Pencil Pusher

Published on March 28, 2017 by   ·   No Comments

Pencil MainI love a good lipstick.  Lip products are always my go-to pamper product when I need a little retail therapy.  Liquid lipsticks, traditional tubes, even a gloss here and there – I’m deceased!  The one exception to this?  Chubby lipcolor pencils.  I’ve never…just…no.

I’m not sure where the aversion comes from.  I don’t have any traumatic childhood memories related to pencil shaped cosmetic products.  I’ve never had any particularly strong reactions to a pencil or a bad experience using one as an adult.  For my eyes, I prefer pencil eyeliners to liquids, though generally only the “normal” sized pencils.  When it comes to makeup, I’m guess I’m just not a chubby chaser!

So given my general (assumed) distaste for all pencil-based lippies – where the hell did this post come from?!  Three things:

  1. When I started selling Tyra Beauty, I discovered their Lip Model lip colors…and I lived!
  2. One of my favorite brands of liquid lipsticks, Makeup Monsters, did a limited collection of pencils.
  3. Ipsy (and Birchbox, when they could be bothered to actually send me makeup instead of a ton of useless hair products) kept sending them my way.

So I decided to gather together all of my pencil lippies and do some swatches to see which ones would make the cut…and which ones would get tossed to the curb.  Here’s what I was able to find:

Pencil 05

Left to right, we got a Nudestix Lip + Cheek Stick in Satan (Birchbox, I think?), Model Co Contour Stick in 16F24 (from Mama Champagne’s Ipsy bag – more on this below!), e.l.f. Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Tiki Torches (from the classy Dollar Tree), tarte LipSurgence Lip Creme in Wonder (another Ipsy or Birchbox), Urban Decay’s Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Scandal (from one of the Oz palettes UD did a few years ago when that movie with Mila Kunis and James Franco came out), Makeup Monsters Colour Stix in Peach Mimosa and Marvelous (ordered from their website), NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien (Sephora), Tyra Lip Model in What It Takes and Hater Blocker (from my stash!), NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella (Sephora – seriously, I have like 3 of this same color.  Mix it up Sephora!), and  in…a color I don’t remember and isn’t marked on the packaging (Birchbox).

Here are some swatches, with different levels of lighting and flash (not trying to be fancy – just can’t light my photos for shit!), and then we’ll get into my thoughts on each one!

Let’s start at the top and work down:


Tyra Beauty – Lip Model in Hater Blocker and What It Takes

I love, love, love these lipsticks!  I really didn’t want to – because I hate pencils so much, I was determined that I wasn’t going to be sucked in.  But the metallic is so gorgeous and it is absolutely perfect for layering over my liquid lipstick for a stunning drag look.  And don’t worry – you don’t have to be a drag queen to enjoy this!  Its coverage is buildable, so you can put on a single, lighter layer for some semi-sheer color with glitter, or slather it on for a huge punch of pigment.  I’ve already stocked up on these just in case I decide to stop being a Tyra BeautyTainer – even if I’m not selling the products, I GOTS to have my Lip Model.  It really is that good!


Makeup Monsters – Colour Stix in Peach Mimosa and Marvelous

I’m not surprised that these are great quality – I can’t say enough about how much I love the MM liquid lipsticks, and the fact that they can do other products well isn’t a big shocker.  I was mainly just surprised that they would convince me to buy two pencil lipsticks, and that I would actually use them!  Marvelous isn’t exactly my color, so I’ve gotten the least use out of that, but that’s because I already have a shit-ton of blue-based pinks (seriously, I have a problem!).  But Peach Mimosa is bae, or whatever the kids say.  That color is gorgeous and creamy.  They were limited edition and currently not available, but if they ever come back – don’t sleep!  They are such a great lipstick!


