Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best eyebrow pencils. We then chose the 22 most popular products and tested them.
We focused on three things: how the finish looked, its durability, and how easy it was to use. We then compiled everything we learned into a buying guide about and list of the best Japanese eyebrow pencils available online.
We picked out 22 of the most popular products and tested them for the following: how the finish looked, how well it held up throughout the course of the day, and how easy it was to use.
Then, based on how they performed on our tests, we graded and ranked the top 22 Japanese eyebrow pencils available online.
※Japanese prices for some of the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
BR600 Light Brown
|Japanese||資生堂 マキアージュ ラスティングフォギーブロウEX|
|Color variation||2 shades (Dark Brown, Light Brown)|
|Lead shape||Round and thin|
|Ease of use||2.1|
03 Natural Brown
|Japanese||ダイソー UR GLAM アイブロウ ペンシル|
|Color variation||6 shades (Light Brown, Ash Brown, Natural Brown, Burgundy Brown, Dark Brown, Black)|
|Lead shape||Very thin (1.5 mm)|
|Ease of use||4.2|
03 Natural Brown
|Color variation||3 shades (Olive Brown, Natural Brown, Deep Brown)|
|Lead shape||Super slim (0.9 mm)|
|Ease of use||3.4|
BR660 Chocolate Brown
|Japanese||資生堂 マジョリカマジョルカ ブローカスタマイズ|
|Color variation||3 shades (Chocolate Brown, Ash Brown, Honey Gold)|
|Ease of use||3.6|
PD01 Natural Brown
|Japanese||常盤薬品工業 エクセル パウダー&ペンシル アイブロウEX|
|Color variation||8 shades (Natural Brown, Honey Brown, Caramel Brown, Pink Brown, Grayish Brown, Apricot Brown, Mocha Brown, Ash Gray)|
|Ease of use||2.9|
|Japanese||コーセー ヴィセ アイブロウペンシルS|
|Color variation||6 shades (Brown, Gray, Dark Brown, Ash Brown, Pinkish Brown, Light Brown)|
|Lead shape||Very thin (1.5 mm)|
|Ease of use||3.0|
02 Seal Brown
|Japanese||日本ロレアル シュウウエムラ ハード フォーミュラ ハード9|
|Color variation||10 shades (Sound Black, Stone Gray, Brown, Acorn, Walnut Brown, Oak Brown, Burgundy, Warm Taupe, Chalk Beige, Seal Brown)|
|Ease of use||1.6|
|Japanese||資生堂 インテグレート アイブローペンシルＮ|
|Color variation||4 shades (Black, Dark Brown, Brown, Gray)|
|Lead shape||Round and thin|
|Ease of use||2.5|
|Japanese||マッシュビューティーラボ セルヴォーク インディケイト アイブロウペンシル|
|Amount||around 10 grams|
|Color variation||3 shades (Brown, Pink Brown, Mauve Brown)|
|Lead shape||Very thin|
|Ease of use||3.5|
|Japanese||ちふれ化粧品 アイブロー ペンシル くり出し式|
|Color variation||3 shades (Light Brown, Brown, Gray)|
|Ease of use||2.3|
|Color variation||2 shades (Natural Brown, Ash Brown)|
|Ease of use||3.1|
Mash Beauty Lab
Maquillage Lasting Foggy Brow EX
UR GLAM Eyebrow Pencil
Super Slim Eyebrow
Majolica Majorca Brow Customize
Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow
Visee Eyebrow Pencil S
shu uemura Hard 9 Formula Eyebrow Pencil
Integrate Eyebrow Pencil N
Celvoke Integrate Eyebrow Pencil
Eyebrow Pencil Twist Type
Mineral Designing Eyebrow
|Features||The Very Best Japanese Eyeb...||The Eyebrow Pencil with the...||The Most Realistic-looking ...||The Most Versatile Eyebrow ...||The Best Eyebrow Pencil wit...||A Great Eyebrow Pencil for ...||A Great Eyebrow Pencil for ...||The Best Eyebrow Pencil for...||The Most Durable Eyebrow Pe...||The Best Eyebrow Pencil and...|
|Japanese||資生堂 マキアージュ ラスティングフォギーブロウEX||ダイソー UR GLAM アイブロウ ペンシル||セザンヌ化粧品 超細芯アイブロウ||資生堂 マジョリカマジョルカ ブローカスタマイズ||常盤薬品工業 エクセル パウダー&ペンシル アイブロウEX||コーセー ヴィセ アイブロウペンシルS||日本ロレアル シュウウエムラ ハード フォーミュラ ハード9||資生堂 インテグレート アイブローペンシルＮ||マッシュビューティーラボ セルヴォーク インディケイト アイブロウペンシル||ちふれ化粧品 アイブロー ペンシル くり出し式||エトヴォス ミネラルデザイニングアイブロウ|
|Amount||0.12 grams||0.05 grams||0.02 grams||0.29 grams||0.4 grams||0.06 grams||-||0.17 grams||around 10 grams||-||-|
|Color variation||2 shades (Dark Brown, Light Brown)||6 shades (Light Brown, Ash Brown, Natural Brown, Burgundy Brown, Dark Brown, Black)||3 shades (Olive Brown, Natural Brown, Deep Brown)||3 shades (Chocolate Brown, Ash Brown, Honey Gold)||8 shades (Natural Brown, Honey Brown, Caramel Brown, Pink Brown, Grayish Brown, Apricot Brown, Mocha Brown, Ash Gray)||6 shades (Brown, Gray, Dark Brown, Ash Brown, Pinkish Brown, Light Brown)||10 shades (Sound Black, Stone Gray, Brown, Acorn, Walnut Brown, Oak Brown, Burgundy, Warm Taupe, Chalk Beige, Seal Brown)||4 shades (Black, Dark Brown, Brown, Gray)||3 shades (Brown, Pink Brown, Mauve Brown)||3 shades (Light Brown, Brown, Gray)||2 shades (Natural Brown, Ash Brown)|
