Meet the Shu Uemura Hard 9 Eyebrow pencil (1,400.00 Php). This baby is in a league of its own in the eyebrow pencil world and I don’t think it gets half as much time in the spotlight as it deserves. It’s actually one of the top 5 best-selling Shu Uemura products of all time, so it does have a following but I don’t hear too many people talk about it. In the reviews I have seen though, I hear nothing but praises, which this thing totally deserves.
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the tip of it isn’t the usual pointed end. It starts out that way when you purchase it but before you take it out of the store, a Shu Uemura MUA/SA will take it and sharpen the end to look like a naginata sword. Here’s a Shu Uemura SA from the Rockwell store shaping my Hard 9 pencil for the first time when I bought it in June:
Took her about 15 minutes to get the shape just right and she did it superbly! Ordinary pencils can’t even be shaped the way the Hard 9 pencil can because they are all too soft to hold the shape. The wood and the pencil lead are both so hard (hence the name) that it doesn’t even feel precarious to have such a long section of the lead unprotected by the wood. Having the pencil shaped in such a way allows you to draw in your brows with precision, angling the end according to which part of the brow you are working on.
One curious side effect of the stiff consistency of the lead is that you can’t swatch the pencil’s colour on the back of your hand at all. There’s definitely some waxiness to the product but the pigment is not released until it comes in contact with the natural oils in your hair. It’s really strange and if the SA had not approached me as I was looking at the product, I would have dismissed it as a crap. It was only after she demonstrated the effects on my brows that I really believed what she was saying. In a few light strokes she had squared out the inner portion of my brow. It didn’t feel like anything was happening but when I compared my two eyebrows, the results were obvious.
After using the pencil myself every day for the past few months, I’m still in awe at the magic this pencil can do. It feels like you’re not doing much but when you step back, you see the effects clearly. My eyebrows are thick to begin with so I focus on shaping them and lengthening them. I love that this doesn’t give me too much of a harsh look as it’s easy to overdo it with my brows! To see how this works on more sparse brows, click here.
I also love that I don’t need to use a brush now that I have this. I used to use an angled brush and powder to fill my brows but I found that to be much more tedious and the colour also faded off my brows much quicker. The Hard 9 pencil is much more convenient and way more long-lasting. It does start to fade at around the 8th hour but it’s very minimal. If I did a sharp brow on that particular day, it will just look a little softer. You could even pop this in your bag easily if you think you’ll need to do a touch-up. The pencil does come with a cover. I just forgot to photograph it, hehe.
Seal brown 02 is the perfect shade for my super dark, black eyebrows. I think it will suit a lot of Asians because ashy tones in hair work better against Asian skin. There are two other shades available: a brown (walnut brown) and a more true grey (stone grey).
The price is probably the one thing that will have people thinking twice about this pencil. 1,400.00 Php might seem like a lot but I do think it is worth the splurge, especially if you’re the type of person who thinks that well-shaped brows are hella important. Full brows are very in at the moment but well-defined brows are always in so a good eyebrow pencil is a worthy investment in my opinion. The pencil is also a lot longer than any other eyebrow pencils I’ve every seen. You’re definitely getting more bang for your buck.
One last thing to note about the Hard 9 is that you will have to get it sharpened by the pros. With everyday use, you’ll likely need that done once every two months. The good thing is that they will always do it for free. Yay!
So, what do you use to fill/shape your brows? Does this look like a product you would like to try out? :) It’s definitely HG material for me!