[image from makeupalley.com]
When you first purchase your very first Hard 9 eyebrow pencil, you would see that it looks like an ordinary pencil for drawing. After your purchase, you should have a Shu Uemura artist sharpen the pencil for you. But wait? Isn't it a brand-new pencil? So why sharpen it? The thing is, there's a different way of sharpening this pencil. It's sharpened with a blade in a blade/sword-like shape. Shu Uemura artists undergo intensive training to master that skill of sharpening Hard 9 pencils perfectly.
The difference though is that the pencil's core is harder (hence the name hard 9) than most regular eyebrow pencils. If you swatch it on your hand, it would be hard to tell where the pencil mark is.
On eyebrows however, they somehow react to the oils on the brow to create a very natural and soft line.
I understand that some girls love the convenience of pencil since they don't have to bring an extra brush. Pencils however can be tricky since a little pressure or wrong turn could result to the hideous stamp-pad brows. We want perfect Brooke Shields eyebrows, not horror movie ones. Each stroke on the brow made by the pencil is very subtle delivering soft color, and never harsh. It's easy to fill in sparse or bald brow spots, extend the brow tail, or make the brows more defined. The intensity is buildable, so one stroke isn't too harsh. It's great both for makeup artists and consumers as it's so easy to use. It's also a long-lasting product so you have brows until the end of the day instead of ending with the tail cut off (provided you don't scratch or rub vigorously, of course).
Right now, the shade I'm using is called Walnut Brown. It's lighter and a bit warmer, almost like a mixture of MAC Lingering and Girl Boy. I chose Walnut Brown since I had my hair lightened to a soft ash color for summer. For those with darker head hair colors, Seal Brown could be a best bet.
What I like about it? The ease of use, the result, and convenience. It's perfect for those who are really busy and don't have time for an hour of makeup. What I don't like about it? Well, of course there's the price (Php 1,400) and the fact that you have to take this to a Shu Uemura counter when you want it sharpened. It's a nice product to have in your makeup kit. For personal use, this can be like a special reward or treat for yourself.