Some things are best left to the expert and I had the privllege of getting my brows shaped by Shu Uemura's Brow Artist, Lisa Yap, who is also an internationally accredited artist. She is supposedly gifted in eyebrow grooming.
Read on for my experience and a review of the one-of-a-kind Hard 9 Brow Pencil. Also in this post is a tutorial to show how I use this peculiar-looking pencil.
We were asked to grow out our brows for a month prior to the brow grooming at the Shu Uemura Brow Atelier in Mid Valley. Let's just say I wore a cap and my bangs down a lot for the entire month.
You can tell that my brows don't grow very thick but the hairs would stick out everywhere as they get longer. Since I already had a basic shape, Lisa trimmed and plucked the hairs to make my brows look more even and defined. I liked that she didn't go too thin so that I wouldn't look 20 years older when my brows are unfilled. Although Lisa doesn't use a razor for shaping, don't worry too much about the plucking. The plucking was virtually painless as she's very skilled and gentle with the tweezers.
After cleaning up my brows, she filled them in with the Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in 02 Seal Brown.
When it's brand new, the Hard 9 pencil looks like any old pencil but it has a harder core that allows Shu Uemura to use a very special technique to carve the pencil to resemble the shape of the 'naginata' Japanese sword. You can try this at home if you have the Hard 9 pencil (I wouldn't recommend doing this with regular pencils because the wood and core are different and you may hurt yourself) but there's a very high likelihood that you'd break a few tips before getting it right. Thankfully, Shu Uemura sharpens the pencil free of charge for as long you need your pencil sharpened.
Try drawing the pencil on the back of your hand and you'll get little to no color but draw on your brows and you'll get just enough color that wouldn't look unnatural. While it's not waterproof, I experience only minimal smudging with this pencil.
It's hard to explain how awesome this pencil unless you actually try it for yourself. As you maneuver the pencil, using different sides of for different sections of your brows, you'll know how easy this pencil is to use. It is now a staple for me.
I used to think that paying so much for a mere eyebrow pencil is not justifiable but I've only had to sharpen it after two months of using it despite the fact that I draw my brows almost everyday.
My brow routine is slightly different when I use this pencil:
- Define the natural shape with short strokes following the direction of hair growth
- Gradually extend the strokes to form the 'tail'. The slope of your 'tail' should be parallel with the slope of your eye
- Shape the arch to make it look more rounded if you prefer
- Comb the hairs in place and also remove excess color with a spoolie
The only thing that I'm probably not too contented with is the color. 02 Seal Brown is the bestselling color, especially for Asians. Personally, I prefer my eyebrows to be lighter and perhaps, more brown than grey. I may consider getting the Hard 9 *bursts out laughing because of a corrupted mind* in 03 Brown when I'm done with Seal Brown, which could be years from now...
A little trick that I use to lighten my filled eyebrows is going over them with face powder. Simply take an eyebrow brush, dip it into some face powder and go over your brows with it. This lightens the color without lifting any chunks of it off compared to using a cotton bud.
You can get your brows trimmed at any Shue Uemura counters or outlets for RM30. Lisa's rate is RM50. The Hard 9 Brow Pencil retails for RM65.