Monday, April 6, 2015

Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil Hard Formula - Stone Gray

I've made a couple of online orders from Shu Uemura recently, and am enjoying trialing various products in this neat Japanese line. This eyebrow pencil they are particularly well-known for, and I'm happy to finally have added this to my brow arsenal. 

I bought the shade "Stone Grey". Although I can get away with brown brow colors (as long as they're more ashy/cool-toned browns), I find grey still the most natural looking.

Apparently you can take this to a Shu Uemura counter for them to sharpen it into a "knife" shape, which helps to draw more natural looking brow hairs. I've been using it "as is" though as the nearest counter is quite a trek. 

Here are some comparisons to my other pencils. The YSL remains my HG (previously reviewed here), and is the closest match to my brows. My only complaint about it is that it's super soft and requires sharpening every 1-2 uses.  The Shu, on the other hand, is very hard in comparison (guess should be expected with the name of "hard formula"!). It's been a good two weeks with nearly daily use and I haven't had to sharpen it yet!

From the hand swatches above, it may look like it has less pigmentation (believe me I scraped that bugger on my hand repeatedly and as hard as possible without breaking skin), but in fact Shu advertises that this formula is activated by the oils in and around your brow hairs, so it won't swatch well outside of the brow area. The end result is very natural-looking full brows as you don't end up drawing way outside your natural shape (no sharpie brows with this!).

 My natural brows, as you can see there are some patchy and sparse areas.

My brows filled in with Shu Uemura Stone Grey pencil. It registers with a hint of light brown on camera but in person blends in nicely with my natural brow hairs. 

Overall, the more I use this the more it's starting to compete in my heart for that HG spot! This Shu pencil is very long and hefty, and seems like it's going to last a long time (whereas I'm already on the end of my second YSL pencil in about a year of high frequency use). The downside is that it lacks a spoolie, which may be annoying when travelling since you will have to bring an extra tool. I may just alternate using both...oh the joys of makeup!

Have you tried this infamous eyebrow pencil? What did you think?


  1. I have been wanting to try this. I have only tried online ordering from Shu Uemura and I really want it to be sharpened the "knife" way though. It looks so natural on your brows. I'm dying to try.

    1. It's too bad the online version doesn't come already sharpened like that. I really want to try out the knife cut too. Need to make a special trek there though, one of these days...

  2. Thanks for this review! I have black brows that are patchy and sparse in some areas, thick in others, and I have very fair, pale skin. It is hard to find an ideal brow product for me. It can't be completely cold grey/black, but also can't have much warmth, or it looks obviously different from my natural brows. I used to use the Shu pencil in seal brown, but finally realized it didn't look natural enough (too much warmth). After trying everything I can get locally (drugstore, everything available at Sephora, etc), the best thing right now is the Sephora brand twist-up pencil in Soft Charcoal. It's perfect color-wise, but I want a nice hard pencil that I can sharpen! I think I'm going to take a risk with the Shu in stone grey. Some pictures of it online look weirdly taupy/yellowish, but others, like yours, look perfect for me.

    1. I too have trouble finding the exact right shade for my brows, and I know what you mean this shade weirdly can show up more warm on camera but in person it's a perfect shade of medium grey for me right now. Definitely give it a try, hope it works well for you! Also consider YSL in Ash as that's a very nice grey too.