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That Handy, Dandy Pencil



Whether you use it to draw eyebrows from scratch, define lip shape, or create dramatic cat eyes a la Amy Winehouse, the pencil is one of the few things that people who wear makeup leave behind.

In fact, there are some companies that sell these in packs of two so that a person can have a pencil at home as well as take with them on the road. While this can make a difference in how someone looks, there are many who may find that they more than the traditional black liner.

Many of us have hair that is dark brown or lighter and when defining eyebrows, a color that is closest to the natural hair color should go with this color. Especially if one works in a professional environment where outside looks may be scrutinized.

Even those who have what cosmetics companies define as a “deep” complexion, should note as to whether they need black, off black or brown-black liner for everyday use. A makeup consultant can give some feedback as to what will look nice with certain undertones.

For instance, a person can use black or dark brown liner around the upper lid with a bright, vivid color such as magenta, emerald, or royal blue. This trick brings out eyes without dealing with eyeshadow application, which requires precision at all times.


When lining the lips, many tend to use a black liner but dark brown or a color that is slightly darker than lipstick shade or gloss is recommended. Another mistake that some tend to make is not blending the liner for a graduated effect.

To create a look that is less harsh, try lining lips as normal. Follow this by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly or lip balm over the entire lip. Rub together and you will see a more natural look that can be worn with clear gloss or lipstick.


Blending is also recommended for eyes. There are brushes and sponges that are reasonably priced that create smooth looks easily. For instance, you may line the top lid only and an arch effect can be easily created by using short strokes outward. If desired, you can use the same tool to create a smoky look at the bottom.

While some adore extreme looks such as heavy liner on the lower lids, this can bring a raccoon-like appearance when not done carefully. This especially holds true for those who have oily skin or sweat a lot.

For those who need their pencil to draw on brows or fill in thinning brows, a blending brush is necessary if you are comfortable doing this with your index finger. Though the precision-style or “Marlene Dietrich” brows go in and out of vogue, some tend to go overboard in creating definitions.

By looking through different magazines, you can see where the natural arch starts and ends and maybe practice with a pen and paper the type of eyebrows that would look natural and attractive to you.

Having pencils of different sizes and colors can create a myriad of looks and is a practical solution for anyone who does not want to carry around a case of makeup.