What Is an Eyebrow Pen?

Lainie Petersen

An eyebrow pen, also known as an eyebrow marker, is a cosmetic used to darken and fill in eyebrows. Unlike eyebrow pencils or powders, the eyebrow marker uses a liquid ink or stain to tint the eyebrow area. The pen typically looks and works like a felt tip marker. While some people feel that an eyebrow marker has longer-lasting results than other eyebrow cosmetics, others feel that it can be difficult to use and that it may result in an unnatural look.

An eyebrow pen can be used to darken or fill in eyebrows.
An eyebrow pen can be used to darken or fill in eyebrows.

Many people are very concerned about the appearance of their eyebrows. Eyebrows frame the eyes and can greatly affect a person's looks. Some choose to alter the shape of their eyebrows in order to achieve a more flattering appearance. They may do this by shaping the eyebrows through a combination of hair removal as well as color cosmetics. In addition, some people may use eyebrow cosmetics to fill in areas of the brow in which the hair is sparse or missing. Individuals may also choose a more permanent option by having their eyebrows tattooed onto their face, though this is an expensive and somewhat risky option.

The size and shape of a person's eyebrows can dramatically affect their appearance.
The size and shape of a person's eyebrows can dramatically affect their appearance.

The premise behind the eyebrow pen is that the user can draw the brows on by placing the tip of the pen exactly where he or she wants the color to appear. In addition, because the color is in the form of a long-lasting liquid, the color is more likely to stay put after application. Some users appreciate the ability to have this degree of control over an eyebrow cosmetic. Others, however, are uncomfortable using the pen on their eyebrows and may find it difficult to achieve the look they want. In addition, because the liquid eyebrow tint dries quickly, it may be difficult to address mistakes made while filling in or drawing on the brows.

Soft filler brushes can be used to blend out color added by an eyebrow pen for a more natural look.
Soft filler brushes can be used to blend out color added by an eyebrow pen for a more natural look.

The eyebrow pen was designed to address some of the problems with other eyebrow cosmetics. For example, traditional eyebrow pencils can have a rather waxy consistency and may easily smear and wear off during the day. Eyebrow powders can sometimes offer a more natural appearance but can be tricky to apply and, like pencils, may wear off over time. Liquid eyebrow tints do exist in forms other than an eyebrow pen, but are typically applied with a mascara brush. Unfortunately, this method of application is often imprecise and can result in a messy appearance, something that may not occur when using the more precise pen.

Altering the eyebrows can be done through a variety of procedures.
Altering the eyebrows can be done through a variety of procedures.

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Discussion Comments


I like the feathered look that you get from a good application of eyebrow pencil. Of course, you need to have thick eyebrows to begin with. I think that the key to nice looking eyebrows is in the expert shaping with tweezers. Then just a light, feathery filling in with eyebrow pencil does the trick. I don't think you can get that natural look from using a eyebrow pen.

On the other hand, if some of your eyebrow hair has thinned out, or turned partially gray, an eyebrow pen might work quite well. If your eyesight for close-up is not so good, you'll have to patient and take some time to apply make-up with the pen.


@bagley 79 - Like you, I had fairly thick eyebrows when I was younger. They were dark brown, even though I had golden blonde hair. So I just plucked and shaped them and didn't add any color to them.

As I got older, I developed a hypothyroid condition. Many people with this condition, lose about one-third of their outer eyebrow hair. This is what happened to me.

I'm considering trying the eyebrow pen. But it sounds like the best way to learn how is to go to a make-up counter, and have a professional teach you how to do it.

Can anyone tell me if regular eye make-up remover takes it off easily?


After a long illness, I lost some of my hair. My eyebrows became sparse in areas, and I needed a way to fill them in without looking fake.

I asked a makeup artist what the best thing to use would be, and she used an eyebrow pen on me to show me what it would look like. I had a few empty spaces in the middle of my brows over both eyes, and she chose a light brown pen to match my hair.

I watched the ink slowly come out of the pen onto my skin. She maneuvered it so that too much ink did not accumulate in any one section.

She told me that getting a natural look would take practice, but I had an advantage because I watched her do it the right way. Sure enough, I botched my first few attempts, but on my fourth try, I got it right.


When my friend became a cosmetologist, she plucked out her natural eyebrows and started using an eyebrow pen. I will never tell her this, but I hate how it looks.

To me, it honestly makes her look like a cartoon character. For one thing, the color of the pen is darker than her hair, so it makes her eyebrows really pop. For another, a human being would never have eyebrows in a line that smooth.

She told me that the pen is so much better than the pencil. While that may be true, I think that natural eyebrows are better than both of them.


One of my good friends does not have any eyebrows. I know some women have extremely light eyebrows, but she has never had any. It is very important for her to have a good way to apply eyebrow makeup that looks natural and stays throughout the day.

She used to use eyebrow pencils for this, but found that she had to constantly keep one with her and apply more than once during the day.

When she discovered that an eyebrow pen would last longer, she was excited to try it. It took a couple tries to find a color that would look natural, but once she found one, she has not used an eyebrow pencil since.

She does keep an eyebrow pen with her all the time, just in case, but doesn't worry about it as often as she did when she was using a pencil.


I have always had fairly thick eyebrows, and have been plucking and shaping them ever since I began wearing makeup.

What I have noticed as I have gotten older, is that hair does not grow back like it used to, and they are some areas in my eyebrows that look a little sparse.

I have found an eyebrow pen works much better than an eyebrow pencil for this. Because I only want to shade in a small area, it blends in nicely and it stays on all day long.

When I have used a pencil, I notice that it tends to wear off much sooner. An eyebrow pen is also a little easier for me to apply than a pencil.


I prefer using an eyebrow pen to a pencil or shadow because it really does last all day and I don't have to worry about reapplying or fading.

It might take a little bit of practice at home to get used to using an eyebrow pen but it's definitely worth it. I've learned that the best way to use an eyebrow pen is to concentrate on areas where brows are very sparse and use a very gentle hand stroke to draw several lines in the direction of your brows.

It also helps to only use the eyebrow pen on the bottom half portion of your brows. This gives a much more natural look. I always use an eyebrow brush to comb through several times after using the pen. It looks very natural this way and last a very long time.


If you are thinking about trying an eyebrow pen make sure you try a few different colors to find something that looks as natural as possible. I have seen too many women that look like they have just taken a black marker and drawn on their eyebrows.

This kind of unnatural look always makes me wince because it can really throw off a person's entire look. No matter how pretty you are, no one looks good with poorly drawn eyebrows.

For those that are worried about their eyebrow shape, go to a salon and get your eyebrows done professionally. Once your eyebrows are shaped it is easy enough to follow the guideline.


Eyebrow pens are really hard to use and I find they can make a pretty big mess if you don't know how to use them correctly. Because an eyebrow pen is more like a marker it requires a very steady hand to get your line perfect.

A good idea if you want to try an eyebrow pen is to visit a shop that gives free makeovers and let the salesperson show you how to use the eyebrow pen properly. This is also a good way to make sure you like the look of the pen, as it is usually a bit darker than what you may have been used to before.

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