|Lead shape||Round and thin||Very thin (1.5 mm)||Super slim (0.9 mm)||Ellipse||Ellipse||Very thin (1.5 mm)||Sword||Round and thin||Very thin||Round||Ellipse|
|Ease of use||2.1||4.2||3.4||3.6||2.9||3.0||1.6||2.5||3.5||2.3||3.1|
And why they didn't quite make it.
Some products didn't exactly disappoint us, but they didn't wow us enough to inspire us to recommend them, either. This included Emju's Dejavu Stay Natura Eyebrow Pencil and Chantilly's Sweets-Sweets Soft Brow Maker. The former had average scores all around which means it's hard to mess up when using it, and the latter has a bit of glitter in its reddish brown shade for its advertised "sweet" finish.
When we tested DHC's Long Staying Eyebrow, we found the vibrant reddish-brown finish to be more outdated than trendy, though it did have amazing staying power. We found the same with Papillo Stay Brow, whose gray finish made us look older rather than younger.
Sofina Aube Designing Eyebrow is useful in that it has three tools in one, but we thought the bright reddish brown color wouldn't be suited for those with black or dark hair. We also couldn't get past how unnatural the glittery and soft finish of New Born W Brow EX looked.
mybest values most values products that can be used at any skill level, but that wasn't the case for these eyebrow pencils. Ipsa's Creative Eyebrow Elements (which was also featured in our eyebrow mascara article) had a trendy finish but would be difficult for newcomers to the eyebrow cosmetics world to get used to.
In the case of BiBo Eyeful Eyebrow, we liked the finish a lot more than we liked the tool itself. We can't imagine a lot of cosmetics enthusiasts would enjoy sharpening this pencil-type product. And while we liked Media Eyebrow Pencil AA by Kanebo for detailed touch ups, we couldn't imagine using this thin-leaded product to fill in our eyebrows daily.
Not only did the yellowish brown finish of Muji Eyebrow Pencil & Powder look like it was from an earlier era; it was also hard to draw with the tough lead. We also felt the finish of Shiseido Eyebrow Pencil made us look older than we were, and it was more effort than it was worth to sharpen the pencil-type product every time we wanted to use it.
With the help of pro makeup artist Fujiwara, we put each of the 22 eyebrow pencils through a series of three tests. One test judged its finish while the other two gauged its durability and ease of use. The averaged scores of our expert and editors became the product's final score.
The first thing we tested for was the most important: how good it looked. We determined this by having our editors and Fujiwara examine its color and how well it blended into our eyebrows. Eyebrow pencils that left our brows looking outlined without looking too flat or heavy received high scores.
Pencils that had a thin and soft lead were easiest to draw with and therefore received higher scores. It gave our brows a gentle finish that didn't look drawn on.
We also favored brown pencils that didn't lean too far on the red side or the yellow side. We also realized through our testing that pencils without glitter looked more natural, so we recommend looking for a matte finish.
I recommend choosing a light-colored pencil. Darker shades require you to get it right in one go, while lighter shades leave you no room for failure even if you're nervous.
I also recommend layering the pencil until it gives you the color you want.
Next, we tested its durability against environmental factors like sweat, oil, and friction. We applied each eyebrow mascara to artificial skin and then applied some fake oil and sweat on top. Using a weight with a tissue layered over it, we dragged it across the product with even pressure and then checked to see how much product remained.
