Review: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils

By Voxy  

I would like to introduce you to one of the spring’s most sophisticated new releases: Urban Decan 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils.

Yes, I did just use the words “sophisticated” and “Urban Decay” in the same sentence.

All right, maybe “sophisticated” is a little over-the-top. But my point is this: many of Urban Decay’s products are so much better than their packaging and product naming would lead you to believe. If you put the same product in different packaging — say, something sleek and black — and instead of calling a color, oh, I don’t know, “Delinquent,” you called it, say, “Deep Amethyst,” you could sell these products to a much broader range of consumers. “Delinquent” is far from the biggest offender; it just happens to be one of the pencils I’m reviewing today. But no one over the age of 19 wants to buy a lip pencil in a shade named “Gash.” Really. We don’t. However, it is not my job to manage Urban Decay’s marketing strategies. In the meanwhile, if you are interested in the products, you could always cover up the outside with black electrical tape. :)

You might have noticed that crayons are back in style. Tarte came out with those indescribably awful lip crayons last year, and this year we are seeing the crayon — which most companies still persist in calling a “pencil,” in spite of its clear crayon-ness — used to deliver more products for lips (Clinique, NARS) and eyes (Urban Decay). Clinique is bucking the trend by calling their lip crayon a “chubby stick,” which probably thrills the UD people, as it shows that someone out there is making worse marketing decisions than they are.

I will admit that I wanted these from the minute I saw the promotional materials, and ordered them within ten minutes of their going live on UD’s website. I only ordered two at that time, but then picked up the other three later via Sephora because the first two were SO AWESOME. They are new for Spring 2011, but fortunately they are part of the line’s permanent collection.

In contrast with UD’s 24/7 liner pencils and their 24/7 lip pencils, both of which are pretty soft in texture, these shadow crayons pencils are surprisingly dry. However, they do glide onto the eyelid remarkably smoothly in spite of that. They are easy to apply (for the most part; caveat below), last all day over primer, and — best of all — can be used to create some unexpectedly subtle and elegant shadings and blendings, which was the most impressive part for me. They fit the UD “Grindhouse” (another terrible product name) sharpener but will also fit most other sharpeners for pencils of this size.

Caveat on application: While they are easy to apply (Step 1: draw on face with crayon; Step 2: you’re done), getting them exactly where you want them, and at the level of intensity you want them, does take a bit more work with the more pigmented shades. I can scribble Sin (light pink) on my eyelid just about anywhere I want and it’ll look fine. The darker shades take a little finesse. I like to use Rehab (the dark brown here) as a crease color, but I suppose my eyes are more deeply-set than UD had in mind — the pencil does not go all the way into my crease. So I have to apply it as close to the crease as I can, and then blend it into the actual crease with a brush. This is OK; I don’t mind. I imagine for lots of other people this wouldn’t even be a problem. I would also advise blending out the edges of any area in which you are going to put one of the more pigmented colors, either with your fingers or with a brush.

The pencils come in varying degrees of sheen/glitter. Of the five I have, the two that have outright glitter are Delinquent (purple with a purply-pink glitter; not nearly as outrageous as it sounds) and Midnight Cowboy, which will surprise no one who knows UD’s product line. Midnight Cowboy is the equivalent of Stila’s Kitten: an over-the-top glittery peachy shade that shows up in every palette and collection they do whether people want to buy it or not. However, this is the least glittery iteration (glitteration?) of the shade I’ve seen. The glitter, which is silver, is not overpowering and amazingly enough it actually stays where it’s put. I can absolutely wear that shade to work as a highlighter shade under the brow. Sin (pale pink), Rehab (brown), and Mercury (gunmetal) have more sheen than glitter. All of the darker shades can be sheered out/blended for very lovely and subtle effects. The Mercury shadow pencil stays in place much better than its corresponding Gunmetal eyeshadow, so if you want to do a smoky eye that stays put and doesn’t drift all over your eye socket, making you look like you’re about to go wander the streets and eat people’s brains, I highly recommend it.


L-R: Sin, Midnight Cowboy, Rehab, Mercury, Delinquent

There are plenty of other shades available!


Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils: $20 (psst: hey Urban Decay website people — you spelled the shade name “Barracuda” wrong)

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. It’ll take ages to finish one up.

Purchase again? Yes! I hope they come out with still more colors. These are a lot of fun and have remarkably nice results.

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

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  1. avatar a biologist
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I just broke down and ordered the 24/7 eyeshadow set–it looks like I may have some more UD in my near future.

    I’ve decided I like pale pinks like sin when I wear a single color. They make me look more awake and brighteyed.


    • avatar Voxy
      Posted March 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Wait — when you say “set” do you mean the anniversary set of 24/7 liners? (i.e., not the shadow crayon/pencil things)

      If so, you will LOVE it. The only reason I haven’t reviewed it yet is just that I haven’t swatched them all, but I will do that so that review can go up too. Seriously, there are only a few WTF? colors and everything else is ultra-wearable.

      Agreed with the pale-pink helping to brighten, especially for us cool-toned girls.


      • avatar a biologist
        Posted March 26, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Yep, I mean the anniversary liner set. That’s my new job present to myself (see how I can justify any beauty spending now?).


        • avatar chaosbydesign
          Posted March 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Oh, you’ll definitely love those liners. I have used most of them already, and have really liked every single one. Even the light purple!

          And beauty spending does not require justification. It’s a necessity. (Well, that’s my excuse for the amount I have purchased recently, anyway!)


          • avatar a biologist
            Posted March 26, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

            How did you wear the light purple? From my experiments with my other liner pencils I can wear blue/purple/green during the day if I layer it with gray pencil.


            • avatar chaosbydesign
              Posted March 27, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink | Reply

              I used a little bit of it to line the outer corner of my bottom eyelid, with a really thin line of darker purple liquid liner on the top. I wore it with a shimmery beige/cream shadow all over my eye with light purple in the crease.

              I don’t think I’d use the purple UD 24/7 to line my entire eye, but it’s nice for a little bit of colour. Same with the light blue one — I’m still trying to find a way to make that work with a *really* blue shimmery liquid eyeshadow (by Estee Lauder — I’m sure there will be a review on this at some point as I know Voxy has it as well. I might even write a review of it if I can figure out how to wear it!).


        • avatar Voxy
          Posted March 26, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

          New job? YAYAYAYAY!!! Congratulations! That’s fabulous! I hope you love it.


          • avatar a biologist
            Posted March 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Thanks! I’m so excited. I feel so lucky to have won a tenure track position this year of all years.

            My red Shiseido Perfect Rouge Tender Sheer lippie is now my lucky lippie. But seriously, I did feel more confident giving the talks knowing that I looked very polished.


            • avatar Voxy
              Posted March 26, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink | Reply


              I am proud like a mama bear. And this is the person who was once timid about going into Sephora! A Biologist will be taking the world by storm, red lippie and all!


    • avatar a biologist
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yay! The eyeliner has arrived and I’ve swatched them all on my wrist to admire this evening.

      I agree most of the colors are wearable. I love the two cool browns, the navy, and the gray. I have these colors in less nice pencils, so I know they’ll get lots of use.

      The ones I think I won’t be able to use are the light pinky purple and the electric blue, though I will try them as CBD suggests. The bright metallic gold will be unflattering, but I can’t help imagining wearing it on the top lash line to a New Year’s Eve party.


  2. avatar marigolds
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I never thought I would say this, but…I want Midnight Cowboy.


  3. avatar ab_grp
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I will definitely have to check these out. Delinquent and Sin look like they would work well. Rehab could be a yes or a no. A non-zombie smoky eye is appealing, too!


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