Bobbi Brown

Retouching Face Pencil

0.08 fl. oz. for $ 32.00
Expert Rating

Expert Reviews

Community Reviews



Brand Overview

Whether or not Bobbi Brown's Retouching Face Pencil will be right for you depends on how you plan to use it. Marketed as a "creamy-matte" concealing pencil that "hides shadows, dark spots, and redness for a retouched-yet-natural look," we found that the texture wasn't quite creamy enough to go on smoothly over larger surface areas. Instead, the dry finish tugs at skin and can exaggerate fine lines, making it a poor choice for the eye area.

On the flipside, it's a good option for covering smaller imperfections due to the tenacious, buildable, full coverage it provides. Read on to explore Retouching Face Pencil's other qualities…

One thing we really appreciate is that this pencil comes with an accompanying sharpener. Given the medium width tip, not everyone will already have a specially-sized sharpener already at home so this is a nice touch. (Other companies should take note!) We also appreciate how easy it is to use—you can literally "retouch" on the go.

Shade-wise, Retouching Face Pencil comes in a range of warm and neutral tones for light to dark complexions. It helps to give this a try in-store to find the right match (some of them skew a tad peachy or orange—which won't flatter everyone, so choose carefully).

In addition to the nine (at the time of this review) matte-finish shades, Retouching Face Pencil also comes in one luminous shade that you can use as a strategically placed highlighter. Similar to the matte shades, it has somewhat of a dry finish that allows it stay in place wherever it's applied. The shimmer is a nice balance of noticeable but not glaring (i.e. no heavy chunks of glitter) so is suitable for day or night use.

All things considered, Retouching Face Pencil's fragrance-free formula is a good option for concealing smaller targeted imperfections, but it's not as multi-purpose as Bobbi Brown claims due to somewhat tricky shades and its thick, dry texture (making it challenging to recommend for the eye area).We're also hesitant to recommend this for acne-prone skin because the ingredients that keep stick concealers in their solid form pose a risk of clogging pores and making a breakout worse. If you fall into either of those categories, check out our Best Concealers & Correctors list for alternative options.

  • Matte finish and tenacious, buildable coverage work well to conceal small imperfections.
  • Luminous shade offers stay-put shimmer.
  • Fragrance-free formula.
  • Easy to retouch on-the-go.
  • Comes with a sharpener.
  • Dry finish somewhat tugs at skin, and despite claims, is not well suited for the eye area.
  • Not ideal for acne-prone skin due to potentially pore-clogging ingredients.
  • Some of the shades skew a tad more peachy or orange, which can be unflattering for spot coverage.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes
A retouching face pencil for full, creamy-matte coverage that hides shadows, dark spots, and redness for a retouched-yet-natural look.
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Nylon-12, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Octyldodecanol, Bis-diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, BeeswaxCera AlbaCire Dabeille, Wheat Germ Glycerides, Talc, Montmorillonite, Calcium Sulfate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate. May contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Manganese Violet, Carmine, Bismuth Oxychloride, Blue 1 Lake, Yellow 5 Lake.

Bobbi Brown At-A-Glance

Strengths: A good cleanser and eye makeup removers; some impressive foundations, with options for all skin types and preferences; very good blushes and eyeshadows (powder and cream); several top-notch mascaras; mostly excellent brushes.

Weaknesses: Multiple moisturizers in jar packaging, otherwise great products hindered with irritating fragrant oils or fragrance components.

It all began with lipsticks. In 1991, New York based makeup artist Bobbi Brown debuted a collection of ten lipsticks at Bergdorf Goodman, expecting to sell about one hundred units in a month. She sold more than that the first day. From there, it's been mostly success after success, as Brown launched her classic foundation stick, wrote her first book, Bobbi Brown Beauty The Ultimate Beauty Resource, and enjoyed continued attention as an in-demand makeup artist and beauty educator.

Today, Bobbi Brown's makeup that continues to excel with superior foundations, true matte blushes and eyeshadows, and with all of the other basics that are essential to anyone's makeup wardrobe. It isn't the least bit surprising that this makeup collection continues to do so well, because for many it's one-stop shopping that combines classic makeup application techniques with enough fun-yet-functional products to keep customer's interest piqued season to season.

Turning to the skincare collection, there are a few excellent formulas, but unfortunately, many are packaged in a jar, which means their beneficial ingredients are rendered useless due to air exposure (and bacterial contamination from spatulas or fingers). In addition, some suffer from the inclusion of potent fragrant essential oils. Those that should be avoided are noted in their respective reviews. That aside, color is without a doubt Bobbi Brown's strong point, but you will find a few sleeper hits among the selection of skincare products.

For more information about Bobbi Brown, call (877) 310-9222 or visit www.bobbibrowncosmetics.com.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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