Over the years I have probably tried practically every method of filling in my sparse eye brows. Powders, pomades, thick pencil, thin pencils, mascaras, markers…you get the idea. I would have to say that probably one of the quickest and easiest way to fill in your brows is with a brow pencil. Though I often tend towards thicker, triangular shaped pencils (my favorite is the Hourglass Arch Pencil), recently I have been reaching for the super skinny type of brow pencils instead. Of course not all skinny brow pencils are created the same so I thought I would go through a few of the cruelty free offerings in various price ranges that are currently on the market – the Anastasia Brow Wiz, the NYX Micro Brow Pencil and the ColourPop Brow Pencil.

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All of the above mentioned pencils I consider to be good options. ? And though they are all similar and seem pretty much identical at first glance, there are in fact subtle difference between the three. But before we get to the differences, let’s go through the similarities. As mentioned, they are all skinny pencils that twist up (only the Anastasia and the NYX are retractable). Each one has a spoolie on the opposite end for brushing brow hairs into place (a definite plus in my book!). Each one contains practically the same amount of product – the NYX and the ColourPop each contain 0.09g, while the Anastasia contains 0.085g. The “Taupe” shade from each brand is also really similar. ColourPop is just barely warmer than the other two, and the NYX looks just a touch ashier than the Anastasia. When applied to the brows, I doubt anyone would notice the difference between any of the three. So we’ve established some similarities. On to the differences! 🙂

ColourPop Dope Taupe, Anastasia Taupe & NYX Taupe
L to R: ColourPop Dope Taupe, Anastasia Taupe & NYX Taupe

The most obvious difference to me is the texture. There is no question that the ColourPop Pencil is the creamiest. It applies easily with little pressure and glides nicely on to the skin. Personally, this is often my favorite to reach for (I would happily reach for any of the three, I just find this the quickest for my brows and my way of using the pencil). Between the NYX and the Anastasia, there is a very subtle difference in texture. Though they seem to swatch about the same – they’re both on the hard and waxy side – I find the Anastasia to apply a little bit easier on the actual brows. The NYX works just fine, but of the three, it is the one that I have to press hardest to get to apply and stick to the skin.

ColourPop Blondie, Honey Blonde & Dope Taupe
L to R: ColourPop Blondie, Honey Blonde & Dope Taupe

Not surprisingly, the texture will affect the wear of the pencil as well. The creamier the pencil, the more it may be prone to smudging and wearing away throughout the day. If you tend to touch your brows a lot throughout the day, you may find that the ColourPop doesn’t wear as well as the NYX or the Anastasia. I personally have not found the ColourPop to fade or disappear as the day goes on, but I also don’t tend to rub at my brows or my eyes throughout the day. When simply swatched on the hand, the ColourPop definitely disappears first, while the Anastasia stays just a touch better than the NYX. In actual wear, I really notice no difference in wear between the three.

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Having said all of that, I wouldn’t tell you that one is better than the other. It depends on how you tend to apply makeup. I usually have the lightest hand known to man so a creamier pencil that requires less pressure works well for me. For someone who is heavy handed, the creaminess can definitely work against them and may create those dreaded sharpie brows! Someone with dry skin may appreciate the creamier texture gliding easily over dry skin, while someone with oilier skin may fare better with the drier pencils that are aided a bit by the natural oils already present on the skin. If you tend to sweat a lot or are doing something where you know sweat may be more of an issue, a creamier pencil may not wear as well throughout the day. Regardless of what your tendencies and which pencil you choose, they all work great and will get the job done! However, the best fit is something that only you can determine. I like them all, but as I’ve said, the ColourPop tends to be the formula I favor because I have a light hand with all makeup and the creamier texture goes on well even with light pressure.

ColourPop Blondie, Honey Blonde, Dope Taupe, Anastasia Taupe & NYX Taupe
L to R: ColourPop Blondie, ColourPop Honey Blonde, ColourPop Dope Taupe, Anastasia Taupe & NYX Taupe

So there you have some things to consider when trying to choose between these three fantastic skinny brow pencils! None of them have any deal breakers. Not one is really better than another. They just have a couple very minor differences that may make a difference to you. I should point out the price and shade differences as well – ColourPop retails for $5 and comes in 8 shades, NYX also offers 8 shades and retails for $10, and the Anastasia Brow Wiz will run you $21 with a selection of 10 shades. I hope this helps you if you’re looking for a new skinny brow pencil. I’m curious to know, what works best for you?

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