We can't stress enough how durable that waterproof products are. The highest-ranking products barely budged when put to the test. However, being waterproof doesn't automatically mean that a product is durable, so we recommend testing it for yourself or reading reviews.
Finally, we tested each eyebrow pencil to see how easy it was to use. That means we checked how easy it was to draw, how easy it was to hold, and how easy it was to use the included tip or brush.
We thought that ellipse-shaped lead was easiest for anyone to use, as it allows you to adjust the thickness of your line by using different sides of it.
Our editors were surprised to find that thin pencil leads were more difficult to use. They're perfect for detailed work, but they break easily and don't feel all that comfortable when using them over your whole eyebrow.
Triangle-shaped leads were difficult to get used to, especially since they end up turning into a round-shaped lead if one or multiple sides are worn down from use. We wouldn't recommend this type for beginners.
Here are three big things to look out for.
If you want a natural look or don't want your brows to be the focal point of your makeup, we recommend matching your brow color to your hair color. Check your hair color in the light and choose something that either matches it or is one shade darker. Here's a guideline of what shades to look for:
Eyebrow pencils can be found in three main types: pencil, twist, or dual. Since this is something you'll likely be using every day, it's important to find one that's easy for you personally to use.
Pencil types are the most common type of eyebrow pencil, and many favor them due to the fact that you have some measure of control over its texture with sharpening. You should sharpen them with a sharpener that's specifically for eyebrow pencils.
However, people who want something simple or aren't very good with their hands may not find these ideal; it takes a certain amount of technique to sharpen it to your desired shape.
Twist types are especially useful in that they're generally easy to hold, easy to adjust, and easy to draw with. The precise twist control means you only use as much product as you want.
You can also adjust the thickness of the line you want to use with this twisting mechanism, so you can give your thin eyebrows more volume or simply add more detail to your already-thick brows.
Dual types are excellent for those who want to minimize space or have easy access to all the makeup tools they need. You can often complete your whole eyebrow look with just one product, as many contain a combination of powder and pencil or liquid and pencil.
You can also adjust how precise or soft you want your brows to look by alternating between pencil and powder; mistakes can also be corrected with a helpful swish of powder or smudging tool. If you're new to the world of eyebrow makeup and want a flawless brow, we'd recommend this type.
A thick or thin eyebrow pencil lead can totally change your look, and each type of thickness leaves a different impression. Here are the characteristics of each type.
Going for a cool and sophisticated look? Use an eyebrow pencil with thin lead. It allows you to sharpen the outer corners of your brows, and pencils with a lead that measures below 1 millimeter in thickness let you draw on individual hairs for a natural look.
You can create the look of naturally thick and soft eyebrows with a thick lead. They also allow you to distribute plenty of eyebrow pencil color, so even those with thin or sparse eyebrows can have a full look.
Thick leads come in many shapes: ellipse, triangle, round, and so on. Changing the angle of the pencil lets you adjust the thickness of your line, making them quite versatile. We recommend trying different shapes and styles yourself to see which one is best for you.
Pro makeup artist Fujiwara has some tips to share with you about how to create a perfectly natural eyebrow using just a bit of extra prep and the eyebrow products you have on hand.
Prepping your eyebrow area is just as important as decorating your brows. Use a powder foundation or loose powder to remove excess oil from the area so that the pencil will be able to draw on smoothly and evenly.
It's also critical that you use a brush on your brows before drawing on them. This will make it easier to see where you need to add more product, which in turn will prevent you from applying too much to one area.
Finding an eyebrow shape that suits you is important to figure out before you get into the drawing part. The first step to determining this is to decide where you're going to draw the arch. This is most often the muscle-y part of your eyebrow that sticks out a bit. You can mark it before drawing if that helps.
Next, you'll draw lines from your arch towards the outer corners of your brows. Ideally, the outer corner of your brows should line up with the outer corner of your mouth. The arch can create the entire look, so it's okay to go a little heavier on the makeup here.
The inner corner comes last, and you shouldn't spend that much time or product here. You can check your face in a mirror after to see if you got the angle right.
Your brow are only one part of your killer style, so here are some more products that will help complete your look.
We rounded up members from our editing department and an expert, purchased the 22 most popular Japanese eyebrow pencils, and tested them all.
We learned that the best of the best brow pencils are a brown that's not too yellow or too red, is waterproof, and has a tip that matches the style of eyebrow you're aiming for. All of the rest is up to you, since only you know what kind of style you want. We hope we've given you a good start of where to look!
Author: Haruka Toda/Translation: Shannon McNaught/Photos: Yuuki Inagaki, Ayumi Sasaki
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