Whenever one thinks about pulling off a dramatic look, defined brows are the first thing that pops up in their mind. With the right set of tools by your side, you can achieve any look you aim for. However, to take your arches to new heights, an eyebrow pencil is what comes to the rescue.
Eyebrow pencils are a daily must-have for any brow look. With just a few flicks of a wrist, a good brow pencil can define your eyebrows to create the appearance of fuller brows. Whether you have sad brows or sparse areas to fill in, an eyebrow pencil can revive your brow game like none other. For this article, we collaborated with one of the experts in the field of bridal makeup, Chahat Goyal, so read more to know more!
Chahat Goyal is a makeup artist based in Chandigarh. She strives to make a historical mark in the beauty industry through her extensive knowledge of aesthetics and skincare. Her area of expertise lies in luxury bridal makeovers for Indian skin tones. Chahat is professionally certified by one of the most eminent makeup artists of North India, "Ms Parul Duggal."
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Table of Contents
Brow pencils are a fool-proof way to fill, colour, and shape your eyebrows. When choosing the best one, you need to look for the right shade and qualities such as long-lasting and waterproof. You should also pay attention to the ingredients.
While picking up an eyebrow pencil, you must follow the golden rule, i.e., to go one shade lighter than your hair colour, and not match it exactly. The colour should also complement your skin tone and eyes as a secondary measure. With that in mind, here's a guide to help you choose the right shade.
Pencils are bolder than other types of brow products, and the oils further darken their colour in your skin. Therefore, a lighter shade than your hair colour can give dimension without looking too fake.
If you have dark black hair, go for a dark to medium brown shade for a more natural look. However, if you have a deeper skin tone, you can make your eyebrows look more prominent by using a black eyebrow pencil over a brunette shade, keeping in mind not overdoing it.
Dark brunette shades do not further darken the hair shade but help the black-haired eyebrows look natural and subdued. Fill in the sparse areas and create a fuller brow. It’s important not to overfill, for that may look unflattering.
Hold & move the pencil in upward strokes from the middle of the brow and try using very light strokes for the brow closer to the nose. People with darker hair need very little brow product. The principle “less is always more “applies here.
The term 'brunette' covers a wide spectrum of hair colours. People with dark brown hair have the widest choice of pencil shades. For those with dark or medium brown hair should stick with anything from the softer brown family.
So, a colour that is one or two shades lighter from your brunette locks will work for you. If your hair falls under the light and ash brown category, you might want to try a taupe.
Soft browns complement the brunette-haired brows and make them appear well defined and yet natural. To make the eyebrows stand out and look clean, use an angular brush and dip it in a concealer, and then swipe across the skin along the length and the arc of the eyebrow.
Blend the concealer with your fingertips and m set the concealer with a loose powder or a compact. And what you get is beautiful neat brows.
Indians don't usually have blonde eyebrows; however, many fair-haired folks have non-existent brows, and they worry about going too dark if they draw with a pencil. So, a pro tip is to use the darkest tone of brown to define your eyebrows.
If your blonde hair has a cool undertone, i.e., golden, you can choose shades from light brown and taupe. The shade should be one or two shades darker and not too dark; else, it'll look harsh and unnatural.
Dark browns take away the attention from the hair to the eyes. In this case, make sure to use the eyebrow pencil a little sharpened. It’s a great idea to make feathery strokes that resemble microblading.
One can also use a small amount of a matte brown eyeshadow using a sharp angular brush to blend the pencil strokes. This will give a feathery texture and shall make the brows look fuller.
Whether you have natural or dyed strawberry blonde, cherry red, or brick red hair, use a pencil shade in warm red tones to add definition to your brows. The warm tones will add just the right amount of pigment, giving your brows a natural look.
Ashy brown and auburn shades will suit those who have dyed their hair orange or brick red. Those with naturally pumpkin-ginger hair can try copper shade for a cohesive look. And taupe is the shade for those with lighter strawberry blonde brows.
Try mixing a light brunette shade with a blonde touch for a natural ombré effect that's often seen on redheads. And, if your eyebrows are on the darker side, work with two darker brown shades to achieve a fuller, shapelier brow. We have left the makeup mistakes of the ’90s far behind. Having one string of brow hairs is no longer in. The bigger, the better. So, avoid overplucking.
A spoolie brush is a fluffy brush that resembles a mascara wand. It is an often-overlooked eyebrow shaping tool that grooms and tidies eyebrows while evenly dispersing the pencil colour.
A spoolie is used twice while perfecting the eyebrows – firstly, before applying any pencil to brush the hair upwards and secondly, finish off as a groomer by softening the harsh lines and blending the colour. So, make sure to get an eyebrow pencil that has a spoolie brush attached to it.
Penciling and brushing on your brows are not mutually exclusive. So try both together for full, shaped brows! They give the eyebrows a naturally full look.
