Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Dupe for MAC Brow Pencil ?

When I was thinking of switching my routine of using wax and powder for my brows I knew I wanted to use a pencil. The last time that I tried using a pencil for my brows was in high school. Back then I loved the look of super skinny brows and brick red lipstick. Obsessed with the "cholita" makeup look. I had wished to have pale skin and the darkest lips. 
Flash forward to the present. Since taking photographs I wanted the look of dark brows again. I felt that the powder gave me more of a softer look that is just fine for day time. I wanted a change into the dramatic for evening and my photos for posting.
For the past few years I have been watching makeup tutorials on YouTube. Of course everyone is into MAC. For years I was MAC user, I find the eye shadows and lipsticks have amazing payoff. In a video I saw a young woman was using their brow pencil and I noticed how smoothly it was applied. I figured I would start my testing with MAC. 
I had an incident at my local MAC counter that I never had before. I was circling around like a shark testing the products and eying my goal of a brow pencil. A sales woman approached me to tell me the usual of new promo products that they had available. I told her what I was interested in and she tried to steer me to the powders. I had to explain that I have used powders in the past and that today I was looking for a pencil. I also said that I wasn't sure what shade I should go with- a dark brown or a black. She said that older women should go with a lighter shade to look younger. O.k., admittedly that is a good tip to know. I just don't see myself in the "older age range". I was kind of stunned and didn't think that was a good selling tactic. It was kind of funny and made me try to see what age she was. You know, you look for the crows feet, the lines on the forehead, the condition of their skin. I dated her to be in my age group, or a little bit older. Maybe she didn't mean it to be insulting, I'm just sensitive that way. I shrugged it off and proceeded into purchasing the pencil in the color, "Spiked".
My first impression was that for $15.00 it should have more to it, more product and better packaging. Using it was a little tough at first. The product itself is really soft and highly pigmented. It was really easy to over do it and in my case end up with a pair of black caterpillars above my eyes. I eventually got the hang of it. Like any pencil I had to set it with powder. I absolutely loved the high pigment and if I just had that, mascara, and a gloss I was good to go. Eventually like all good things they come to an end.
During that time I came across a video where a woman said that a good dupe for the MAC pencil was Maybelline's  Define-A-Brow pencil in dark brown. The application looked easy enough and the end results was what I was expecting- it looked good. For about a third of the price less then MAC, $4.00 it was well worth the try. 

I purchased mine at my local Target and with my luck it was on sale. I was so excited to use it the following day. Why did I get it stuck in my head that it would be just as good as MAC, I have no idea. The packaging is similar in that it has a slim profile with a twist self sharpening end. Maybelline does have the bonus of an eyebrow groomer at the end. 
I used Maybelline's and found that it wasn't as soft as MAC's. If it wasn't warm then it just tugged at my skin. Kind of like the old school pencils that you had to warm up on your hand before applying. The color was not the true dark brown of "Spiked" either. It was noticeably a shade or two lighter. I do still have to set it with a powder and have to groom my brows after to soften it to look natural. It's all just something that I notice and the general public would not.

Between the two, I would go back in a hot minute and repurchase the MAC pencil. Since I don't have the budget anymore for MAC I am open to suggestions from you. Any drug store brands that you love that offers a dark brown brow pencil you can recommend? Leave a comment below, it will be much appreciated.



  1. I can't believe the mac lady said that to you!! So rude even if you were a quite older woman that is just never appropriate!! xo

  2. To be honest, I think a lot of drugstore items work well too. Maybelline , or CoverGirl or any similar drugstore brand would work fine. I suggest you buy it from CVS because if you are unhappy with the eyeliner you can exchange it for another one within a certain time frame. CVS recently started this policy with their cosmetics. Good luck, hope everything works out =)

    Following your blog now! I would LOVE to have you follow my blog also =)

    PS. Check out my new blogpost and let me know what you think!!!

  3. What a weird thing for the salesperson to say to you. I worked at a cosmetic counter for years and it wouldn't have even occured to me to even formulate that thought let alone say it. Some ladies can rock dark eyebrows forever - some faces need softening even when young.

    I use Rimmel eyeliner as my brow pencil. A lot of makeup turns red/orange on me but their pigments stay true and I like the softness.

  4. Taj Acosta- I didn't think it was appropriate either. You would think that working in sales she would learn to sensor herself. Oh well, now I know not to buy anything from her.

  5. Grande Jewelry- Thanks for the heads up about CVS. I guess it is all just trail and error. I'll probably keep you guys updated if I find something I love. Thanks again for the comment. Just checked out your blog and now following. All the jewelry is just beautiful.

  6. Thanks Jenn of The Suburb Experiment, I'll try Rimmel next. That's funny that you mention about how things change color on you. I have that problem with e/s and lipsticks. I'm not alone :)

    I've also worked in a customer service environment, I think that is why I was so shocked when it happened. Personally I've always loved a darker brow, maybe because naturally mine are sparse.



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