Review: Anastasia | Brow Wiz Pencil "Dark Brown"

Undoubtedly the queen of eyebrows in the blogsosphere, the Anastasia Beverly Hills brand made waves with one single pencil, the Brow Wiz long before the rise of the ombre, #instagrambrow. Still one of her best selling products, this automatic twist up brow pencil aims to create natural flawless brows whether you’re filling in or drawing in. After years of lemming this, I finally have it in my hands thanks to the Sephora Favourites gift set this past year!
THE BASICS
Brand: Anastasia
Product: Brow Wiz Automatic Brow Pencil in “Dark Brown”
Colours: 9 shades in total
Size: 0.08grams
Price: $27CAD
Availability: Sephora (online & in stores), Anastasia online
Would I repurchase: Probably.
Website: www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com

Now you may recall my somewhat disillusioned experience with the brand’s Dipbrow Pomade (see review here) from a few weeks back so I approached this pencil with a mixture of apprehension, excitement and a smidgen of hope. I do not have very dark or many much brow hairs so any extra help will look like makeup (that I have already accepted) but of course the goal is still to look as natural as possible.
Brow Wiz is packaged as a super slim dual sided twist up pencil with the lead on one end and a spoolie on the other for blending and smoothing any unruly hairs. It has a good blend of waxy and creamy texture to draw easily on the skin without much effort and the fine tip makes it possible to mimic the look of thin brow hairs while also allowing for quick overall coverage. 
In comparison to my favourite Dior Browstyler (reviewed here), this deposits significantly more colour per stroke but isn’t too waxy so you need not worry about gluing your brow hairs together into an unsightly clump. It certainly offers more flexibility for various brow looks from natural to super defined whereas it’s much hard to build texture with the Dior.

While photographing the Brow Wiz, it might be worth noting that it’s actually made in Korea which has me thinking if there may be other similar Korean branded (and less expensive) brow products available but that’s to be another post for another time.

Anastasia currently offers 9 shades (via Sephora) for this pencil which ranges from a light ash blonde down to a sooty ebony in tones of warm, neutral and cool; an impressive array for almost all hair colours. Since mine was part of a Sephora Favourites Kit and came prepackaged with other products, the colour I have is Dark Brown (formerly Brunette) which is suggested for medium brown to black hair. It’s a little tricky to capture on camera but compared to my other brow products this appears to run fairly neutral and even just a tinge ashy.

In the before and after photos (below) you can see that Brow Wiz builds a substantial brow look while still remaining fairly soft yet with some textural qualities that looks more natural than the Dipbrow on me. I did not apply any other brow products and simply filled in my brow shape, gave the front a quick smudge with my fingertip, groomed the hairs slightly with the spoolie and then went back to sharpen the top and bottom edges the pencil for a clean line.

With a bit of practice, I’ve been really happy with how this turns out and for days when I want to tote around a single product that will function in multiple makeup looks (say I’m traveling or on the go) this works perfectly. Now granted, I do have to pay more attention to what I’m drawing when using this (as opposed to the Dior where I can literally put it on haphazardly and get away with it) it’s just a much better colour match for my current hair. Plus, I do love the way I can build some slight texture while I’m at it and it doesn’t look or feel heavy. Lasting power is great this time of the year and it even handles a splash of water or two but I’ll have to take it through a summer run to really tell you how bulletproof this is.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16649915362/player/

THE FINAL VERDICT
A really easy to use, versatile and travel friendly brow pencil, the Anastasia Brow Wiz is certainly a must try at least once for all the brow challenged people out there. The texture is great to work with and gives you the option of going light or heavy depending on your mood. More importantly, it’s not too waxy which means no more hairs getting stuck together and it’s easily blendable with your finger or the attached spoolie brush into a softer look. It’s a much better everyday product than the Dipbrow in my opinion and certainly more forgiving for those who just have fewer brow hairs to begin with. I am actually looking forward to trying out their duo-toned powder for the brows (as it creates an even more diffused look) so more of that to come!
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16443628047/player/

INGREDIENTS: Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil/Hydrogenated Huile Végétale, Zinc Stearate, Stearic Acid, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Ferric Ferrocyanide (Ci 77510). 

Review: Anastasia | Dipbrow Pomade

The last few years has seen the rise of the bold brow as a major beauty statement. From the runway to the hallway; bold, sharp and full brows were the most covetable. As the Hollywood queen of eyebrows, makeup brand Anastasia (Beverly Hills) put out one major brow changer. The Dipbrow.

THE BASICS
Brand: Anastasia Beverly Hill
Product: Dipbrow Pomade in “Dark Brown”
Colours: 11 shades
Size: 4g
Price: $23CAD
Availability: Sephora, select salons, Anastasia retailers worldwide
Would I repurchase: Undecided.

