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