Posted on 3 August 2022
If you are looking for a sharpening pencil and/or a certified organic product, this option should appeal to you. In fact, during our tests, we were impressed by its ideal texture, its good hold throughout the day and its intense pigmentation. Thanks to all this, it was easy to apply. We tested it in brown and this colour turned out to be very natural. Although it is only available in 4 shades and does not have a brush at the end, it compensates for these weaknesses with very good composition and top efficiency. And, to top it all off, the price is quite low.
Eyebrow pencils are the most common way to accentuate eyebrows, but pomade and gel can also help.
The lead can be retractable or fixed like any eyebrow pencil.
Ideally, find a pencil that is neither too oily nor too dry. It can even be waterproof.
It is often possible to modulate the intensity of the shade by applying more or less pressure to the pencil.
Many eyebrow pencils have a brush, ideal for combing the hairs and blending the make-up.
As always in cosmetics, we invite you to check the composition of your future product.
We tested this model in taupe, one of the 9 colours available. We quickly found it to be the most natural product available. This is possible thanks to the very fine tip and the realistic shade with no orange undertones. However, this delicacy indeed requires some skill or practice to achieve the best possible effect. On the other hand, it held up very well throughout the day and was easy to remove. And if its composition is far from perfect, neither our skin nor our eyes suffered any bad reaction.
If you’re looking for an effective pencil but also find a brow gel useful, this two-in-one solution should please. While the pencil has a chiselled, waterproof lead to make it easy to draw on brows, it also has a clear gel that’s ideal for disciplining stubborn hairs and keeping them in place all day. All in all, it’s a very practical option for quick and effective make-up. It’s a shame that the pencil is only available in 4 shades.
|Our choice, Best budget||Best mid-range||Best high-end|
|Avril Le Crayon Sourcils||NYX Lift & Snatch||Smashbox Brow Tech|
|This eyebrow seduces with its traditional sharpening format, its impressive hold, its natural look and, of course, its clean and organic composition.||Although it is a tint pen and not a pencil, we wanted to include this NYX model in our selection, as it offers the most natural look. In addition, it allows for ultra-precise application.||This two-in-one product is ideal for both drawing and shaping eyebrows thanks to its pencil tip with retractable lead and its transparent gel end.|
KIKO Milano Eyebrow Sculpt Automatic (£7.29 upon publication): an interesting alternative. Here we test the shade for blondes and redheads (02) of the 6 available. This is an almost blonde shade that suits Venetian blondes and light redheads. It’s a little less pigmented than some of the other brow pencils we tested, so you have to press harder for the colour to really set. Its brush was serviceable, but quite rough. Lastly, it offered good staying power and was easy to remove.
Rimmel Brow This Way (£4.49 upon publication): visible from the very first line. This classic brow pencil ticks almost all the boxes: great pigmentation, a natural shade although a little too dark for our blonde tester, easy to apply and very good staying power. However, we decided not to include it in our top pick because of its composition and the impracticality of the brush.
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How to choose your eyebrow pencil?
After a time when ultra-thin, almost plucked eyebrows were all the rage, full, bushy eyebrows have been back in fashion for a few years now. But to achieve a look worthy of Cara Delevingne, many people need makeup to help.
While it can be hard to choose from the multitude of brands on the market, there are also different types of cosmetic products that can create beautiful eyebrows:
- The pencil: it is the most widely used and, according to many, the most practical to use. Today, although it still exists in the form of a traditional sharpening pencil, it appears mainly with a retractable lead or sometimes as a felt-tip pen. With a sufficiently precise lead, it can be used to draw fine individual hairs to fill in sparse areas, as well as to draw the outline and overall desired shape of the eyebrows. These are the products we have focused on in this selection.
- The pomade: in general, it performs the same functions as the pencil, i.e. to outline the shape of the eyebrows and fill them in if necessary. It should be used with a very fine precision brush for an optimal and natural result. The formula of these creams is often long-lasting and water-resistant, as well as being particularly covering. In general, the price in relation to the capacity and shelf life of the product is advantageous.
- The gel: this fixes the shape of the eyebrows and disciplines stubborn hairs. In this way, the eyebrows remain perfectly groomed all day long. It is therefore often used in conjunction with a pencil, unless you are lucky enough to have naturally shaped eyebrows. Gels are often available in transparent or tinted versions, to add even more dimension and volume.
To help you understand what you need to know before buying an eyebrow pencil, we have listed here the main features that can make the difference between one model and another:
- The lead: among the models with a retractable lead, the ideal is to opt for a bevelled and rather thin tip, which will allow you to draw fine lines with a natural look more easily and to draw your eyebrows with precision. The disadvantage of this type of pencil is its fragility, so we strongly recommend that you do not remove it completely from the packaging.
- The texture: the best thing is to find a product that is neither too greasy (which risks over-emphasising the eyebrows) nor too dry (which risks the colour not showing through). For a flawless hold all day long and make-up that is resistant to perspiration, bad weather and bathing, a waterproof formula is ideal.
- The shades: while we still think the shade selection is rather limited, we still think it covers the vast majority of users, especially with a light application of the product. And while most of the products available on the market have decent pigmentation, you should know that it is generally quite easy to modulate the intensity of the result by pressing harder or less hard with the pencil during application.
- The little extras: many pencils come with an eyebrow brush (like a brush head), ideal for combing hairs and blending make-up, at one end. While it’s convenient to have both tools directly to hand, it’s a shame having to throw away the brush when replacing the pencil. Other models come with a gel for a true two-in-one experience.
How did we test?
To test the eyebrow pencils, we chose the shades that were most likely to suit us. Once we received them, we tested them daily to assess their pigmentation, ease of application and one-day wear.
Then, we judged the rendering of their shade (natural, corresponding well to the shade indicated by the brand…). We also evaluated the brush or brushstroke when it was available. Finally, we checked the number of existing colours and the composition of each of the products tested.
Other tested eyebrow pencils
Benecos Grn Shades of Nature (£5.95 upon publication): a vegan option. Although this eyebrow pencil is made for blondes, we found the colour to be more for Venetian blondes and redheads. The shade is too ochre. On the other hand, it offers good pigmentation and can be applied in a few strokes. The brush turned out to be rather disappointing because, although it was effective, it was also the roughest brush we had to test. This is a pity, especially considering its very good composition and staying power.
NYX Professional Micro Brow Pencil (£12.99 upon publication): a rather unnatural colouring. We tried this retractable eyebrow pencil in the blonde shade (one of the 8 available). Unfortunately, the result was the one that tended more towards that orange-ochre colour. Also, its composition could be better and you have to insist a bit before you see a real result. Other than that, the staying power is good.
Translated by Ramsés El Hajje