Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils from the Coffee to Cocktails Collection

I think there's a reason Bobbi Brown shows pencil shavings in the Web site photo for the new Long-Wear Eye Pencils ($24). More on that below. The pencils are featured on the new Coffee to Cocktails Collection display.

The wait is over: for those who want the benefits of Bobbi's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in pencil form, here it is. This richly pigmented formula really goes the distance, staying put for 12 hours. Long-Wear Eye Pencil's densely pigmented formula glides on smoothly, for intense definition that lasts all day, so there's no need to worry about smudging or smearing. Apply in the morning and wear it into the night. Each pencil comes with a complimentary sharpener.

It's a good thing each one comes with a sharpener. Despite the care I took in using the pencils for the first time, putting minimal pressure on them to get my swatch photos, both of them broke right off where the "exposed" color joined with the pencil. Then I had to go inside to sharpen them. Once I did, I didn't like the drawing surface (it was a little "knobby"). I have mixed feelings about these eyeliners.

The colors are gorgeous. I selected Black Navy and Hunter. The other shades available are Black Plum, Jet, Smoke, and Mahogany. All of the names are descriptive of the colors.

In the photo above right, Hunter is shown at left, and Black Navy is shown at right. I took that photo before I tried to use the pencils. Knowing that eye pencils can be soft and break easily, I put very gentle pressure on Hunter to try to draw a swatch on my arm. It broke instantly, so the swatch you see was actually applied with the nub that was left before I resharpened the pencil. As a result of that breakage, I applied Black Navy with even less pressure, barely touching my arm. Snap! The pencil broke off in the same place Hunter had broken, right at the join with the housing.

By that point, I was annoyed and ready to return them (I won't; I'll experiment until I master them). I went inside and sharpened them so that each would have a pointed tip for drawing a fine line. Then I applied Black Navy to my eyelid. I like a straight, thin line, but I ended up with an uneven deposit of color at the base of my lashes, and because the color set extremely quickly, there was no way for me to fix it with a Q-Tip. I removed everything. That's where I am with Long-Wear Eye Pencils: at a standoff.

These blackened colors are beautiful, but I think I'll stick with Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. I have no problems using it - and no waste. It was a groundbreaking eyeliner. Why mess with success?

It's a rare day when I don't fall in love with Bobbi Brown's new products. Let me know if you have better luck with the Long-Wear Eye Pencils. They are available at Bobbi Brown's Web site and Bobbi Brown counters.

If you have your heart set on a gel eyeliner pencil, Chantecaille makes one in fewer color selections. Chantecaille's Gel Liner Pencil does not break with use.

Photo at top courtesy of Bobbi Brown; other photos by Best Things in Beauty

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw those in Nordstrom yesterday and was so excited I almost bought one. Glad I waited!

Eileen said...

What a disappointment :-( I was hoping for more gorgeous pencils like the three that BB released in her holiday collection. Those were also very soft and smooth and required frequent sharpening, but they didn't break off at the tip all the time.

Definitely return these, Charlestongirl, and tell the SA what the problem is. This isn't a question of buyer's remorse or allergic reaction. The product formulation is flawed and BB needs to know that. All these new gel pencils are so incredible soft, but they shouldn't be constantly breaking. Bobbi needs to have her developers go back to the drawing board.

katie said...

since we are on the topic of Bobbi Brown....might I ask if you really like your BB brightening Powder? Do you think it rivals Guerlain Meteorites? I ask because it seems to be sold out at a lot of counters - and on the Bobbi Brown website as well!

Charlestongirl said...

Anonmyous,

I'd recommend that you try the pencils before you buy - and ask the BB reps how often they have had to sharpen them. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

I will continue to play with them. If I cannot get a smooth line, I will return them. Bummed, though. I love the colors!

Charlestongirl said...

Katie,

My own Brightening Powder never arrived. Supposedly, it's backordered and will arrive, but I have my doubts. I think it will be like Target Missoni.

When I played with it in the store, I loved it. I don't think it rivals Guerlain's powders, though. They are almost peerless.

Victoria said...

I'm so disappointed to hear that these break so easily. As soon as I heard about them, I thought I would have to buy them as I can't really get to grips with her gel eyeliner in pot form. I think I'll give them a miss and maybe take a look at the Chantecaille ones.

lizzybee said...

