Monday, October 11th, 2010

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: BROW PENCILS!

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about brow pencils and all that those entail.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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77 thoughts on “Rant & Rave: Brow Pencils

  1. Eleanor

    I love my Mac brow pencil. Thank G-d that they showed me how to use it properly.

    I really wish that my hairdresser would stop trying to color my brows, when he colors my hair. Their natural color is fine with me, and I’m NOT letting that caustic stuff near my eyes in this lifetime.

    • Nadia

      I’m curious…how are you supposed to use the MAC brow pencil. I just bought it for the first time and I’m wondering if I’m using it properly!

  2. Abril

    I love MAC’s! But in hot weather they tend to melt and look shiny… But yeah I still love them!

  3. I hate trying to find the right color. They’re always really waxy, synthetic henna looking reds that don’t work for my natural auburn hair.

    • Natalia

      You need to try the anastasia auburn pencil or the ash brown (it has slight auburn tones), I have auburn hair and before these I couldn’t find any that worked!

  4. Leenie

    I just bought Styli-Style 24 hour brow pencil I hope it really does last a long time, my problem with brow pencils are they don’t stay on with out smudging off after awhile.

  5. Hend

    I always use them ,
    I take the pigment on angled brush and works perfectly
    My fav is Givenchy brow show

  6. Cristal

    Have not used them, but I can always give them a try..

    Any suggestions lol

  7. Val

    I love my Shu Uemura HARD FORMULA eyebrow pencil, the only thing is, I need to take it in for “sharpening” every once in a while because they use a knife to do that instead of a sharpener. Recently when I went to IPSA, they introduced me to their automatic eyebrow pencil and I love that too. Tried that before, love it very much but relatively expensive….

  8. Shannon

    After finding macs taupe brow pencil I’ve not tried anything else. I’m obsessed with how good it is and foolproof which is unusual (for me) with a pencil!

  9. Virginia

    I love my Shu Uemura hard formula pencil. I used to use powder to fill in my brows, but it’s so much easier and convenient with the pencil, because you don’t need a brush and I feel like it’s harder to make the brows too dark.

  10. RosaVee

    It’s a must for me since my eyebrows are different as far as fullness goes. I always fill them in and I use Wet n Wild brow pencil in dark brown. I always feel more polished when I fill in my brows.
    Sometimes I use powder and mix MAC’s Wedge and Embark e/s. :)

    • Karen

      Yes honey!! I do the same. NYC in dark brown. I also use a foundation or concealer a shade lighter than my skintone under my brows for that sharp definition. People seem to love the look and so do I :)

  11. Svetlana

    I have permanent makeup on my eyebrows so I don’t need brow pencils :-)

  12. Vanessa

    I honestly do not like brow pencils I prefer powders. I feel that the pencil is too dramatic and dark no matter what color.

  13. i lovveee mac’s lingering eyebrow pencil, it’s perfect for my dark brows!

  14. Megan

    My brows have gone white (i’m only 28!) so I have to use a pencil everyday or else people think I just dont know how to pluck (my whole family thought I was a over plucker so much so my sisters would hide my tweezers). My go to pencil that I have like 4 of is Anastacia GoBrow pencil. It so easy to use and I can control the opacity so it doesnt look like they are drawn in.

    I keep thinking about trying another formula but the idea of having to use a brush, or worse yet, a stencil just does not thrill me.

    • Mor

      Hi Megan!
      Have you considered dying your eyebrows? I work in a pro hair-coloring studio, and many women with a similar problem come in to color their eyebrows. If done right, it looks extremely nice and natural :).

  15. Taj

    I use pencil when weather is dry and powder when it is wet.

  16. Jayna

    I generally use something more like Smashbox’s browtech which is a shadow type product with wax to fix the color. It gives the look of fullness and looks natural.. You use an angle brush to apply.

  17. I have tried brown pencils and I must not know how to use them. Ha ha. I prefer Milani brow fix powder trio.

  18. MAC’s Spiked is great! Never have to sharpen, skinny enough to finish the tail end of the brow, glides on smoothly, and builds up easily.

  19. Sophia

    i never used brow pencils didn’t even know why anyone would wanna use such thing, now i know ๐Ÿ˜›
    i still don’t use them my brows are well defined and have no gaps! i don’t even mess with their shape, just plug a few in the middle and that’s all

  20. I only use MAC eye pencil in Spiked to shape my brows and a eyeshadow to fill in. I love it.

  21. xMissxAndristx

    hate ’em. powder is just soooo much easier. the urban decay brow box is my go to. it’s heaven-sent.

