Best Eyebrow Pencil: Real Recommendations from Real People

Best eyebrow pencil

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Whenever I do these articles, I’m worried that I’m opening the floodgates and there won’t be a single stand-out option. However, every time I’ve done it, a few answers pop up FAR above the rest. This time, those answers were NYX and Anastasia Beverly Hills, closely followed by ELF, and Benefit.

These four brands dominated the brow talk, with some people using products from two or more of these top brands at a time. So, I don’t think there’s any way you can say one brand is fully dominating the brow game when most eyebrow gurus seem to be using a product or two from several of these top brands.

I learned a lot from doing this article. And while my main brow line made this list (Anastasia), I’ve been fully convinced to try a couple of products from the other lines as well. I’m looking forward to upping my brow game.

One tiny little disclaimer though. Even though I asked specifically for eyebrow pencils, a lot of people recommended their overall favorite brow products in general as well. So, while the focus is eyebrow pencils, I’ve included many of those products in this article as well. It appears that the eyebrow brand is the most important part. When the brand was great, it seemed that all of the brow products were incredible as well.

So, without further ado:

The Best Eyebrow Pencils Recommended by Real People Like You

1. NYX

NYX dominated the eyebrow talk. Not only were people loving their Micro Brow Pencil, but they also loved their Lift & Snatch Eyebrow Tint Pen, and Tinted Eyebrow Mascara.

Users said that the quality of this brand was on par with the quality of high-end brands but at a fraction of the cost. For a product that typically runs out quickly when you’re doing your brows every day, this price point can save you tons of money over the higher-priced brands.

  • Micro Brow Pencil
    • Many people feel that this brow pencil is very comparable to the ABH one but at a fraction of the cost. Some even think it is better! Users feel that this pencil has a perfect consistency, is long-lasting, and loves that it comes in a good array of shades.
  • Precision Eyebrow Pencil
    • If you’re not a fan of thin eyebrow pencils and prefer something a little thicker, the Precision Eyebrow Pencil is a better option for you. It’s very similar to the Micro Brow pencil, just thicker. This means you get more product for your dollars and can apply it quickly.  The actual product end is shaped like a hyphen so it’s really easy to place the product exactly where you want it, even if you have a narrower brow shape.
  • Fluff and Fill
    • This is classified as a pomade pencil and users love the retractable wide-tip product applicator and the unique brush to help “fluff” the product out.
  • Lift and Snatched EyeBrow Tint Pen
    • While not technically a pencil, this brow pen works very similarly to one. People feel that this pen is the best product for creating really thin, realistic-looking “hairs” for a more natural brow look. Especially on the inner corner!
  • The Brow Glue
    • People loved that this clear brow gel was strong and affordable. While not a pencil, almost everyone agreed that the key to keeping your eyebrow pencil in place is using a good strong gel afterward.
  • Tinted Eyebrow Mascara
    • This tinted eyebrow mascara is basically like glue and pencil combined. It holds your brow hairs in place while adding a little extra color to them. Users feel that this is a super quick way to do your brows for a more casual day, but don’t like the lack of precision you can get with it and feel it’s not the best product if you need to add some product to the skin to fill in bare spots.

2. Anatasia Beverly Hills

This brow line was incredibly popular and the brand that many people think of first when it comes to brow products. When describing many of the other brands people would often describe them as similar products to this line, making it clear that this is considered the gold standard of brown pencils.

It was pretty hard to tell which product line was more popular between this and NYX. However, because this product line has a higher price point, I decided to place it second on the list. After all, if two products perform the same but one is cheaper, that’s usually the one people will go for.

As this is the brown line I use the most, I can confirm that it is a great quality brand. Here are some of the best brown pencils and products:

  • Brow Wiz
    • Users love this creamy brow pencil. It is easy to apply, has excellent staying power, and comes in a wide variety of colors. However, they disliked that the lids end up loose and that the spoolies often break off.
  • Brow Definer
    • This is the thicker version of their eyebrow pencil. Users felt that this pencil is just as easy to apply as the thinner pencil and that you get more product from this pencil vs the thinner option which equals more bang for your buck.
    • It seems that every eyebrow pencil needs a good gel to go with it. Users love how strong this gel is and that it comes in matching shades to the two different eyebrow pencils. One quick sweep is usually all that’s needed to lock the product in place all day. Or, use it without the pencil to color your brows quickly.
  • Clear Brow Gel
    • If you want to lock in your brow without adding any extra pigment on top, this clear version of their brow gel doesn’t budge. However, if I’m being honest, I think the benefit brow gel might be the overall brow gel winner. See it below.
    • Users love this pomade even more than they love this brand’s brow pencils. Especially since it lasts for years compared to the weeks or months that the eyebrow pencils last. There might be a bit of a learning curve to applying it if you’ve only ever used brow pencils, but once you’ve got the hang of it, the application is quick and effortless.
    • Pro tip: if you have a problem with your brow pomades drying out before they’re gone, try storing them upside down.