Spray a little fixing spray (Like Mac Prep+Prime Fix Plus) on the brush and then comb the brows to make the brow hair stay in shape for longer. You can always use a freshly cleaned wand of an old mascara as a spoolie if you’re not purchasing a spoolie.
Retractable eyebrow pencils have a pigment stick enclosed in a plastic cylinder. While using, rotate the plastic to reveal the stick and rotate it back after you have perfected the brows. The classic eyebrow pencils, also known as non-retractable pencils, require sharpening every time the tip runs out.
Retractable pencils are convenient and easy to use. However, classic pencils require manual sharpening, for which you also need a sharpener. Some pencils come with a sharpener, and you have to get a makeup-specific sharpener for others. The only disadvantage of a retractable pencil is that it usually has less product than a non-retractable pencil.
For beginners, I would recommend using a retractable eyebrow pencil at first since it is more convenient to work with and provides far more grip and control. For professionals and more experienced makeup junkies, I would recommend using non-retractable eyebrow pencils.
Non-retractable pencils may be slightly hard to work with, but they are steadier and less prone to damage. Also, retractable pencils have a slightly lesser colour payout than non-retractable ones. So pick accordingly. One of the best eyebrow pencil brands, in my opinion, are Benefit, Anastasia Beverly Hills, WetnWild, Bobbi Brown, etc.
Manual pencils have a pointed tip and are suitable for those with thinner brows. It allows you to draw precise, hair-like lines with ease. Some retractable pencils have a similar tip but with a straighter edge. Both retractable and non-retractable pencils work similarly, as long as they have a fine tip.
Eyebrow pencils with angled tips have different sides, both of which help achieve the look you want. The flatter surface helps get a softer and natural look, whereas the pointed tip helps get a bolder and more defined look. Pencils with angled tips are great for beginners, especially those with fuller brows.
Pencils with angled tips mimic angular brushes and create a perfect arch that follows your natural bone structure. Use the flat side of this pencil for shading and outlining the brows. The sharper side of these pencils can be used to define the eyebrows. Use the fine/pointed tip pencils to create hairlike detail or to define the arch and tail.
It would be a great thing to get your hands on a waterproof, smudge-proof, and sweat-resistant eyebrow pencil. Though not many brands offer waterproof pencils, keeping an eye out for one would be helpful, especially for those with oily skin. It is a real struggle to keep your makeup on when you have oily skin, and nobody wants to have melting brows while heading to the office.
Keeping a check on the waterproof and smudge-proof pencil is a wise idea for those living in warmer weather. Those who exercise or are heading for a night of dancing with friends should also consider smudge-proof formula.
It’s best to keep your brow hair locked and sealed while on a hot sunny brunch or a never-ending night out and especially during your wedding when tears can come naturally.
Some of the best waterproof pencils that I recommend:
Sephora Collection Waterproof Eyebrow Pencils.
It is essential to protect your eyebrows, the skin surrounding them, and your eyes. So, consider getting a pencil that has beneficial ingredients like vitamin E (an excellent antioxidant), plant oil (nourishes and protects skin), and castor oil (nurtures and promotes hair growth).
You should also keep a check on the ingredients to avoid, namely parabens (disrupts hormonal function), sulfates (clogs pores and causes acne), fragrances, and synthetic dyes. If you have sensitive skin, look for pencils that are hypoallergenic, ophthalmologist-tested, and fragrance-free.
The pencils of these types have less chance of irritating skin. Those with dry skin around their eyebrows can consider brow pencils that have hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and jojoba oil. And, those with oily skin around their T-zone should opt for pencils with low-oil formula.
Eyebrow pencils are usually made up of glycerides, a solid wax base like lanolin or beeswax, and may also contain alcohols, perfumes, and even parabens. For sensitive skin, I recommend using paraben, perfume, and alcohol-free pencils. The pigment or colour pay off totally depends on the type of wax base of these pencils. So choose according to individual requirements.
Click to purchase
NYX Professional Makeup
Micro Brow Pencil
Ultra-Thin Brow Pencil for Natural Finish
Fine Mechanical Pencil With a Spoolie
Brow Artist Expert
A Unique Tip for Controlled Precision
Long-Lasting, Simple, and Easy-to-Use
Precisely, My Brow Pencil
Precisely Do Your Brows With This Handy Pencil
Maybelline New York
Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer
Angled Pencil Tip for Precise Definition
Colorstay Brow Pencil
Angled Tip Brush for Realistic Brows
A Waterproof Formula for Long-Lasting Colour Pay Off
Stunning Brow Pencil
Oil-free Brow Filler with Natural Antioxidants
Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil
Two-in-One Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil
NYX Professional Makeup's offering is a retractable eyebrow pencil with a super skinny tip. It comes with a spoolie brush to blend lines that look natural and highly pigmented. If you're looking for natural-looking, feathery brows, this brow pencil will work wonders for you.
The pencil has a vegan formula, which adds to its advantage of being a cruelty-free product. The pencil has a soft and oval tip for quickly defining and shaping, making it a beginner-friendly product. It comes in three shades, namely black, brunette and taupe, to suit different hair colours.
