shu uemura brow:sword eyebrow pencil - seal brown

12:25:00 AM mandy 0 Comments

lavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil Review

Brows were never a priority when I ventured into all things beauty. I was more willing to figure out eyeliner before I went near the tiny strands of hairs above my lids. The thought of plucking one too many hairs or wrongly shaving a portion was too stressful. At least with other areas of makeup, I could remove it if anything went wrong. Brows? That requires a wait for it to regrow. Now that I mustered up enough trust in myself to tackle my eyebrows, I am slowly getting the hang of all things eyebrow related.

When I had the chance to shop shu uemura in person during one of the many layover stops in Hong Kong, I couldn't pass on the chance to try their brow products. The brand is best known for their cleansing oils and brow products (more precisely the hard formula pencil). While I love to try coveted items, I hated the idea of having to manual shave the tip with a knife—which led me to the shu uemura's brow:sword .

I would be lying if I said this was my first eyebrow product, this was actually number 2. First place went to Anatasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. I don't remember what shade I purchased or if it was even a good match or not. I walked into Sephora and trusted the experts to help me with my first brow item. After a few months of sparing usage, I thought the product itself was just ok; the pencil and spoolie broke off a little too easily and the tip was too thin for my liking. The main feature I liked was its retractability.

brow:sword is the complete opposite of Brow Wiz. One is thick, the other is thin. One has a slanted edge, the other a fine point. One is very sturdy, the other quite flimsy. All that I didn't like about Anatasia's bestseller, I found were fixed with shu uemura's underdog star.

lavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil seal brown label

lavlilacs lavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil seal brown packaging

shu uemura's description:

1st pre-shaped naginata brow pencil. easy and soft, yet precise and defined. the beautiful smooth texture allows for easy drawing and with a pre-set sharpener precision that comes naturally. the convenient brush tip also helps blending for a beautiful, perfectly finish brow look.

how to use brush
pull the bottom cap off to reveal the brush. hold the brush flat against the brow and brush outwards to comb brow hair.

how to use sharpener
twist the bottom cap to reveal the sharpener. hold the sharpener on notch at the bottom, twist the pencil to reveal 7 mm lead and gently slide the pencil along the groove at a 30 degree angle.


Pencil catridge 0.3 g
shu uemura (Japanese retail): ¥ 4,000
shu uemura - refill cartridge (Japanese retail): ¥ 2,000
shu uemura (American retail): USD $35
shu uemura - refill cartridge (American retail): USD $25

lavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil components
lavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil sword closeuplavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil sharpener


A double-ended eyebrow product with a replaceable retractable pencil on one end and a spoolie/sharpener combo on the other. The pencil cartridge is easily removed with a gentle tug. Twisting the spoolie end will reveal the sharpener to help achieve the unique sword shape.

I love the design of this. The tube is thick and long enough to hold comfortably while not straining my hands. The spoolie is on the stubbier side but it is sturdy, none of that thin and flimsy stuff. I have never used the sharpener despite it coming with the pencil. I don't find myself ever needing the tip to be blade sharp.

lavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil seal brown swatch

Color, Texture, Finish, & Scent

Seal brown is a very cool-toned ashy brown. This is the shade the sales associate in Hong Kong recommended me. Again, I made up my mind to trust her; c'mon it is Hong Kong! They help loads of people with dark black hair and with my similar skin tone. Seal brown seems to be a good match. The brown helps give a softer look and the cool undertones make my brows look more filled-in/shadowy versus drawn on.

The pencil seems waxy in its formulation and gives a matte finish. There isn't any scent. I love that it is is a harder type eyebrow pencil. I've used it for almost 2 years (albeit it was nearly untouched for the first year) with varying degrees of pressure and it never broke or crumbled on me. A light swipe only gives a faint line—but that is just the way I like my eyebrow pencils. Put a tad more pressure and the line gets exponentially deeper. This lets me build up the intensity to however I want. If a pencil is too soft and creamy I would over apply way too quickly.

lavlilacs shu uemura brow sword eyebrow pencil seal brown swatch on brows

How I Apply

On most days I draw an outline around my existing brows, giving it a sharper shape, and proceed to fill in the gaps. Then I take the spoolie, brush out my hairs, and blend away at the harsh edges I drew in for natural-softer brows.

Thoughts & Recommendations

Once the product is on my face it is very easy to blend with a spoolie; therefore, it is just as easy to rub off. With that said, my filled-in brows stay on for a long time on combination skin. The only time it is disturbed is if I scratch an itch or rub it accidentally (say against clothes or a hat).

Other than loving the color and formulation of the brow:sword, I didn't know how much I prefer the thicker slanted brow pencil tips until I started to use this product. The diagonal shape helps speed up the brow process a ton. I don't have to worry about whether my hand will draw a straight line with a tiny precision pencil or have to stroke individual hairs. If I did want to make hair-like strokes I could easily use the tippy-end of the sword to make the same defined lines as a precision pointed pencil would.

I almost forgot how expensive the shu uemura brow:sword is. Even compared to similarly shaped brow pencils available at Sephora, it is on the pricier end. Granted, one cartridge of the pencil is lasting me a very long time and I would give the brand bonus points for selling refill cartridges. Unfortunately, it seems like most shades of the brow:sword and refills are regularly out of stock (or never restocked) and shu uemura only officially sells via their website in the USA.

My experience with brow pencils is limited. But I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this product and shade to anyone else with darker hair, especially those with naturally black locks. Ashy browns aren't as harsh nor as strong as gray or black could be (unless that is the preferred look). Having a retractable slanted tip also makes this great for eyebrow newbies and lower-maintenance types since application is quick and pencil maintenance is virtually non-existent. For now, this will go on my wishlist for whenever I, or any family or close friends, touch-down in Asian airports or even visit Canada.