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)
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!)