Set your pencil aside and take your brow game to the next level.
There are countless brow treatments you can undergo for full, feathery brows — but if you’re of the population that doesn’t want to dip your toes into permanent brow treatments just yet, a brow pen is your next best bet. The best brow pens come with an ultra-fine or fork-shaped tip to draw on realistic-looking brow hairs, leaving you with a micro-bladed effect without the commitment. Pens with ultra-fine tips are best for drawing on individual brows hairs to add fullness and depth to any sparse areas, but if you have fine or over-plucked brows, you can opt for a brow pen that has a fork-shaped tip, which allows you to draw on multiple ‘brow hairs’ at a time.
How To Use A Brow Pen
First, grip the pen lightly — if you grasp the pen too hard, you may run the risk of applying too much pressure, which can result in heavier (and therefore less natural-looking) lines. Follow the natural growth pattern of your eyebrows and flick the pen upward at the front; diagonally (with the ends pointing to your temples) from the middle to the arch; and downward on the tail. If you’re looking for a great tutorial, makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes — who starts by prepping her brows with a latex-free lash glue — has a great video, here.
Shop The Best Brow Pens
In a hurry? Here are the best brow pens:
- Best Drugstore Brow Pen: NYX Lift & Snatch Eyebrow Tint Pen
- Best Prestige Brow Pen: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pen
- Best Vegan Brow Pen: Lime Crime Bushy Brow Pen
- Best 2-in-1 Eyebrow Pen & Pencil Duo: Urban Decay Brow Blade
- Best Brow Pen With A Fork-Shaped Tip: L’Oréal Paris Micro Ink Pen
1. Best Drugstore Brow Pen
- Has the widest shade range of all the brow pens on this list.
- Offered in an ‘Auburn’ shade for redheads.
Finding a good eyebrow pen is already difficult — finding one that works for your hair color, especially if you’re a redhead, is even harder. The NYX Lift & Snatch Eyebrow Tint Pen comes in a rusty red shade (‘Auburn’) that should work for most gingers. If you don’t have red hair, this pen comes in a variety of other shades ranging from blonde to black, meaning that you, too, can enjoy drawing on pinpoint brow hairs that are so realistic-looking, some might wonder if they’re professionally done. Best of all, this best-selling brow pen rings up at just about $12 on Amazon.
Available shades: Blonde, Auburn, Taupe, Soft Brown, Caramel, Ash Brown, Brunette, Espresso, Gray Black, Black
Relevant Review: “I have been using this for quite some time now. It is the best product I've found for natural looking eyebrows, not the painted on brows. You can create hair like strokes very easily IF you discipline yourself to use an extremely light hand. I do wish they made a truly waterproof formula, but I use [an] eyebrow gel before and after applying and that has helped keep my brows from walking away during the day! These pens last longer than any type of gel pen I have ever used. They do not dry out. I love it!”
2. Best Prestige Brow Pen
- This is the priciest brow pen on this list.
Anastasia Beverly Hills is the go-to brand for pros (the founder, Anastasia Soare, is a brow specialist who counts Kim Kardashian as a client), so it’s no surprise that the brand’s brow pen does a phenomenal job at drawing on natural-looking brow hairs. This pen features a fine-tip applicator and a truly waterproof formula, so you don’t have to worry about it melting off if you attend a yoga class or get caught in the rain.
Available shades: Medium Brown, Blonde, Caramel, Dark Brown, Ebony, Granite, Soft Brown, Taupe
Relevant Review: “I’ve bought this over and over. The best brow pen on the market. Goes on smooth, stays put through vigorous exercise and sweat while running. The best!”
3. Another Great, Prestige Brow Pen (That’s Vegan, Too)
- Only comes in four shades.
If precision, color payoff, and definition are at the top of your brow pen wishlist, opt for the Lime Crime Bushy Brow Pen. This pen features a super-fine tip (the brand claims it’s “as thin as a pin”) that allows you to create ultra-precise brow hairs in any sparse areas where you’d like to add fullness. Also, this pen is a great option for beginners because the entire brush is fairly thin from base to tip, so the chances of accidentally drawing on harsh, thick strokes are low. Like all LimeCrime products, the Bushy Brow Pen is both vegan and cruelty-free.
Available shades: Baby Brown (cool light brown), Brownie (neutral dark brown), Dirty Blonde (taupe blonde), Smokey (black brown)
Relevant Review: “I like this one because it gives you hair like strokes that look like an actual hair that you can't achieve with even the smallest eyebrow pencil from a store. This has been the best eyebrow tool I've used so far. It's a little pricey for sure, but the results make it worth it! [...] This is amazing and lasts a while because you are just using little brow strokes to fill in the brows you already have. I'm glad I've found this product!”
4. Best 2-in-1 Eyebrow Pen & Pencil Duo
- Has both an ultra-fine marker tip and a pencil tip to fit all your brow needs.
- More travel-friendly since it’s a 2-in-1 product.
If you’re still dealing with the aftermath of the over-plucked eyebrow trend of the ‘90s, give the Urban Decay Brow Blade a whirl. This pen features an ultra-fine tip to draw on brow hairs in any sparse areas, while the pencil side is there to add shadows and depth, creating more dimension for realistic-looking brows. And although this pen is on the pricey side, you’re technically getting two products in one.
Available shades: Brunette Betty (warm brown), Blackout (soft black), Dark Drapes (dark brown), Neutral (neutral brown), Taupe Trap (universal taupe)
Relevant Review: “Honestly the only crucial aspect missing is an eyebrow brush for blending, but we all have one of those lying around. Otherwise, this is a must have for anyone who enjoys eyebrow makeup. Can do the fluffy clean look with the tip. Can do the full filled in look with the pencil. Try it a few times to get the hang of it and you will love it, promise.”
5. Best Brow Pen With A Fork-Shaped Tip
- Some reviewers report that it takes some practice to achieve ultra-fine, hair-like strokes.
- Not cruelty-free.
For those who prefer to set a shorter time limit on their beauty routine, the L’Oréal Paris Micro Ink Pen is for you. With its fork-shaped felt tip, this pen draws on multiple brow hairs at a time, making it ideal for covering larger areas in one fell swoop (though it may take you a bit longer to get a hang of the technique). This $10 brow pen is waterproof, too, as a major bonus.
Available shades: Dark Brunette, Blonde, Brunette, Dark Blonde, Light Brunette
Relevant Review: “Love this eyebrow pencil. It is so easy to apply and stays on all day. Washes off easy enough. It has lasted many months, but I ordered a new one just to make sure I never run out. On my third now!”