|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.