Eyebrows are weird. You hear makeup artists and beauty bloggers talk about how your brows frame your face and create a structure for the rest of your makeup, but let’s face it– they’re not all that exciting! I’d much rather spend my time playing with pretty eyeshadows or a fun pop of lipstick than making sure my eyebrows are perfectly in place.
Naturally my brows are pretty “meh.” Not too thick, not too thin, and they maintain an okay shape as long as I maintain their grooming. When I do my brows, I want a product that’s user-friendly and fuss-free. I’m not really the type of person who tries to dramatically alter the shape of my brows. I just want to fill them in and make them look a bit more polished.
I’ve been using the Anastasia Brow Wiz for the last few years, but after hearing good things about the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil, I decided to put it to the test. Here’s my side by side comparison…
First and foremost, here’s how the two products are described on the Sephora website:
Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil
A brow pencil that combines the benefits and technique of a powder, pencil, and wax.
This soft, innovative brow pencil fills in bald spots by adding dimension to fine brow hairs, making them look uniformly dense. It combines all of the benefits and techniques of various brow formulas to create the look of naturally fuller, multidimensional, and defined brows in one easy step. The sleek metal double-ended design has a unique triangular shape tip on one end to allow complete control and precision with every application, while the other end features a brush for brow grooming.
Anastasia Brow Wiz
An ultraslim mechanical pencil to shape, define, and fill in your brows for a natural, polished look.
Sometimes brows need a little magic. This must-have pencil features an ultrafine, retractable tip to fill in gaps easily and mimic brow hair. Perfect for spot checking areas that may be sparse or over-tweezed, the smear-proof formula wears all day for a natural, fresh look.
At first glance, these they seem quite comparable. However, there are a couple of key differences that I think make these two products quite different. (Spoiler alert: There’s not a clear winner and loser in my book, but each one has pros and cons, depending on what you look for in a brow product.)
You’ll notice a theme running through this post: everything about the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil is slim, while the Hourglass pencil is much more… sturdy? That seems like a strange way to describe a makeup product, but you’ll get what I mean.
Both pencils have a twist-up tip at one end, and a spooly brush on the other. But, while Hourglass pencil’s signature bronzy-chrome packaging gets it points for appearance, I also find that it’s slightly thicker, and noticeably heavier, which makes it difficult to apply feathery, hairlike strokes.
The most obvious difference between these two products is the shape of the pencil itself. The Anastasia Brow Wiz is super fine and pointed, whereas the Hourglass pencil is wedge-shaped. (Almost like a thick, angled eyeshadow brush.) The wedge shape is quite crisp when it is first taken out of the box, but wears down after a couple of uses.
Finally, the spooly brush on the Anastasia Brow Wiz is longer and thinner than the Hourglass one. This is neither a plus nor a minus in my book– just something I observed.
The Anastasia Brow Wiz feels like your typical eyebrow pencil. The pencil itself is quite firm, and you can apply it light or dark depending on how much pressure you apply it with. The product claims that it’s waterproof, and while I haven’t explicitly tested it, I’ve found it to be reasonably longwearing. It doesn’t smudge during the course of a normal work day, but it does fade. (Nothing drastic– I just notice that my eyebrows aren’t as dark when I get home from work as they are when I leave in the morning.)
The Hourglass Arch Brow is a much waxier, slightly softer pencil. I hadn’t read the official product description (above) until I began writing this post, but it makes sense that they describe it as providing all the “benefits of a powder, pencil, and wax.” (More on this in “application,” below.) Because the pencil is waxy, the color payoff isn’t quite as good as the Anastasia pencil. However, the color does build up nicely, and I found that it didn’t fade over the course of the day. Additionally, the waxy texture did a great job holding my eyebrows’ shape without the need for a brow gel.
I use the shade “Dark Brown” in both products. The colors are very, very similar, but the Hourglass pencil is just a touch warmer.
This is where it gets tricky, and opinions are going to vary widely.
If you want more control from your brow pencil, OR you have thin eyebrows– definitely go for the Anastasia Brow Wiz. The thin tip lets you draw each individual eyebrow hair exactly where you want, for a crisp, defined effect.
If you typically prefer brow powders, and just want something quick, OR you have thick eyebrows that need taming– you’ll probably prefer the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting pencil. The wedge-shaped tip loses its shape after the first few uses, and becomes more oval-shaped. This makes it hard to draw feathery, hair-like strokes, and they all sort of blend together. Coupled with the bulkier packaging and the effect is softer– much like using a brow powder. (Hence: providing all the “benefits of a powder, pencil, and a wax.”) It’s great for filling in bald spots, but not for creating anything crisp or defined.
The Short Version
So, who’s the winner in each category?
- Packaging: Hourglass looks prettier, but Anastasia is more functional.
- Longevity: Hourglass lasts all day and keeps brows in place without a wax or gel.
- Color Selection: This didn’t affect me, but Anastasia has a much better shade range.
- Application: Tie. It depends on your personal preference and what you look for. Anastasia is gives you more control for creating a crisp, defined brow. Hourglass is quicker for filling in bald spots, but has a softer effect.
- Price: Anastasia
So, which would I end up picking? It’s kind of a toss up.
I didn’t think I was the type of person that craved that much control in an eyebrow pencil, but I found that the effect of the Hourglass pencil was too soft for me. Whenever I used it, I found myself craving the precision and the control of the Anastasia Brow Wiz. But, I much prefer the formula and longevity of the Hourglass Brow Wiz…
Ultimately, I decided that I had to change the way I was looking at the Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil. It’s honestly like using a brow powder and topping it with a wax–but in pencil form. The Anastasia Brow Wiz is a standard eyebrow pencil. The two products achieve different effects depending on what you’re going for that day.
Have you tried either of these products? Something different? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I recently got a sample of the It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil, so that one is definitely next in my lineup of products to try out!
Thanks for reading! ‘Til next time!