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It's fair to say that me and lip pencils do not get on. I think lip pencil, I think Jodie Marsh and that's not a look I want to achieve! So why, you might ask did I buy one? Well my cupids bow (v shaped dent on my top lip) is not very pronounced, so my top lip can sometimes look like it's rounded! I had learned already to dot a bit of highlighter, such as Benefit High Beam, there to give a more defined look, but when I spotted this pencil which was specially designed to do the same thing I thought I'd give it a try.
e.l.f are a brand that started out in the USA with the aim of making good quality cosmetics at bargain prices. I think I first heard of them on here actually, but I also started to notice their products mentioned in magazines and it seems the brand is gaining in popularity.
This particular product is from the studio range. Whereas most e.l.f. products cost just £1.50, the studio products are slightly pricier with most of them costing £3.50 like this one does. Benefit actually make a very similar pencil which is called cupid's bow and although theirs also comes with a double ended brush, it costs £21.50, so the e.l.f. one being six times cheaper seemed the obvious choice to me!
The product comes packaged in a black box with a picture of the pencil on the front and directions for use on the back. The pencil is only available in one shade which is called 'nude/natural' and hopefully will suit most skin tones. The pencil is quite chunky and a rather boring plain black colour, however it does have one great feature, which is the fact that there is a pencil sharpener in the lid. A couple of other e.l.f. studio items have that feature and I think it's really handy and it's quite unique and not something I've noticed other brands doing.
The pencil itself is double ended you have the 'shape' end which is a brownish-pink colour and quite shimmery, and the 'define' end which is a darker pink shade, also shimmery, but not too strong a colour.
To use, you need to apply a little of the 'shape' end of the pencil just above your cupid's bow. As the pencil is shimmery, it works as a highlighter in the same way Benefit's High Beam does and the reflection gives the illusion of a more pronounced cupid's bow. Although the pencil is quite chunky, I find it easy to apply a fairly thin line and if it does go on too thickly I always have a sharpener handy! I find that you have to smudge the line in a little to make it more natural and I usually use my fingers to do that, but you could always blend with a lip brush. It gives exactly the same results I got from Benefit's liquid highlighter, and it's long lasting too.
The 'define' end of the pencil is one that I have used, but not very often. As I said I do not really like lip liner as a rule. This one, they recommend lining the lips with and blending inwards for a fuller, more plumped look. Again the pencil is quite chunky, but it glides onto the lips smoothly to give a clean line. I also found it quite easy to blend the pencil as it's quite soft, but the look it gives is not great. Since it is so shimmery, and a lighter colour than my actual lips, I think the result is that it looks quite tacky and makes me feel like a Barbie doll!
Overall, as a way of shaping your cupids bow, this product is quite a good and inexpensive one. I personally don't use the lip liner end very much and so that's kind of wasted on me, but it is great at shaping the lips and I'd buy it again just for that.