Hello from the Project Vanity team! Thanks for dropping by.

The Battle of the Eyebrow Pencils: Which brand wins?

The Battle of the Eyebrow Pencils: Which brand wins?

In the last ten years, the most significant change we’ve witnessed in the beauty world is the evolution of our brows. Gone were the days when lipstick reigned supreme in our beauty kits! If we were made to choose just one makeup item to grab in a fire, most of us would undoubtedly pick our brow makeup. Now there are different kinds of eyebrow products to choose from but I personally favor the versatility of the brow pencil. You can easily score a decent one for less than P200 but if you want to know which one will give you the best kilay of your life, my month-long brow showdown reveals the answer!

I pitted seven brow pencils against each other and wore them the whole day for three to five days each. My lucky seven consisted of the following:

We did not include Korean eyebrow pencils here because that will need a whole other post on its own (let us know if you want it)!

Bare brows

Bare brows

These are my bare eyebrows for reference. With a clear brow mascara, I’m normally good to go on minimal makeup days, thanks to my semi-permanent brow tattoo. They look too light when I put a full face on, though, so I still need a little help in making them look lush and filled out.

Maybelline (1), MAC (2), Eye of Horus (5), and Benefit (7) all have slim rounded tips of the same size. K-Palette’s (3) is just a tad bit bigger while Ever Bilena (6) is about twice as wide. All pencils come in a twist up form with exception of Flormar (4), which needs sharpening.    

The Benefit, Eye of Horus, K-Palette, and Maybelline pencils each come with a spoolie. The Eye of Horus (2nd in photo) particularly deserves special praise for the slim tapering spoolie that’s firm yet gentle at the same time! The Flormar comes with a brow brush (3rd in photo), while Ever Bilena and MAC skipped the blending tool completely.

From left: Benefit, Ever Bilena, Eye of Horus, Flormar, K-Palette, Mac, Maybelline

From left: Benefit, Ever Bilena, Eye of Horus, Flormar, K-Palette, Mac, Maybelline

Here are the swatches! I drew a straight line with each pencil and added small strokes using light to heavy pressure to show how well you can control the pigmentation. Ever Bilena is undoubtedly the most pigmented, while K-Palette looks the most natural.

Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil (P1,400)
Shades: 01 and 02 light, 03 and 04 medium, 05 and 06 deep / Available in Benefit stores, or online through Sephora.ph

The Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil is the priciest one of the bunch. I feel this is the best in terms of creaminess to hardness ratio, because it blends without completely smudging the brush strokes I’ve applied to resemble hair. The slim pencil makes it easy to draw hair-like marks but also takes longer to use on sparse brows with lots of bare areas. The wide shade selection also guarantees that you’ll find a perfect match for your hair.

Ever Bilena Brow Matic Liner (P180)
Shades: Earth (terracotta brown) and Midnight (black) / Available at Ever Bilena counters 

If you want something quick and easy, Ever Bilena’s Brow Matic Liner will allow you just that because it’s a chubbier pencil. This is the creamiest and most pigmented of the pencils I tried for this challenge, and it was easy to glide on and blend. It’s an ideal product for people who like the Instagram brow as you can build it up to look as strong as you like. You will need to have a separate spoolie and maybe apply some concealer to cleanup the edges and achieve better definition. If your hair color is more ash brown or even black, the shade Earth may be too red for your liking.

Eye of Horus Brow Define (P950)
Shades: Husk (light ash blonde), Dynasty (medium cocoa brown), and Nile (medium dark taupe) / Available online through Glamourbox.ph

I find that this Eye of Horus product stays true to its name as it gives such a nice soft focus definition for clean, naturally lush-looking brows! It’s a hard pencil that’s best for mimicking individual brow hairs as the pigmentation is on the lighter side. That same soft pigmentation lends to that natural, almost undetectable brow to match light eye makeup that don’t need strong framing.

Flormar Brow Pencil (P249)
Shades: 401 Gray, 402 Brown, 403 Taupe, 404 Black / Available at Flormar counters in department stores

Another pencil featuring a creamy formula, the Flormar pencil feels a lot like a toned down EB Brow Matic Liner in terms of pigmentation. Though I’m used to blending with a spoolie, the brow brush included actually worked better for blending since it gave me better control over the product. It’s very easy to blend but definition can be hard to achieve unless you sharpen the tip every so often.

K-Palette 1Day Tattoo Lasting 3Way Eyebrow Pencil (P795)
Shades: Grayish Brown, Light Brown, Mocha Brown, and Natural Brown / Available at Beauty Bar

Out of all the pencils I’ve tried, the K-Palette pencil is the lightest in terms of pigmentation. It’s best for people who want soft-looking eyebrows that look like your own brows but better (BBB?). This is the most beginner-friendly pencil IMO because it still looks natural even when you use a heavy hand. On the flip side, it may look too light for a full glam look, unless you layer it with other products. To keep it fair, I only used the pencil side for this challenge but it also comes with a matching brow powder! You can use the pencil to create the shape and draw the hairs, and the powder to fill in all the other the gaps and blend everything together.  

MAC Automatic Eyebrow Pencil (P900)
Shades: Brunette, Fling, Lingering, Spiked, Strut, and Stud / Available at MAC stores

This is Queen Pia Wurtzbach’s weapon of choice for Miss Universe-worthy brows. Out of all the slim tip pencils, this one is the creamiest and most pigmented, so you can go as glam or natural based on how you use it. You wanna be careful with blending this one out because the creaminess can turn messy real quick! This is also non-retractable, so don’t make the mistake of twisting it all up to check how much product you get!

Maybelline Fashion Brow (P359)
Shades: Gray and Brown
Available through Maybelline counters in department stores

If you can’t justify splurging on the K-Palette just yet, I find that the Maybelline Fashion Brow is a pretty close dupe! This is my fave from the drugstore because of how easily I can achieve a natural-looking brow with this pencil. It’s true what they say on the ads: that you can’t mess this up. One caveat though – it's brittle and breaks easily! Make sure you dispense just about a 1-2mm long tip so you don’t end up wasting product that has fallen off.

Verdict: Overall, I can’t complain about the wear time that I got from any of these products. Even on my oily skin, they managed to stay fresh and plakado until I took them off (usually about eight to ten hours of wear). I find it hard to pick faves though, because I realized that sometimes you need different products to achieve different looks.

If I absolutely need to pick just one, I would have to go with the Benefit Precisely, My Brow Pencil. It has the perfect balance of creaminess and hardness, so I can use this to create a wide range of different brow looks! Blending the pencil in won’t make it look like you coated your brow with powder. I take my sweet time drawing my brow hair in strokes and I like how I get to retain that definition with Benefit, even after blending. If only the price was more friendly, this would be my everyday go-to!

So let me know, which one of these brows were your favorite? Did your HG brow pencil make the cut?

Bye, Oily Scalp: The awesomeness that is the Yves Rocher Rinsing Vinegar

Bye, Oily Scalp: The awesomeness that is the Yves Rocher Rinsing Vinegar

Staff Picks: The best kiss-proof lippies

Staff Picks: The best kiss-proof lippies