3. e.l.f.

E.l.f was the third most popular brand I found for eyebrow pencils. While most people felt that it was a slightly lesser quality than both NYX and ABH, they still loved that this was an affordable, high-quality option that they could pick up on a regular shopping trip.

  • Instant Life Brow Pencil
    • Users love that this brow pencil stands up to high-end brands at a fraction of the cost. It also has a nice thick product tip, that fills in their brows super quickly and precisely. They also like that the neutrals on this line feel like true neutrals and don’t pull orange or grey like some other brands.
  • Ultra Precise Brow Pencil
    • This is the thinner version of the e.l.f. instant lift brow pencil. Users say this pencil has the perfect amount of pigmentation and like that, it’s not super soft like other brow pencils. They feel this brow pencil also lasts a long time.
  • WOW Brow Gel
    • Users love that this tinted brow gel has a stronghold, can be applied quickly, and comes in the same shades as the pencil so you can have a gel and pencil that match. They felt that it allowed their eyebrows to look fluffy and full, without being too extreme or leaving brows with a crunchy, pasty feeling.
  • Other mentionable e.l.f. eyebrow products users loved are Bite-Sized Brow, which is a quad with brow waxes and powders, and Lock on Liner and Brow Cream, which is more of a pomade brow product.

4. Benefit

Goof Proof and Gimmie Brow Gel are two products that many of our empowered shoppers can’t seem to live without. Plus, the product names for this brand are on point.

  • Goof Proof
    • I love that this brow pencil is thick and quick to apply and that it stays on forever, even through sweat and water, but still washes off easily.
  • Gimmie Brow Gel
    • This brow gel was insanely popular. Many people who used eyebrow pencils from our top three brands still choose to use Benefit’s brow gel over the gels in the other product lines. The holding power of this product is that good.
    • This product is also a fiber gel, which is a little different from the previous brands and adds a little bit of buildability to your brow hairs through tiny fibers that adhere to your eyebrow hairs.
    • Finally, the brush on this product is amazing. I’m definitely going to give it a try.
  • Other Benefit Products that our users loved include, Ka-Brow, their cream-gel product; Foolproof Brow Powder, a long-lasting brow product for natural-looking brows; and 24-Hour Brow Setter, a holding gel for after everything is applied.

Runners Up for Best Eye Brow Pencil

5. ETUDE Drawing Eye Brow Pencil

This brow pencil is an Asian brand that you may not have heard about yet, but those who have love it. There are no fancy product names here, just a straightforward product whose reviews speak for themselves.

Users love that it goes on quickly and easily, makes great eyebrow strokes, and doesn’t budge until you want it to. Plus, it’s another affordable option.

Get it here. 

6. L’Oreal Paris Makeup Brow Stylist Definer Waterproof Eyebrow Pencil

If you’re looking for a truly waterproof eye pencil, this is it. While several that were mentioned above are said to have great staying power and hold up in the water, this one was formulated specifically for water. So you can be confident that your eyebrows won’t be smearing or washing away during your swim.

This pencil is also affordable and easy to apply.

Get it here.

7. Maybelline

I was surprised by how many people liked Maybelline’s eyebrow pencils. Perhaps I’m bitter after breaking out from one of their foundations years ago, but the glowing reviews for these products soften my heart.

They have two main eyebrow pencils that users love, the Total Temptation Eyebrow Definer Pencil, and the Ultra Slim Defining Eyebrow Pencil. I think it’s also worth mentioning that their tattoo studio line of brow and eye products was incredibly popular as well. This is a very wear-resistant line of eyebrow products that are supposed to stay on so well it’s like a “tattoo” and includes products like eyebrow gels, pomades, tint, and even eyeliner.

