The Best-Ever Brow Pencil My Grandmother Got Me Hooked On
What do Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and my Southern grandma have in common? Great brows.
Growing up, we learn no shortage of beauty secrets and truths from our grandmothers, whether it be to use lipstick as blush in a pinch or to blast your eyelash curler with the blow-dryer to make the curl last longer. In all accounts, proceed with caution. (Nobody likes burnt lashes, and five to eight seconds is the sweet spot.)
My grandmother knew how to put on a face of makeup like a pageant queen with her eyes closed, and because of her, I know the power of finding your signature lipstick—hers was Revlon Orange Flip; mine is Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk—and that eyebrows are meant to be sisters, not twins. I told her once that her brows weren’t matching up; “all wonky,” I believe were the words. I was only ten and didn’t know the art of brow penciling at the time, to be fair. She took it like a champ, picked up her Lancôme powder pencil, thanked me for my honesty, and fixed those sisters up. We still joke about it.
Powder pencils might be thankfully out of trend now, but my grandmother is still my best makeup muse. A filled-in, shaped set of eyebrows is the difference between looking perfectly fine and having the confidence of Elizabeth Taylor who landed seven husbands with those statement brows—Elizabeth Taylor brows are the goal. So a few years ago, when my grandmother talked up the hottest new brow pencil before I’d even heard of it, I made like a Costco shopper and grabbed a sample.
Benefit Cosmetics’ Precisely, My Brow Pencil is now an industry staple, but it was still new to the scene when my grandmother happened across it on a trip to Ulta to refill her favorite MAC lip liner. To put it succinctly, it’s become one of the top three makeup products I would save if my makeup bag was on fire on a deserted island.
The doubled-ended pencil comes equipped with an easy-gliding formula on one end that promises 12-hour waterproof wear and comes in 12 customizable shades for all skin undertones. (The coolest shade has to be the soft gray made for gray-haired gals!) It doesn’t ever require a sharpener and has an ultra-fine micro tip that ensures the most natural-looking hair-like eyebrow filling in just seconds. On the other end, you have a built-in spoolie brush that blends the product enough to make it look like you were naturally born with super defined, beautiful brows.
I’ve tried other brow pencils since—both expensive and drugstore—and none measure up to this simple in theory, but totally game-changing one. The only tweak I’ll make on my most ambitious day is to follow up with a clear brow gel to set the perfect eyebrows in their place. For that, I trust in Benefit’s 24-Hour Brow Setter, which happens to be a favorite product of makeup artists.
Every Christmas, my grandmother and I still head to Ulta to stock up on Precisely, My Brow Pencils—our favorite tradition. You can shop it for yourself here.
No bad day has ever started with a really great set of eyebrows, so channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor and get those brows going.