Thursday, March 1, 2012

Product Review: Almay Brow Defining Pencil & Comparison to MAC Eyebrow Pencil

Hello everyone! So my first review (of many) will be on the Almay Brow Defining Pencil in the shade Brunette.

Almay Brow Defining Pencil in #802-Brunette

For years I had been using the MAC Eyebrow pencil in Spiked. Until I discovered the Maybelline Define-A-Brow Pencil in Dark Brown. I loved the Maybelline Define-A-Brow because it performed well, was very similar to the MAC pencil and it was a fraction of the cost. So you could imagine my devastation when I recently found out from a friend that my shade, dark brown, was being discontinued. :( So after hearing about that and mourning its loss, I was on a mission to find another cheaper alternative to the MAC pencil. I didn't want to go back to the MAC one because of the cost and eyebrow pencils are something that I use daily and requires constant replenishment. So with that said, I was perusing the aisles in CVS (aka Long's in Hawaii) and I came across the Almay brow pencil. 

First impression: 
I was immediately drawn to this pencil due to the similarity between the MAC and Maybelline pencils, it was a thin twist-up pencil. I really liked that there was a detachable spoolie which would be far more useful than the little brow comb that was on the other end of the Mabyelline pencil. I never used that brow comb. Another bonus was that the spoolie had a clear cover to prevent any dust or  stray hairs that might get tangled into it from putting it in your makeup bag. I also liked the simple packaging.

My experience:
I do use this in conjuction with brow powder (due to overplucking in high school). I fill in my brows using this pencil using featherlight strokes. Then I brush it all out with the spoolie. Then I apply a light layer of brow powder over the areas that may have gotten overblended by the spoolie. Each time that I use this pencil, it stays on the whole time which is a big plus. This shade, brunette, is very similar to MAC's Spiked brow pencil, but with the Spiked being a smidgen of a shade darker. Also, the Almay has a very slight hint of golden shimmer in it, which you can see in the swatch photo below, while the MAC is a flat matte dark brown. However, the slight golden shimmer doesn't bother me much as it is not very noticeable upon application and I actually find that it blends in nicely with my brows giving them a more natural look. 

Comparison: MAC Spiked Brow Pencil on the left, Almay Brunette Brow Pencil on the right

+ A great alternative to MAC Spiked Eyebrow Pencil
+ Affordable price
+ Comes with detachable spoolie and clear cover
+ Long-wearing

- Not much of a shade range. Only comes in Brunette & Dark Blonde. 
- Twist-up pencil that doesn't retract back down so you don't know how much product you have left. You would need to get a backup before you actually run out.

I am very happy with this eyebrow pencil. Eyebrows are everything to me and a good brow pencil is absolutely necessary in my routine as well as my makeup bag. This performs very well as far as longevity. I did not experience any fading throughout or at the end of the day. I love the spoolie, as I find it is more useful than a brow comb and I appreciate the clear cover. Good job, Almay!

Would I repurchase?
Without a doubt. 

Have any of you seen/tried this brow pencil from Almay? What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts. :)

FTC: This product was purchased by me. All opinions are none other than my own. 


Rina said...

hiiii lani! I hopped over from beautylish to your blog and... why am i just discovering your blog now?? It's AHHHMAZING! you have got awesome posts girl! love it :)

and thanks so much for sharing this. Perfect timing cause im actually on a hunt for a new brow pencil! will def add this on to my list and give it a go.

Talk soon beautiful
Rina xx

TheLipJunkie said...

OoO, thanks for sharing! Maybelline's Define-A-Brow pencil is my hands down favorite, but for some reason I've been having THEEEE hardest time finding my shade (medium brown) & I've noticed Dark Brown's always unavailable :/ I've been looking for an alternative just incase, so this helps a lot :)


thank you for following my blog :)

Lisa said...

No wonder I can't find Maybelline's dark brown pencil anywhere. I just recently switch over too because I was using MAC and it was getting a bit expensive. I hope I remember to pick this Almay pencil up next time I hit the drugstore up :) Thanks for an awesome review!

Anonymous said...

I too was devastated! Maybelline was only worth it though if using a buy 1 get 1 free. Cuz, its only .1 and MAC is .3
In other words.... if buying the Maybelline at full price, which is $6.00 to $7.00 (around Indianapolis, Indiana)
and then times it by 3 = $18.00 to $21.00!
So in reality.......Maybelline a bit more expensive than MAC at $15.00!!!! ;)
Though, Dark Brown WAS a perfect dupe...MAC actually lasts longer on my skin.
Hope this Helps someone.

Anonymous said...

I was just searching the Internet with the question "what's comparable to the Mac eyebrow pencil?" and stumbled across your blog, so thanks so much for putting this up! I think I'll probably try it out.

mmlregis said...

Thanks for the information! I was looking for the Dark Brown Maybelline Define a brow and then saw it was discontinued and started my search for a new dupe for the MAC Spiked pencil. I'm hitting the drug store tomorrow! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...


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