In 2018 alone, beauty-related content accounted for more than 169 billion views on YouTube. And at least 168 billion of those views were eyebrow tutorials.
Okay, maybe that part is an exaggeration. But we all know just how important eyebrows are. They shape your face and finish a look. They’re the difference between a Ringo Star unibrow and Keira Knightley brow perfection.
But just as important as how your eyebrows complete a look are the products you use to get there. And even more important than that are the ingredients that go into them. Your eyebrow pencil is no exception.
Eyebrow pencils can contain parabens, PEGs, and the other common toxins found in skincare. But they also have their own unique toxins to look out for. These include:
- Carbon black: linked to cancer and organ system toxicity
- Benzalkonium chloride (BAK): this preservative is toxic to the epithelial cells of the eyes
- Prime yellow carnauba wax: clogs the oils glands and can cause dry eye disease
- Heavy metals: found especially in metallic and green liners and can contribute to lung cancer and respiratory concerns
Natural and organic eyebrow pencils are made with ingredients that you don’t have to think twice about. Like all clean makeup, the best natural eyebrow pencils replace the toxic stuff with nourishing ingredients that protect and heal while performing their regular duty – i.e. keeping your brows on point.
Do You Need an Eyebrow Pencil?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: for every brow issue, there’s a brow product to fix it. But how do you know if you need an organic brow pencil? Or a powder? Or a gel or wax?
Gels and waxes can both be used to keep your eyebrows under control as well as add volume and pigment. However, waxes also act as a primer for other eyebrow products and makeup, whereas a tinted gel acts as an eyebrow makeup all on its own. Powders are the only product that shares some of the qualities of a pencil. That is, it’s used to create more defined and dense brows and it does that by building color.
But of all the brow products out there, a brow pencil is the most essential. It’s how you add natural-looking definition to brows that have gaps, are asymmetrical, or have sparse tails. There’s nothing quite like the hair-like precision of a brow pencil for filling and shaping your brows. That is, if you know how to use it properly…
How to Use Eyebrow Pencils
The first tip we have to offer about using eyebrow pencils is the most important. And that is: get the right shade. It’s best to go one shade lighter than your natural shade. When the pencil is darker or as dark as your hair, it looks unnatural. A lighter shade will soften and provide dimension to the brow.
From there, you’ll need to know how to apply it. Move along the brow contour starting with the sparser areas. Use the slip tip of the pencil to create small, hair-like strokes. Be sure to go in the direction of hair growth from the inside of the brow toward the tail. If your eyebrow pencil has a brush attachment, you can use that to blend the color and set your brows.
Best Organic & Natural Eyebrow Pencils
Protecting yourself from harmful ingredients in skin care is a conscious process that takes time. When you’re ready to replace your old eyebrow pencil with a natural or organic alternative, look no further than these top 7 recommendations for natural and organic eyebrow pencils.
Jane Iredale Retractable Brow Pencil $24
For the eyebrow expert, precision is key. And this ultra-fine, precision tip eyebrow pencil gives you all the control you need with a bonus spoolie for combing and blending. Available in 5 shades – ash blonde, blonde, brunette, medium and dark brunette – this popular natural eyebrow pencil longwearing, waterproof, and subtle.
Era Perez Almond Eyebrow Pencil $21
Ere Perez has gone above and beyond with this organic eyebrow pencil that not only protects with antioxidants like vitamin E, it’s also formulated with the likes of sweet almond and sesame seed oils to help nourish your brows and skin. Great for use on sensitive skin, the unique light brown-grey fan favorite that suits all is formulated without harsh chemicals, not tested on animals, as well as lightweight and non-greasy. Bonus points for the included brusht that allows for color to be spread evenly.
Alima Pure Eyebrow Pencil $18
One of the key characteristics of an eyebrow pencil is how long it lasts – and this eyebrow pencil gives you highly pigmented, all day wear so you never have to think about retouching your brows. The creamy formula comes in 3 shades suitable from blondes, brunettes and raven (darker blown and black) hair. Made without animal ingredients or byproducts, this natural eyebrow pencil contains hydrating ingredients like jokoba, macadamia seed oil, and meadowfoam seed oil that also make for a soft and smooth application.
Inika Certified Organic Natural Eyebrow Pencil $22
This certified organic eyebrow pencil comes packed with certified organic coconut oil that helps it glide on effortlessly and, even better, moisturizes and protects your skin as well as your hair follicle. A rich and creamy formulation (that comes in 2 shades), suitable for all skin types, this vegan and cruelty-free eyebrow pencil can be used for almost anything, including: accentuating your natural shape, filling in missing hairs, or defining a more dramatic look.
Burts Bees Brow Pencil $10
We’re suckers for products that give us more value for our dollar – and this 2-in-1 eyebrow pencil and spoolie fits nicely into that category. Coming in 2 shades suitable for blondes or brunettes, this formula is 99.9% natural and contains the likes of jojoba and shea butter for nourishment and deep hydration. But Burt’s Bees takes natural eyebrow pencil one step further by sourcing the wood for their pencil sustainably – now that’s a product we can get behind.
Kimiko Beaty Super Fine Eyebrow Pencil Automatique $27
This uniquely low-oil formula that’s also buildable lets you choose between a subtle blend or dramatically deep shades of Latte, Coffee, or Black Tea – all without upsetting the natural balance of oil on your skin. The highly-rated formula has been specifically designed to withstand both heat and humidity, meaning you get a day of wear and peace of mind.
Zuzu Luxe Cream Brow Pencil $16.50
A perfectly balanced formula that’s safe for all skin types, this eyebrow pencil features rich, bioavailable nutrients delivered to your skin through high concentrations of sea fennel. Use this pencil (available in 3 shades) for filling in sparse areas with light and feathery strokes and then brush them into place with the included brow brush (another 2-in-1… you know it!).
Read our run-down if you’re looking for the best organic and natural eyebrow gels, pomades, waxes and more.
Doing your eyebrows is an essential part of your makeup routine. But using products that contain potentially harmful ingredients is definitively not essential.
Instead, choose from any of these organic and natural eyebrow pencils. They’ll do everything your old pencil did but, thanks to the nourishing and soothing ingredients in their formulas, they’ll do it way better.