Friday, August 25, 2017

NYX Faux Blacks Eyeliners in Blackberry and Burnt Sienna

When Urban Decay released the Naked Heat collection earlier this summer, the product that really tempted my resolve was not the Naked Heat palette itself but one of the two limited-edition 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils: Torch, a rusty orange. (Okay, the palette was also tempting, but slightly less so.) I swatched both eyeliners, as well as the three Naked Heat lipsticks, at Ulta:

Eyeliners: Alkaline (L) and Torch. Lipsticks, top to bottom: Heat, Scorched, Fuel. Photographed in direct sunlight.

However, I balked at the idea of paying $20 for an orange eyeliner that I might not wear often. I didn't search actively for dupes, but a week or two later, I came across this post by Killer Colours, featuring two of the eyeliners from the NYX Faux Blacks collection. I'd never paid much attention to the Faux Blacks and Faux Whites, but Linda's beautiful looks sparked my interest. I knew I liked the formula of NYX's Slide-On eye pencils, which are obvious (though slightly inferior) knockoffs of Urban Decay's Glide-On pencils. The Faux Blacks and Whites don't belong to the Slide-On lineup, but the formula looked similarly soft and smudgy, and Burnt Sienna seemed like an unintimidating way to ease into the ruddy-eyeliner trend. Once at Ulta, I also found myself drawn to Blackberry, a deep plum. At $7.99 each, they were financially unintimidating, too (though my mom bought them for me, lol).

I've already sharpened each one a few times.

While photographing the eyeliners yesterday. I made an embarrassing discovery. As I've mentioned a couple of times before, I have ADHD, which means that I'm bad at filling out forms, following elaborate recipes, maintaining a skincare routine with more than three steps, and scrutinizing labels on beauty products before buying. Case in point:


The labels on the Faux Blacks (and, I assume, the Faux Whites) identify them as "Inner Eye Liner": that is, pencils for the waterline, where I never wear liner. Whoops. In my defense, I've never come across another eyeliner meant solely for the waterline, and the NYX website describes the Faux Blacks only as "striking eyeliners" that are "creamy and go on smooth, which makes drawing a precise line or smudging it out totally simple": no mention of where that line is to be drawn. Still, I have to take these liners on their own terms, so you should read this review with one huge caveat in mind: I'm not actually using the Faux Blacks as they're meant to be used. I wish I could try them out on my waterline and report back, but I wear contacts and feel squeamish about putting makeup near my eyeballs, and I don't care for the look of a lined waterline. For what it's worth, I do think the Faux Blacks would be nice on the waterline, as they set immediately and last all day. However, I think they work decently as lashline products too.


Blackberry is a dark, slightly grayish purple that looks very neutral, almost charcoal, on the eye. Burnt Sienna reminds me of Mexican chocolate: a rich reddish brown with a hint of plum. Here's Blackberry on the left and Burnt Sienna on the right; Blackberry is somewhat patchy, while Burnt Sienna is almost opaque in one swipe.


Brown eyeliners, L-R: Urban Decay Torch (yes, I bought it eventually), Burnt Sienna, UD Whiskey, UD Demolition. I worried that Torch and Burnt Sienna would be dupes, but they're not even close. I probably should have sharpened my liners before making these swatches, but oh well.


The Faux Blacks formula is soft (I have trouble sharpening the pencils on a hot day) but, despite the website description, not at all smudgy. This is a drawback for me, as my deeply creased eyelids are a terrible canvas for sharp, precise eyeliner looks, and I find a slightly smoked-out style to be easier and more forgiving. With Whiskey and Demolition (and NYX's own Slide-On formula, for that matter), I can draw a more or less messy line across my upper lashline, smudge it out a bit with my finger, and go about my day. But if I do the same with Blackberry or Burnt Sienna, the formula just crumbles off my lid. To give you a better idea of what happens, I swatched Burnt Sienna between Whiskey (left) and Demolition (right), then rubbed them with my finger. See the darker spots where Burnt Sienna has balled up on itself and started to crumble? Not cute, and not "totally simple."


