It's been a while since I posted a product review, but I had so much fun testing out this collection that I hope to post many more reviews in the near future! My friends at MAKE UP FOR EVER sent over their Aqua XL Eye Pencils, released in collaboration with singer Charli XCX. This collection contains 20 boldly coloured pencils in five different finishes: matte, diamond, satin, iridescent and metallic. The "XL" in the name stands for extra-long lasting formula, which uses a unique blend of ingredients to offer impressive durability, as well as a vegetable wax that gives strong colour payoff. I can definitely confirm that all the pencils in this collection have crazy staying power. They also apply and blend beautifully.
Here's an image of the full range of shades:
Rather than show you swatches, which has never really been my thing, I thought it would be more fun to show you how the products look in context. My cousin Tara stepped in to model three different looks using this pretty fabulous collection. On her lips, she is wearing MAKE UP FOR EVER Natural Rouge Lipstick in N4 (a pink-beige) with all three looks.
First up, I did a very simple two-tone pastel look using the seafoam M-30 and lilac M-92 pencils. I also used the charcoal M-14 shade to tightline her eyes by applying it to the upper and lower waterline of her eyes. Anchoring pale eyeliners with a deeper tone along the lash line provides a subtle bit of contrast and actually helps show the pastel shades off much more than if you'd used them alone.
For the second look, I wanted a more lived-in look that allowed me to test out if the shades play nicely together. I combined the coppery M-42 and the aubergine M-80, blending them with my fingers for a smoky effect. Essentially, I smudged them enough that they became eyeshadow more than eyeliner, and they blended really smoothly under my touch.
For the third look, I decided to do a more graphic combination of colours. I started by lining the outer two thirds of her eyes with the taupe S-50 pencil. I layered the royal blue M-22 on top, on her top lashline only and added a bit of the chocolate brown M-60 just along the lashline at the outer corners of her eyes. I finished by adding the light turquoise M-26 in the inner corners of her eyes. The pencils go on silkily but dry quickly enough that the colours don't bleed into each other, which is key for super defined colourful looks.
I would recommend this collection to any makeup artist, as it has a bit of everything and the possibilities for different looks you can create with it are virtually unlimited. The quality is so high and colour intensity is great. It was the sheer ease of application and blendability that actually impressed me the most. I look forward to playing around with these waterproof beauties all summer!