Eye pencils have always been a tad problematic for me. The thing is, I have hooded, slightly deep-set eyes, a combination which often causes softer eyeliners to smudge on my lids or migrate downward, creating the dreaded racoon eye. I’ve all but given up on gel liners–both in pencil and potted form–as they almost always lead to this unfortunate look on me. Even the much beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-One Eyeliner proved disappointing on me. For this reason, I tend to stay far away from any gel liners, with the exception of light pastel shades that I like to use in my waterline to make my eyes look bigger.
Yet, I’ve always been smitten by the idea of an inky, smoked out lash line. For the most part, I can achieve a smoky look using black eyeshadow and a liner brush (and if I want a crisp line, I go for the liquid liner). But, I can never get the depth I’m looking for using eyeshadow alone. So, despite my resolve not to continue trying gel liners in the hope that one will be different, I’ve been considering other formulations. Thus, I was incredibly excited when Wayne Goss announced he was coming out with a classic kohl liner.
If anyone can make an eye pencil that works wonders on me, it had to be Wayne Goss. After all, he did not disappoint with this lip products, and I’m a huge fan of his brushes. What’s more, Goss often features tips for hooded eyes on this Youtube channel. It would seem then that he’d keep those of us with hooded eyes in mind when creating an eye pencil, too.
The Product: Wayne Goss The Essential Eye Kohl Pencil in the shade “Obsidian”
The Cost: $14.00
Starting with cost, I have to say, this eye pencil is a steal. Why? Well, for a brand that sits in the realm of luxury, $14.00 for a pencil is pretty rare. To put it in context, this product is less expensive that most prestige eye pencils (“prestige” being a term for mid-tier brands). At Ulta, the Urban Decay pencil is $22.00, MAC’s kohl liner is $19.00, and Benefit’s is $20.00, to name a few. This makes both Goss’ eye and lip pencils–which cost the same–quite accessible products to try from his brand. I think it’s also smart because eye and lip pencils are two products that people will likely use up and buy again, unlike eyeshadow palettes. While I can’t remember a time that I finished an entire eyeshadow palette, I’ve certainly gone through plenty of eye liners. So, that means that I can feel good about using Wayne Goss eye pencils as a go-to without breaking the bank.
Regarding the packaging, there’s not too much to say other than it’s a pretty, sleek-looking pencil. I like the stark white text against the black, glossy pencil. The cap fits on nice and snug, but it’s easy enough to pull off without accidentally breaking the pencil tip. I’m really happy that Goss composed his eye pencils out of wood and that they are manually sharpenable. I’m not a huge fan of mechanical pencils that you simply twist up, since they never get as sharp as they orginally are. But, that’s not to say that all manual pencils sharpen easily. I’ve used some in the past that do not sharpen smoothly, or where the tip gets loose in the process. This one has none of those problems. I’ve sharpened the Wayne Goss kohl pencil at least three times now, and each time it becomes just as sharp as when I first opened it.
In terms of function and quality, this pencil deposits a lovely matte black pigment onto the lid. It is soft enough that it doesn’t hurt to apply but firm enough that the pencil nub doesn’t start to break down or smudge.
My favorite quality of this kohl pencil is its ability to be smoked out to perfection. That was the reason I bought it, after all! Although gel-based liners can be smudged out, I’ve noticed that they tend to dry down so quickly that it’s hard to blend them out smoothly. This one offers ample play time to blend it out to your heart’s content, although it does set in place eventually. I like to use my teensy-tiny Wayne Goss tightlining brush when blending the liner out. Although the liner is more like a blackened grey when initially applied, the depth can be built up with additional applications. I actually like this quality because it makes it easier to achieve a specific intensity of smokiness. The best part is, it lasts without smugding or migrating too much throughout the day. And, when it does start to migrate a little, it looks purposeful, with a worn-in, rock ‘n roll vibe.
If I have any criticism, it’s that this pencil doesn’t have the same lasting power when used to create a crisp line. If I draw on the liner without smudging it out, it will move throughout the day and give me a slight racoon look. The very first time I wore Goss’ pencil, I did not smudge it out, and I was afraid I’d almost have to write this off as another fail. However, when blended out, the liner stays put nicely. So, I plan on using this pencil specifically when I want a smudged eye. If I want a crisp line, I’ll reach for my liquid liner.
Finally, I really like this in the waterline. It does tend to sheer out a little in the waterline, but I personally don’t mind that because a stark black in that area tends to make my eyes look too small. Still, it gives the overall look even more smokiness, which I love.
All in all, the Wayne Goss Kohl Eye Pencil is hooded eye-approved!