Who knew that people would (or can for that matter) go so crazy over a brow product but if there was one hit item in the past year that was on everyone’s lips (whether you had brows or not) it was this Dipbrow Pomade. Allegedly this is pretty much all that the makeup artists in Sephora would use on a regular basis. So what’s the deal?

Being the lesser haired girl that I am (on my brows that is, I’ve got plenty on my head), I wasn’t initially very interested in Dipbrow at all. I’ve heard of women using the popular MAC Fluidline gel liner in their brows but those were for the serious brow goers…what’s a girl like me going to do with a product like this I thought.
The Dipbrow comes in 11 shades ranging from a pale taupe to a rich ebony. Packaged in a small glass jar, it is unscented and has a soft smooth consistency that picks up easily with a light touch. If we look closely at the ingredients list, this seems to be a silicone based product instead of wax based which may account for its pliability and easy blendability. A brush is available separately from the brand but here I’ve been using my old POSH angled liner brush with no problems at all, just make sure your brush of choice is firm and has a hard edge.

While the large colour selection is impressive, it can be hard to find your right match as many of the shades look similar in the pot so I would definitely suggest swatching the colours yourself and blending them out for a better true to life match. After fiddling between Medium Brown (ash), Dark Brown and Chocolate (warm), I ended up with the Dark Brown which is a neutral brown shade that’s seems to be a pretty safe bet whatever tone I decide to dye my hair next.
Dipbrow is marketed to be a “Waterproof brow color ideal for sculpting, defining and carving perfectly precise brows that won’t fade. Smudge-free, creamy formula glides on skin and adheres to hair.”

As you can see from my swatch photos this is not smudge proof. Accidentally rubbing your eyebrow from those inevitable brow itches will result in some smearing though running water over my hand didn’t do any damage at all. Another bonus point is that Dipbrow doesn’t melt or breakdown when your natural oils come through so as long as you keep your hands away, it should last a good amount of time.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16143735246/player/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/15547175524/player/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/16167618731/player/

Having used everything from traditional pencils, to brow powders and even gels I can say that Dipbrow is not easy to use if you don’t have much experience filling in your eyebrows or if you have very sparse brow hairs. While the pomade formulation doesn’t stick your hairs together like waxes or gels tend to do, this product has the tendency to look rather fake if you don’t have the enough brow hairs to blend through. This means that you’ll be literally painting the colour on the skin and combined with the heavier colour payoff, it’s easy to go overboard.
But for those who are deep in to the brow game and prefer a super sharp, super carved brow look this is your one step brow shader. Pair it with some some concealer to clean up the edges and that’s your trendy high contouring brow look down.
L-R : MUFE Aquabrow #25 | Lise Watier Double Definition Brow Pencil “Brun Universel”
The Face Shop Style My Eyebrow #2 | Anastasia Dipbrow “Dark Brown”

If you’re still a little confused by the colouring and what I mean by neutral tone, I’ve swatched the Dipbrow next to a few other of my brow products. Between these, it definitely falls into a balanced middle ground. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/47848761@N08/15982093338/player/

THE FINAL VERDICT

Having tried it myself I can certainly see the appeal of the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade but realistically I think it’s more suited for a very particular sharp/carved brow look and isn’t the most beginner friendly of products. It takes much more practice to handle this product and overall isn’t ideal for those with sparse brow hairs to being with. For those working in high fashion, photography or a special artistic field Dipbrow is definitely a product to keep around for that perfected contoured look though for me it seems a bit much for my everyday attire. Now I haven’t exactly decided if I like it enough to keep it around but I do also have the Anastasia Brow Wiz (pencil) and will come back with a review on that soon. 

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INGREDIENTS:
Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Silica, Polyethylene, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ozokerite/Synthetic Wax, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Mica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylparaben, May Contain: (+/-) Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163).

Daily Goods: Anastasia merges skincare & makeup

Even as a beauty enthusiast, there is a first time for everything and while Anastasia has been around the industry for a good while now, this is the first time I’ve owned an item from this high end Hollywood line. Of course Anastasia is well know for her brow line and being the Queen of Brows (as I’ve been told) it’s only natural that she eventually bring her line over to colour makeup.
 Anastasia Illumin8 eyeshadow palette

What caught my eye with this palette, aside from the beautiful colours, was the claim of the “Youthful Synergy Complex” which is meant to decrease wrinkles and boost hydration. While I’m not quite seeking any serious anti-aging items yet, I can certainly use a little hydration around the eyes. Plus, as someone who experiments with and wears makeup frequently , I’d love for my colour items to do something more than just sit on my skin.
Anastasia Illumin8 eyeshadow palette

Just with a quick look, I am smitten with the casual luxury that this product represents. Very sleek, quite sophisticated and something I can imagine Jennifer Aniston putting around her eyes. With four colour duos that can be worn in their corresponding pairs or mixed together, there are enough variations in finish and colour to produce a good array of different looks.

