Korean Gray-Brown Brow Pencil Comparison

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How to cite: Wong M. Korean Gray-Brown Brow Pencil Comparison. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. January 23, 2016. Accessed March 3, 2024. https://labmuffin.com/korean-gray-brown-brow-pencil-comparison/

I have undyed East Asian hair, so it’s hard to find a good brow product in stores in Australia. Luckily the Asian beauty market has it covered with tons of grey-brown options! I couldn’t find many comparison swatches online so I ended up buying a whole stack of “Gray Brown” pencils from a range of Korean brands (The Face Shop, Missha, A’pieu, Skinfood, Tonymoly, Lioele) from RoseRoseShop, and swatched them to show the difference. I hope this helps someone with the same dilemma!


Here are the “Gray Brown” products I swatched:

A’pieu Nature Easy Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
Tonymoly Lovely Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
Skinfood Black Bean Eyebrow Pencil in Gray Brown
The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Gray Brown
The Face Shop Lovely ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Dark Gray
Lioele Auto Eyebrow in Gray Black
Missha The Style Perfect Eyebrow Styler in Gray Brown
A’pieu Harutatoo Brow in Dark Brown


Since my hair is undyed, the roots of my hair and brows are naturally grey-tinged. Pretty much all of the affordable brown brow pencils designed for brunettes in Australia pull too red, while black pencils are too dark, so they both look pretty unnatural. There are a few OK products on the market, but they’re few and far between, so I’ve been using The Face Shop ME:EX Design My Eyebrow in Gray Brown as my everyday brow pencil, while my sister uses the same pencil in Dark Gray. The shades are very similar, though Gray Brown has a subtle brown tone.

I was most disappointed in Skinfood‘s version of Gray Brown – it’s really red and not very grey. But they do offer other shades that could potentially work quite well (Gray, Black Gray, Black Brown). It’s unfortunate that their marketing is all Photoshopped and doesn’t have the most accurate colours – I’ve found this to be the case with most Korean cosmetic products actually.

Tonymoly‘s pencil is a little better, but it’s still noticeably reddish. A’pieu‘s eyebrow pencil has more of a yellow tinge to it. The closest I got to my perfect Gray Brown was with the Missha pencil – unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive.

I’ve also included a swatch of Lioele‘s Gray Black pencil on here – I think my sister’s preference for Gray over Gray-Brown is paying off, because there’s so much less variation in tone when there’s no brown involved.

A’pieu Harutatoo Brow marker is here too. The colour is a good match, but I’m a little scared to use it – pencils seem much easier to blend, and I need to blend, because my brows are pretty angled and if they’re too bold, my resting bitch face is next-level scary.

I’m surprised that there was so much variation in colour tone within the one shade, but I guess it’s not surprising – there’s a lot of variation in “Brown” between (and within!) brands, so it makes sense that adding grey to the mixture would make it worse. I’m hoping that I can use up the rest of the colours somehow – perhaps when I tint my hair? For now, I’m still sticking with The Face Shop ME:EX Design My Eyebrow as my brow product.

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9 thoughts on “Korean Gray-Brown Brow Pencil Comparison”

  1. Well done!! That’s a lot of eyebrow pencils! I’m still looking for the right one as my eyebrows are ridiculously fair and my hair isn’t. With eyebrows, when it’s wrong it’s really wrong!!

  2. I struggle with this so much! My best match so far is Etude House My Drawing Brow in 01 or 02 (names have rubbed off but they both work for my dark black-brown hair) but the packaging sucks. I’ll have to give TFS a try:) And whatever you do, don’t try the Holika Holika eyebrow pencil in Dark Brown–so red! !

  3. I’m using an eyebrow gel- Lancôme sourcils gel in 04 chatain and 03 taupe. It’s like Anastasia dip brow. I quite like it, I prefer gel over pencil. 04 is like a cool dark grey brown. 03 is lighter but still works on my black Asian brows, is more of a brown brown but no red undertone. All the drugstore ones I found are too red warm based.


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