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What is an Eyebrow Pencil?

By Jessica Reed
Updated May 21, 2024
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An eyebrow pencil, sometimes referred to as a brow pencil, is shaped like an ordinary pencil and contains makeup instead of lead inside. Makeup artists and users can draw on new eyebrows or enhance their existing eyebrows by applying the makeup to the desired area. The pencil shape makes application easier and faster. Not only is it easy to grip, but the pointed end lets the user control which areas the makeup is applied to.

Some women choose to shave or wax off their eyebrows completely and draw on new ones. They may not like the shape or color of their eyebrows, or they might simply want to try a new shape for fun. Before removing the eyebrows completely, a woman should consider whether or not she wants to take the time to draw them on every morning and maintain the skin while waiting for the hair to grow back. After removing the eyebrows and cleaning the skin, the woman draws the outline of her eyebrows on and fills in the outline with her chosen eyebrow pencil.

Women who don't want to completely remove their eyebrows can darken the color and alter the shape by adding the eyebrow pencil makeup over the existing eyebrows. A woman might create thicker or more arched eyebrows by extending the makeup past the top of the real eyebrow. To darken the eyebrow without changing its shape, she colors in only the existing eyebrow and wipes away any excess makeup.

Interested customers can buy a single eyebrow pencil to test out or spend a little extra on a brow kit. The brow kit typically includes an eyebrow pencil for outlining and defining, tweezers for plucking stray eyebrow hairs, and an eyebrow brush or comb for shaping the eyebrows. When choosing a color for the eyebrow pencil, users should choose a shade that matches their current hair color. A woman with color treated hair should go with the color of her current hair dye, not her natural hair color.

The last consideration when buying an eyebrow pencil is to decide whether a sharp thin pencil or a soft round pencil works the best. Each person will have her own preference. Thinner pencils allow for crisp lines and work well when drawing thin lines in small areas. The rounder pencils help soften harsh lines and work for creating a larger shape. Consider a larger pencil for drawing on the base of the eyebrow and a thinner pencil for adding the details afterward.

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Discussion Comments
By candyquilt — On Aug 15, 2013

Has anyone tried a waterproof eyebrow pencil? Does it work? How long does it last?

I'm going to the beach and I have waterproof foundation and mascara to take with me. I'm trying to decide if I should buy a waterproof eyebrow pencil too. Is it worth it?

By bluedolphin — On Aug 14, 2013

@literally45-- You must have applied too much and did you blend it afterward with an eyebrow wand or brush?

One of the first things I learned about doing eyebrows is that the right technique is very important when using an eyebrow pencil. You're supposed to apply the pencil in short strokes on the sparse areas towards the direction of hair growth. Don't apply much pressure or it will apply too much color. A little goes a long way.

After you have done this, take the brow wand and brush the hairs towards the direction of growth to blend the colors and make it look natural. Most eyebrow pencils come with a wand or brush on the other end for this reason.

Also, make sure that you have the right shade for your eyebrows. I like to use a pencil that's a couple of shades lighter than my eyebrow color because it looks more natural.

Don't worry if you don't get it right immediately. Practice makes perfect.

By literally45 — On Aug 13, 2013

I just drew in my eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil for the first time but it's not looking natural at all. Why?! What am I doing wrong?

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