Maybelline's Master Smoky Longwearing Shadow-Pencil has a great concept—an eyeshadow stick that includes its own smudging tool—unfortunately, execution is just a mess all the way around! On one end of this pencil is a twist-up eyeshadow stick; on the other end a round sponge applicator that's supposed to smudge the shadow for a perfect smokey eye.
The problems start right away with application. The pencil texture is a bit hard, so you have to tug and drag it across your eyelid to get any sort of color impact—this is not an easy "swipe across the eye" product! The shadow stays put where you apply it, which means blending is very difficult, even with the included smudging tool. In fact, the smudging tool is pretty much useless—a light hand doesn't smudge at all, and pressing down heavier on it only serves to tug even more at the eyelids, while at the same time wiping off some of the product! Talk about wax on, wax off!
Avoid this gimmicky product; there are plenty of others out there that you can use to achieve a classic smokey eye without abusing your eyelids!
- Shadow stick is a bit hard, which means you have to tug across your eyelid to get any color impact.
- Doesn't budget once it's on, which prevents blending.
- Included smudging tool is ineffective and feels abrasive.
Maybelline is one of the best-known and most recognized mass-market makeup lines in the world—it's available in 90 countries. Throughout its long history, which began in 1915 when T. L. Wilson founded the company and named it after his sister, Mabel, and Vaseline (which he combined with coal dust to concoct a mascara for her), the company has prided itself on bringing innovative products to the marketplace. L'Oreal purchased the company in early 1996 and that's when things really started getting much better. Both companies specialize in offering a large selection of lipsticks, nail polishes, and mascaras, and many of their foundations have the same strengths and weaknesses (smooth textures and finishes plus the inclusion of sunscreens that are often without much-needed UVA-protecting ingredients).
The powders, several mascaras, pencils, matte-finish concealers, and Superstay Lipcolor are impressive and inexpensive. Although L'Oreal remains the more sophisticated and refined of the two lines (and now they have credible products, not just sleek ads, to back this assertion), Maybelline's latest urban image is a positive step, as many of their latest launches have been innovative without resorting to "been-there, done-that" gimmicks. Price-wise, Maybelline is the least expensive of the L'Oreal-owned cosmetic lines (which also includes Lancome, Biotherm, Vichy, and Kiehl’s), and smart shoppers will note the similarities among brands that, with conscientious shopping, can really save you money without sacrificing quality or performance.
For more information about Maybelline New York, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 944-0730 or visit their interactive Web site at www.maybelline.com.