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Not so long ago, the thought of using an eyebrow marker would have scared the heebie jeebies out of me (visions of a thick, bold sharpie and slugs perched on top of your peepers spring to mind). However, after watching Sharon Farell’s Eyebrow Tattoo Effect brow tutorial featuring the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour, I was pretty much sold.
The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour comes in the form of what looks like a felt tip pen but upon closer inspection, the nib is actually made up of fine brush hairs meaning that upon application, the tip is very flexible and easy to work with. Its tubular exterior takes on the particular shade of the interior product (I picked up the shade ‘Dark’) and finished with gold detailing and cap.
Upon swatching, the pigment isn’t as strong as I had feared (which is a good thing) but even so, it’s easy to go overboard so a light hand is required when applying the product. The shade ‘Dark’ is a cool, deep brown which is the shade I prefer when it comes to my brows even though my hairs are darker. The product is very easy to apply and the fine nib makes filling in any bald patches a breeze. It also layers very well so you can build the product up to the intensity that you want but I would recommend taking a step back and checking the overall look before deciding whether you need to build up further (you have been warned). If in the event you are a little over-enthusiastic with the brow pen, go straight in (before the product sets) with a spoolie and brush the product out. This will help to take the edge off any areas where you may have applied too much product.
The result is a very natural looking brow that is waterproof so does not smudge or budge all day. For me, this is great because often with pencil brow products, they can smudge or rub off through the day so the longevity isn’t the best. I can see the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour being a holiday staple especially if it’s a hot one and you’re going to be in and out of the sea/pool all day long. The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour is available in 8 shades.
When I saw that NYX also had a brow marker offering, aptly named ‘Eyebrow Marker’, I was rather excited as I knew that the price-point would be slightly friendlier on the purse-strings (the NYX Eyebrow Marker retails for £8 vs the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour which is double that at £16).
The NYX Eyebrow Marker comes in a slightly chunkier packaging when compared side by side to the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour. It comes in two shades: Medium and Deep and the exterior packaging reflects that. The nib is marginally thicker than Stila’s brow marker offering and is of the more traditional felt tip nib rather than being made up of fine brush hairs, although it’s still quite flexible when applying the product.
I picked up the ‘Dark’ shade which is slightly warmer compared to Stila’s own ‘Dark’ offering. Upon application, further differentiation can be seen between the two. Whilst Stila’s brow marker glides on effortlessly with precision, the NYX brow marker has an ever so slight drag to it (in comparison), its application is slightly less precise and thicker in width, and the pigment is very faint. It applies almost like its run out of ink, however, don’t be fooled. It builds up subtly (again, a good thing) so I have to take a step back to ironically get a better look.
Like with the Stila brow pen, the NYX one is long-lasting and waterproof. For me, where it falls down though is upon the building up of the product where there is are lack of hairs. My left brow is much shorter than my right so I always have to cheat the length to make it even with my right. However, when trying to layer and build the product, it ‘lifts’ leaving behind a streaky mess. I don’t have this issue with the Stila pen. Also, the thicker nib doesn’t allow for as much precision as I would like. For someone with thicker brows, this might be fine but as I have quite thin brows/narrow space to work with, when using the NYX marker at times is like going outside the lines when you’re colouring in. I also mentioned that the shade is rather warm especially when you swatch it side by side with Stila’s ‘Dark’ and is particularly noticeable when filling in my brows. I can possibly get away with it where I do have hairs but where the hairs are sparse or practically non-existant, the contrast is stark. A tinted brown brow gel helps to tone down the contrast but without this, I wouldn’t be comfortable setting foot outside the house.
For me, there is no question that between the two, the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour is the much better option if you are looking for a brow product that delivers on natural appearance, is waterproof, has incredible longevity all the while being easy to use. Its shade availability is also great so you should be able to find a good match whatever your brow colour. This doesn’t mean that the Nyx Eyebrow Marker is a bad product. Not at all. If you have thicker, fuller brows and your hairs are slightly warmer in tone, then this could just well be the perfect eyebrow marker pen for you.