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Jumping the NUDESTIX Train

NUDESTIX have been showing up in my peripheral vision for a year or so now, one of those brands/products that I kept thinking I should try, but didn’t in any way need to try. NUDESTIX seems to be in that current club of makeup brands that promise simplicity, “natural beauty” and one-product wonders (except buy more products, K?). Like Glossier and Milk, their PR images feature glowing women of all skin tones who don’t even look like they’re wearing makeup, guys! Indeed, Glossier wants you spend quite a bit of money to end up showing all  your natural “imperfections”, the implication being that you’d better be a bouncy, upper middle class 20-something who can afford to show their natural skin texture and pigmentation, or else just… stay home or something? I don’t know.

Glossier – because who needs makeup with pigmentation when you can afford a professional retoucher?

But I get it. I really do. My own makeup aesthetic has been changing with prevailing market trends, so instead of reaching for some sparkly purple shadow as I might have five or six years ago I also want minimal (appearance of) makeup and mainly neutral colors. (When I think of all the glitter pigments languishing unloved in my makeup stash. Sigh.)

Of course, the “no-makeup makeup” and “boy beat” looks are largely the realm of the privileged class of women who can pull them off, since really going makeup free or looking “natural” if you don’t have perfect skin leads to all sorts of financial and social penalties for women. In some ways it’s an even crueler beauty standard, since you have to look not only exquisite and ethereal, but also effortlessly so. Trying too hard is not cool, guys. Not caring is cool! But it’s only easy to not care if you really did wake up like this, so it’s a conundrum.

It's accentuating features that we usually would consider flaws.
YouTuber Sarah Cheung on the “Boy Beat” look.

NUDESTIX Metallics for Eyes from Sephora ($24)

Anyway, my point is that in a perfect summertime coalescence of boredom/anxiety/opportunity/Sephora trip I ended up picking up a NUDESTIX set, specifically the Metallics for Eyes collection ($24), which is three mini pencils (ahem STIX) in neutral, metallic colors. I have been looking for a good summertime, long-wearing, eye pencil in a warm neutral. I had two in cooler taupe/browns, but colors this summer were trending warm, and I didn’t have anything of just the right tone. I wanted a good simple one-and-done color that would set and last.

These colors (Burnish, Nudity, Smoke) fill that bill. Smoke is on the cool side and actually dupes a shadow pencil I already had, but Burnish has been my most-worn, and Nudity is a pretty, shimmery highlight of a color. These things are harder to blend than I thought they’d be, but they wear like absolute iron. I had to take makeup remover to my hand to cleanse the swatches I did in the store, six hours and many handwashings later. So when they say these are good for oily eyelids, they’re not kidding.

The set comes in a super sweet black metal tin with a mirrored lid and while that’s really cute packaging, it’s really not necessary or practical. You’re not going to want to carry the whole set in your bag where it would require this level of protection, and having a mirrored box for three mini shadow pencils, well, environmentally it’s overkill. Yes, my consumerist heart torments itself with these dilemmas. I can’t in good conscience toss the tin, but I have no practical use for it. So today am I more a consumerist, environmental advocate or minimalist? (My inner factions are engaged in an anxiety-provoking civil war on the issue of the damn tin.)

There is also a sharpener sized just for these pencils, which is thoughtful and handy. I like having spare sharpeners for this size pencil.

Here’s some swatches in studio and natural light:

Swatched in artificial light, from top to bottom Burnish, Smoke, Nudity.
Swatched in natural light ( I was in the car, but wasn’t driving at that moment, promise.) Top to Bottom Burnish, Smoke, Nudity

You can see how much warmer and more metallic they look in direct natural light. They’re very pretty.

Here’s me wearing Burnish all over the mobile lid, blended a smidge into the crease. They really do give that no-makeup but just a little definition” look.

I swear I am wearing it. Does it look like I am not? I guess that’s the point. (I will address what’s going on with my eyebrows in another post, but don’t think I am unaware of that situation.)
Another one with different lighting. See, it’s just a warm wash of color. Exactly what I wanted. This image also features my stylish heart monitor, because I am fancy. Lipstick is Bite Amuse Bouche Liquefied Lip in Chicory


Overall I am glad I bought this set. I know it doesn’t seem all that groundbreaking, but I have been reaching for it a lot in the last few weeks, and it’s perfect for these sweaty, end-of-summer days where I don’t want a fuss but I do want to look a little bit put together (without all that tacky trying, of course.)

How about you? Have you tried NUDESTIX, or do you have other favorite long-wear eye pencils? Let me know in the comments!

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