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Splurge vs. Save: Eyebrow Pencils


The eyebrows are the most neglected part of a woman’s face.  Sure, you pluck them and tweeze them and wax them, but when it comes to makeup application, most women are running around with bare brows.  Quelle horreur.

Filling in your brows is one of the simplest ways to sharpen your face shape and make your eyes stand out.  Undefined brows are like a photo without a frame, positively unfinished.

ybf Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe ($12). I discovered this little beauty in my first Birchbox and I have been in love with it ever since.  

The feather-thin pencil tip is perfect for filling in brows without looking like you’ve drawn them on with crayon.  The pencil also has a built in brush to help tame unruly brows and comb everything else perfectly in place.  And the formula isn’t too heavy, so the product can be removed with your regular face wipes or makeup remover.

The other thing that I like about this product is that it blends in with the majority of hair colors on the bell curve.  I’ve gifted this product to blondes and dark-dark brunettes and it blended in to suit their individual shades.  So when it says Universal Taupe, it means it.

Maybelline Define-a-Brow Pencil ($6). I purchased this product a few months back when I forgot my ybf pencil while packing for a trip.  Given that it had a comb at the end and a thin tip, I thought that it would be a good substitute.  It wasn’t.

Like most discount eyebrow pencils, the formula was waxy like a 10,000 yr old mummy.  No matter how feathery my strokes, it seemed to gum up on the brows and give them a heavy, painted on look.  And when it came time to remove the product, I basically had to chisel it off.  So not only did I remove the product, I removed half of my eyebrows with it.  

And best of all? The product clogged the heck out of pores.  Even with just two days use, I ended up with acne in my brows, a hell that I would not wish on anyone.

The Verdict: In this case, I say splurge.  The ybf pencil has foolproof application and a great formulation.  And while it may be a splurge compared to the drugstore brand, it’s still cheaper than beauty counter brands that run into the $25 range.  

One word of caution though, it is currently only available through Ulta online and Birchbox.  So if you go to the store looking for it, you won’t find it.


    leave a comment

  1. ADL says:

    I love my ybf eyebrow pencil. It's totally worth it.

    April 9, 2012/Reply
  2. Lindsey says:

    I haven't tried the ybf pencil, but I have been using the benefit Instant Brow for about 2 years now. I did try the Maybelline version and HATED it. The benefit pencil is about $18-$20 if I remember correctly, but it's amazing!

    April 9, 2012/Reply
  3. mlcosby says:

    I completely agree with you. Finishing off your face by paying attention to your eyebrows is a MUST! my sister and I have been dedicated to the cause for a few years now, and have tried bobby brown, MAC, and NYC products…truth be told, my NYC 1.99 or there abouts pencil has been my fav (or at least is the one I use while my MAC brow liner is sitting by unused in surplus drawer)…though, prior to my adherence to the eye brow religion, I worked at Clinique and even then loved their brow pencil, but I havent tried it recently

    April 9, 2012/Reply
  4. XF says:

    I second the Benefit brow pencil suggestion. It is my holy grail and will be pried from my cold, dead hands.

    April 9, 2012/Reply
  5. LM says:

    I've been using the ybf brow pencil since in was under the Models Prefer brand and I've never found anything that works as well, is portable, and lasts as long. I'm a girl who pays a lot of attention to her brows and it's worth every penny.

    April 9, 2012/Reply
  6. SJ says:

    As a fair-skinned blonde, I've been using a brow pencil for years and I have to admit that Rimmel makes a great one. I use the brow pencil in Hazel and just recently had a friend I was vacation with comment that she never knew I used it because my brows looked so natural. So if you're looking for another cheap, drug store option, I recommend Rimmel!

    April 9, 2012/Reply
  7. Grace says:

    I'm a big fan of the 15 dollar pencil from Origins. I have the blonde one

    April 9, 2012/Reply
  8. J says:

    Stila! But $21 and doesn't last that long. Other than that it is just perfect!

    April 10, 2012/Reply
  9. stacy says:

    I just recently started using some of the ybf products…LOVE the eyebrow pencil! You can get it on hsn.com

    April 12, 2012/Reply