Today though, as part of Project Focus 10, I’ll be reviewing the Shu Uemura brow:sword:
It retails for CAD $42 and is available in 5 colours. I have the shade Acorn which is a taupey brown shade. This product is refillable and the refills sell for $29 each. I bought mine at Hudson’s Bay.
Brow products are all the rage these days. I’d say that in terms of my makeup journey, brows were the last in my travels. I have fairly sparse brows but shape-wise, they’re fine naturally. I don’t even need to shape them really – I may pluck the odd stray hair once a month. 😛
When I finally started filling in my brows, I started out with brow pencils but found that they didn’t provide a natural appearance (turns out the pencils I was using were too waxy). I moved onto brow powder next – a more natural look but I found they did not lasted the whole day. I then did a combination of brow marker pen and powder – which was perfect, but took way too long in the mornings.
Finally, I heard about the makeup artists’ favourite brow product: the Shu Uemura Hard Formula brow pencil in Seal Brown ($29). This Japanese product was raved about for how natural it looked, and how well it lasts on the brows all day. And after a bit of a learning curve, it became my go-to brow product. And I was happy as a clam using the Shu Uemura pencil for years… so why did I switch to the Shu Uemura brow: sword? a) I like to try new products b) The demo of this product persuaded me c) It has the word SWORD in the product name! d) all of the above. 😉
I went to the Shu Uemura counter with the intent to repurchase the Hard Formula pencil and walked out with the brow:sword instead. So entered this nifty brow crayon into my life. It’s a retractable pencil with a flattened angled point, which helps to create the appearance of individual hairs. The brow:sword is like a Swiss Army knife, containing not only the brow product refill, but also a spoolie, and a sharpener – this is what it looks like taken apart:
This is what the crayon lead looks like brand new, unused:
And this is what it looks like after a month of usage, and then sharpened:
The formula is similar to that of the Hard Formula pencil but just ever so slightly softer. It is not waxy at all – I dislike waxy brow pencils that clump the brow hairs together. I don’t need brow gels or waxes, or other hair holding products – I need my brow products to help create the illusion of hairs. I like to draw short strokes with my brow pencil in the direction of hair growth to mimic the look of hairs. Unfortunately, I find the brow:sword to be a little thick for this purpose – my brows end up looking a bit chunkier than I personally like, especially at the tails.
The built-in sharpener is rather handy – it’s just a v-shaped groove with a slit cut out, when the crayon is run back and forth along it, the lead gets shaved off. But the crayon edge doesn’t get as sharp as the point of a regular pencil. What is great about this product is how fast it fills in the brows – I’ve shaved my brow routine by almost half the time!
Another change for me is the actual colour of the brow pencil. I told the MUA that I normally use the shade Seal Brown and she felt that it was too ashy / grey for me. I have a natural reddish tint to my dark brown hair so she advised that Acorn would be a more suitable shade. She was right! It looks very natural without a hint of orange and matches my hair better.
The box states that there is 0.3g of product in this but I wanted to see how much product was inside the casing so I took a chance and swiveled the whole pencil up to see how much product is inside, it measures 2.5cm.
I don’t have a full size Hard Formula pencil to compare but I do know that it contains a whopping 4g of product. From memory, the pencil was much longer than an average cosmetic eyeliner pencil – more like a full-size lead pencil (approx 17cm excluding the eraser – yup I just measured a lead pencil on my desk). One of the Hard Formula pencils lasts me at least 2 years with daily use – it remains to be seen how long the brow:sword will last me. I’m guessing it will be less than a year. Oh, and the brow:sword retracts just fine back into the casing. 🙂
• Natural looking
• Long wearing formula
• Travel-friendly with brow spoolie included
• Built-in sharpener
• Not as fine line as a pencil
• Less product than the Hard Formula pencil
Stash worthiness: 7/10
Likely I will not refill the brow:sword once I’m done, but will go back to the Hard Formula pencil – but one good thing about this whole experience is that I’ll now switch to the Acorn shade in the pencil going forward.
What’s your HG brow product?
Tidbits on the other Project Focus 10 items:
• I’ve been keeping the Clinique Pop Lip Colour Bare Pop at my desk at work last week so I don’t forget to wear it – I managed to remember to wear it only twice though.
• I wore the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water every day this week as a primer, spraying it just before applying my foundation.
• I made a concerted effort to use the Smashbox Double Exposure palette this week and I did use it 3 times. I’m trying to force myself to use every single colour in the palette at least once but I just can’t bring myself to wearing the straight up silver one yet.