The Answer to My Eyebrow Prayers: Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Stone Gray

Although I've come to accept that my brows will always be sparse and wonky, a part of me will forever be wishing they were naturally full and bushy. Luckily, I've found something that helps me achieve that look by beefing them up in the most natural way possible. Since my brows have garnered quite a bit of positive attention and questions lately, I thought it was only appropriate that I dedicate a post to the one product responsible for all the praise --- Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Stone Gray.
If you recall, I used to use Shiseido Natural Eyebrow Pencil in Natural Black. I even declared it 'the perfect brow pencil for black hair' at the time. (You can read that review here.) While that pencil was a vast improvement from the brow powder I was using prior to that that was far too red and too brown to match my hair, in retrospect, the Shiseido pencil was a bit too grey on me. It's still a fantastic option for black-haired gals, but it's probably more ideal for those with thicker brows that just need a little bit of filling in, so that you still see more of your natural brow color than the pencil. On my sparse brows, it was all grey pencil coming through.

Then, I moved on to the Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil I'm using now. I have it in the shade Stone Gray. It's still quite grey, but slightly more brown than Shiseido's. The color is infinitely more natural on me, I think. I also prefer the formula itself over Shiseido's. It's one of those things where I didn't even realize Shiseido's pencil could be any more perfect until I started using Shu's. The Shu pencil is significantly less waxy, so it holds up much better on my combination skin and has a more matte finish. The formula is 'hard,' as you may be able to tell from the swatch below, and it takes some getting used to. It doesn't glide on (which can often make it a bit too easy to make brows look drawn on), but you're not forced to exert so much pressure to get it to show up either. As a result of the harder texture, it doesn't need to be sharpened very often, meaning one pencil (that's already freakishly long to begin with) will last a very long time.

Here's the Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Stone Grey in action:
Still not sure which grey pencil is ideal for your black hair? I'd say if you have thicker brows and skin that isn't too oily, Shiseido's offering is a great one. Plus, it has a brush on one end. If, on the other hand, you have sparse brows like mine, or you have combination to oily skin and want a pencil that will last all day, go with the Shu Uemura one. Due to my circumstances, I prefer Shu's by far, and I feel it's probably the better pencil overall too.

Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil in Stone Gray is available from their website for $23.

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