I love Charlie XCX. I love Make Up For Ever's eyeliner pencil. And I love bold, colorful makeup. So the moment I heard of the collaboration between Charlie XCX and Make Up For Ever — Aqua XL Eye Pencils, a line of TWENTY highly pigmented, waterproof, long-lasting eyeliners — I knew I had to get in on it
She's pretty much the perfect girl for this particular line, and she inspired me to use it to break out of my boring makeup rut. It also doesn't hurt that, as Tynan pointed out when he reviewed these for xoJane that there's nothing better than colorful eyeliner if you have hooded eyes (like me) and still want to play with colorful eye makeup.
So let's do this!
Some of the pencils are shimmery, and some are matte. Obviously, the most useful shades are the blacks and browns, as well as the white (it's great in the waterline) but I think everyone needs at least one of the fun colors, as well as one of the gorgeous metallics.
I tried out a few different looks with the eyeliners to see what they're capable of. First up, I attempted a graphic black and white look that was very Twiggy-inspired.
Although I love how creamy and soft these pencils are, I have to say that they're just not capable of achieving very sharp, precise lines, so this look ended up being a bit, um... bigger than I was originally going for.
Also I think any white shade is going to be difficult to build up to full opacity; this one does fairly well, but in the end, I think my favorite use for it is just a touch in my lower waterline to make my eyes seem bigger.
Next, I tried a more colorful graphic eyeliner look.
I had to use my favorite felt-tip liquid eyeliner to do the really thin black lines for this look. How great is that pale yellow shade, though? There's not enough pastel yellow eyeliner in this world if you ask me.
Then I added some hot pink lipstick to this look for COLOR OVERLOAD. Whew! I won't be wearing that look out grocery shopping any time soon, but it was fun to try.
One way that I actually have been wearing these eyeliner pencils out and about in my daily life is as a graduated wash of one shade. I pick a shade, like purple and then use all the variations of that shade included in the line. (You can do this with purple, green, blue, or gold/bronze metallics because the line includes so many variations of each.)
Above, I'm wearing the three different purple shades from the line: M-92, a pastel lilac, I-90, a shimmery royal purple, and M-80, a deeper matte purple. The lightest purple looks especially nice in my lower waterline and in the inner corners of my eyes. Of course, I added a purple lipstick (Sigma Power Crayon in Own It, blotted) for maximum effect.
You could also just pick one shade and use it for a dramatic wash of color. This is especially fun with the metallic shades. I applied the shimmery gold shade (ME-42) all around my eyes, with a bit of black at the outer corners and around my lash line for some definition.
The gold also pairs really well with the jewel-tone shades in the line, such as green:
In case you haven't noticed by now, the possibilities in this line are endless. Every shade category of the line, from the pastels and jewel tones to the neutrals and metallics, pairs well with the other categories. Even if you just buy your favorite shade, you can get a lot of use out of it as an all-over wash of color or just a hint of colorful definition around your lash line or a bold cat-eye, depending on your mood. After experimenting with them, I will say that I think these pencils are better suited for soft, smudged looks than sharp, graphic looks.
As for the formulation, this line is aces. The pencils glide on smoothly, blend well with fingers or a smudging brush (but you have to be really quick to get at it before it dries), and they last all night with no problem. I got proof of their staying power right after applying this swatch:
Of course, you should use a good eye primer, because if you have oily lids like I do, that oiliness cuts down significantly on the wear time.
- Are you excited to try this new line? Which shades will you choose?
- What's your favorite Charlie XCX song? I'm partial to "Need Ur Luv" but "Sucker" is really fun to shout-sing along with in the car.