Thank you for this review and swatches and all the great things with which you provide us, Charlestongirl!! I am not surprised at what you describe- I am so glad I waited. I hope your weather down there is as wonderful and it is so many other areas by now ... xo Beth in Pgh ;-)

Charlestongirl said...

Victoria,

Definitely check out Chantecaille. I feel badly because I love Bobbi. I've had pencils break before, but it was usually my fault. In this case, I anticipated breakage, acted accordingly, and they still broke. Maybe I'm a total klutz. Give them a try and let us know what you think, please.

Charlestongirl said...

Hey there, Beth!

It is amazingly gorgeous here. I can't believe it's still March. We have mid-April bloom!

Tell us, please, why you aren't surprised!

grace32187 said...

So disappointing to hear about your difficulty with the liners, I would've loved to see rave reviews. Thanks for reviewing though, you saved me some $ and I'm grateful. You should definitely return them, hopefully that gets back to the head honchos at BB so they can fix the formulation problem.

On the topic of guerlain meteorites, how do you use them? I hear they're supposed to be a brightening finishing powder, but all the sparkles intimidate me! It looks waay too sparkly to be a finishing powder. I have the loose balls in teint dore 03; in mac foundations, I'm a nw 30 w/asian yellow undertones. Do you have recommendations for what foundations/primers to use them with? I apply them with a fluffy highlighting brush. I'm stuck and I've had mine for 3 months!! Thanks so much, any tips would be appreciated :)

so said...

I'm sorry to hear the problem with the pencils. I've been trying bare essentials pencils. They glide on smoothly and the colors are gorgeous. I would like to try the gel liner though from BB. I'm very pleased with the natural bare essentials. I have eye allergies that cause me a lot of grief and so far the bare essentials hasn't bothered them. I usually use Lancome, Estee Lauder, and I've tried Urban Decay 24/7 as well as several others. I liked the colors but they don't last. My eyes tear up so much that I never have liner left on mt eyes. Maybe the BB gel is the answer?

mamavalveeta03 said...

The gel liner is still the best. For some reason, over the years, Bobbi Brown has had problems with the formulation of her pencils, in general. You'll notice that the lip pencils are regularly reformulated and the same with the eye pencils, although they tend to disappear altogether and then make a surprise return. I think Bobbi is just loves the gel liner the best: It's like having a favorite child. That's the one you put all of your energy into! ;-)

Charlestongirl said...

Some are more sparkly than others, Grace. Go to a counter and try all the shade variations.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi So,

I really like Urban Decay's pencils. They have never snapped on me.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks for that input, MamaVal. I know you are a Bobbi pro.

aylin said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I have had the same experience with the dual-ended LE pencils released in Holiday Collection, last year. There were raves about the product and I ordered sight unseen and did not like it at all. My sales rep said then that they sold out instantly so that Bobbi would include them in the main collection. Now we have them I guess...

What I think about the product is simply that it is solidified gel eyeliner, therefore it breaks so easily and you cannot get a precise line even if you try hard. It works somehow on the waterline though, but otherwise not a product I'd like to try again.

Thanks a lot for lots of valuable info and swatches.

All the best!

Nancy Pierson said...

I purchased the Black Plum eye pencil today. So Far it seems to be working with great ease. If it breaks at all I will take it back. I was not even going to purchase it because I saw this post, but when I got to the counter all the BB girls were flocking around them and loving them. They told me that so far it is the first eye pencil that Bobbi came out with that they like. They have not liked any of the previous ones. I will let you know how it goes in the next few days using it.... so far no problems and it was easy to use. I also got the cream shadows in Black Violet and Cool Lilac.

Nancy Pierson said...

OK I am reporting back after using my Black Plum pencil now for the last 6 days. No snapping or breaking at all if they did then it was going Right back. I really so far Love it and want to try other colors. I thought it was so easy to use. Also I love the Black Violet Long wear cream shadow but am iffy on Cool Lilac

Leslie said...

when I got this eyeliner, yes it snapped, but after I sharpened it, with my nars sharpener, it never snapped again. :) sorry it didnt work for certain people. Its HG product for me :)