The hype is true! This is the absolute BEST brow pencil I've tried for my jet black brows. Most pencils sold in the US are too brown or warm for me, and I've taken to using grey eyeliners for my brows. However, this pencil is the perfect cool dark grey and photographs very well without looking harsh. I wore it throughout my trip in Japan and it didn't fade noticeably by the end of the day. (I'm not sure how well it holds up to sweat, though, since I went in spring and it was quite cool at the time.)
This is definitely a "hard" formula pencil. I used it for about a month before I felt the need to sharpen it, and even so, I only sharpened it a tiny little bit. This pencil is abnormally long so I feel like it may last me well over two years of daily use.
Unfortunately, it only seems to be avaliable in local Shu counters in Japan. I tried looking for it at Tokyo Narita airport but the Shu counters there told me that you have to leave the airport and go into the cities to find this shade. The darkest shade sold on the Shu website and at airports seems to be Stone Grey, which is (surprisingly) a warmer grey than Sound Black.
This is pretty amazing to say the least. My Husband was in Japan so I asked him to buy this for me. I heard a lot of good things about this so I thought it should be good. The first time I tried it I didn't like it and it barely showed up and I put it away and continued to use my wet n wild brow kit which I love. Then I kept reading these amazing reviews about this pencil and I thought I was not doing something right and I busted it out and gave it another try. Now, I love doing my brows, the formula is unique. I think the pencil will last me ages. The only downside of it is sharpening. I will definitely recommend this to anyone with sparse or full eye brows cause I think it can be good for drawing full brow or filling in. If you do your eye brows every day, give it a try and you will not be disappointed.
Absolute HG brow material.
I started off with this brow pencil in Stone Grey but later on bought Sound Black when I died my hair black. The SA recommended Grey because my hair was blondish-brown at the time. To be honest, I was afraid of going for black because I'm terrified of the drawn on/stamped on/drag queen brow look. I prefer my MU to look very natural. I really don't want sharp, crisp and obvious definition and that's why I was too scared of buying the black one. However, there was nothing to be scared about. Both Stone Grey and Sound Black provide extremely natural brows. I have sparse brows, especially towards the tail end. I find that this gives just the right amount of colour and it's impossible to over do this. It takes quite a few strokes of the pencil to build up colour so you can get the desired intensity level you want without suddenly ruining your brows by pressing too hard or whatever. My brows look SOOO natural yet fuller and I'm able to frame my face with this pencil. I manage to look 10x better with this product. I can now also fulfil my dreams of black hair, dark brows and red lips :D I was too afraid to fill in my brows before I got this pencil (even though I knew I desperately needed to) because I was just soooo afraid of them looking too out of place and obvious. This makes it a breeze, it's fool proof, even for brow novices like me.
If you have a freshly cleansed face then this might take a little while to show up on your brows because the pencil works by reacting with the oils on the hair for colour pay off - according to the SA. I find it shows up a lot if you apply moisturiser on and around your brows. So if you've just washed your face, this may not show up on you for a while. It is not waxy so if you have long eyebrow hairs, either trim them or use clear mascara to keep them in place.
I find the Japanese sharpening interesting. It is optional and I got it done at the Shu counter when I first bought the pencil in Stone Grey. It is shaped like a dagger - they cut off the point of the pencil and then shave off the sides so the pencil has flat sides and looks like a knife. You can go and get this re-done when needed at the Shu counter. When I purchased Sound Black, I asked for a pencil with standard sharpening. However, I think I prefer Japanese sharpening. It does waste product but to be honest with the length of the pencil, you can afford a little wastage. I find the Japanese sharpening more convenient when it comes to doing my brows. I can tell that this is going to last me an extremely long time. I have used my new black one about 5 times and the point is still very sharp. I am considering snapping a bit off the pencil to carry it around with me for touch ups. I can afford to do that because the pencil is very long.
If you are looking for sharp, ultra defined brows, then this is not for you.
HG! Applies SO easily and naturally. You cant really over do it with this pencil.
I love this product. I have sparse, fine Asian eyebrows with an old eyebrow tattoo underneath. This pencil is the only product that can make them look natural. The colour matches my hair perfectly. It's long lasting & it doesn't smudge. I have tried everything: Maybelline pencil, MAC automatic eyebrow pencil, Shiseido automatic eyebrow pencil, a variety of matte eyeshadows and this Shu Uemura one is the best! The product enhances my sparse hair, makes them appear fuller and without that ridiculous 'drawn in' look at all.
Iíve been hearing about the Seal Brown pencil in the H9 formula for a while now so I went to the Shu counter to test the H9 pencils. The Seal Brown looked distinctly brown to me so I didnít even try it on because I have black eyebrows. Instead the SA tried Stone Grey and Sound Black on me. Sound Black looked like a perfect match, I was surprised at how good my brows looked even though the SA applied it so heavily. I bought it immediately and have been pleased with my brows ever since. The black colour of this pencil does not seem to have any blue/purple/red undertones to it which is vital with a black pencil on olive skin. The finish is as close to natural as I have seen in a black pencil because it is not waxy or greasy. In fact the finish almost looks like powder which is what I was looking for, since I love the look of powder but dislike its inconvenience. As the day goes on and my face gets oilier, my brows do look a touch greasy and this makes the colour look a bit darker so I have to bear that in mind when applying it initially, but I have this problem with all brow products because of my erratically oily skin.
I have very thick, dense inner brows but the hair is much sparser after the arch (after years of over-tweezing) and I was worried that the hardness of this pencil would pull out my few precious hairs there, but thankfully that hasnít really happened. It does seem to be true that the pencil is easier to use when the eyebrows are not freshly cleansed. If I do my makeup immediately after washing my face in the morning, the pencil does not deposit colour as easily and then I have to press hard, which could result in brow hair loss! Therefore, I suspect this pencil may be a nightmare for someone who has really dry skin in their eyebrows. The only thing that is irritating about this pencil is the sharpening aspect, I donít know how to do it well (when you buy the pencil they sharpen it for you so that the tip is an unconventional blade shape i.e. a normal sharpener will not do for this pencil, a craft knife type thing is required, bear that in mind!). I found the price quite reasonable at £14.68 in the UK for a 4g pencil which is 17cm long (I used MAC Velvetone pencil before this which is £10 for a short wind up pencil) and will probably last for a couple of years with daily use...yes really, it is that economical in it's usage :)
Ingredients: Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Stearic Acid, Microcrystalline Wax, Candelilla Wax, Carnauba Wax, Rhus Succedanea Fruit Wax, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Kernal Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Oil. [+/-] May contain: Mica, CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).