Use them as makeup. Use them to hide flaws. Use them to sharpen features. JEANNE TAI reports on the multiplicity of Etude House’s latest multi-tasking pencils from Seoul.
Our fave for a natural-looking rosy blush/ Works as an eyeshadow, a concealer or a contouring shade/ Great for highlighting and strobing.
When I was eight, my prized possession was a set of Faber-Castell colour pencils. Armed with them, I was a junior Renoir or a Turner. There was nothing I couldn’t achieve with my arsenal of rainbow hues. I have since outgrown my youthful dreams of displaying at the Musee d’Orsay. But that inner artist flickered to life recently during a press trip to Seoul, where I discovered South Korean brand Etude House’s Play 101 Blending Pencils. How they’re marketed: a range of 25 hyper-versatile makeup pencils for women on the go. How I think of them: a set of crayons you can use anywhere on your face. Foolproof. Fun. Use them to define the brows. Line the eyes. Give lids a pop of colour. Fill in lips for a bold Taylor Swift pout. Or blend out for a subtle gradient lip. These pencils even serve as base makeup. There are a number of skin-tone shades, including darker ones, that can act as a concealer or a contouring tool. They’re idiot-proof too – just uncap, twist and colour away. You never have to sharpen them. The range comprises nudes, corals, pinks and reds, and is subdivided into four finishes: creamy (good as a base makeup), velvet (a powdery finish; ideal as a blusher), jewel (a shimmery and glittery finish; best as an eyeshadow) and jelly (a wet-look finish; perfect as a lip gloss). They aren’t the same as Etude House’s existing Play 101 Pencils. Launched in 2014, the Pencils come in a wider range of colours (50 hues) and have thinner nibs, making them suited for precision application – such as lining the eyes. The Blending Pencils, on the other hand, have thicker applicators and a silkier formula that makes them far more superior for blending and creating buildable colour. The formula spreads easily without blotches, and absorbs sebum to lock in colour and prevent smudges. My eye colour lasted the whole day in spite of my oily lids. In fact, the formula does best used on the eye area – it glides on and blends out without tugging at delicate skin. The more pencils you get, the more options you’ll have. So, like a certain augmented reality game that’s trending, you can collect ’em all. And at just $16.90 apiece, I’d say they’re easier to bag than a Snorlax.
HOW TO USE THEM
1. Conceal: Use pencils with a creamy finish, such as #2, #3 and #4 (for fair, medium and dark complexions respectively).
2. Contour: Apply a darker shade along the hairline, jawline and the sides of the nose. Blend with fingers or a brush.
3. Colour: Add colour to the lips, cheeks and lids. Clean the tip of the pencil with tissue each time before use, or use Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Finger Brush ($16.90) to swipe a bit of the product and apply onto skin.