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.
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:
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.
THE SUM UP
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!