  22. I LOVE them! Well I should say I LOVE my MAC brow pencils. I use one (or two) everyday and they work prefectly for my brows. Maybe I would prefer if they lasted a tad bit longer but that’s life and makeup I guess….

  23. Liana

    If you don’t like drawing in your brows like me, Mally’s Brow Beauty Brow Fix is awesome. “The one step tool that tames, shapes, and colors brows to frame the face beautifully. This unique formula combines soft, natural waxes and powders to give a natural looking color, while shaping and smoothing brows for a polished, beautiful frame for the face.”

  24. CJ

    I can never find the right color! They’re either too light or too dark.

  25. Dawn

    I’ve never used brow pencils. Drawn-on or pencilled-in brows are one of my pet hates, and possibly the biggest one as far as makeup goes

  26. i use a cheapie wet n wild dark blonde. but im thinking about shopping around for a powder that matches my hair better. but ill use this up first. it looks fine. my brows have to be darker or they dont match my henna’d hair.

  27. Laura

    Tarte’s EmphasEYES brow pencil has been the best for me. Neutral colors with no red or orange, super thin pencil that doesn’t need sharpening. Plus its waterproof. loooove it

    • Rebecca

      I second this! I got one with Sephora points and ended up loving it. The pencil is so thin, the formula is the perfect color (taupe for me), it doesn’t look harsh, and it stays even with my oily skin! I so don’t want to spend $20 for it, but so far I’ve found nothing that fits all of my requirements ๐Ÿ˜› I bought Maybelline Define-a-brow as a trial. While the pencil was also similarly thin, the formula sucks and does not stay at all. So, Tarte it is, even though it seemed a bit pricey for such a small pencil.

  28. dana

    Its really hard to find a blond eyebrow pencil, they always come off to red, too ashy, or too dark. I usually use powder, but Anastasia makes a really good brow pencil for blondes, I believe it is ash blonde. Love it.

  29. I actually blogged about this recently. Currently, I’m loving my brow pencil by MAC in Lingering. It’s the perfect shade for this cinnamon tinged brunette. I wish I could retract the pencil in case I get click happy, but it is truly my favorite brow tool.

  30. Stacey

    I have enough brow hair so I don’t need to fill anything in or define them. Just need to keep them in shape.

  31. Jillian

    I love the Benefit Browzings! It stays in place and doesn’t smuge in the hot, humid, Houston weather! Great stuff!

  32. Silk

    I use NYX’s brow pencils and I love them. I have tried MAC,Inglot Almay, and a few other brands but I seem to go back to NYX always.

  33. I’ve tried them in the past mostly Wet ‘n’ Wild but the colors were too rough looking. Now I use an Avon eyeshadow called Bark.

  34. kcrystal

    Shu Uemura Hard pencil all the way!

  35. Amber

    MAC uses the same manufacturer as Maybelline for their brow pencil (look at the packaging), so I saw Maybelline because I get the same MAC quality for a better value. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  36. I don’t really like them. I find it takes longer than using some eye shadow or Benefit Brow-zing. Using angled brush makes it easier for a softer appearance and easier application.

  37. Laura

    I can’t leave the house without doing my eyebrows!! I’d rather do my eyebrows than wear mascara any day! And I swear by fine-point pencils like Clinique’s or MAC’s. Both are awesome.

  38. Rachel

    I’m a medium ash blonde with a lot of depth (I don’t know if that’s the best word to describe it. I have everything from dark blonde to almost white blonde.) in my hair color.

    That means my brows are about 3 different colors and the finest blonde isn’t very visible, making my brows look uneven. I use a brow pencil or powder to counteract that effect. The hardest part is finding the right color. It’s getting cooler and that means my hair looks darker so I need to find a slightly darker one.

  39. margo

    wow..i am in a bind as i only have one half natural hair eye brow on each eye and have to rely on artifical help. pencils are unnatural. what i found through mac is fling pencil and then browning on top. also dior gray pencil which is discontinued worked for me as it was softer but strangely firmer and natural. Thinking of mac’s penultimate liquid pencil but wonder as aliquid if it will just look like an unnatural magic marker although it has good reviews.

