After testing out a whole lot of brow pencils over the past two months, I bring you the long awaited (kidding) Battle of the Brows Roundup of my likes, dislikes and favorites. To recap, after Anastasia Beverly Hills released their new Brow Definer with its slanted triangular tip, I was really interested in trying it out. But as I researched (aka browsed Sephora’s website), I discovered a whole world of similar pencils – many of which have been around long before the Anastasia version. So I ended up purchasing four (plus one that I mistakenly thought was of the same design but actually wasn’t) that I’ve put to test over the past month and a half. This battle is: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer vs Lashfood Browfood Eco Precision 2-Tone Brow Pencil vs Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil vs Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer vs Surratt Beauty Expressioniste Brow Pencil.
Because my eyebrow hairs, like the hair on my head, are black, I purchased the darkest shades within each brand’s range. Some people with darker hair prefer their eyebrows to be lighter but I like mine to be a little closer to their natural color. Not jet black, mind you, but a black-brown shade. Anyway, let’s get into it.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer is offered in ten shades. The darkest is Ebony, which is a neutral black-brown but there are three other dark shades (Dark Brown, Chocolate and Granite) for those interested in a more toned down look.
The Lashfood Browfood Eco Precision 2-Tone Brow Pencil is available in three shades. The darkest is Dark Brunette which is medium to deep warm brown.
The Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil is available in nine shades. The darkest is Natural Black, which is accurately described by Hourglass as a darkest brown to black. I also think it leans a little cooler. I did consider trying out Ash which is described as a gray/dark brown with cool undertones. Maybe next time.
The Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer is available in five shades. The darkest shade is Ebony which is a cool toned almost black brown.
The Surratt Beauty which Expressioniste Brow Pencil is available in four shades. The darkest shade is Raven which is a neutral toned brown-black.
Here are the five brow pencils swatched side by side.
To make things fun, I’ve also calculated the cost per ounce of each pencil. It’s pretty scary when you break it down this way!
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer contains 0.007 oz of product and retails for $23.00 USD. Cost is $3,285.71 per ounce.
The Lashfood Browfood Eco Precision 2-Tone Brow Pencil (refillable) contains 0.014 oz and retails for $24.00 USD. However, when you purchase the pencil it comes with an additional refill so you actually get 0.028 oz, twice the product making the cost $857.15 per per ounce. Additional refills are $12.00 USD (cost is $1,714.29 per ounce).
The Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil contains 0.014 oz and retails for $32.00 USD. Cost is $2,285.71 per ounce.
The Burberry Effortless Eyebrow Definer contains 0.009 oz of product and retails for $33.00 USD. Cost is $3,666.67 per ounce.
The Surratt Beauty which Expressioniste Brow Pencil (refillable) contains 0.003 oz of product and retails for $40.00 USD. The two components are sold separately with the “rechargeable” holder retailing for $25.00 USD and the cartridge for $15.00 USD. Initial cost is $13,333.33 per ounce but refills are $5,000.00 per ounce.
Based on the numbers, the Lashfood Eco Precision is the most economical choice while the Surratt Expressioniste is the quite pricey for the amount of product you get.
To put these numbers in perspective I’ve twisted all of the retractable brow pencils to their full length:
I’d used each pencil about three times when I took this photo. Even though the Burberry pencil is listed as having less product than the Hourglass, based on appearances, it would seem that you get almost the same amount in the two brow pencils. However, I think it’s because the Hourglass pencil is thicker and the barrel which contains the product is longer.
Incidentally, the two brow pencils that are on opposite ends of the price spectrum are also the two that are most environmentally friendly in the sense that the are refillable.
The most obvious difference, besides the price, is that the two pencils have completely difference designs (fine point vs. slanted tip), so I’m not going to compare performance.
In terms of function (how well the mechanism works) I’m going to be honest and say that I much prefer Surratt’s packaging. The Lashfood pencil feels somewhat flimsy while the Surratt pencil is made of a heavier material, making it more sturdy. Also, the actual brow product in my Lashfood pencil has come loose and sometimes pops out of the cartridge. I should note, however, that Lashfood claims that the materials it uses for the packaging are eco-friendly which may account for the light-weight feel.
You would think that a spooly is simple thing that wouldn’t have that much variation but, as you can see, none of the five brow pencils have the same one.
Notwithstanding their different shapes/designs, all of them pretty much work the same way. The Anastasia, Burberry and Surratt spoolys are the most stiff. It doesn’t make that much of a difference when it comes to my follically challenged pair, but I can imagine that those with thicker brows appreciate a firmer spooly to comb through the hairs. The Hourglass spooly is slightly softer and the Lashfood is the softest.
These triangular tip shaped brow pencils are designed to allow one to fill in brows quickly while still being precise. Ideally, one would use the thinnest point of the triangle to draw in individual hairs while filling in/darkening larger areas (arch and tail) with the wider end. The ABH tip broke right away so I couldn’t test this method. The Lashfood pencil doesn’t actually have a fine point. I did try this method with the Burberry and Hourglass. While it did work (somewhat), in my experience, you won’t get the same precision as you would with a traditional fine point tip. However, you can still achieve some pretty decent looking brows with all of these pencils. And you can cut some seconds off your routine because they cover a larger area of the brow.
After testing for well over a month, I feel that wear-time/lasting power is pretty even across the board give or take an hour or two. The Hourglass/Burberry pencils probably wear the longest (9-10 hours) while the Surratt/Lashfood fade a bit quicker (7-8 hours). The Anastasia Brow Definer is somewhere in the middle.
In terms of pigment, the Burberry, Hourglass, and ABH pencils are the most pigmented (perhaps because they are also the darkest). Surratt is somewhere in the middle while the Lashfood is least pigmented probably because it seems to have the highest wax content. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the wax helps the product to cling. That being said, the Burberry and Hourglass brow pencils cling just as well but don’t feel as waxy. Texture-wise, the ABH pencil is a little too too creamy making it somewhat soft and delicate (the tip broke before the first use).
Here on the five pencils applied. Bear in mind I have (as a result of genetics not over plucking) thin, sparse brows.
What I Think is the Best…
Color Match: Hourglass, Anastasia and Surratt Beauty. These three look best on me, I think. The Burberry pencil is a touch too black and the Lashfood not dark enough and much too warm.
Performance: All five pencils perform well once they are on the brows, but I think Hourglass edges ahead of others just a bit in terms of wear time.
Ease of Use: Lashfood. Because it’s less pigmented and more waxy than the others, the Lashfood pencil is easier to use and more fool-proof.
Precision: I could say the Surratt Beauty but that wouldn’t be fair because the shape (fine point) is designed specifically for precision while the other pencils in this review have a completely different design. Of the triangular shaped pencils, I found the Hourglass and Burberry to be the most precise.
Value for Money: Lashfood and Hourglass. The Lashfood Eco-Precision is the most obvious choice, you get the most product for your money. But I included the Hourglass pencil because, as higher-end pencils go (which all of these are), it isn’t bad plus there is a wider shade selection than the Lashfood. The Hourglass Arch Brow actually cheaper than the ABH when you compare cost per ounce.
So there you have it. I tried to summarized my thoughts without making the post too long or repeating too much of what I talked about when I reviewed them seperately.
If you’re interested in my individual reviews of each of the brow pencils you can check them out here:
Which one do you like best? What are some of your favorite brow pencils and/or products?
The product(s) mentioned were purchased with the author’s own money. The thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s alone. No Affiliate Links. For more information see Disclaimer here.