Benefit Instant Brow: I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost…Brows

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Benefit Instant Brow Pencil

ghost brows |gohst brouz|
1 A phrase which has come to mean “sparse brows,” but in my particular case describes brows that start dense above my nose but fade away as they taper toward my ears : ooh, that girl’s got some ghost brows!


Chock it up to Halloween and/or my overactive imagination, but I’m convinced I’m being haunted by a kleptomaniac makeup ghost — one with a weird brow fetish! For real, though!

To fill my brows I usually reach for two things: MAC Concrete Eyeshadow and the 266 Small Angle Brush. But then my pan of Concrete went missing a few weeks ago, and now I can’t find my 266!

Something wicked this way comes…

But whatever malevolent force is at work, it motivated me to try the Benefit Instant Brow Pencil ($20).

karen from makeup and beauty blog reviews benefit instant brow pencil
I ain’t afraid of no ghost…brows!

This dual-tipped brow saver’s been a member of the Benefit fam for quite some time. On one side, a soft pencil to fill sparse brows; on the other, a spoolie brush for brow blending. It comes in three shades — Light, Medium and Deep. The one I use is Medium, a creamy dark brown.

I usually don’t use brow pencils because the ones I’ve tried have made my brows look too harsh for my taste, but this one creates the same soft, natural look I get when using an eyeshadow and an angled brush.

It’s just soft enough to be easy to apply, and the spoolie side sure helps. I can fill and blend both of my brows in about a minute flat. The product stays put all day long without migrating, and I think it also looks pretty great in pictures (I’ve been using it all week in my Faces of the Day).

benefit instant brow pencil review picture

benefit instant brow pencil swatch

I’m tempted to give up the search for Concrete and my 266, but I’m a little concerned by how quickly I’m going through this thing. A pan of Concrete would easily outlast this at the rate I’m going (I’ve been sharpening about twice/week). I’m guessing it won’t last more than three months, tops.

While Benefit Instant Brow may not last as long as other brow filling products, it’s a joy to use — easy and effective — and I appreciate not having to deal with a separate brush. It’s a little on the pricey side at $20, but if you’re a brow challenged babe who’s always in a hurry, you might give it a whirl.

PRICE: $20, available in three shades
AVAILABILITY: Benefit counters and online


Friday Soundtrack

Do you use Pandora? Don’t laugh, but since I stared using Lush Goth Juice I’ve been paying homage to Robert Smith by listening to a Cure playlist on Pandora. And, HELLO, it’s rocking my world. Pandora’s suggested related songs I haven’t heard in years from groups like New Order, The Smiths, Morrissey — so kewl! Earlier today I heard some INXS, and now I’m full-on ready for the weekend.

Tabs, are you ready to par-tay?! Let’s rock!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 34 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Nina says:

    ooohhh i likey! im all for insta-brows! πŸ˜€

    ive been pretty loyal to espresso and my 266/sephora eyebrow brush but a girls gotta have options! :d

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nina,

      It IS nice to have options. πŸ™‚ What I like about this is you can just throw it into your purse and go, ya know?

      I’ve been meaning to ask you — how is your sis doing? Is she okay?

      • Nina says:

        she got discharged from the hospital yesterday. she is okay but in a bit of pain from the surgery. i am amazed at how modern the surgery was: 4 TINY cuts and she was done – pesky gall bladder gone! πŸ™‚

        and yep – i am totally digging the ease of use this product has! πŸ™‚

  2. Kate & Zena says:

    I actually use a Wet n’ Wild eyebrow/eyeliner pencil (one of those $1 ones) in Mink Brown. It’s dark enough to look natural with my very dark brown hair, but not look harsh on my pale skin. I’ve tried everything and nothing beats Mink Brown. I’ll still check out the Benefit ones next time I’m at Ulta to see them.

    I’m actually the opposite; I find powders look way too harsh on me. It may be because I’m so pale that powder really shows up or I’m just lighter-handed with a pencil, but powders just look really harsh on me.

    How does Tabs like Zena’s photo? She picked that one just for Tabs.

  3. Myr says:

    If you’re using medium, I’m afraid of how dark the light will be in comparison to my brows. πŸ™

  4. marisol says:

    I used this product and while I like it, I don’t love it. I love how easy it was to use and it was a good color match for me. But I used it way too fast and it didn’t last all day on me. I will keep using my Benefit Brow ZIng.

    Have a great weekend!
    marisol recently posted … Monday Weigh In – Week 4

  5. Amber says:

    Weird that this pencil goes so fast. I have an eyebrow pencil that I’ve used every day for 5+ years, no joke. I seldom need to sharpen it, but it’s not so hard that I need to tug.
    Amber recently posted … State fair livestock

  6. Tracy says:

    Oh my-New Order! INXS! God, I miss those bands!
    I’ve never tried this- I really like my Omega powder. Or the Tarte eyebrow pencil.
    Hope that eyebrow-less ghost returns your stuff!
    Tracy recently posted … elf Studio Essential Makeup Collection at Costco!

  7. Tiffany H. says:

    I may have to give this a whirl, though I’m pretty loyal to my Brun shadow as my brow filler.
    Tiffany H. recently posted … How I Apply Under-Eye Concealer

  8. Appu says:

    Milani has something similiar called Easy brow. It’s pretty good when you’re in a hurry and it’s a twist up pencil πŸ™‚ Tarte had something called a brow mousse as part of their amazon set, but I missed it. Heard it was da bomb! πŸ™‚
    Appu recently posted … Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Foaming Cleanser

  9. heyy your brows look really good! You’re probably right though, that a pan of Concrete would last much longer than that brow pencil. It looks very creamy from the picture, which probably contributes to the fast usage. I’m so excited that it’s the weekend!
    makeup morsels recently posted … Halloween 2010 FOTD

  10. Nika says:

    Wow, thanks for this! Been dying to try it out since I’ve been hearing only good things about it. Pretty disappointed though with it not lasting for too long..

  11. Gina says:

    I think you better check Tab`s stash…not pointing fingers, but I am just saying…

  12. mint says:

    I was tempted in trying it out too! thanks for the review~ Do you think it’s better to use brown / black or grey if you already have natural black brows?
    mint recently posted … Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strenght Concealer Review

  13. Kandice says:

    Hey Karen!

    Love Pandora! My favorite station happens to be the Morrissey station. I listen to the Depeche Mode station pretty often too. They play all of the bands you named above…takes me back to my happy childhood days.

  14. Kim says:

    I always use a pencil for my ghost brows too. Clinque’s Brow Keeper (has the little spiral brush too). I’ve had good luck with it.

    I haven’t used Pandora but it’s so funny that you mentioned New Order (love Bizarre Love Triangle) and INXS. They both came to mind when we were talking about the Cure last week. I was just saying to the Hubs last night when the Cure came on my iPod “Oh, Karen said that Robert Smith has hit the wall”. He was like “I haven’t seen him in ages, I’ll have to check it out”. I googled him. Dang, you were right. πŸ™‚

  15. Lori says:

    can’t wait to try that benefit pencil!
    Lori recently posted … Passion of the Pit

  16. Michelr says:

    I look for the the brush; love l;oral volume!

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