Without a doubt, Benefit Cosmetics is the reigning champ of mall brow makeovers. I still remember being thirteen and begging my mom to make me a Brow Bar appointment after my best guy friend told me I had a unibrow (thanks, dude). She gave in, but kindly held back the obvious "I told you so" after I came away with unnaturally geometric, one-size-fits-all baby brows. After that, I vowed to never let another soul besides myself mess with them. I read up on the Kevyn Aucoin theory of brows, Bobbi Brown's, and consulted endless issues of Allure until I felt like I had my brow situation under control. Grow out, tweeze strays, repeat. No sharp angles, no tadpoles, none of this.

I've been pretty happy with my low maintenance routine, but with the current beauty trend laser focus on eyebrows I've been wondering if I am in need of a shake up. If I plopped down some cold hard cash, could a stranger do my brows better than me? Would I have some sort of magic experience, revealing my ~true brow shape~ transforming my face? Or would I just end up looking like that thirteen year old with brows waxed to death?

Enter the no cost, no risk trial run: Benefit's digital brow mapping service, Brow Genie, designed to diagnose your brow issues and offer up a solution. HI-STYLE loves both brows and genies, so believe me when I say we each immediately began uploading the perfect selfie to try this app out.

After you upload a selfie, the brow genie goes through each step of brow mapping, a process that uses angles (the good kind) to guide the most aesthetically pleasing shape for your exact face. Math!

This was the best part of the app for me - no new information (I Google too much) but it was nice to have a visual that I was on the right track in terms of growing out the front of my brows. The two other points seem to be on the right track, but my brows can be problematic. They hold true to the saying that your brows are sisters, not twins. The left one is permanently lifted, giving sass at all times, while the right one is a lazy scrub that I can't arch no matter how many facial exercises I do.

Look, my face is complicated. At this point, I'm losing faith that this app can even handle my deep-seated brow issues. Which leads us to the big brand new, right-angle, zero arch brows.

I look like someone was practicing square roots on my face with a Sharpie. I may not be winning any Cara Delevingne look-alike contests, but at least I'll pass algebra.

Finally, you get a screen that gives you suggestions on what to do to fix your poor, hideous brows - using Benefit products, duh. Since the Brow Genie is mostly just a very pretty marketing tool, it's clearly aimed at getting your butt in that Brow Bar chair, no matter how on point your brow game is IRL. I may actually investigate getting a brow highlighter, but it will be of my own accord! I can't be brainwashed!

Let's see how our other HI-STYLERS fared...ladies?


To say I am a skeptic would be an understatement. The Brow Genie app seemed a little too good to be the fact that I couldn't find it immediately in the App store on my iPhone was a little unsettling. That and deep seated feelings about being teased about the caterpillars growing on my face up until college, during which I I had a momentarily lapse in judgement and my eyebrows had the tadpole effect for a short while. From then on I vowed to never let anyone else touch them again. You wonder why MKS and I are friends? We hate all the same people and have brow-related trust issues.

All of these things made a good combination going into this task. The selfie was the best part, let's be honest. Then came the results -- which I couldn't help but laugh at.

I was sitting next to my flatmate when the frighteningly perfect manicured hedges were revealed on my face. My list of problems was miles long, but really Benefit?! You want me to look like one of those scary girls walking about with perfectly symmetrical eyebrows? With no dimension? No way. The mantra deserves repeating: eyebrows are sisters not twins.


When I got MKS's text suggesting the Brow Genie, I immediately dropped my Netflix playlist, threw my hair up and started snapping selfies.  I do wish I had put some make-up on first, but we're all friends here, right? You do want to make sure that your face is completely front facing when you take the selfie, otherwise the app won't take into consideration your whole brow.

I am definitely a technology nerd, so I thought the idea was fascinating. You don't have to leave the house to find the perfect brow. It is all at the tip of your selfie taking fingers.

I do agree with MKS-- I didn't learn anything I hadn't already learned early on in my brow life. I have three older sisters (MEM included) who made sure I didn't show up to picture day circa 1998 with caterpillars on my face.

Finally, I hate the brows they "designed" for me!  I do like they they recommend retrying your selfie to get better results. But, what happened to not over-plucking? The fuller the better, no? Why you gotta do me like that, Benefit? 

Have you tried the Brow Genie? Did you love it or did you die of overplucked awfulness? 

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