We all know I love an affordable brow pencil. When it comes to brows I find I can usually make do with products from the drugstore. Whenever I have tried more expensive options I literally cannot see why I would want to repurchase it. Because brow products are usually the majority of the products I use up in my yearly empties video, so I need to repurchase them constantly. And then I just don’t feel I can spend €20 on a brow pencil every single time. Especially because some brow pencils only last for about 4 – 6 weeks, so when I found out about a €4 pencil from ELF, I had to try it. Here’s how that went.
Review: ELF Instant Brow Lift brow pencil in Taupe
Yes a €4 brow pencil by ELF. I love affordable brow products, but I usually opt for Essence or Catrice ones. They retail for a similar price point and they are usually a bit easier for me to get. As the drugstore that sells Essence and Catrice is literally around the corner and ELF I can only find online or from larger beauty stores that aren’t as easy to get to. But I like trying an affordable product and this white ELF packaging is a major throwback as that always were the more affordable products they had to offer.
What does this brow pencil have to offer?
It’s a simple product. I mean, it’s a brow pencil so what do we expect?! I certainly don’t need it to look very flashy. This comes in three colors and I have the lightest shade which is Taupe. You get a spoolie on one side and the twist up pencil on the other. Truth be told, the packaging feels very cheap and my pencil broke (not the pencil but the packaging) by the time this was used up. The lid on the pencil also doesn’t feel very secure and overall it felt a little bit clunky to hold. The spoolie was a little bit too thick to really be able to use it to brush through my brows.
What does this brow pencil do?
While this only comes in three shades, I was happy to see they did a shade called Taupe. Sadly there are a few issues I had with this pencil. The main one? It is too soft, which makes it difficult to create precise brow hair like strokes. This is great for filling in brows, but not if you want them to look natural. If you want your brows to just be a block of color, then this can be nice. Another issue I had with this is that the because of the soft texture, the tip wore off very quickly and then the pencil was just a bit too thick after a few uses as well. This again lead to a very imprecise brow application.
How does this brow pencil swatch?
My main issue however? It is far too dark and reddish toned for my liking. Most often, when I try a brow product, the shades called taupe or blonde are right for me. But this, being the lightest shade on offer, is just not a good look. Reddish toned brows never are and combined with the imprecise application this gives, this wasn’t my favorite. The soft texture also means that you fly through this. And while I buy drugstore brow products precisely because I need to repurchase them so often, I feel this really is something you whizz through in a jiffy. So I also don’t feel this is giving you bang for your buck.
How does the product apply to the brows?
Here you can see what I mean: my brow looks darker, too dark for my natural brow or hair color and it overall looks quite clunky. The red undertone makes this look hilarious on me as my natural hair color is far more cool toned and the pencil just clashes with what I have going on naturally. Add in the fact the fact that this is also much too dark and the result is a brow that is just a touch too bold to go with what I want them to look like. Bad product? No, but there are a few ifs and buts here that made it not be perfect for me.
My final thoughts
Once all the makeup is on the ELF Instant Brow Lift brow pencil really isn’t too offensive. It was good enough to use up, but it wasn’t one I wanted to go back to. I already mentioned how I feel I have regular access to similarly priced brands that do brow products just a touch better. Sure, in a pinch I could use this and it would be absolutely fine but this isn’t something I need to keep around for my day to day makeup routine. If you like softer brow pencils however, this might be nice provided you can find your shade.
Would I recommend the ELF Instant Brow Lift brow pencil?
I think this can be right for some people. If you can get ELF more easily than Essence and Catrice I can see why you might want to opt for this. Also, if you like that softer texture, then this may be good too. Maybe you have pretty full brows already and you just need to fill in some gaps: that this is great at. But the limited shade range means you might struggle finding your match and so I don’t think this is perfect for everyone.