Sharpens to the perfect tip. Firm yet glides on smoothly for exceptional definition. Contains natural waxes that help keep brows in place. Has a built-in comb. Comes with a sharpener.
Price falls on the higher end of the spectrum, but not out of line considering the quality.
Rich, buildable color that fills and defines brows. Once applied, color stays true and lasts all day. Pencil comes with a built-in comb. Easy to apply.
Texture is firm and has the tendency to pull skin and leave smudges. Point breakage is common with sharpening.
An easy-to-use pencil by a brand that focuses on brows. Less pricey than other top-selling brands. Glides on with a smooth texture and is easy to blend. Self-sharpening pencil with attached spooly brush.
Texture is somewhat soft, which may not appeal to all users. Though the shade is universal, it will likely be too dark for some blondes.
Stands out for its universal taupe shade that works for most users. Can be applied lighter or darker with varying hand strokes. Contains vitamins and other nourishing ingredients. Built-in spooly brush with self-sharpening pencil.
Some customers gripe about the product not lasting very long. Consistency is somewhat waxy, and tends to smudge.
Soft, self-sharpening pencil with a fine point that glides on. Easy to feather for soft, natural look. Buildable color can be applied light or dark. Tends to last all day.
The built-in brush is on the small side. Daily users may find that it runs out fairly quickly.
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Your eyebrows frame your face, which is why a good eyebrow pencil is just as important as foundation, mascara, or lipstick when it comes to a flawless look. With an eyebrow pencil, you can fill in sparse brows and refine your brow shape.
But finding the right eyebrow pencil can be challenging. You not only have to choose the right shade, but you also have to figure out the best type of pencil and tip shape to suit your look. With so many of these brow definers on the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
At BestReviews, we strive to make shopping simple. With our recommendations and shopping guides, you can choose products with confidence and save yourself time. If you’re on the hunt for a new eyebrow pencil, check out the matrix above for our top picks. For tons of tips on what to look for in a brow pencil, just keep reading.
There are many different eyebrow products on the market, including pencils, gels, pomades, powders, and dyes. With an eyebrow pencil, you get unparalleled precision and a natural look.
An eyebrow pencil’s sharp tip allows for precise brow definition. A pencil also works well for filling in your brows if there are any gaps or sparse areas because you can create a hair-like effect with the point. You can also use a pencil to make uneven brows look more symmetrical.
When used lightly, an eyebrow pencil gives a soft, natural look. But you can also amp up a pencil by pressing a little harder. If you prefer bold brows, an eyebrow pencil makes a good base for other products like brow powders or brow gels.
Eyebrow pencils are quick and easy to use, too. Most makeup artists recommend having an eyebrow pencil in your makeup bag for days when you’re in a hurry and need a quick brow fix.
Easy, natural brows
The Sisley Phyto Sourcils Perfect Eyebrow Pencil always has a precise point that’s ready to use thanks to its convenient built-in sharpener. The dual-ended eyebrow pencil features a brow comb on one end to blend in the product for the most natural-looking brows. Best of all, the formula is long-wearing, so you don’t have to worry about your brows fading or smearing throughout the day.
Before using an eyebrow pencil, always make sure the tip is sharp for the most precise application.
Don’t start the pencil right at the front of your eyebrows – you’re more likely to apply too much product initially and wind up with overdrawn brows. Instead, begin applying the pencil in the areas where your brows are sparse, making sure to draw in the direction of your hair growth. Run the eyebrow pencil through your brows in short, light, upward strokes to mimic the look of natural brow hairs.
When you’ve worked your way to the tail of the brow, go back and apply pencil to the front in upward, outward strokes. Then use a clean spoolie or brow brush to brush through your eyebrows. This helps blend in the pencil for the most natural look.
Before applying eyebrow pencil, use a brow brush or spoolie to comb your brows up. This helps reveal any sparse areas that need filling in.
Use a light hand with an eyebrow pencil. If you press too hard, you may apply too much product.
If your eyebrow pencil doesn’t have a spoolie or comb on the end, use an angled shadow brush or cotton swab to blend the pencil into your brows.
There are two types of eyebrow pencils: traditional pencils that can be sharpened and mechanical or automatic pencils.
Traditional eyebrow pencils are like writing pencils – the eyebrow pencil’s pigment is housed inside a casing, which is usually made of wood. As you use the pencil, the tip wears down until it becomes blunt. Use a makeup pencil sharpener to sharpen the eyebrow pencil. Traditional eyebrow pencils usually contain more product than mechanical pencils, so they’re more cost-effective.