Much loved makeup brand, M.A.C has created an amazing brow pencil that leaves behind natural pigments. The angled chiselled tip is easy to use. It is perfect for building and shaping an oh-so-precise arch. With a few simple strokes, you can get fuller brows in a matte colour.
The eyebrow pencil features an ultra-fine angled applicator on one end and a built-in spoolie brush on the other. Reviewers praise how the pencil is long-wearing, and the shade also looks natural, not too bold or fake-looking.
This mechanical pencil features a unique angled tip that allows you to draw precise lines to mimic natural brow hairs. The pencil also comes with a soft styling brush to blend pigment for perfectly defined fuller-looking eyebrows.
The pencil is available in two shades – ebony and cool brunette, suited for most hair colours. For precise application, reviewers recommend beginning application from the eye's inner corner, lightly making your way across the arch in small strokes.
Lakme's water-resistant eyebrow pencil is a classic non-retractable pencil. It's been a popular choice among women for the longest time. The pointed tip does a fair job of filling your brows by giving them a dramatic and bold effect.
This brow pencil's biggest advantages are that the formula is smudge-proof and long-lasting, making it an ideal pick for office-goers who don't have time for touch-ups. The formula is also easily buildable and blendable, making it a go-to pencil for women.
Benefit's My Brow pencil has a fine tip to perfectly define and fill in your brows. Its smudge-free formula will hold on throughout the day. Reviewers have mentioned that the pencil's textured grip feature is unique, which makes drawing precise lines easier.
The built-in spoolie brush on the other end of the pencil beautifully blends the colour, leaving a natural-looking brow. If you have fine hair and naturally thin brows, Benefit's brow pencil will work wonders for you.
Everything you need for perfect brows comes in this one genius pencil. The formula is ideal for creating hair-like strokes that last for longer hours. The skinny applicator tip and spoolie brush provide maximum precision while adding dimension to your brows.
The only thing reviewers didn't like is the availability of colours. The pencil is only available in the shades of brown - blonde, soft brown, medium brown, and deep brown. It'd have been great to offer black and taupe shades too.
Revlon's 2-in-1 mechanical brow pencil is a perfect tool for creating tiny brow hair with precision. Its unique angled tip allows for a fast and easy application. The long-wearing and waterproof formula lasts for up to 24 hours.
Revlon's formula will fill up the area with easy and long-lasting pigment if you have over-tweezed or sparse areas to fill in. The pencil is available in 5 shades – blonde, soft brown, red, dark brown, and soft black.
The product might seem like a typical eyebrow pencil, but it has excellent skin compatibility to ensure no makeup meltdowns. The product is also free from paraben and mineral oil, making it an ideal pick for those with oily skin.
The ultra-slim retractable pencil tip creates an instant natural-looking arch and lift, whereas the gel gliding formula gives a long-lasting and natural-looking coverage. The built-in spoolie brush also does the work fairly well.
This eyebrow pencil is one of the most sort-after pencils on the market. It is a vegan product that is paraben-free, ophthalmologically tested, and dermatologically tested. Moreover, the formula features natural antioxidants to nourish the skin and protect your brows from UV rays.
A few reviewers noted that the pencil breaks easily. Besides that, most reviewers loved the quality and definition of the pencil. They also liked how you get perfectly shaped brows in just a few strokes.
On one side, the pencil has a pointed applicator and on the other has a soft-hold brow brush. The pointed tip will help fill your brows with a long-lasting formula, while the brush will define and give them a natural shape.
Some reviewers found that the pencil breaks easily. So, it would help if you were extra careful while using it. Nonetheless, most of the reviewers found the pencil easy-to-use. They also said that the pigment lasts throughout the day without requiring touch-ups.
If you're a novice and want to learn how to perfect those brows, here's a tutorial to help you shape your brows like a professional. This eyebrow routine is quite easy to follow, so do check it out. In the video, learn how to:
1, Shape your eyebrows with makeup and concealer
2. Follow an eyebrow routine
3. Use different eyebrow products and eyebrow pencil
With protective face masks being the new normal nowadays, it's your eyes that you can play around with. From putting up mascara to creating a dramatic look with eye shadow, there's a lot you can do. So, here's something for you to add to your makeup bags to get those gorgeous eyes.
Whether you're a wizard or a beginner, it is always a good idea to seek help to choose the best makeup products. Today, we talked about different types of eyebrow pencils and which brands are the best inline. We hope this article helped you pick your favourite brow pencil.
Author: Srishti Sikka
No. 1：NYX Professional Makeup｜Micro Brow Pencil
No. 2：M.A.C｜Brow Sculpt
No. 3：L'Oreal Paris｜Brow Artist Expert
No. 4：Lakme｜Eyebrow Pencil
No. 5：Benefit Cosmetics｜Precisely, My Brow Pencil
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