Thursday, February 26, 2015

Review: Anastasia | Brow Wiz Pencil "Dark Brown"


Undoubtedly the queen of eyebrows in the blogsosphere, the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand made waves with one single pencil, the Brow Wiz long before the rise of the ombre, #instagrambrow. Still one of her best selling products, this automatic twist up brow pencil aims to create natural flawless brows whether you're filling in or drawing in. After years of lemming this, I finally have it in my hands thanks to the Sephora Favourites gift set this past year!


THE BASICS
Brand: Anastasia
Product: Brow Wiz Automatic Brow Pencil in "Dark Brown"
Colours: 9 shades in total
Size: 0.08grams
Price: $27CAD
Availability: Sephora (online & in stores), Anastasia online
Would I repurchase: Probably.
Website: www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com

Now you may recall my somewhat disillusioned experience with the brand's Dipbrow Pomade (see review here) from a few weeks back so I approached this pencil with a mixture of apprehension, excitement and a smidgen of hope. I do not have very dark or many much brow hairs so any extra help will look like makeup (that I have already accepted) but of course the goal is still to look as natural as possible.

Brow Wiz is packaged as a super slim dual sided twist up pencil with the lead on one end and a spoolie on the other for blending and smoothing any unruly hairs. It has a good blend of waxy and creamy texture to draw easily on the skin without much effort and the fine tip makes it possible to mimic the look of thin brow hairs while also allowing for quick overall coverage. 

In comparison to my favourite Dior Browstyler (reviewed here), this deposits significantly more colour per stroke but isn't too waxy so you need not worry about gluing your brow hairs together into an unsightly clump. It certainly offers more flexibility for various brow looks from natural to super defined whereas it's much hard to build texture with the Dior.



While photographing the Brow Wiz, it might be worth noting that it's actually made in Korea which has me thinking if there may be other similar Korean branded (and less expensive) brow products available but that's to be another post for another time.


Anastasia currently offers 9 shades (via Sephora) for this pencil which ranges from a light ash blonde down to a sooty ebony in tones of warm, neutral and cool; an impressive array for almost all hair colours. Since mine was part of a Sephora Favourites Kit and came prepackaged with other products, the colour I have is Dark Brown (formerly Brunette) which is suggested for medium brown to black hair. It's a little tricky to capture on camera but compared to my other brow products this appears to run fairly neutral and even just a tinge ashy.

In the before and after photos (below) you can see that Brow Wiz builds a substantial brow look while still remaining fairly soft yet with some textural qualities that looks more natural than the Dipbrow on me. I did not apply any other brow products and simply filled in my brow shape, gave the front a quick smudge with my fingertip, groomed the hairs slightly with the spoolie and then went back to sharpen the top and bottom edges the pencil for a clean line.

With a bit of practice, I've been really happy with how this turns out and for days when I want to tote around a single product that will function in multiple makeup looks (say I'm traveling or on the go) this works perfectly. Now granted, I do have to pay more attention to what I'm drawing when using this (as opposed to the Dior where I can literally put it on haphazardly and get away with it) it's just a much better colour match for my current hair. Plus, I do love the way I can build some slight texture while I'm at it and it doesn't look or feel heavy. Lasting power is great this time of the year and it even handles a splash of water or two but I'll have to take it through a summer run to really tell you how bulletproof this is.



THE FINAL VERDICT
A really easy to use, versatile and travel friendly brow pencil, the Anastasia Brow Wiz is certainly a must try at least once for all the brow challenged people out there. The texture is great to work with and gives you the option of going light or heavy depending on your mood. More importantly, it's not too waxy which means no more hairs getting stuck together and it's easily blendable with your finger or the attached spoolie brush into a softer look. It's a much better everyday product than the Dipbrow in my opinion and certainly more forgiving for those who just have fewer brow hairs to begin with. I am actually looking forward to trying out their duo-toned powder for the brows (as it creates an even more diffused look) so more of that to come!

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INGREDIENTS: Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil/Hydrogenated Huile Végétale, Zinc Stearate, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Ferric Ferrocyanide (Ci 77510). 

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