Review: Maybelline Eye Studio Master Shape Brow Pencil (Swatches + Before & After)

Maybelline Eye Studio Master Shape Brow Pencil


Master Shade: Subtle color pigments enhance your natural brow look
Master Shape: soft grooming brush adds final definition
Master Hold: exclusive wax technology keeps brows in place

Opthomologist tested – safe for sensitive eyes – Contact lens safe

Application: Fill and define brows using small, light strokes following natural brow shape. Groom brow upward and outward with brush to blend color and set brows.

What it basically is, is a tinted wax pencil. It’s a little bit different than a retractable crayon (Maybelline Define-a-Brow or MAC Brows) for instance, as it’s less crumbly and less pigmented. It’s also the case for a standard brow pencil. Although heavy pigment is awesome for an eyeliner, it’s a little less awesome for your brows.

As far as I know, it’s available in four shades: Blonde, Auburn, Soft Brown and Deep Brown. This product is so new that it hasn’t popped up on the Maybelline website yet, so I’m sure if there are any other additional shades.

 (Photo snapped in Walmart last night) From Left to Right: #260 Deep Brown, #255 Soft Brown, #265 Auburn and  #250 Blonde.

I picked up Deep Brown, as my hair is a very dark brown with no golden tones.


I really like that on the opposite end of the pencil, there is a spoolie (wand) to comb the brows in place. Many brow products have a wand or comb attached, and many of them are of poor quality or are non-functional/impractical. The wand on this pencil works very well.

Deep Brown is dark brown, completely absent of any red or orange tones. It’s almost a dark, ash brown and matches my brows perfectly. I swatched it next to a few other brow products above for comparison. It’s the most similar to MAC Eyebrows in Spiked, but slightly less golden.

First, I’ll comb my brows in place with the wand. Then, with the pencil, I’ll use light strokes, following the natural shape of my brow. It applies the product smoothly and precise. I love how it’s not crazy pigmented, so it doesn’t draw harsh lines. I’ll comb through my brows again to blend everything together and I’m done!

Although the wax does keep my fine hairs in place, I still need a brow gel to maintain the coarse hairs.

I love the final result! I can’t say yet how it holds up throughout the day yet, because I’ll need to use it a couple more times, but I will update this post within around a week or so with my final verdict. The only thing I’m worried about, is because it’s a wax, I’m worried it will make my brows look oily mid-day.. I’m hoping that won’t be the case! I’ll keep you posted.

I purchased this pencil at Wal-mart for around $6. I’m guessing this product hit some stores early, but won’t make it’s real debut until the new year.

UPDATE 1/1/12: I’ve been using this product for my brows every day, and it’s been working great. The product stays put all day without causing my brows to look oily. But, I do have a big gripe with this pencil. HOW IN THE WORLD DO YOU SHARPEN IT?! I’ve twisted, turned, pushed it and apparently it’s not retractable. The pencil itself is plastic.. so obviously it can’t be sharpened? I’ll e-mail Maybelline and see if I can find the answer.

UPDATE: Apparently, the proper way to sharpen this pencil is with a standard sharpener. Weird, considering it’s plastic, but it sharpens just fine. I used my MAC pencil sharpener and it works well. Granted it doesn’t give the cleanest outcome, but it’s the only way! Kinda stinks because sharpening it doesn’t yield a very pointy tip, so I can’t be as precise as I’d like to with the pencil. Still, I like the product and will continue using it.

76 thoughts on “Review: Maybelline Eye Studio Master Shape Brow Pencil (Swatches + Before & After)

  1. I agree. It works well while there is a point, and it LOOKS like it has a screw-out tip. Very deceptive. The packaging doesn't even say it requires an external sharpener. BOO! to Maybelline for this.


  2. I hate it , product not worth the money. Only able to use one
    time as it does not twist up to give you more. And doesn't really
    do that much for the brow. , just a big waste of money ……


  3. I have tried every sharpener in the house and got horrible results. I took the suggestion from someone and took it apart and will use this one. I loved it so much (before the sharpening issue) and will take the unopened one back for a refund.

    Like someone said it is 2012 and I have to use a sharpener???? Maybe they will reconfigure it…


  4. I too purchased this product and I love it. The one problem I had with it was how do I get it to sharpen? I am thankful for this site with the information about using a sharpener?? I to think it needs to be retractable!!!!!!!!


  5. I found this site because I didn't believe the exposed part when new was all the product, but my eye pencil sharpener has zero effect on the dang plastic case. Based on something UT, I pulled the brush end off, cut the exposed tip off, and tried pushing it forward with a bobbypin, but it was too sharp and didn't work. Next I tried a que-tip, and that worked pretty well.

    I look forward to Maybelline improving the packaging, since I love the product, esp the auburn color. It's the only pencil under $20 I can find in that color.


  6. I am so glad this is the first review I clicked upon searching google for how to twist or reveal more pencil because the packaging said nothing about it and it would not twist, push, etc. for me either. I just purchased and used it for the first time so I have not needed to “sharpen” it yet, but I think that kind of sucks because I am not a fan of sharpening eye pencils. That was my number one reason for switching to retractable eye liner way back when. I do like the product itselt (I wanted a brow pencil to fill in my thin brows without looking dramatic or “done up”) and it's awesome, I just don't know how I will feel once I have to sharpen it for the first time.


  7. You just have to sharpen it with a pencil or eye pencil sharpener. I know it doesn't seem like it would sharpen because it's plastic, but it's actual a thin plastic-like coating. Good luck!


  8. Great product, STUPID DESIGN, had I not seen this sight I would never have thought of sharpening plastic!!! DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THIS PRODUCT until they redesign it. It is very frustrating. I can't believe that they would market this user-unfriendly applicator. Obviously whoever designed it does not wear makeup. Shheeessh.


  9. I just thought it ran out and threw it away, several in fact. On buying my last one I decided to look it up. I see now that i have to sharpen it! I do like the product.


  10. Thank you SO much for posting how to deal with it when it wears down. I don't really like having to sharpen it, but the soft brown color is the BEST brow product i've ever used and at least it sharpens easily. i'd love for them to put it in something like an eyeliner tube where you can just twist it in and out, but oh well.


  11. I, too, found this site because I was dumbfounded on how to sharpen it. Twisting it up resulted in nothing, so I put it in my regular for-wood sharpener. The results were less than pretty, and a very dull tip, too. Ok, Maybelline, time to fix this! Or, put a sharper sharpener that will deal with plastic in the packaging!!


  12. Great to read that so many of us tried to twist and turn the darn thing to no avail and no instructions!I even returned my first one for another before checking your review-feel pretty silly now ha ha!!!


  13. I'm looking for another brand due to sharpening issues even though I really like the product. You can also pull off the brush end, pull out the stopper and then put something long and straight inside the tube and push the pencil up. Really a pain but I lose less product than trying to sharpen it. Maybelline – make it a twist up product please!!


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