The only downside to eye crayons is the need to constantly sharpen them, which is the price you pay for the product not being contained in a pot (like the Maybelline Color Tattoos, Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liners, MAC Paint Pots or Face of Australia Budge Proof Eyeshadows) or squeezable tube (BECCA Eye Tints). The only one of the 5 eyeshadow crayons I have that comes in a twist-up mechanism reminiscent of the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks is the KIKO. The others require sharpening whenever the tip starts to become blunt, which I find wasteful as quite a bit of product is discarded with the shavings.
l-r: KIKO 06, Max Factor Caramel Rage, Rimmel Bad Girl Bronze, Models Prefer Down to Earth, Models Prefer Oh Fudge!
In direct sunlight
My pick of the bunch is the KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 06 and not just because it's the one that never requires sharpening. It excels every other way: from the bronzy, slightly old gold shade, to the vibrant metallic finish, to the lasting power, to the ease of application and blending, to its versatility as both an all-over lid colour and to add definition to the lower lash line. What I love about all these pencils, especially the darker shades, is that a single product can double up as both eyeshadow and eyeliner to create a whole look sans mascara (and possibly a flick of black eyeliner on the upper lash line if so inclined). And no brushes required — just draw onto your lid straight from the stick and blend the edges out with your fingers.
The Max Factor Wild Shadow Pencil 2-in-1 Gel Shadow + Liner in Caramel Rage (05) has a bit of a harder texture to the KIKO and isn't as pigmented or metallic. It doesn't glide on as smoothly or have as rich colour payoff. I also don't love the colour alone on my lids — I find it comes off as overly cool, greyish/muddy and dull, so I liven it up with a warm, coppery/peachy shade on top, usually Max Factor Wild Shadow Pot in Auburn Envy (35) which otherwise would be too orange by itself.
Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadow Stick in Bad Girl Bronze is basically a fatter version of the multitude of bronze eyeliners I use mainly to define my lower lash line. It's also fairly close to Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Busy Signal, except not as dark and in stick form. For those reasons, it's a completely superfluous purchase (what isn't at this stage), but when I needed to touch up my makeup for the office Christmas party after work, popping this pencil into my makeup bag made it possible to apply eyeshadow using only my fingers on a moving, peak hour train. Somehow I don't see that happening with a pot.
The two Models Prefer Infinite Colour Shadow Pencils in Down to Earth (greyed lilac with silver shimmer and bronze base) and Oh Fudge! (dark, muddy brown with frost finish) were recent purchases made during Priceline's 40% off cosmetics sale. I was unexpectedly impressed at how glide-on smooth and richly pigmented these swatched in the store. They're on the more emollient side, almost too soft and probably a disaster on oily lids. Mine are on the dry side, and even then, I experienced some patchiness with Oh Fudge!, purely because I'd applied a touch too much and the product hadn't had time to set properly. Still, Down to Earth is a pleasingly complex and relatively unique shade for the "drugstore", and pairs well with the deeper Oh Fudge! for a fuss-free, lazy weekend option.