Stila Waterproof Brow Colour review, swatches, & dupe (Marcelle Eyebrow Pen)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Best waterproof brow pens review

I’ve made a lot of big changes this year, but the most important of them all has been getting my brows in order. (Yes. Definitely.) For the longest time, I had to mix shades and layer powder and pencil products to get my brows just right, and for all of my efforts, the silicone content in the products would still leave me with awkward brow breakouts.

No longer.

At the start of the year, I found the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium, AKA my Holy Grail of brows… and then I found the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark, which does everything the Stila does, except faster and for half the price.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour review swatches Medium

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium ($21 USD/$27 CAD)

The Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium (which has since been re-packaged) is pretty much perfect. It’s fine-tipped, sheer, and cool-toned, and I can finish my brows in under a minute using this pen.

The formula wears all day long and can be used to either create fine, hair-like lines or a brow “shadow” (my preferred method), and the shade itself is really well-suited to those with dark hair who don’t want warm “Instagram brows” for their everyday life.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour review Medium

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour brush tip

My only problem with the Stila brow pen is that it’s pretty expensive at $27 CAD, and while I’m not out of product yet, most reviewers say that it only lasts 1-3 months with regular use. Enter: the Marcelle Eyebrow Pens.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour ingredients:

Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Pentylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Alcohol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Honey Extract, Propylene Glycol, Matricaria Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder. +/- Yellow 5, Red 33, Blue 1.

Marcelle Universal Light, Dark, Stila Medium Brow Pen swatches review

Swatched L-R: Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Light, Universal Dark; Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Colour in Medium

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen review swatches Universal Dark

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark ($13.95 CAD)

It’s been a little while since I’ve fallen hard for a Marcelle makeup product, but these brow pens have me swooning. They’re half the price of Stila’s version and double the size, and because I always go for a “shadow” brow rather than drawn-in hairs, I can apply and smudge this one faster and more easily than I can with the Stila.

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen review swatches

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark felt tip

Universal Dark isn’t quite as perfect as Stila’s Medium, but the cost difference more than makes up for it. With the Marcelle brow pens, you still get easy application, a silicone-free formula, and all-day waterproof wear, but you trade off a small degree of control for a quicker application.

I think the felt tip is a more versatile format (the broad side for quick application & the tip for drawing hairs), but it really does just come down to personal preference!

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark ingredients: 

Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate. +/- Red 40, Green 5, Black 2, Yellow 5 Lake

Stila Waterproof Brow Colour dupe

The verdict?

If you like a natural brow, these are the only brow game in town anymore. They’re essentially North American versions of the Suqqu Liquid Brow Pen that Lisa Eldridge loves so much, and they are perfect for anyone who finds most brow products too warm for them.

When I run out (and can I just mention that I went to an actual store and bought the products pictured here), I will definitely be re-buying the Marcelle. Which isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with the Stila; it’s just a little pricey to be re-buying every 3 months! (Assuming 0.02 fl oz will last you 3 months, the Stila comes out to $108 CAD/year; the Marcelle, just $27.90 CAD.)

Availability: Stila (0.7 ml) – $21 USD/$27 CAD at Shopper’s Beauty Boutiques and Murale. Marcelle (1.4 ml) – $13.95 CAD at Marcelle.com (US & Can shipping) and drugstores across Canada.

What’s your favourite brow product right now?

Lipstick Bandits | A Holiday Red Lip

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This round of the Lipstick Bandits is all about layering lip products – one of my favourite pastimes! (Oh, the lives of beauty bloggers. I mean, gosh, how thrilling, right?)

(But no, seriously. I’m really into layering products; it’s ridiculous.)

The challenge was to find a red lip colour, preferably a lipstick, then layer a shimmery, sparkly, or glittery product overtop. I had a bit of a swatch fest with Annabelle Rouge Velours Lipstick in Adrenaline as my base colour, but alas…

…I didn’t end up going with any of those combinations.

Swatched R-L: Clarins Rouge Prodige Lipstick in Passion Rose, Clinique Lip Smoothie in Strawberry Bliss, Korres Cherry Lipgloss in Rose and Fuchsia, Benefit Ultra Shine Lipgloss in So Frisk Me.

Even after all that (and taking two full photo sets of Adrenaline + Korres Fuchsia), I ended up going with a new find that I can’t get enough of – the Bite High Pigment Lip Pencil in Pomegranate. (Review here). After a quick layer of Pomegranate, I layered Stila’s Brown Sugar Lip Glaze overtop for a bit of shimmer and shine. In retrospect, though, I should have picked something with larger shimmer particles – the change in texture is obvious, of course, but I feel like the shimmer could have “popped” more!

LEFT: Bite Pomegranate (only) / RIGHT: Bite Pomegranate + Stila Brown Sugar

LEFT: Bite Pomegranate / MIDDLE: Bite Pomegranate & Stila Brown Sugar / RIGHT: Stila Brown Sugar

Above: wearing Bite Pomegranate (only)

Keep reading! »

Sale alert: Stila

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh gosh, just kidding. One more thing:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Have you guys seen this new Stila palette yet?

Because… it creeps me out. 
I’m not totally sure why, but I think it might be because — no, actually, I’m pretty sure that it’s just the weird design. It just looks cheap to me, you know? Like… Smashbox managed to put out a massive palette last Christmas, but theirs didn’t creep me out. Urban Decay does the Box of Shadows on a pretty regular basis, but I think they’re awesome. Even from the low end: NYX and elf have both released really big palettes recently, but I think it’s a great thing that they’re making colour so accessible.