Anastasia Illumin8 eyeshadow palette

I’m looking forward to testing out this beautiful palette and perhaps even featuring it in a tutorial or two! For all those curious about the Anastasia line, I believe they can be purchased from her salons in Beverly Hills, her online shop as well as Sephora locations worldwide.

Ciao,

OPEN: GlymmBox… Jan 2012

The first Glymmbox for 2012 arrived at my doorstep a few days ago and as usual, I was curious to see what goodies awaited testing for this month. This is my third Glymm beauty box and I have been generally pleased so far with the selection though I have yet to be floored by a particular box yet!

Let’s see what hopefuls are inside January’s box….

 Glymmbox 01-2012
A few quick points on “beauty boxes” and Glymm Box in general.
Available in Canada.
  • This is a “subscription” service (like you would a magazine)
  • $10/month (+ tax) + free shipping per month 
  • Receive a specially curated box of deluxe sized beauty samples (often times there is at least one full sized product!)
  • Products are chosen based on your initial preference survey but it’s a box of surprises every single month!
  • Glymm offers points for each box purchased (more points if you refer friends) which can be redeemed for products on their website.
That’s the brief but if you want more details on Glymm as a service, 
you can drop by their website HERE.

At first glance…

Glymmbox 01-2012

…. the box contents seemed good but again not “wow” in my opinion (of course this also varies depending on what products that you are interested in). My own preferences generally veer towards skincare and makeup so products in that range tend to excite me more so than others.

Click to roll the video!

A closer look…

Glymmbox 01-2012

ANASTASIA

Clear brow gel
  • Allure’s editor’s choice award winner
  • Keeps brows in order without being stiff or flaky
  • Full size: 0.28oz @ $21 CAD
My first thoughts: This would have been so much more appreciated by me if it was a tinted version. As someone who has very few brow hairs, I don’t need much “taming” but rather I need something to add some colour and shape to them. However I can see how choosing the “clear” version to send would make this a more universal product. On the bright side, Anastasia is a much talked about brand and one I would definitely be interested to invest in given some testing. Generally, I don’t just JUMP into a brow investment. 











CARGO

Eye Pencil “Black”
  • Cutting edge formulation, highly pigmented in a smudge free formula.
  • Easy application with minimal skipping.
  • Full size: 2g @ $16 CAD
My first thoughts: YES! A black eye pencil! While the point of these beauty boxes are to get me to try out new products, I’m often just not a “colourful eyeliner” type of gal. But a good old black pencil? Well I can certainly appreciate this one! Overall I am very faithful to my Revlon liquid liner but my favourite pencil liner is the MUFE AquaEyes. With a light swatch, I found the Cargo to be quite pigmented although not a deep rich black as I anticipated. I do love the firmness of the product, it has great potential to create a beautiful graphic line.

Glymmbox 01-2012

BURT’S BEES

Naturally Nourishing Milk & Honey Body Lotion
  • Clinically proven to restore moisture
  • Milk and Honey soothe, soften and hydrate skin with no greasy feel.
  • Full size: 170grams @ $12.99 CAD
My first thoughts: I would have preferred this in a tube because once you open this type of paper packing, they dry up fast! Other than that, I’m pleased to receive this Burt’s Bee’s product. From the couple of items I tried over the holidays their products seem to be solid and I’m taking quite a liking to their lip balms. The price of the full size is a little more than what I would usually prefer to pay for a drugstore lotion (hey, Vaseline on sale is only 2.99Cad) but not over the top.

VASANTI

BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
  • Aloe-enriched cleanser brightens with papaya enzymes.
  • Reveal a brighter, younger looking complexion with micro-crystals for a rejuvenated look.
  • Full size: 120ml @ $34 CAD

My first thoughts: This is my first encounter with Vasanti although I’ve seen it been mentioned in other people’s beauty boxes previously. I believe Vasanti is a Canadian beauty brand offering both skincare and makeup products. At first glace I was pretty excited about a face exfoliator, it is an essential part of a well balanced skincare routine in my opinion and I have tried quite a slew of exfoliating products over the years. At $34 dollars for a full sized tube (almost the price for a Dior cleanser) this had better perform some miracles.

KAIA NATURALS

Juicy Bamboo facial cleansing cloths
  • Sweep away dirt, makeup and oil for a clear complexion.
  • Soaked in vitamins and made with 99% natural ingredients.
  • Full size: 30 cloths @ $17.99 CAD

My first thoughts: Simply said, I’m just not much of a facial cloth user. I have upon occasions “indulged” in some Dove cleansing cloths which were convenient and fun but not a necessity for me unless I’m traveling. I do like the fact that this is made with 99% natural ingredients but as a makeup removing cloth in general, I would likely just opt for a bottle of grape seed oil and call it a day!

This wraps up my Janurary GlymmBox 2012.
Let me know what was in your beauty box lovelies!

Ciao,