When it comes to makeup, there are certain things I'm willing to go way out of the way for, like all things MAC or OPI polish or my Stila Smudge Pots. But there are also some things that I think you can afford to go drugstore on, like brow pencils.
Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil, $22 at sephora.com: For the last two years, I've used this Anastasia brow pencil in Ash Brown, which is a neutral medium brown. It's a nice pencil, a little on the waxy side, which helps keep hairs in place but also means that the pencil is so soft it's impossible to keep it sharp and get a thin line. My main issue with this pencil is that while it looks really natural, it always, always faded by lunchtime, sometimes even earlier if I went to the gym or it was hot out. For $22, that's not acceptable.
Rimmel Professional Brow Pencil, $3.19 at ulta.com: So I decided to go a different route for my next brow pencil, and after much research (on Makeupalley, of course), I settled on this Rimmel brow pencil. First off, the price and Target/CVS availability? Amazing! It's the same size as the Anastasia pencil (minus the brush on the end of that one), and like six times cheaper. And you know what? It's actually better. Yeah. The Anastasia pencil has a nicer brush, but the Rimmel pencil is much firmer, with the perfect blend of pigment and wax. It's easy to draw thin lines and fill in all the tiny spaces in your brows, and the slightly waxiness helps tame unruly brows. Plus, this pencil lasted all day in 100 degree weather and through an intense workout. That's impressive. The only downside to this pencil is that it comes in really limited shades: black, hazel, and dark brown, which I got. The swatch below is a little cool, but dark brown is a warm medium brown, black is black, and hazel is basically orange. So unless you have brown or black hair, this may not be the best product for you. However, if you do have darker hair and you're looking for a brow pencil that has hold and the ability to create fine, natural looking lines, this is an absolute must. Or if you're like me and just automatically love all things British.
Overall rating: A-. I'd give it an A+, but that awkward brow brush and limited color range hold it back a bit.
Anastasia pencil: sephora.com.