  40. AnGeLwInGz

    Parts of my brows are sparse because of multiple piercings as a teen so I use Dior Browstyler. It’s great because it’s a universal color, thin, and self-sharpening.

  41. I LOVE the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencils! I think I’ve used every single color since my hair has been every shade under the sun. They’re amazing, waxy enough to stick to the hairs and stay on, but also applies easily enough over areas where I don’t have brow hair!

  42. Marcela

    i’ve never used one. and i don’t have caterpillar eyebrows either! very happy with my eyebrows.

  43. julie

    I agree with Shu Uemura, and I do use a brush to tidy them up.

  44. julie

    I agree with Shu Uemura and I use a brush to tidy them up. Just discovered this makes a difference!

  45. Lucia

    I haven’t been satisfied with the brow pencils I’ve tried…I’ve found that it always fades on my light sparse eyebrows. I got Anastasia’s Brow Wiz recently and it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.

  46. Shirley

    I need to fill in my eyebrows everyday because I over-plucked when I was young. -___-
    I LOVE Shiseido’s Natural Eyebrow Pencil in natural black because it gives me that grayish/blended tint I want for my eyebrows. I’m the kind of person who would prefer blended eyebrows rather than harsh blunt eyebrows. This eyebrow pencil does it for me.

  47. ketoglutarat

    i love the shiseido brow pencil. it’s natural black color looks really natural on my asian brows! heard the shu uemura one (9h) is also great.

  48. aida

    I am unable to find one that matches the colour of my brows, therefore, I usually tend to have brows with a slighter darker area (so it is pretty obvious I filled them with the pencil) or a yellower area (even more obvious). In the end I donยดt use them.

  49. Miss Ruby Rouge

    I use a few different brow pencils but my go to brow pencil would have to be MAC’s “Spiked”, I love how it’s hard enough to fill in all of my brows but then fine enough to finish the tail end of my brows to give it that extra WOW factor!! I’ve also used the “Origins” automatic brow pencil and that was, dare I say, almost better than the MAC one, but sadly I can’t get a hold of it in Australia anymore!! :(

    Also, for the ladies (or gents) out there who like to have their brows looking more polished, I love to use a brow get and the best ever product I’ve used for that would hands down have to be the Australian brand “BLOOM Cosmetics” it’s the only brow get that holds these ‘babies’ in place!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  50. snm

    i have poor eyebrows,so i use eyeshadows and mac brow set everyday.the problem is that i have pale skin and black hair,the colormatching can be hard,,couse i like my eyebrows to look natural.and most brow products can create a way too bold and black look.i was considering to buy mac brow pencil this friday btw so a topic just in time:)

  51. I like Benefit’s Instant Brow Pencil in medium. It’s a very creamy formula and if you aren’t careful you can apply too much. But the creaminess also acts like a wax to keep my brows in place when I brush them with the spooled end.

    I also like to use a small angled brush with Too Faced’s Like A Virgin matte brown eyeshadow. Mine is from the Pixie Pin-Up’s palette. It’s a nice light and matte brown that is perfect for filling in the gaps without making your brows look too sculpted or filled in. Plus the lightness of the color allows for you to build it up if you want more drama.

  52. NeenaJ

    I second NYX’s automatic brow pencil. They’re perfect for everyday touch ups and fill ins.

    But, for special occasions, I like to use either Smashbox’s brow tech or MAC e/s in Wedge. When using shadow, I use a small eyeliner brush to apply e/s primer (UDPP or TFSI) on the skin under/between brows to keep the color powder in place. Then, using the same small brush or an angled one, apply the color powder with short, fine strokes and dust the finished brows with translucent powder to set. Perfection for hours!

  53. Lena N.

    I’ve started using a brow pencil about 3-4 years ago and now I can’t live without it. I had found the perfect taupe colour from Art Deco but they must have discontinued it, cause I can’t find it any more. Now I have the middle brown colour from The body Shop (they have three) and this is ok as well :)

  54. overtaken by a nap

    Love my Annabelle brow pencil in Taupe. For those who asked for tips and don’t care for “pencilled brows” it’s easy to avoid that harsh ugly Joan Crawford look.

    Use a softer brow pencil (not so creamy that it won’t last or smudges, but not like a hard sharp tip that leaves a red mark as you attempt to draw it on)

    Many come with a little firm brush. Pencil in light dashes like brow hairs, then brush out the hairs with the brush. This gives a natural thicker brow look. Add a little brow powder for maximum setting if you need it, but mostly I don’t. My dusting of face powder to set my makeup does that job too.

