Review: Giorgio Armani Eye Pencil in Black and Brown

By Voxy  

Yes, Giorgio Armani makes cosmetics. Yes, they are good. Yes, they are also overpriced.

That’s pretty much it.

I’ve wanted to pick up some things from the Armani line for quite awhile, but not being able to browse and swatch them where I live has made me hold off. But this spring they are bringing back an eye pencil that was All The Rage last spring, and it seemed like a good initial foray into the brand.

On the website these are called La Femme Bleue Long Wear Waterproof Eye Pencils, but on the box it just says Eye Pencils. (You miss that long business in front of it, don’t you? It at least needs a florid adjective: “Sublime!” or “Ineffable!” or “Pulchritudinous!”) They are, in keeping with their sadly unornamented name, not really much to look at. When I took them out of the box (more on that in a minute) there was no oohing or ahhing. I think I said, “Hm.”

So yeah, they don’t look like much — but this is one kick-ass eye pencil.

The texture is among the softest and smoothest of any pencil I’ve tried. This usually means you’re on the express train to Smudgeville, but these liners stay put remarkably well. You can blend them a bit when you’ve first applied them, but once they set, they’re set. For the swatches below, I had them on my hand for all of three minutes and they were difficult to get off. Cleanser and makeup remover work fine, but I was surprised that they stuck so well after just a few minutes. I would use a primer if you have oily lids, though.

I do wish the selection of colors were a little more interesting. Black is black (for the most part), so I didn’t have high expectations there, but the brown is not as rich as I’d hoped. They are also offering a green this year that I didn’t order. All the shades seem dark and muted — which does, I admit, allow you to use them in the workplace.

And speaking of the box — Armani is also the winner of this month’s Egregious Packaging Award! Below you can see the size of the products, and the size of the box that arrived at my house.

I’m sorry, but there is just no need at all for that much extra space and packaging. And let’s face it, it’s not like it’s a solid gold box or anything.

Close-up and swatch!


Giorgio Armani La Femme Bleu Long Wear Waterproof Eye Pencils: $27

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. Quality of product is excellent, price is… well… Armani.

Purchase again? Yes, but please make some more interesting colors! Eyeliner and suits don’t need to draw from the same color palette.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)


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  1. avatar ab_grp
    Posted February 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Voxy, any thoughts (or experience with) Armani’s eye shadows? There was one that I thought of picking up a year or two ago with what appeared to be a gorgeous eggplant color. The price does make me hesitate about that kind of gamble, though.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted February 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Alas, no experience, because of not being able to swatch them. Eggplant is a tricky color — so often it looks gorgeous in the pan but turns to a non-descript something-between-charcoal-and-black color on skin. I am not brave enough to buy that unswatched.


  2. avatar Inthelab
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 6:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have one of these in a deep green, bought it at a discount place for around $7. I like it for its soft texture, color, and long-lasting line (I use eye shadow base and powder eye shadow first). I wouldn’t pay full-price either. I should have bought every color.


  3. avatar marigolds
    Posted February 23, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yeah, the colors are…not very exciting. Brown and black. Ho-hum.

    I haven’t tried Armani cosmetics but people RAVE about the foundation.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted February 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Re: foundation — I know! But I can’t justify buying that without swatching.


    • avatar chaosbydesign
      Posted February 23, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The colours may not be exciting, but they are still the colours you would (probably) wear most often. I’m tempted to try these as I like soft eyeliner but the pencil I’m using at the moment is really smudgy (I think it’s Urban Decay. I could go check but that would involve walking across the room and I’m too lazy to do that today)

      $27 is a lot of money for one eye pencil, though!


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