8. Shu Uemura Hard 9 Formula Eyebrow Pencil

A hard pencil is something I was not familiar with before this, but a hard pencil is a popular brow tool in Asian countries. They are designed to only release pigment when they come in contact with the natural oils on our brow hairs, but will hardly draw at all if you try to draw on your hand or arm.

Users say that due to this feature, it is very forgiving during application and almost impossible to overdo. It’s buildable and soft for a nice natural look, but you probably would be able to get an opaque look with this product.

This is another hard formula brow pencil. Users love it because it’s a gorgeous natural cool-toned shade that has good lasting power. They also love that these hard pencils last years and years compared to regular eyebrow pencils.

Get it here.

9. Glossier Boy Brow and Brow Flick

Glossier Boy Brow was said to have the best black gel around. Black gels are quite rare and tend to be intense, but the Glossier Boy Brow black is said to be just right.

Brow Flick is popular because it can be used to create a more natural look, but it is also able to be built up if you’re looking for something more dramatic. It’s great for treating natural hair-like results. It also has that nice shade of black that is hard to find.

10. IT Cosmetics Brow Power

The IT Cosmetics Brow Power universal eyebrow pencil is said to stay on all day and have great shades. It’s said to be a little stiffer than other pencils which means it lasts longer. This also means that you can somewhat control the tone of the color by how much pressure you’re applying, to help create supernatural looks.

This eyebrow pencil is also formulated with brow-enhancing ingredients such as biotin, saw palmetto, and antioxidants, so you’re getting a little touch of skin care in with your makeup.

Get it here.

11. Soap and Glory Archery Brow Products

This is a product line I’d never heard of before, but users of it seemed incredibly pleased with it. They love these products for their firm texture, and ability to fill in sparse areas easily.

They also have a two-in-one pencil option that people enjoy, pictured here. With one product you can have a traditional brow pencil as well as a tinted brow pen in the same shade. This saves money and you have the option to do a bolder tinted brow look, a traditional pencil brow look, or a combination of both.

Get it here.

12. Urban Decay Brow Blade and Inked Brow Gel

The Urban Decay brand has a few products worth mentioning:

Their Brow Blade is another great double-sided brow product. One side features a micro pencil and the other a pen-like tint. Users raved about its staying power and ability to create super natural-looking brows. P.S. That staying power is even waterproof.

The Inked Brow Gel was highly recommended for its waterproof, swimming-proof, oil-proof, sweatproof, and allegedly bulletproof staying power. Users said that it has an angled brush and applies like a pomade, but has a thick liquid/gel consistency.

13. Essence Make Me Brow

The Essence line of brow products seems to be popular for more natural looks. Baby Got Brow! is their eyebrow pencil which is said to be long-lasting and waterproof. This is a thicker pencil for quick and easy application.

People also love their Make Me Brow, which is a gel mascara with fibers to help fill in and sculpt your brows. Similar to the Benefit Gimmie Brow, this product is said to be a bit wetter. A pro or a con depending on how you prefer your product. It’s said to be easy to swipe on for a little extra definition and can be used with or without a brow pencil underneath. One person said they’d never pay a premium for brow gel again after trying this brow gel from Essence.

14. Hourglass Arch Pencil & Micro Pencil

Hourglass Arch Pencil has a great shape that allows you to fill in your brows quickly and easily. Their products have also been mentioned as having a good shade of black, which as I mentioned previously, can be hard to find. Users say this pencil lasts them longer than others and that they usually only need two to get through a year. This is a good thing because this brow pencil is on the pricier end of brow products.

They also have a Brow Micro-Sculpting Pencil for those who like a thinner pencil.

Their Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel also got some mentions. Users appreciated the two-sided wand that allowed for more precise and different application techniques.

15. Dior Diorshow Styler Ultra-Fine Precision Brown Pencil

Users loved this pencil due to its very fine point. Users also felt that the color ran a bit cooler, which makes this a great choice for cooler-skinned toned individuals.  It has compact packaging and twists up and down without a cap, which is fantastic if you’re always losing your caps like me. Since the brow pencil is created with the intention of not having a cap, it’ll stay nice and creamy without drying up.

Get it here.

Honorable Mentions for Best Eyebrow Pencil

These are products that got handfuls of mentions each, but not enough to get on the main list. I mean I could’ve, but it would’ve been even more overwhelming than it already is.) So, in no particular order, they are:

If you’re enjoying this article you may also enjoy: Best Clarifying Shampoo: Real Recommendations from Real People

What Is An Eyebrow Pencil?

