Hey all! NYX just released the Precision Brow Pencil, a $9.99 brow pencil with a thin, rectangular tip. It struck me as a potential pseudo-dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Definer due to the shape, so I’ll be comparing them here after the overall review!
I have thin, sparse, irregularly shaped brows (💔) that I fill in extensively. The flat edge of this pencil makes creating straight lines really easy, easier than with any other brow product I’ve tried. The tip shape is also useful for shading large areas of nearly bare skin (again, 💔). I usually do the tails of my brows in a darker color to create a more realistic gradient. When I did my brows with only this pencil in Taupe, I was still able to create a gradient I was happy with, which speaks to its buildability.
This formula is on the more hard and waxy end of brow pencils. That being said, it’s pigmented and can readily be brought to opacity. I personally prefer this type over softer formulas because of their versatility. For people only filling in a sparse patch here or there, a softer pencil may be better suited.
As you’ll see in the wear test photos, this wore really impressively through a long day that included a nap and dog cuddles. The only evidence of wear was a nearly imperceptible bit of patchiness on the tail of my brows and some oil peeking through, making them look a bit shiny.
There are 8 colors offered, ranging from Blonde to Black with a variety of undertones. For a brow pencil range, I think the color offerings are quite good. I only got one color, but I’ll be going back for another to do the tail of my brows now that I know I like this pencil. The shade Taupe is warmer than other taupe brow products I’ve used, which is an issue for those of us looking for a cool toned brow. It’s not warm-toned per se, just not as cool toned as other taupes.
The product has the pencil on one side and a spoolie on the other. It’s not my favorite spoolie but it’s definitely usable. The pencil twists to advance, as you likely expected. Onto the Anastasia Beverly Hills product comparisons!
Comparison to Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Definer and Brow Wiz
While the more immediate similarities to NYX Precision Brow’s thin, rectangular tip are with ABH Brow Definer’s elongated acute triangle tip, there are important comparisons to be made with ABH’s classic round, micro tipped Brow Wiz.
To make my terminology more clear, the “flat” of the pencil is the widest side, the “edge” is the narrowest side, and the “tip” is what you see top-down. I’ve labelled these in the photo below.
I measured the widths of the flat and the edge for each pencil to get some quantifiable information. NYX Precision Brow’s measurements were both notably just slightly off of the visible increments on my ruler, hence the less/greater than.
- ABH Brow Wiz: 1/16″ x 1/16″
- NYX Precision Brow: <1/16″ x >1/8″
- ABH Brow Definer: 3/32″ x 3/16
Interestingly, the edge of NYX Precision Brow is actually thinner than Brow Wiz. I also found that because of its slightly softer formula, less pressure was required to create lines. For those who are only interested in precision lines and not filling large areas or creating long defining lines, Brow Wiz may still be the better fitting product.
The straight shape of NYX Precision Brow’s flat side lets me make sharper lines than with Brow Definer, though that may be a me-problem. I love Dip Brow so I’ve never taken the time to try too much with Brow Definer.
NYX Precision Brow is softer than both ABH pencils. It’s more blendable and gets opaque more quickly and smoothly, though this may be because I’ve had the ABH pencils for 6+ months so I don’t want to say that definitively.
The one thing that’s disappointed me is that the shade Taupe is more of a light brown than an ashy taupe. I compared it with ABH’s Brow Wiz and Dip Brow in Taupe, as well as ABH Brow Definer in Medium Brown which are all cooler than NYX Precision Brow in Taupe.
The spoolie is functional, soft enough that it doesn’t scrape product off and stiff enough that it blends brows realistically. It’s softer than Brow Wiz’s spoolie but stiffer than Brow Definer’s. I prefer the spoolie on Brow Definer but this one is still very usable.
The shape is also different, more of an elongated ellipse than a cylinder. I didn’t find that to have an effect on application.
For the wear test, I wore this over bare skin with deep brown eyeshadow blended over the tail. I set my entire face with a light layer of talc-based powder and sprayed on a bit of e.l.f. Mist and Set.
It was 85º outside when I gardened for an hour, which lead to sweating and patting off said sweat. I also took a two hour nap and cuddled my dog around midday. I didn’t go easy on this pencil and it wore very impressively, which I wasn’t expecting. It did wipe off easily on a wet washcloth when I removed my makeup, so it doesn’t compete with ABH Dip Brow but I can accept that.
Precision brow pencils have outrageously high prices/gram due to their tiny volume, to the extent that I actually don’t buy classic point-style brow pencils. For me, the frequent expense isn’t sustainable. Other types of precision brow pencil with triangular or rectangular tips are more palatable in price. As you can see in the spreadsheet below, point-type pencils can cost more than 2x as much per gram as the most expensive triangular pencils. For a precision brow pencil, NYX Precision Brow is at a tolerable price point for me, though of course that’s a personal decision.
NYX Precision Brow Pencil has a good, stiff formula with a tip shape that really makes doing your brows easier. It’s great for fine lines, defining edges, and filling in large areas. The formula lasts well through the day, though not as sweatproof or oilproof as some brow pomades. It’s affordable and offers a good range of colors, though they may not be what you expect. I suggest testing any shades before you buy. Overall, this is a great precision brow pencil that I highly recommend.