March 27, 2023

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Eyebrows have undoubtedly become one of the most discussed features on our faces. Trends ranging from thicker, fuller brows to Ombré brows have dominated our social media feeds, magazines, and hearts as of late, which means having the necessary products in our arsenal is a top priority. With the endless amount of brow products readily available—everything from gels to pomades—selecting the right one for you can be quite the challenge.

But, if you’re looking for a foolproof do-it-all solution that can fill in and add definition to your brows, an eyebrow pencil is just what you need. With just a few hair-like strokes, a humble eyebrow pencil can have a massive impact on your brows. The best part? You don’t need to break the bank to score your new favorite. There are plenty of top-notch options available at your local drugstore.

Ahead, the best drugstore eyebrow pencils for brows that truly wow.


Honest Beauty Eyebrow Pencil

What do buyers say? 84% of 1,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Seamlessly accentuate your natural brows with this Honest eyebrow pencil. With just a few strokes, it creates a soft, natural-looking brow, perfect for everyday wear. Designed with a soft glide-tip and built-in spoolie, it’s both buildable and blendable to fill in your brows as much or as little as you could desire. Plus, the jojoba seed oil in the formula keeps it nice and creamy (and also conditions your brows!).

Shades: 5 | Type: Matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

E.l.f. Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil

Of all the wallet-friendly picks on this list, this one really wins with affordability. At just $3 (yes, $3!), it does everything you could want a brow pencil to do—and more. And, it has a precise tip for hair-like strokes, built-in spoolie for blending, and five versatile shades, including those for both blondes and redheads.

Shades: 5 | Type: Instant Lift | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

COVERGIRL Easy Breezy Brow

Give your arches some definition or fill in sparse brows with this microfine brow pencil. Thanks to its super-precise tip and built-in spoolie, achieving full, natural brows is as easy as can be. Its long-wearing formula will last the entire day—and remove with the tiniest bit of soap and water.

Shades: 4 | Type: Micro-Fine | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

burts bees

Need something that works well and has good-for-you ingredients? Look no further than this Burt’s Bees eyebrow pencil. Infused with star ingredients like hydrating jojoba oil and shea butter, its formula is 99 percent natural and glides on super smoothly. Better yet, in true Burt’s Bees fashion, even the cedarwood used for the pencil is sustainability sourced, which is why we’re anxiously waiting for them to add more hues to their two shades.

Shades: 2 | Type: Matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Milani Stay Put Precision Brow Pencil

Searching for an eyebrow pencil that’ll last the entire day without any smudges? Try this one from Milani. The stay-put formula creates natural-looking hair-like strokes to help you accomplish your dream brows with every use. Its intense color-payoff, seamless blend-ability, ultra-fine tip, and included spoolie for feathering, shaping, and grooming are just bonuses.

Shades: 3 | Type: Ultra-Fine | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Colourpop Brow Boss Pencil

Tired of sharpening your eyebrow pencil? Opt for a retractable tip like the one on this Colourpop pencil. Its mistake-proof formula goes flawlessly in hand with its long-wearing abilities—so no need to fret if you’re a brow pencil newbie. With nine available shade options, you’ll easily find the exact hue to imitate your brows.

Shades: 9 | Type: Long Wear, Retractable | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Revlon Brow Fantasy by Color Stay

Brow pencils can completely transform your eyebrows, but they can’t tame your unruly eyebrow hairs into place. That’s where this brow gel and pencil duo comes into play. By housing both formulas in one handy tube, you can use the pencil to fill and define your brows and then use the tinted gel to deepen the color and brush them into place.

Shades: 3 | Type: Sheer, Pencil and Gel | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

L’Oréal Paris Brow Stylist Definer

When you really want your perfectly crafted brows to stay in place, grab this waterproof eyebrow pencil. With a color that doesn’t budge a single inch, every feather-like stroke remains where you drew it—until you decide to remove it. There’s also a selection of ten different color choices to choose from, so finding the right match is a seamless process.

Shades: 10 | Type: Matte, Ultra-Fine | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil

A general rule of thumb when choosing the right brow product for darker hair is to go one to two shades deeper than your strand, whereas blondes should select a hue that matches their darkest root. If the universally flattering shade just doesn’t cut it, this pencil’s eight shade assortment, with hues ranging from light taupe to black, has options available for those who need other options.

Shades: 8 | Type: Matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

What Our Editors Say

“This is my ultimate brow pencil. I’m not sure I’ll ever use another. The price point can’t be beaten, and the fine tip (which doesn’t break as easily as other brands can) is perfect for drawing thin, natural-looking strokes.” —Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director

Maybelline New York Ultra Slim Brow Defining Eyebrow Pencil

With its incredibly fine point of 1.5 millimeters, this eyebrow pencil is ideal for those looking to fill in particularly sparse areas (like the front or tail). By creating precise, hair-like strokes, you’ll be left with beautiful natural-looking brows—sans smudges or unwanted color streaks. The pencil comes in a splendid range of six versatile colors and garners the stamp of approval from Celebrity Makeup Artist Dillion Peña. “I find that I reach for the soft brown and light brown shades first and then use a darker pencil to add definition where needed.”

Shades: 6 | Type: Matte, Ultra-Slim | Cruelty-Free: No  | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Juvia's Place I Sculpt, I Shade Brow Pencil

Courtesy of Juvia’s Place


Armed with an ultra-slim precision tip, this retractable pencil allows you to draw on delicate, hair-like lines to create a totally natural and sculpted look. The formula is long-lasting and glides on super smooth without ever looking cakey. Also nice: The opposite end has a built-in brush that’s great for fluffing up brows and creating fullness.

Shades: 4 | Type: Matte | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

The Lip Bar Vegan Brow Gel + Brow Pencil

These are several standout attributes of this pick. However, its most notable quality is its outstanding color payoff. The pencil is also combined with a brow gel, helping to fill in sparse areas, add definition, and secure the brow into place.  It’s practically all you need to pull off your best brows yet.

Shades: 3 | Type: Matte, Triangular | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Final Verdict

Finding the correct drugstore brow pencil for you is no easy feat. With all the available affordable options, you’ll want to keep an eye out for ones that add definition, fill in sparse areas, and keep your brows in tip-top shape. Our overall favorite, Honest Beauty Eyebrow Pencil, accentuates your natural brows with soft, natural strokes and allows you to fill in as much or as little as you desire, thanks to creamy jojoba-infused formula. For a super precise application, use the fine 1.5-millimeter tip on Maybelline New York Ultra Slim Brow Defining Eyebrow PencilAnd, don’t underestimate the intense color payoff from The Lip Bar Vegan Brow Gel + Brow Pencil.


What To Look For in a Drugstore Eyebrow Pencil


Depending on the look you achieve, you’ll want to select different pencil shapes. “For example, enhancing your brows and completely changing your brow shape require different pencils,” explains Peña.


To achieve a more natural look, explains Peña, it’s best to choose a pencil that is too light rather than too dark. “Anything darker tends to look a bit more dramatic.”


For a formula that lasts through an entire day, opt to choose something that’s either waterproof or long-wearing to ensure it doesn’t budge.

  • How Do You Use Drugstore Eyebrow Pencils?

    Applying drugstore brow pencils is much like applying a luxury brow pencil, says Peña. “You want to do light, feather-like strokes starting in areas where your hair is more sparse (like the tail or beginning of the brow).”

  • Do Drugstore Eyebrow Pencils Expire?

    Like all beauty products, eyebrow pencils do expire and should be replaced, explains Peña. “Check the timeline the manufacturer says, but I find I need to change brow pencils every three months to have the best glide and application.”