Eyebrow pencils are a popular and versatile tool in the world of beauty and can be used to create a wide range of eyebrow looks, from natural and subtle to bold and dramatic. They are commonly used to fill in sparse areas of the eyebrows, define their shape, and create a more polished look.

They come in a variety of shades and textures to suit different hair colors and skin tones. Some pencils are also designed to be waterproof, long-lasting, and smudge-proof.

In addition to the strict definition of eyebrow pencils, I believe that “eyebrow pencil” is often used as an overarching word for multiple brow products, such as eyebrow pens, gels, powders, pomades, etc., which are often mixed in when talking about eyebrow pencils. These products offer different levels of coverage and can be applied with a variety of tools, such as brushes, spoolies, and applicators.

If you’re struggling with finding an eyebrow pencil that you love, perhaps you should try a different type of eyebrow makeup product to see if they’re able to get closer to the look you’re going for.

What Makes a Good Eyebrow Pencil

A good eyebrow pencil should have a few key characteristics:

  • First and foremost, it should be easy to use and provide precise application.
  • The texture of the pencil should be smooth and blendable, without being too waxy or too creamy.
  • The color should match your natural eyebrow hair color and be buildable for customized intensity.
  • The pencil should also have good staying power, so it doesn’t smudge or fade throughout the day.
  • Lastly, it should be easy to sharpen and have a long-lasting formula, so you don’t have to constantly repurchase.

If the eyebrow pencil you’re using doesn’t meet all five of these criteria, then that may be a sign that it’s time to try a new one.

What is the Difference Between an Eyebrow Pencil and an Eyebrow Pomade?

An eyebrow pencil is a makeup tool used to fill in and define eyebrows by drawing thin lines that mimic individual hairs. Pencils come in various shades and may have a waxy or creamy consistency.

An eyebrow pomade is a cream or gel product that is applied with a brush and is used to sculpt and define the eyebrows. Pomades are often more pigmented and have a thicker consistency than pencils, allowing for more dramatic looks.

Pencils are generally easier to use and control, making them a good option for beginners, while pomades are great for those who want a more precise and defined look or who have sparse or patchy brows.

How Do I Choose the Right Color of Eyebrow Pencil for My Hair and Skin Tone?

Choosing the right color of eyebrow pencil for your hair and skin tone is essential to achieve a natural and flattering look. Here are some tips to help you choose the right color:

  1. Consider your hair color: Choose an eyebrow pencil that is one to two shades lighter than your hair color if you have dark hair and one to two shades darker than your hair color if you have light hair.
  2. Consider your skin tone: If you have warm-toned skin, choose an eyebrow pencil that has a reddish or golden undertone. If you have cool-toned skin, choose an eyebrow pencil that has an ashy or taupe undertone.
  3. Test the color: Always test the eyebrow pencil on your skin before purchasing. Try swatching the color on your arm or neck to see how it looks against your skin tone and hair color.
  4. Go for a natural look: The goal is to achieve a natural-looking brow, so avoid choosing a color that is too dark or too bold.
  5. Consider the finish: Some eyebrow pencils have a matte finish, while others have a more natural or glossy finish. Choose the finish that best suits your preferences and needs.

By following these tips, you can choose the right color of eyebrow pencil that will complement your hair and skin tone and help you achieve the perfect brow look.

Can I Use an Eyebrow Pencil to Create a Natural-Looking Brow?

Yes, an eyebrow pencil can be used to create a natural-looking brow. To achieve this, it is important to choose a shade that matches your natural brow color and to use light, feathery strokes to fill in any sparse areas. Start at the inner corner of the brow and work outward, following the natural shape of the brow. It is also important to blend the product using a spoolie brush or a clean finger to avoid any harsh lines or clumps.

How Do I Shape My Eyebrows With an Eyebrow Pencil?

