Beauty | Eyebrow Pencils… Let’s Talk Shades


If you’ve read my Revitabrow post on growing out 90’s style or generally over-plucked eyebrows, you’ll know about finding that elusive brow pencil with the perfect shade to match your natural colour.

Now, we all know perfection doesn’t exist but we still search tirelessly for it –  we’ve all been there, trawling around the makeup counters/aisles with a rash of tiny hair-strokes drawn onto the back of one hand in every conceivable shade. Trying different brands – too warm, too blonde, too soft, too waxy, too hard and finally, too powdery.

My natural brow/ hair colour is on the ash side with minimal warm tones, if any, so it’s hard to find the right shade. I’ve tried many across the years, found one I like and then suddenly the brand decides to turn the good old-fashioned pencil (you know, the type you can actually sharpen with a sharpener) to one of those annoying “stay sharp types” which don’t stay sharp at all. Trimming the end off with scissors for each use isn’t the most economical.

There is one though – my all-time favourite brand and hero brow pencil Boots No7 Brow Definer in ‘Brown’ which I talked about in my Daily Essentials post.

No7 Claim: Beautiful Eye Brow sculpting pencil has an angled tip making it ideal for sculpting and defining your brows. At the other end is a fibre brush, meaning you can comb and style your brows for a perfectly groomed finish. available in 4 shades.

It’s definitely ashier than others, not perfect but the closest so far. It started life as a traditional pencil design but has now fallen prey to the current trend which leaves me cutting bits off each time I use it in an attempt to have a sharp end. All I want to do is fill in my brows with natural looking hair strokes after all.


Benefit Precisely My Brow: 03 Medium

Benefit claim: Oh my wow… Precise and defined Eyebrows. This ultra-fine pencil draws incredibly natural hair-like stokes that last 12 budge proof hours. A few strokes of this rich but blendable colour will transform brows from shapeless and undefined to filled and defined.

Released fairly recently last year when Benefit updated their entire brow range. I tried it and at first liked the ultra-slim pencil but eventually, I found the formula too hard/waxy and yes had to trim the end with scissors to keep it sharp. The colour was almost okay too. However, I do still use this from time to time so it’s not a definite no, no. Available in 5 shades: 01 Light 02 Light 03 Medium 04 Medium and 05 Deep.

Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Colour Natural Brow Pencil In Brownette

Elizabeth Arden Claim: Creating ultra fine hair-like strokes to fill in, shape and define brows for a long-lasting look. Includes grooming brush that shapes and blends for full natural looking brows. Infused with unique skin care ingredients, including mineral pigments, silk powders and vitamins C and E. Brow pencil helps define brows with the natural look of a powder with the convenience and precision of a twist-up pencil. whether you’re filling in sparse over-tweezed brows or creating a bold and dramatic arch the Beautiful colour Natural Eye Brow pencil shade range was specially developed to work seamlessly with all hair colours. Delivering long-lasting, waterproof colour that won’t transfer or fade. fragrance-free, paraben free, oil free. Comes in four shades: Brownette, Honey Blonde, Natural Beige and Natural in Black.

I liked this one, again not perfect, but close. I repurchased it twice, maybe three times but alas got fed up with trimming the end and just went through it so quickly If it’s blunt then that defeats the object of having an ultra slim lead. I did, however, like the formula and that I could create ultra fine hair strokes (on the very first use and then after trimming) Sorry, no photo as I’ve not repurchased this one lately. I’ve not completely given up on it though.

Gosh Eyebrow Pencil Grey/Brown

Gosh claim Two-way pencil plus brush powder offers a soft powdery application with a nice natural colour pay – off. It’s long-lasting and stays put. Filling and shaping the brows. Perfume free.

This pencil does indeed have a powdery texture and is possibly a little too ashy/muddy for me, I used it a few times but after having caught sight of my brows outside in the daylight.  I’ve not really used it since but If you’re very ashy and you like a powdery formula then try this one, it’s very similar to Dior ‘Sourcils Poudre’ Powder Pencil. This used to be a favourite of mine also but the formula changed along the way and I started to find it just too powdery and so moved on. Available in Grey/brown, Brown and Soft Black

Do you struggle to find the right eyebrow pencil?

2018 update: I tend to choose cruelty-free, ethical makeup brands nowadays – read about some of my favourites.

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  1. February 9, 2017 / 12:26 am

    This post is so useful, I totally understand having eyebrows on the ‘ash’ side, and I lot of brown brow products are often dont hit the mark- im definitely going to try the No7 now. great post 🙂 x

    Sophie |

    • Samantha
      February 9, 2017 / 7:44 am

      So glad you found it useful. Yes try the No7 and hopefully it will work for you too!
      Thanks for reading! 💋

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