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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