To shape your eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil, follow these steps:

  1. Brush your eyebrows: Use a spoolie brush to comb your eyebrows upwards and outwards. This will help you see the natural shape of your eyebrows.
  2. Choose the right color: Select an eyebrow pencil that matches your natural hair color or is one shade lighter.
  3. Begin at the bottom: Start by filling in any sparse areas on the bottom of your eyebrows. Use light, feathery strokes to mimic the look of natural hair.
  4. Work your way up: Once you have filled in the bottom of your eyebrows, use the pencil to fill in any sparse areas on the top of your eyebrows. Again, use light, feathery strokes.
  5. Define the arch: Use the pencil to define the arch of your eyebrow. Make sure the arch is in the right place for your face shape.
  6. Blend: Use the spoolie brush to blend the color and soften any harsh lines.
  7. Set with brow gel: Finish by setting your eyebrows with a clear or tinted brow gel.

Remember to start with a light hand and build up the color gradually. It’s easier to add more color than to remove it if you apply too much.

Can an Eyebrow Pencil Be Used to Fill in Thin or Sparse Eyebrows?

Yes, an eyebrow pencil can be used to fill in thin or sparse eyebrows. When using an eyebrow pencil to fill in eyebrows, start by drawing short, feathery strokes that mimic the look of natural eyebrow hairs. Start by filling in any sparse areas in the center of the brow and work your way outwards.

Be sure to blend the pencil strokes with a spoolie brush or a clean finger to create a natural-looking finish. You can also use a lighter shade of pencil to create small, hair-like strokes at the front of the brow to create a more natural gradient effect.

How Long Does an Eyebrow Pencil Typically Last Before Needing to be Replaced?

The lifespan of an eyebrow pencil depends on how frequently it is used and how much product is used each time. On average, an eyebrow pencil can last between 3-6 months with regular use.

However, it is important to monitor the product’s texture and consistency over time, as an old or dried-out eyebrow pencil may not apply as smoothly or effectively. It is generally recommended to replace an eyebrow pencil once it becomes dry, crumbly, or difficult to apply.

Are There Any Special Techniques for Applying an Eyebrow Pencil to Different Eyebrow Shapes?

Yes, there are different techniques for applying an eyebrow pencil to different eyebrow shapes. Here are some tips:

  1. Thin Eyebrows: If you have thin eyebrows, you can use short, light strokes to fill in any sparse areas. Avoid drawing a straight line as this can look unnatural.
  2. Thick Eyebrows: If you have thick eyebrows, you can use an eyebrow pencil to define the shape of your brows. Use short, feathery strokes to fill in any sparse areas.
  3. Arched Eyebrows: If you have arched eyebrows, use an eyebrow pencil to emphasize the arch. Draw the pencil up and out to create a sharp, defined arch.
  4. Round Eyebrows: If you have round eyebrows, use an eyebrow pencil to elongate the shape of your brows. Draw the pencil outwards to create a more elongated shape.
  5. Straight Eyebrows: If you have straight eyebrows, use an eyebrow pencil to create a slightly arched shape. Draw the pencil upwards towards the outer corner of your eye to create a subtle arch.

Remember to use a light hand when applying an eyebrow pencil, and blend the product using a spoolie brush or your fingertips for a more natural finish.

Should I Use an Eyebrow Pencil With Wax or Gel to Set the Hairs in Place?

Using an eyebrow pencil with wax or gel can help set the hairs in place and keep the eyebrow shape looking defined and neat. This is especially important for those with unruly or thick eyebrow hairs that tend to go in different directions.

The wax or gel can also help the color stay in place for longer times, making it a good choice for those with oily skin or those who sweat a lot. However, those with dry or sensitive skin may want to avoid wax or gel products as they can cause irritation or discomfort.

Ultimately, the choice of using a wax or gel with an eyebrow pencil is a matter of personal preference and depends on individual needs and preferences.

How Can I Prevent My Eyebrow Pencil from Smudging or Rubbing Off During the Day?

There are a few things you can do to help prevent your eyebrow pencil from smudging or rubbing off during the day:

  1. Start with a clean, dry brow area. Make sure your skin is free of oils or moisturizers that could cause your brow pencil to slip and slide.
  2. Choose a long-wear formula. Look for an eyebrow pencil that is specifically designed to be long-wearing or smudge-proof.
  3. Set your brows with a clear gel. Once you’ve filled in your brows, use a clear brow gel to set the hairs in place and help your pencil stay put.
  4. Avoid touching your brows. Try not to touch or rub your eyebrows throughout the day, as this can cause your pencil to smudge or wear off.

Do you have an eyebrow pencil that you love? Share with us in the comments below and help a fellow shopper out!

Happy shopping,

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