A chocolate brown gel eyeliner pencil that is soft enough to blend into a shadowy smoke
When Rodial’s Smokey Eye Pen in Brown showed up at my desk (my friend Monica, our digital producer, snuck it onto my seat — these are things that just happen daily when you work at a beauty magazine), I have to admit, I was confused. When I see the word “pen,” I think of liquid felt or brush-tip liners, and this is not that. It’s not a pen at all actually; it’s a soft, gel-like pencil that glides across your skin swiftly and easily, leaving behind an opaque line in one swipe.
The color is nice and rich, and what I’d best describe as a chocolate brown that’s not too warm or too cool. The semi-matte formula is deep enough to stand out against my tan skin tone, but not so dark that it is basically just a wimpy-looking black.
I’ve used this highly-pigmented pencil two ways and had great results. The first way is I like to carefully outline my eyes the way you would with any typical eyeliner pencil. It glides across lids with ease, the silky formula making it easy to go over the folds and creases of your skin without having to tug. I use my finger to smudge the liner across my waterline. The result: instantly more awake-looking eyes, which may also have to do with how natural this particular shade of brown is.
I’ve also tried using it to create a brown smoky eye (since the product name specifically says it’s good for that). Because I don’t usually wear the look, I admittedly had to look up a few tutorials on how to successfully produce the sultry effect. Three pages of Google images later, I just went for it. I colored the outer corner of my eye with the pencil, blending inward. Next, I topped my lid with a little bit of gold shadow. I fell in love with the entire look, and how easy this pencil made it to achieve —
because the gel is so soft, it moves exactly where you want it, but manages to stay in place once it sets.
At $21, the Rodial Smokey Eye Pen is not super over-the-top expensive, but it’s definitely more than you’re average drugstore eye pencil. That being said, the supberb quality, the spot-on color, and the fact that you can use it to both line your eyes and create dramatic smoky looks, makes it worth every penny.