It feels like years since I was in Japan, when it was in fact, just about 3 months ago. But I’m slowly working through the products I bought while I was there, and I wanted to share one of my favourites – the Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow EX. Like many Japanese brands, the name tells you everything and nothing all at once.
I bought this one purely on a whim. I think I might have come across it somewhere online, but I went to Japan without having much of a list in mind. However, when I was in a random pharmacy (or drugstore), I came across an Excel makeup stand, and I remembered that the brand does receive some raves. I also vaguely remembered mention of the eyebrow pencil somewhere. So I picked one up.
It wasn’t until I got back to the room, unpacked my purchases to see what I’d bought, that I realised just how unique it was. Ok, it isn’t earth-shattering as other brands carry it too, but it was unique by me, because I’d never tried it before – a brow pencil, with a powder.
The Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow EX is essentially a 2-in-1 brow product. You get a retractable pencil at one end, and a brush at the other. All quite standard, and a design we are now familiar with.
But what makes this a more unique product, is that you break it down around the middle, to reveal a brow powder.
You might be wondering what purpose the powder serves. I was too LOL! 😀 But I put it to trial immediately, and I’m thankful I did, because I immediately went out and bought half a dozen more LOL! 😀 No, I’m not selling them. I hoarded a few for myself, and distributed the rest to the females in my family, because it’s good stuff! More importantly, it’s easy to use.
The reason I like this Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow EX pencil is manifold. First, the colour. It comes in about 8 shades, if I’m not mistaken, but most of us would just go for PD05. PD05 is a dark, grey based brown, that is most flattering for most of us Asians, who have dark hair. In fact, it is the deepest shade in the range. I always pick a brow pencil with a grey base because that’s what I learnt from my days using the Shu Uemura Hard Pencil – Stone Grey is the best shade ever! I do find the other shades very light, and more warm-toned. Suitable if you colour or bleach your hair, or have very light hair, I guess.
Second, I love retractable brow pencils, because it’s just more convenient. The lead in this one is not too thin, so it is quite easy to use. It is also not too hard, nor too soft. It is, as Goldilocks says, just right. It doesn’t show up when you draw on the back of your hand, but it grabs onto your brow hairs and colours them just so. The shape of the lead makes it easy to draw your brows and shape them properly without it looking too harsh.
Third, the spoolie at the end is short and soft. So often I have had to ensure stiff brushes that scratch away all semblance of colour I put on my brows. This doesn’t. It is soft against the skin, and softens the colour just so, without removing too much of it.
Finally, the brow powder. How does it work? Well, I’m no expert, but what I do is use the powder to fill in my brows once I’ve drawn in the shape, and brushed it into place. The sponge applicator is soft and bouncy, and the powder just fills up the bits that need touching up, so your brows look fuller. Also, the soft powder, and soft effect softens the appearance of your brows, so it doesn’t look too severe.
I’ve since learnt that this Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow EX pencil is an award-winning product, and very highly rated. It’s no wonder that most places didn’t have very full stock. I guess it’s popular for a reason – it works incredibly well.
IN A NUTSHELL
The Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow EX is a 2-in-1 brow pencil that incorporates a retractable brow pencil at one end, a soft spoolie at the other, and a brow powder in the middle. It is all very practical, as it allows you to shape, draw and fill in your brows all in one handy little pencil. I was very impressed by it, and do find myself reaching for it often. The only quibble I have is that it will run out quite quickly, it isn’t easy to find (even in Japan, not all drugstores sell Excel) and it isn’t terribly cheap. But it is practical and effective, with a good brow colour and that I think makes it all worth its while.
PROS: Hard pencil but still imparts colour easily, Retractable pencil does not need sharpening, Included brow powder makes for soft, flattering brows, Spoolie brush is not too stiff and does not scratch the skin, Pencil holds together well without feeling flimsy
CONS: Hard to find outside of Japan (or even within Tokyo for that matter), Shades may be a little light for most, Can run out quickly
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who likes using retractable brow pencils, Anyone who wants a handy pencil that comes with a powder
PRICE: ¥1566 (approx RM56 at current exchange)
WHERE TO BUY: Selected drugstores in Japan, Loft, Plaza, Watson’s pharmacies in Singapore
So if you’re headed to Japan, or know anyone who is, ask if they can get you one of these. I love it, and in the big scheme of things, it’s really quite affordable too! Or get it in Singapore as your next best bet. There are online sites that sell it too, but the mark-up is incredible! I guess they know they’re onto a good thing.
Have you tried this Excel pencil? Have you come across anything similar?
Actually, I have now come across something similar that is available locally. I’m putting it through its paces and will share my thoughts on it soon! 😉