German made, the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil is a hybrid of liner and shadow and comes in 28 colors. I tried three: Cottage Cheese, Pure Gold and Electric Blue. All three went on smoothly; the Ceresin Wax, Candelilla Wax, Bees Wax base also makes the pencil water resistant. However, using the pencil as a shadow was tricky; even when I set it with translucent powder the coverage was inconsistent and took several passes to look presentable. Once applied it settled into the crease line and required reapplication and the intermittent attention of a blending brush over the course of the day.
Electric Blue created the most dramatic look. Drawing across the lid—from the inner corner to the outside edge of the lashline—created a vibrant, shadow-like effect. Despite the smoothness of the liner it took several passes to get even coverage; skips on the lid were more than obvious in the brighter colors. Cottage Cheese—a pearly shimmer—was slightly more forgiving; the mica, talc and pearl powder (ingredients in all of the pencils) created an iridescent effect of soft focus.
Paired with the Sapphire Eye/Brow Pencil, the look was anything but subtle. I Covered my waterline with a thick swipe of the Electric Blue Jumbo Eye Pencil, so it concealed both the inner rim of the lower lid and just beneath the lash line. This added a vibrant crescent of color on my lower lid. For contrast, I used the darker Sapphire pencil on both the upper and lower lash lines.
The Sapphire on the top lid didn’t provide as much contrast as the look required. The pencil barely provided any recognizable color so I resorted to a powder shadow I had on hand. I applied Roaring by H.I.P. with a slanted liner brush. To maintain the look over the course of the day, I made several trips to the ladies’ room to reapply the Jumbo Pencil on both the upper lid and the waterline. I gave up on reapplying the Sapphire pencil to the inner rim after the second reapplication of the day, as it was evident that it wouldn't hold for more than a couple hours.
Pure Gold added just the sort of brightness I wanted as I colored beneath my lower eyelashes and over the inner corner of my lids. However, neither Gold nor Gold Glitter Eye/Brow Pencil produced noteworthy results. In fact, I felt like I was coloring back and forth on my lid in order to see the lightest trace of Gold Glitter; Gold couldn’t be seen against the Pure Gold Jumbo Pencil. The eye/brow pencils retail for less than four bucks, but you’d be better off using a pencil from a kid’s watercolor set.
I forced my sister to sit still while I applied Cottage Cheese and Silver Glitter on her. The look was unremarkable at first, until I applied three more layers of silver along her top lid and applied white pencil on the inner lid. Still not a look with high enough contrast, especially on the bottom lid, another layer of Silver Glitter on her waterline gave shimmer with just enough smokiness. The labor intense look wasn’t remarkable enough for the effort expended to create it.
Bottom line, if you’re interested in creating a bold look with an easy to control eye pencil that comes in more than two dozen bright color options, then NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils may be for you. However, your desire to create a bold look using these pencils must outweigh any unwillingness to reapply your eye makeup more than twice a day. And, even if price is your only consideration, the $3.50 NYX Eye/Brow Pencils aren’t worth purchasing in any but the darkest of colors.
All photos by Amy Kniss
About the Author
Before relocating to Southern California, Amy Kniss spent time covering city politics, crime and Bay Area news while occasionally impersonating Gavin Newsom on Twitter. Before that, she received a master's degree in politics from the University of Virginia and earned a Bachelor of Arts in government and writing at the University of Redlands -- where her controversial stories landed her in the Dean's Office more than once.