NARS – Velvet Matte in Cruella

Although I’ve never been a huge fan of the price points, I have to admit that NARS does have some quality products.  I usually go to them for blushes (Seduction is a must have for my contouring routine, and Orgasm is just darn pretty).  I’ve never bought one of these pull size (amd probably won’t again because of the price) but I have enjoyed getting a deluxe sample size here and there to play around with.  I just wish they would sample them out in more colors: I’ve got three Cruella’s in my drawer!  I wish I could be as excited about the Satin lip pencil…more on that below.


Nudestix – Lip + Cheek Stick in Satan

I had never heard of this brand until I got this in a subscription box, but I really like this.  The red is gorgeous and bright, the perfect yellow-based tomato red!  I definitely want to check out this brand and see what the prices look like.  The quality overall was pretty good, and this one had a creamy application that would work well for a lot of the lip looks I do.


e.l.f. – Jumbo Lip Gloss Stick in Tiki Torches

It’s hard to do a straight up comparison of this one with the others in the list because this is a gloss and not a lipstick, but I would but this as the first of my mid-range options.  The application is nice and creamy, and the color payoff for a gloss is actually really good.  e.l.f. is a great bargain brand, and I got this little chub from the Dollar Tree, so it gets bonus points just for the price point alone.  If you want a simple peachy glow, this is a fantastic option and it will give you a nice glow if worn over a liquid lipstick.  Peach is super on trend right now, so this will go great with all of those looks!


tarte – LipSurgence Lip Creme in Wonder

This one is ok for me.  tarte has never been a brand that I’ve been drawn to, and this one doesn’t exactly make me a diehard fan, but the color payoff was nice and I love that it has some sort of mint oil in it that makes it cooling on the lips and has a nice fragrance to it.  If this were a traditional lipstick I think I would be much bigger a fan, but overall a solid (if not show-stopping) product.


Urban Decay – Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Scandal

I usually love UD’s lip products, but this one just doesn’t do it for me.  I love the color – a bright Barbie hooker pink that is super blue-based but not quite 80s fuchsia – but it’s a little too inconsistent in application for me.  I’m glad that UD put out their Vice lipstick collection and since they tend to do the same shades in multiple formulas, I’m definitely going to check to see if this is a color that’s still available in a tube.


PBJ Smoothie Stick in…Mystery Color

This one is hard to love.  It’s got a nice fragrance (though I don’t know if it’s supposed to be PB&J, because that’s not what I get from it at all!), but beyond that it’s a little weird.  I can’t find a shade name on it, which is annoying, and I also can’t figure our what brand it is.  I lost the little card from the Birchbox it came in, so I guess I’ll never know!  In addition to just being a lackluster product, it came broken: the entire product fall right out of the barrel if held upside down.  I would have a hard time recommending anyone spend money on this, but if you get one for free the color payoff isn’t bad.


NARS – Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien

I didn’t like this one at all.  The color is sort of a mauve, which I don’t love so it had a handicap entering the “competition,” and then it was sort of patchy.  It applied almost more like a gloss and it had an oilier feel to me than the matte pencil.  I’m glad this one isn’t as common a giveaway as the Cruella – three of these floating around in my drawer would be three too many!


Model Co – Contour Stick in 16F24

Here’s the part where I admit that I was too dumb to realize that I had a contour stick in with my lipsticks and that I didn’t notice it while taking pictures of the products or while swatching it.  I was like, that’s kind of a gross brown color for your lips!  That’s because it’s contour, you moron.  It wasn’t until I was transcribing the name for the post that I realized my folly.  It made me feel a lot better about it – it’s a great creamy brown that is very similar to one of the shades that I use in my contouring routine.  It blends beautifully, so while I wouldn’t pop this on your pucker, this is a solid choice for chiseling some cheekbones!

Maybe I’ll come around to this whole pencil thing – I’m well on the way, though except for the Lip Models none of these have made their way into my makeup “go bag” and only get pulled occasionally.  Still, most of them are fun, and I’m grudgingly willing to admit that they can be a great addition to your makeup routine.  Just read the actual label to make sure that odd colored lipstick…is actually lipstick.

I’m far too pretty to be smart.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted.

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