With a mechanical eyebrow pencil, instead of sharpening the pencil, you twist the end to push up more product. While some mechanical pencils have built-in sharpeners, it’s usually impossible to get the tip as sharp as it was once you start using the pencil. Most automatic eyebrow pencils are plastic.
Texture and consistency
Eyebrow pencils are typically either soft and waxy or hard and dry.
Soft, waxy pencils have a creamy texture that blends easily. They work well if your main objective is to fill in gaps or sparse areas as quickly as possible. These eyebrow pencils don’t tend to last as long on your brows, though, particularly on oily skin or in hot weather.
Hard, dry pencils allow you to make more precise hair-like strokes, so they’re the best option if your main priority is soft, natural-looking brows. But pencils that are too hard and dry can sometimes apply unevenly or skip across the skin, making them a poor choice for dry skin.
Mechanical eyebrow pencils have either pointed or angled tips.
Pointed tips are the most common, and they work well if you want more defined brows. They’re an ideal option for thin brows because they offer more precision, but beginners might find pointed tips harder to work with than angled tips.
An angled tip is wider and usually shaped like a triangle. These eyebrow pencils work well if you have fuller brows because they allow you to fill in your brows more quickly. However, an angled tip is not the best choice if you have thin eyebrows because it’s thicker than a pointed tip. An angled tip can lose its edge easily, too, but you can usually get it back into shape by running it over a piece of paper.
For most people, the most difficult thing to get right about an eyebrow pencil is the color. The most common mistake is going too dark with your pencil shade, so makeup artists typically recommend choosing a shade that’s one to two shades lighter than your hair color.
In general, it’s best to start with a taupe shade, which is a universal brow color for many people. That said, you should always take your hair color into account:
If you have black or brown hair, avoid eyebrow pencils that have too much red in them. Instead, look for cool shades that have a hint of gray.
If you have strawberry blonde or red hair, opt for eyebrow pencils with warm, reddish tones.
If you have blonde hair, taupe is often the best eyebrow pencil shade. Avoid shades that are too green, though.
Some eyebrow pencils come with built-in tools to make applying the product a little easier. Many pencils feature a spoolie or comb on the other end of the pencil, which allows you to blend the pencil through your brows after you’ve applied it. Mechanical pencils often have a built-in sharpener that you can remove from the end and twist over the tip to help get it back into shape.
A goof-proof shade that never needs sharpening
The Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil makes choosing the right brow shade a piece of cake. This eyebrow pencil comes in a universal shade that complements nearly every skin tone and hair color. And because it’s an automatic pencil, it never needs to be sharpened. We also like that the formula washes off easily and that the product isn’t tested on animals.
The price of an eyebrow pencil varies based on the quality of the ingredients and whether the pencil includes any built-in tools. Eyebrow pencils typically range from $2 to $52.
Budget-friendly eyebrow pencils that use carnauba wax as their main ingredient and don’t include built-in tools usually cost $2 to $10. Eyebrow pencils that use carnauba wax and other emollients like dimethicone and glycerin as their main ingredients and include built-in tools, however, usually cost a bit more – between $10 and $25. And premium eyebrow pencils, the type that use high-quality natural fruit waxes and other emollients like dimethicone and glycerin as their main ingredients, usually cost $25 to $52. These high-end eyebrow pencils also tend to come with their own built-in tools.
Q. Can I use an eyebrow pencil with other brow products?
A. Yes. In fact, it’s usually a good idea to use more than one brow product. Pencils pair particularly well with brow powders and brow gels. Apply the pencil first, and then fill in any areas that still look sparse with a brow powder. If you want to make sure your brows stay in place all day, brush on a brow gel as the finishing touch.
Q. Do eyebrow pencils expire?
A. Like any makeup product, an eyebrow pencil can go bad over time. Pencils that you can sharpen typically last for about three years because you’re constantly revealing fresh, new product. Automatic pencils usually only last for a year. Pay attention to the color, smell, and texture of your eyebrow pencil. If you notice a change, the pencil has probably expired.
Q. Can an eyebrow pencil double as an eyeliner pencil?
A. While an eyebrow pencil can technically be used to line your eyes, it’s usually not the best option. Eyeliner pencils tend to have a softer, creamier texture so you can smudge them along your lashes. Brow pencils have a harder texture, which means they may pull and tug if applied to your eyelids.
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