Holiday 2012: eyepencil fanatics’ paradise

Posted on Sunday, at bought • 316 views

I don't know if I'm just noticing more this year, or if there really are more eye-pencil kits and sets available. (Honestly? I think I'm just noticing it more.) At any rate, there are lots of goodies out there, and I'm having to decide which ones I want to get. I've got ten kits on my wishlist, from a range of vendors, though mostly the so-called “prestige” brands. Still smarting about the not-happening Sephora Friends and Family sale? You can pick up most of these kits from for 20% off during -=their=- Friends and Family sale, November 6-9 2012. An email sent to their Linkshare partners reads:'s Friends & Family Event will be next week: 11/6-11/9. The Friends & Family Event is a twice-yearly event that gives you the rare opportunity to enjoy 20% off your favorite brands of skin care, makeup, hair care, fragrance & accessories—for a limited time only. Shop over 375 top brands, like Urban Decay, philosophy, Deborah Lippmann, and many more.

So there Sephora!!! (Apparently, for this sale to work, I have to use special links - and sorry, they're affiliate links. I'm not trying to force people to use my affiliate links, I'm not…I only just now noticed that. Crap. At any rate, as soon as I have the links - Monday evening - I'll put them up.)

Holiday 2012: eyepencil fanatics’ paradise

Sephora's partnership with Pantone this past year means that it's got an entire Sephora + Pantone Universe line. I'm not personally super-wild about this year's color - Tangerine Tango - because on my cheeks, lips, and fingernails, this color really doesn't work well for me. My eyes, though…those are another matter! I have blue eyes which really pop when I use orange shadow or liner. So when I saw Sephora had a Flashy Waterproof Liner in this tangerine color, I jumped! Alas, it seems that not everyone thought the same way I did, because this set and specifically the bright tangerine pencil are on deep discount in the occasional Sephora store (both pencil or kit, when you can find them, are $3 to $5.) And yes, I stocked up as soon as the price dropped!

Last year, I bought a few of the Tarte SmolderEyes kits and enjoyed them. So when this set showed up when five brand new colors (including a gold and a pink-gold) I immediately added it to my wishlist! The upside of these pencils is that they have great pigmentation and they stay in place really well. The downside is that they occasionally have to be sharpened - you can't twist the base to get more product. I really like being able to actually use all the product I paid for, instead of having to waste some of it while sharpening the pencil (irritatingly enough, done so that I can get at more product!) These SmolderEyes pencils are fairly costly when they're bought on their own, but these kits are a really great way to get several colors at a fairly good discount. This kit even includes a Skinny SmolderEyes in full size. This is from Tarte, it's available through most Tarte channel partners, and retails for $39.

I like Urban Decay's eye pencils, but have generally tended to stay away from them simply because of the cost. I can buy products that perform exactly the same, or near enough as makes no difference, but pay half the amount. I'll make an exception if there's a color in UD's lineup that I want and just can't find elsewhere (like Woodstock, a hot pink) but otherwise the individual pencils aren't on my shoppng list. The kits, though - I do enjoy looking over those, to see if there are enough colors that catch my eye, for me to buy the kit. If the colors are black, brown, navy…I generally won't bother. Put in silver, teal, gold, pink, and yes I might just have to check this out. This year Urban Decay has two kits available for the holiday season. The Ocho Loco palette has four brand-new shades, three customer favorites, and Junkie: a teal-green with gold shimmer. (Junkie is actually in two kits that are currently available, this one and Electric.) This kit costs $59, but - wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles - there's no Zero in it!! And Zero's in most of the eye-makeup kits that Urban Decay releases! Somewhere in every makeup junkie's home, there's a Zero-pencil Graveyard. I'm convinced of it. This kit is available from, so you'll be able to buy it during their Friends and Family sale next week.

BareMinerals (formerly Bare Escentuals, but in the past year they've begun rebranding themselves and I'm not 100% sure, but it seems like the “Bare Escentuals” brand name is going to be minimized or even mothballed for a few years) has discontinued their Big and Bright eyeliners, and seems to be moving ahead with their Round the Clock liners. Never mind the rampant problems that folks had last year with these super-soft, creamy pencils drying out after one use because the caps couldn't be re-fitted well enough to prevent ambient air from hardening the product. At any rate, there are two kits out this year. Seize the Day includes four deeper-toned colors (plum, brown, navy, olive) in mini size and a straight black pencil in full size. This kit retails for $25, and is available through all BE boutiques and channel partners.

Mally is a brand that makes regular appearances on QVC. I haven't ever tried their stuff, largely because they stick to pressed-powder products and I'm very much a loose-powder kind of gal. I spotted this collection of waterproof liner pencils on, while browsing all their kits, and noticed a pink and a silver and a medium-pale gold in the lineup! There are also the standard black, dark navy, and purple, but there's a vivid emerald and a copper as well. If I decide to get this kit, Mally's Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Liner kit will be my first Mally product. The kit sells for $50 - or $10 for each full-size pencil.

Photos that show how the product actually performs...! See how I create my swatches

Holiday 2012: eyepencil fanatics’ paradise Sephora + Pantone Universe Color of the Year set Tarte Eyecatchers Urban Decay's 24/7 Ocho Loco BareMinerals' Seize the Day Mally's Starlight Waterproof Pencil set

I'm not a diehard I'll-buy-anything-with-the-name-on-it Stila Cosmetics fan, but there are certain products in Stila's lineup that get a definite thumbs-up from me. I was thrilled to see another Stila retractable eye liner set available, and with a few new colors! Unfortunately for me, since I did manage to snag the Live from the Red Carpet Smudge Stick kit, I already own Stargazer and Oscar Fish; and had purchased Moray on its own from the regular line. Still, if you haven't ever tried Stila's Waterproof Smudge Sticks, this is an excellent kit - and you'll get Tetra and Angelfish, which are brand new to this set. Retails for $32, and yes it's available from!

The second holiday-eyeliner kit from Urban Decay is their Smoked collection, featuring deeper, richer shades. There are two new colors, two limited-edition bring-backs, and two from the regular line. I'm most interested in Smog (copper-bronze), Mainline (medium-deep teal green), and Empire (deep violet). This set costs less than Ocho Loco, but since you're getting six pencils instead of eight that makes sense. The only downside - at least in my opinion? This kit contains Zero, the straight black pencil, which is included in just about every other Urban Decay eye-makeup collection since the dawn of time. So really, it's like you're only getting five minis (half size, really) for $38. Available through all channel partners…yes, including

Sephora and Pantone put together another Flashy Liner Pencil set that's only just been released, this time in metallic-finish pencils. I wasn't thrilled to see that they were not full-size pencils, but was happy to see a rose-gold, a gold, and a silver-white. When I use those colors on my waterline, it brightens my eyes without all the black liner that other people wear to such great effect. (My eyes are not overly large, and the lids are hooded - so while dark colors on the waterline does emphasize the whites, I don't like the overall look.) I was very unhappy when Sephora slowly phased out their Flashy Mauve pencil, which was my absolute perfect waterline shade. Now, though, I've got a few more options! This set is $30 for six 2/3-size pencils.

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