The liners tend to look a little crumbly on my lashline even when I don't smudge them, which makes me wonder if they'd behave similarly on the waterline. Here's Blackberry on its own, with Topshop Chameleon Glow in Holograph on the inner corner and ABH Warm Taupe in the crease:


And here's Burnt Sienna. I drew a thicker line than normal, so it would be more apparent in photos, but going over the line caused the formula to crumble a bit.


Instead of wearing the Faux Blacks on their own, I prefer to incorporate them into a full eye look and draw a very thin line, almost a tightline, on my upper lashline. Burnt Sienna in particular is a perfect complement to warm-toned eyeshadow. Today I wore Burnt Sienna with ABH Warm Taupe in the crease and Antique Bronze on the lid, as well as Illamasqua Zygomatic blush, Wet n Wild Precious Petals highlighter (review to come!), and Urban Decay Amulet lipstick.

I got a haircut! Not a day too soon.

If you prefer to wear your pencil liner on your lashlines, I'd point you toward NYX's original Slide-On eye pencils instead of the Faux Blacks, though Burnt Sienna is a beautiful and unique brown that I'm happy to have in my collection. If you're more of a waterline person, these could well suit your needs. Either way, learn from my mistake and read the fucking label.

10 comments:

  1. Oh, interesting, I hadn't heard of these liners! NYX has sooooo much stuff. This is probably obvious, but I tend to smooth out the edge of liners like that with a similar color of eyeshadow. It's obviously another step, but I get a darker line than if I just used shadow and avoid the jagged edge. I think it looks great the way you used it, though.

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    1. You can certainly be forgiven for not knowing these existed! I followed NYX's instagram account for about three days this year and had to unfollow because I was overwhelmed by all the new releases. And yes, I've been meaning to try smudging out my liner with a similar shadow, but I keep forgetting to do it (ADHD brain strikes again).

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  2. I want those, too! Killer Colours is so inspiring. Looking forward to seeing your review of Torch!

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    1. I love Killer Colours' looks! Actually, since you mentioned UD Lawbreaker, I've been stalking her posts and contemplating ordering it myself...

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  3. I didn't think the official description sounds like "inner liners". But reading your experience with them (and swatches) makes me wanna give them a try. I haven't found anything that truly lasts on my lower water lines. (dried up gel liner in pot was the closest but cumbersome and gross to use).

    Yay for having four all different and interesting eye liners! :)

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    1. Yeah, I think I can be forgiven for assuming the liners were made for both the lashline and the waterline! The description is pretty misleading. If you do end up buying these, I'll be curious to hear how they last!

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  4. Damn, your swatch of Burnt Sienna is my favorite shade of brown (you had me at warm Mexican chocolate). Unfortunately, I don't use pencil eyeliner on the waterline either. I just try to do a neat or smudged line on my upper lashlines, so I'm kind of disappointed to hear about the crumbliness. I'll try to scour for color dupes online.

    NYX is expanding and marketing pretty aggressively where I live. That along with your observation of new product launches all the time makes me hope, for their sake, that they have an overarching business strategy smarter than "launch everything and expand everywhere"

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    1. NYX has definitely expanded in the US since they were purchased by L'Oreal in 2014, so I'm not surprised they're expanding elsewhere as well. I've been buying NYX products since before the acquisition, and I do think the quality has improved overall, but they're stretching themselves thin by jumping on every trend and releasing wayyy too many new formulas and collections. I miss the old days when most NYX products were named after classical mythology! They had a coherent brand identity that seems to have gotten lost in the last few years.

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  5. I have Onyx, one of the NYX Faux Blacks (it's a beautiful dark teal) and I'm really impressed with it. I have only used the UD liners once or twice, but I found the quality comparable. I didn't notice the inner eye liner thing either and have yet to use it to line my inner eye. Worse was when I bought the UD Electric Palette then at home noticed that 3 of the shades say "not for eye use." Too late!

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  6. Burnt Sienna looks really nice. I got the Oxblood shade and only noticed the inner eye thing after using it twice! I never put makeup on my waterline as my eyes are ridiculously watery but I will try it. If it makes me cry/look like a demon I'll just stick to using it on the lashline.

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