    DON’T pencil in a long skinny sharp brow. That DOES look fake and harsh.

    USE TAUPE OR ASHY TONES! Even if you are a redhead! Either ash blonde, taupe or ash brown never black, red or a warm brown. For some reason people’s natural brow look is more taupey or ashey than their hair. Go a touch darker than your hair if you are blonde, and a fair bit lighter than your hair if you are darker.

    for those of use whose brows are non existant or don’t show up at all, putting on eyebrows punctuates the face, makes it look finished. People with good brows don’t need this.

  55. Tara

    my new brow routine is MUFE waterproof brow corrector w/ a skinny brush, topped w/ some anastasia brow powder. natural and lasts all day & night!

    pencils just weren’t doin it for me.

  56. Ashley

    I’ve never used them before but I have been reading up on them and thinking about getting one. This will come in handy to see what others think, have and like.

  57. [email protected]

    MAC Lingering works perfectly for me!

  58. I never use them either. I get excited when I hear about a decent affordable one like SK’s or rimmels but then after purchasing I realize.. they just aren’t my thing. I like my eyebrows crisp, filled deeply. So I stick to my mac charcoal brown e/s and an angled brush :)

  59. Mor

    I think my makeup looks so much better since I started using an eyebrow pencil. I don’t have too much of a problem finding the right color- my brows are pretty much as black as can be. That’s also the reason why any missing hair, tiny bald patch from overplucking, any impefection at all in my brows is very obvious. I like my eyebrows to have a strong, fierce look- I try my best to keep them on the thicker side. I use a brow pencil by Sisley, and I absolutely love it. It never smudges, and just looks great on. I brush my brows, apply the eyebrow pencil in order to perfect my eyebrows’ shape and make them look more even (and symmetrical!), then brush my brows again and finish with a clear eyebrow gel, to tame them. They never budge. In fact, at the end of the day most of my makeup is pretty much gone- except for the eyebrows, which look almost as perfect as they did in the morning! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  60. Marjolijn

    I really need to use brow pencil. My brows are blonde = completely invisible. I have a MAC Impeccable Brow Pencil in dirty blonde and I love it. It’s the only one I’ve found that works with my pale skin (NW15) and light blonde hair. All the other ones I tried were too dark or too reddish. The only downside is that this one is a bit waxy so you really need to make sure you don’t push too hard or you’ll end up with patchy brows!

  61. Paula

    I love MAC’s impeccable brow pencil in Taupe.
    So easy to use, yet the wax in it helps tame my eyebrow hairs down!

  62. Dini

    I use Shu Uemura’s hard brow pencils and they are insanely awesome.

  63. eveli

    I love the way my eyebrows look when I do them with a brow pencil the waxiness of the pencil makes me not have to use brow gel but I HATE! that in the process I tend to loose eyebrows which meses up my sharp shape

  64. I like the ease of brow pencils but I find that they aren’t available in enough colors. Right now I use Smashbox Brow Tech Wax with whatever matte eye shadow matches my hair. Right now I’m using MAC Plumage, since my hair is a midnight blue and teal. I do have two Lorac brow pencils that are ok, and an Urban Decay pencil.

  65. Maria

    Believe it or not, my favorite brow pencil is actually one from AVON! I tried one from NYX, one from Sephora, and a drugstore brow pencil, and my brows looked auburn even though they were all supposed to be brown shades. It was very disappointing and I ended up using a mineral brow powder that I got from a mineral makeup kiosk at the mall. It’s lasted me over two years and it still looks new!

  66. I like that they’re convenient and can fill in bald spots in my thin brows…but I dislike that the ones I’ve seen are all too dark for me now that I have blond hair again.

    • The best ones I have tried so far are two faced brown-ie and mac stud find it perfect for black hair, not too waxy or too powdery :)

  67. chocoaddict

    Christine! I need your help! I am fair with neutral tones, strawberry blonde ย and I was recommended Mac Lingering brow pencil. I like the shade, but not the pencil form as it looked too drawn on. Can you please recommend a brow/eye shadow in the same shade? Do you have any other recommendation? All help would be much appreciated, I am used to wear all types of makeup, except brow products.
    Many thanks!