.

The longevity of the Urban Decay Inked Brow Gel is pretty good. It lasts all day until I wash my makeup off. Sometimes if I apply more product on one part of my brows, it stays even after I wash my face, but for the most part it comes off after using face wash. I don’t apply thick layers to my brows, so that’s probably why. In the spirit of experimentation, I decided to document what the initial swatch (the one comparing the other brow products in my collection) looks like after several hours to determine how “long lasting” this product really is. At the time of writing this review, it’s only been about 33 hours since I’ve applied the gel on my hand.

Urban Decay Inked Brow Gel after approx. 33 hours

FYI, I have washed my hands several times (COVID-19 prevention style) between now and when I first applied the product. I’d say that’s some pretty good lasting power, especially if you’re considering piling this product onto your brows. All the power to you! At least you know it does what it says.

Final Thoughts

I love this product! At first I thought this was supposed to be like a microblade-esque type product which I could use to draw ultra fine hair-like strokes and have it last for hours. Turns out, no, it is not meant for precise application, however thankfully it turned out to be much better than that. I love using this for a quick all-over brow tint, and it does an incredible job keeping my actual brow hairs in place. It doesn’t smudge, it doesn’t fade in hot and humid weather, it’s honestly great. Usually I’ll go over it with some brow powder or a brow pen if I want some more definition, but on lazy days (which lately, makes up the bulk of my wear time with this product), I just leave my brows as is. My only complaint is that the shade range is a bit too warm and I would prefer a cooler-toned brow product, but the shade Neutral Nana is satisfactory. I definitely recommend this product for anyone who wants a quick and easy, yet long-wearing brow. Skip this if you prefer brow products with precise applicators.

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