Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil is a unique product in the brow-savers category. "Hard Formula" doesn't even begin to describe this texture, which causes quite a bit of skepticism at first use until you get the hang of it. Shu Uemura's brow pencil is, indeed, hard. Very hard. It doesn't yield, so you need to use it in short and precise strokes, otherwise it will pull the skin. The hard formula ensures the pigment will never move and migrate. It also prevents patchy application-- you will not be able to draw a long thin line, exactly because you're not supposed to do it.
Instead, the pencil that only releases pigment on contact with the natural oils of the brows, allows to fill in patchy brows, making them more even and better defined. It just takes a little longer to notice that the pencil actually draws something-- it's far less obvious than when working with a regular pencil or a powder.
Now, personally, I still prefer the control I have when using a brow powder and a good brush. Mostly because that way I can mix a few colors together until I get the right shade. Also, since my brows are pretty full, the powders hold on perfectly and I never have issues with smearing and fading. But those of you who need extra help are likely to find the Shu Uemura Hard Formula pencil to be a brow saver.
Swatching this Shu Uemura pencil was not easy. But I wanted to give you a good idea about the color of Seal Brown 02. It's a cool dusty dark brown that matches dark non-black eye brows. It has no red and hardly any warmth, which is important to me. The finished look I get is wonderfully natural. I can't tell I did much with the brows, but the sparse areas are just a little fuller.
Bottom Line: for just about everyone.
Shu Uemura Hard Formula Brow Pencil ($23) is available from shuuemura-usa.com or at the counters if you're lucky enough to have them in your countries.
Photo of Joan Crawford: Stirred Straight Up With A Twist.