Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) come in six shades: Black Navy (deep midnight), Black Plum (rich eggplant), Hunter (deep emerald green), Jet (blackest black), Mahogany (rich brown), and Smoke (charcoal grey). The formula is supposed to wear for twelve hours, glide on smoothly, be waterproof, and not smudge or smear. Each pencil comes with a sharpener.
- Black Navy is a dark navy blue with a hint of purple. It seems darker than other navy blue eyeliners. The color payoff in a single pass was pretty good.
- Black Plum is a medium-dark eggplant purple with subtle red-burgundy undertones and a bit of a metallic finish. It had decent color payoff in a single stroke. It’s kind of like Urban Decay 1999 and Rockstar merged together. Chanel Cassis is a matte version. Urban Decay Crash comes close as well.
- Hunter is a dark swampy green. It’s not emerald green like Bobbi Brown describes–there’s a really murky quality to it, probably from the olive undertones. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one. This shade had really good color payoff in one pass.
- Jet is a deep black. It applies quite intensely in just one stroke. There are numerous black eyeliners like this shade on the market.
- Mahogany is a deep chocolate brown with subtle warm, red undertones. The tip of the pencil broke off while I attempted (more on this later) to do a single pass of it in the swatch, but it does apply fairly well in a single go. CoverGirl Brown is just slightly lighter.
- Smoke is a deep, dark gray with hints of purple. It has decent color payoff in a single stroke. CoverGirl Silver Spark is much lighter but the closest shade I could think of.
There was a consistent product failing that occured–all but two pencil tips broke off when I swatched them against my skin. Just snapped right off, and let me tell you, after the first one broke, I applied very, very gentle pressure with the next one, but it still happened. One of the two that hadn’t broke when I applied it to the lash line. It also seems like the outer edge has a slightly waxy film around it, which keeps the color from applying as intensely as it does once you’ve worn away the exterior (and it’s just a very thin layer on the exterior of the pencil). Once I sharpened the ones that had broke, they applied more intensely than before. It’s not a complete deal-breaker, but it’s very annoying and shouldn’t happen at this price point, and it’s not as if there’s tons of product to waste with pencil eyeliners!
The formula is good–it could stand to be a little creamier–it has a very dense, not quite hard but not silky soft, feeling against the lash line. It doesn’t pull or tug, and it leaves behind rich color without having to go back and forth over and over again. Bobbi Brown says it has “special polymers that melt at skin temperature,” which appears to be true, though I don’t know if this is really and truly special. It feels like many other pencils that naturally get creamier and glide-on better when they’re warmed up. Since most of these broke soon after I attempted to use them, I did have plenty of chances to use the included sharpener, which worked well and had minimal waste.
If you want to smudge these, you can definitely can, but they do set after ten to fifteen seconds and stay put after that. I clocked in wear around ten hours that was lovely, and after twelve hours, it was still pretty good with some light fading but no smudging or migration. Though I didn’t see anything that said these were safe for the waterline, I wore the shimmer-free shades on the waterline as well and had surprisingly good results of eight hours. I tested Black Navy, Black Plum, Hunter, Jet, and Mahogany (the only shade I didn’t test specifically was Smoke), and they all wore similarly (give or take a few minutes!).