In 5th grade I became extremely self-conscious of my thick, dark eyebrows after one of my classmates was teased for having a unibrow. My solution: attempting a DIY brow trim with scissors while my mom was out on a grocery run. How did it turn out? Not so great. My mom had to fill in the bald patch in the middle of my left brow for months until the hair grew back.
After I hacked my own brows, my mom let me get them waxed monthly, which I kept up for 10 years. Once I stopped, my brows never quite grew back to the way they once were. Since it was the height of the early aughts when I started waxing, my natural arches are much thinner than the thick brow trend that has been going strong for a few years now.
Today, grooming my brows so that they're lush, full, and out of the early 2000s is a two-step process. Once I fill in any sparse spots with a pencil, I follow up with a brow mascara so they appear even thicker, dark, and fluffy. My go-to since it launched earlier this summer is Dior's Diorshow Bold Brow Instant Volumizing Brow Mascara ($37.84).
Thanks to microfibers, the creamy mousse-serum formula hugs each brow hair without ever getting flaky or stiff after it dries—and melting off or needing touchups. First I swipe it along in my brows in the opposite direction of hair growth, and then comb them back while brushing up. For me, I find that this method gets every single hair with the most natural finish. Bonus: the mascara is spiked with a mix of vitamins that nourish skin and hairs so that brows grow stronger over time with use.
Most importantly, you can instantly see results after combing your brows with the mascara's wand. Consider this reason enough to replace the existing brow gel in your makeup bag.
This article previously appeared on InStyle.