I’d like to say that I had a particular use for each of the brow products I review below, but honestly, I just like to switch up things daily for variety’s sake. I mean, maybe with certain more smokier eye looks, I prefer a darker and more pronounced brow. In that case, I would use the SANA New Born W Brow EX. Vice versa, when I want a more natural look, I would often use the Shu Uemura Hard Formula eyebrow pencil. All I know is that I love to do my brows and filling them in each morning brings me great joy. It wasn’t always like this though. In fact, I never used to fill in my brows because I assumed that since I was blessed with pretty full brows, I didn’t have to. However, since I have started to shape and fill them, I have really noticed how made-up brows can polish and complete a makeup look.
SANA is a Japanese cosmetics brand I had only known through their skincare. I didn’t know they made makeup till I randomly picked up their New Born W Brow EX eyebrow pencil at my local Japanese beauty store. This product is unique in that it is a 3-in-one eyebrow pencil. The barrel holds a brow powder, brush, and pencil.
The brow pencil lead is an oval shape which is great for precisely shaping your brow. I feel the pencil is as they claimed, not too hard or too soft. Secondly, when you twist the pencil, you will find a brow powder in the middle section of the barrel. It comes with a pointed sponge that grabs the powder inside the pencil every time you twist it open. The powder is perfect for applying on the front on your brow to make it look less harsh. Lastly, the spoolie at the other end works great at smoothing the hairs down and blurring the edges of the brow so it looks more natural.
VERDICT: Honestly, I had no expectations for this product when I bought it. However, I am blown away at how good it is for a drugstore product. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since I love so many drugstore beauty products from Japan. I feel the pencil, powder, and brush really combine well together to create a pigmented, well-defined, but natural brow look. Furthermore, it lasts most of the day with a only a little bit of fading.
KISS New York Eyebrow Stamp
Yes, I tried the infamous eyebrow stamp and I don’t think it is totally that gimmicky once you get the hang of it. This was actually a gift from my sister-in-law who lives in Taiwan. Apparently, she told me it was super popular there. It says New York on the outside of the packaging, but the product has Japanese words on the back. I am guessing this is the Japanese version of the original one from the United States. There are two versions of this brow stamp. One stamp that gives a straighter brow and the other, a more arched brow. I have the arched one in the Dark Brown shade.
So how does it work? Well, there are two brow-shaped stamps, one for each brow, and then when you open up the bottom, there is brow powder. After you stamp the brow powder, you are supposed to somehow stamp it onto your brow accurately and precisely. Sounds totally impossible and it is definitely a bit challenging in the beginning. To be honest, I still miss stamping parts of my brow even today because not everyone’s brow will fit the shape of the stamp. However, after some practice slowing stamping the front of the brow first, and rolling it back from the end, I do end up getting the powder on the whole brow. If the stamp misses your brow, you can sweep the powder away with your fingers or a cotton swab. Then, I usually brush the front section with a spoolie to make it look a bit more natural.
VERDICT: Can you really just stamp and go? Well, you can, but it is not as fast as you might expect. I mean, it can be a bit faster than a brow pencil with some practice. The brow look it gives is pigmented and defined. I wouldn’t say it has the precision of a brow pencil though. The longevity is so-so. It will look pretty good for about 4-6 hours. By the end of an 8 hour work day though, the front and the ends of the brow have mostly disappeared. My other concern is that it is difficult to clean and since the foam stamp is so thin, it might not hold up for long term use.
I have been a longtime user of the classic Shu Uemura eyebrow pencil and probably will always have one in my collection. Other than having to sharpen it, it is probably still my favourite eyebrow pencil. First of all, it just lasts forever compared to other pencils. I have re-sharpened and used my pencil almost daily and it is still going strong after a year. Secondly, you can never go overboard with this pencil because it only magically releases pigmentation when it hits the oils in your eyebrow hairs. Thirdly, it claims to be smudge-proof and long-lasting and I feel it really is. Other than the sharpening hassle, the only reason you might not like this pencil is that the pigmentation is not strong enough for you. If you want “Instagram brows,” this might not be the pencil for you.
VERDICT: What can I say. It is still my favourite after all these years. I will always have one in my back up somewhere in my collection.
What are your favourite brow products? I always searching for new ones to try.