However. This one just icks me out. (Can I even say that? “Icks me out”?)

(Whatever, I say lots of things that don’t actually make sense. It’s too late now to start writing like a sane, educated, highly literate person!)

Are you equally icked? Or is there cuteness here that I’m missing? I guess if I tip my head to the left really far — nope, still icking.

Foundation post! Of epic lengths!

Friday, November 27, 2009

WARNING: by the Korres review, this post ceases to make sense. I am so tired.
(So for those of you that just read theNotice because I am occasionally amusing, this would be one of those “occasionally amusing” posts. Stick with me and I am sure embarrassment will ensue.)

I’ve been trying to find a foundation recently (to no avail.) So here are three mini-reviews, and remember that I am always open to suggestions =P

What I was looking for: (I know — it’s quite the list!)

  • A medium-to-light finish
  • Liquid. Don’t even ask — I decided I wanted to try a liquid and there is no derailing me at this point!
  • Oil-absorbing properties for my t-zone!
  • A perfect or almost-perfect shade match
  • Not just a lightweight feel, but a finish that my fingers can’t feel if I touch my face

So here are the foundations: Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free, shade B; Korres Ginger & Vitamin in LF1; MAC Face & Body in C1.

L-R: Stila, Korres, MAC
(Yay for samples!)


Stila Natural Finish Oil-Free
Unfortunately, when I got home, I found that this was the only foundation th
at actually matched my skintone — major bummer! At least one of them matched, though, right?

Price: $38US/$50CAD. Eff you, cosmetics industry. ($49US/oz, or $55CAD/oz.)
My shade: B. I really like the yellow undertones, especially as this doesn’t oxidise into an orange mess!
Ingredient summary: Lots of dimethicone(s), water based, generally just a nightmare.
Coverage: I’m trying to cover up acne scars without having to individually conceal each one — and this doesn’t quite do the trick. It’s nice if you don’t have any scarring or blemishes to cover up, but any more than that and you’ll still have to conceal. Medium-light coverage, I’d say.
Overall: This was a pretty good foundation, with a natural-feel finish and light-medium coverage. However, the huge price mark-up pisses me off, and it photographs strangely — check out this FOTD (especially this photo) to see it in action. There is a whitish cast to edges, and seeing as I’d be wearing this more than half the time solely for photography, it really doesn’t make sense for me.

L-R: Stila, Korres, MAC
Unblended swatches

Korres Ginger & Vitamins
OHAY GUYS! SPF! I LOVES IT, I LOVES IT! (Yes, I’m an addict.)

Price: $28US/$36.50CAD (this works out to $21US or $27CAD/oz)
My shade: LF1. Except for how IT ISN’T. Because it’s a hair to dark, despite the fact that it’s the lightest shade, dammit! In and of itself, the shade is pretty solid — there are no super-strong undertones, so (combined with the sheerness of this foundation) it should work on everyone with this lightness of skin.
Ingredient summary:
No parabens, but it has the breakout-inducing dimethicone. This makes it a write-off for me, but also makes it feel aaaahhhmazing! For a “natural/pure” foundation, there are a crapload of ingredients in this baby. (Holy crap, am I on drugs today? I feel like I’m on drugs today.)
Coverage: Pretty darn light. Unless your skin is already practically flawless, this probably won’t do the trick for you. It has about the same coverage as a tinted moisturiser, actually.
Overall: Good if… you’re a) allergic to parabens, b) fine with dimethicone, c) trying to find something that doesn’t smell awful, and/or d) looking for a tinted miosturizer with a feel that is comparable to heaven. Aside from that, it wasn’t super-exciting or anything.

L-R: Stila, Korres, MAC
Blended swatches. If I was smart, I would have actually swatched these on someone else, so they would stand out more. Fail.

MAC Face & Body
Often referred to as the holiest of grails (haha,) I had high hopes for this one! The bottle is freaking huge — it’s four ounces!! (For reference, the Stila was less than one ounce and the Korres was just over one ounce.)

Price: $32US/$38CAD, a markup which is totally decent. ($8US/$9.50CAD per ounce. Also known as A REALLY GOOD BUY.)
My shade: C1 is what I have, but I’ll be going back and hoping they have the w
hite one for some reason (though I doubt they will; I’m pretty sure it’s PRO-only) to lighten it just a touch.
Ingredient summary: Water based, no dimethicone — no complaints! The formula is very liquid, very thin, and feels like lotion.
Coverage: Much lighter than I had hoped — it has more coverage than the Korres, but less than the Stila (yes, even if I layer it.) I dislike the “dewy” finish it gives; I find the degree of dewiness is more like WHOA OILINESS… not pretty! This is easily dealt with, though. All you need is powder!
Overall: For the price, this is a total steal. If you’re going to set it with powder anyways, you can find your shade, and you’re looking for light-medium coverage, definitely check this out!

L-R: Stila, Korres, MAC
Swatches (same as the other blended ones) but I’ve put them in boxes next to each other so you can see the shade differences.

The verdict? I’m not totally happy with any of these, so here’s a little table for ya:

(click to enlarge!)


If cost was not an issue, I’d buy the Stila. If breakouts were not an issue, it would be the Korres. However, with everything taken into consideration — if for whatever reason I had to buy a foundation tomorrow, I’d buy MAC Face & Body.

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