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I had some success with the Max Factor Smoky Eye Effect Shadow Sticks a while ago, so when I spotted the Eyeliner and Shadow Sticks from elf (eyes, lips, face) I thought that they might make a nice cheaper alternative to the Max Factor product.
As the name would probably suggest, this is a double ended product consisting of an eyeliner at one end and an eye shadow at the other end. They come in a selection of six different colour combos. I purchased two, the Smoke/Black which is a slate grey shadow and black liner and Pearl/Glow which is a pearly white liner and a pearly pink shadow. At the moment I have the Pearl/Glow shade in front of me (although it is in the Smoke/Black box for some reason!) and so that is the one I'm basing the majority of this review on.
The sticks are from elf's Studio range which is their slightly more premium range of cosmetics. The product comes presented in a black box and the stick itself is also black in colour with white writing. Each end is clearly marked 'Shadow' or 'Liner' and the shadow end is slightly fatter than the liner end.
Firstly I should note that I don't get on all that well with standard eyeliners. I have to use gel ones as the roots of my eyelashes are blonde, and so pencil eyeliners don't tend to work very well as it appears there's a gap between my lashes and my skin. These are actually more of a crayon type of liner and I've had mixed success with this type of product in the past, so I honestly didn't know how I'd get on with these.
I always apply the liner first. I don't have the black one with me, but I seem to remember it didn't work very well on my lashes. I can't really blame the product too much for that, I think it's my weird eyelashes that are to blame! The Pearl shade seemed to go onto my lower lash line very easily and looked quite good, even though I wasn't sure it would. I use that trick of putting a white liner mark on the lower inside corner of my eyes to help me look more awake (random fact: I've noticed Emma Bunton from the Spice Girls does this a lot) and this crayon type pencil goes on very easily and is very effective at that.
The shadow part of the product is also like a crayon but this end has a much wider and more rounded tip. Again I have had mixed results with cream based shadows, some of them slide off after five minutes and some, like the Max Factor one, stay longer than I would expect.
I find this goes on to the skin very easily and feels very creamy. It is a pale colour and although it looks OK with one coat, I do tend to go over it a few times to build up the colour. I worried that the rounded shape of the shadow stick would make it difficult to get into the corners of the eyes, but that's not really a problem thankfully, as I just turn the stick to the side slightly.
Once on, I think the shadow looks nice, but the creamy consistency means that it covers up any liner I have already applied onto my upper lash line. The two colours in both the sticks I have are too similar for them to blend - instead they seem to just merge into one which is quite disappointing. This said I find I can get quite a nice look by applying the liner just to my lower lash line then applying the shadow to my lid. This might seem a little strange but it seems to work well for my eye shape and skin tone.
I think the main problem I have had with these sticks is that the shadow creases very easily. I can't say I'm overly surprised really as cream eye shadows tend to do this with me, but it is disappointing. I only get a couple of hours at most from these. Also, having applied this yesterday, I noticed that some of the shimmer had come off and it had travelled down my face slightly!
These shadow/liner sticks cost £3.75 each and are available from www.eyeslipsface.com
Overall I found these disappointing. Perhaps I was being a little optimistic to think they would share the quality of the Max Factor product which is twice the price. They're not all bad - the shadow does look nice on, it's the fact I only get a couple of hours wear before it creases really badly that is the main negative and on that basis I don't think I could really recommend this product.