A brow pencil comparison (Review and swatches)

If there’s one thing I obsess over, it’s got to be brows.

From day one I have been on a quest to find the perfect brow grooming routine. Many products have come into my life, and many have faded away due to new and exciting finds. And today, i’m here to share a little round up on some of the pencils that I enjoyed throughout.

As you would have noticed I prefer a rather groomed look over natural brows. Obviously not groomed to the point where every brow hair is physically drawn in and look like it was a set of painted on brows. But I do like to keep things neat.

Here’s my brow arsenal.

Borw pencils Chanel Tom ford Anastasia Kate cosmetics

I have already done a review on this fabulous Guerlain brow palette a while back. It’s my holy grail. (to read more on that, click here)

So today is about pencils. As you may have guessed, you need to try out a bunch before you find ‘the one’. And I’ve had my fair share. These are just the products that really stood out, one way or the other.

Brow pencils chanel tomford anastasia kate

Let’s start with a look at the various drawing tips. (L to R- Kate, Anastasia, Chanel, Tom Ford)

Brow pencil tips

My favourite type so far has been the ultra thin pointed tip. I also love retractables for their ease and because they don’t require sharpening; in turn, no product is wasted.

Two that fit the description are the ones by Anastasia and Kate Cosmetics.

The Anastasia was my most recent acquisition. I had already a brow pencil that I really liked, but I just had to try out this much raved about pencil to satisfy my curiosity and I must say it’s one of the better ones I have tried. The fine tip allows for a very precise outline. And I am a fan of having my lower brow edge super neat. And this get’s the job done.

The Kate Cosmetics pencil tip is very similar to Anastasia. I love that it’s an easy twist up barrel. And the nib lies safe within it. And this retails at half the price as it’s a drugstore brand (in Asia). Mine has been with me for quite some time and is nearing it’s end. Less than 2mm of product to go! And I am thrilled cos it’s the first brow product that I can officially say I finished!

The Chanel brow definer is your standard brow pencil that needs sharpening. Of course you can sharpen it to the finest possible tip, but every time you do so, product is wasted. And when it comes to luxury products, we do ‘feel the pinch’ so to speak when the product runs out fast.

One pencil with a unique tip is this one by Tom Ford. He really likes to do things differently for sure. The wide tip actually has quite a thin drawing edge and allows for a very neat pencil stroke. I find it’s an innovation that mimics the Shu Uemura brow definer tip (which I have also tried) but without the hassle of sharpening it with a blade! This too requires regular sharpening though and comes with a built in sharpener, but it’s a very easy process.


All but one of the 4 pencils shown here come with a spooly end which is essential for brow grooming and is used to brush out any harsh lines that may have been drawn, to soften and blend the pencil strokes.
I think it’s great when company’s add a spooly to the other end as it makes it more travel friendly and one less brush to pack, if you know what I mean.

So Finally let’s get down to a direct comparison of product. As you probably already know. Brow pencils don’t quite work like eye pencils and don’t draw well (if at all) on the back of your hand. They magically only seem to draw on your brows!
But I managed to get a faint but clear swatch for you.

Brow pencil swatches

The Kate eyebrow pencil is somewhat of a slightly warm to neutral brown (I use BR03) . It’s a very good balance of dry but easy application. Not soo soft that it draws very pigmented lines and not too hard that it irritates your brows as it’s used ( Shu Uemura hard formula, i’m looking at you!). This one is actually my favourite from the lot. And creates a very natural brow look with ease.

The Anastasia Brow Wiz is a softer formula. And a little more product is applied per stroke compared to the Kate. And if you haven’t chosen a lighter or an exact match for your brow colour, you could end up with a very harsh looking brow if you aren’t careful.
I am not entirely sure what shade I have, as the markings/logo on this pencil got erased off within two to three weeks of use.(Sad thing, as it’s not exactly a cheap product). And I am someone who likes to keep all my makeup in pristine condition! And the logo rubbing off so soon was a bit of a downer.

The Chanel eyebrow pencil is what I used to groom my brows for the longest time. It was a very user friendly formula. The consistency is similar to the Anastasia and I keep this to use on days where I want a ‘statement brow’ as I feel the consistency and the ‘slightly too dark’ shade I have is perfect for this. The final result of this pencil was nice, but I still prefer one with a slightly harder formula.

Lastly, the Tom Ford Brow sculptor. If you are one for soft natural brows, then this is ideal. You can never go overboard with this one unless you pick a shade too dark. It’s easy to use and I find that with regular sharpening it gives a nice clean stroke and the formula is not too hard or too soft, just perfect. Also worth noting, these pencils have a lot more grey in them which aid in mimicking the colour of nautral brows.

So a quick price comparison, listed from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Kate Cosmetics, Anastasia, Chanel and of course lastly Tom Ford.

What’s interesting is that my favourite brow look which is a combination of groomed but soft is best achieved with the Kate Cosmetics pencil. I always use it to fill in any gaps in my brow and outline the lower brow edge, then fill it in a bit more with my Guerlain brow palatte.
Here’s a brow look I did using just my Kate pencil. My HG brow pencil if you may. For the pic, I defined my brows more than I normally would.

brow look

So as you can see. Great products can be found at all price points. And I am happy that mine is less than $15.
The Tom ford would be my next best option, but I prefer a thin nib, so that’s why it didn’t quite work out for my needs.

Lastly, I hope this post was useful and it helps you in some way if you are on the look out for a new brow pencil.
Thank you for dropping by, and please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions regarding this post ☺

7 thoughts on “A brow pencil comparison (Review and swatches)

  1. I just own the Anastasia one and didn’t try it yet. I find that I don’t reach much for eyebrow eyeshadows nor gel formats. Instead pencils are so handy! I’m finishing two Benefit ones, next I may start my Anastasia or Hourglass ones. Since I only have experience with the Benefit pencils, I just know so far that I don’t like that they are so thick and creamy…I get product on my brows so they get so waxy, I dislike this feeling. This is why I have high expectations on the Anastasia one.

  2. I love KATE 🙂 thank you so much my dear-this pencil is sooooo awesome ❤
    and I love MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme so much 🙂

  3. you and your ever so perfected eyebrows.. 🙂 I love my Tom Ford Brow Sculptor.. But I have equally been loving the Kate one too lately!! Always getting me onto new things 🙂 Brows are so important.. they can really make or break the … face!? LOL!

    1. I am so happy to hear that! I love the Kate as well… always so precise! And It’s so tiny I can travel with it too! That Tom ford one is nice too.. But the SIZE!!!!! Hahahahaha

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