The Makeup Face-Off: Pt. 4 – Eyebrow Pencils

Putting the Wow in Them Brows


No two eyebrows are alike–even the two on your face. There is a certain learning curve to this art form, no pun intended. I’ve certainly had my share of meme-worthy brow days. However, I think I’m starting to get a handle on things and when it comes to a quick and natural look, these three products helped me change the way I do my brows on the daily.


Maybelline DEFINE-A-BROW® Eyebrow Pencil (Medium Brown)

  • Price: $7.99-9.99 CAD
  • PROs:
    • Easy to work with and to control; light strokes needed
    • retractable pencil
    • tip is fine enough to taper brows with more precision
  • CONs:
    • no spoolie
    • attached brush does comb brow hairs somewhat, but doesn’t blend out pigment as easily as a spoolie
    • it’s easy to go heavy handed with darker strokes






  • Price: $12.99-$14.99 CAD
  • PROs:
    • two in one product: pencil on one end, spoolie on the other
    • good for quick and natural brow looks
    • retractable pencil
  • CONs:
    • waxy texture of pencil can be hard to work with when going back over the same area twice; it sticks to the hairs and you have to work at it to get the pigment down on the skin beneath
    • pencil cap doesn’t click shut (as quickly as second use) and has been loose ever since




  • Price: $8.99-9.99 CAD
  • Note: Clickable link is the name of the product as found on the Canadian website. Different regions market it under different names and shades vary. Here in B.C. it’s sold as Brow Satin.
  • PROs:
    • retractable pencil on one end, powder w/ applicator on other end
    • pencil is relatively easy to work with
  • CONs:
    • no spoolie or brush to help blend; powder fills but there’s no way to smooth pigment out or soften the tone


I have used powders in the past with an angled brush to apply the pigment. Until I master the technique on how to downplay the effect (i.e. avoiding any meme-level brow intensity), I prefer how natural my brows look using pencils. I currently have other brow products that I will test once these are used up. I’ll do comparisons when I’ve had a chance to play with them more.

As for these three contenders. I listed them in the order of my faves based on the pencil itself. Each shade is slightly different than the other but they all work with my skin tone and hair.

If DEFINE-A-BROW® came out with the same formulation but switched out the comb for a spoolie, I’d be all set. As it happens, I’m always carrying two out of three of these products in my kit because of the spoolie. If I’m in super low-key mode, I’ll just use the NYX by itself. The waxy texture takes some getting used to. Also, my #1 pick was the cheapest of the three and you can’t go wrong with that.

Still, I would repurchase the NYX, if needed. The spoolie is definitely an added bonus. It is necessary to clean the spoolie once in a while to get rid of product build up. They say it’s a dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz which sells at $27.00 CAD. Since I have no basis for comparison and I’m satisfied with NYX at its price point, there’s no need for me to make that splurge.

I wouldn’t repurchase the Brow Satin only because there are better products and product combos out there. While there was nothing inherently wrong with the product, the lack of spoolie makes me reach for other products before this one. The pencil isn’t as finely pointed as its fellow brand mate. Maybelline is all over the place with their products. I think the only item from Maybelline that has been consistently bringing it for me is the Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation that I reviewed previously.

Next week, we’re on to lashes!

Until next time…







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