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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review: NEW Nyx Tres Jolie Gel Pencil Liner in Pitch Black

With all of the new Nyx products that are hitting Ulta right now, I thought it might be fun to review one of the items that I really haven't seen anyone talk about yet. Especially since this is a pretty unique product in that it claims to be a pencil form.  (By the way, I did some serious damage at Ulta when the new products first popped up there, so this is just one of the new 2015 Nyx products that I'll be reviewing for you--many more reviews to come!)

Full disclosure: I have not given this product my usual two week testing period (I test makeup for at least two weeks and skincare for at least four weeks before I review), because I wanted to get this up as quickly as possible for you. I think I have a pretty good idea of how I feel about this liner given that it's been unseasonably warm here (I know how it performs in 80+ degree weather and also in cooler weather). So let's take a look!

NEW Nyx Tres Jolie Gel Pencil Liner in Pitch Black
(retail: $12, 0.018 oz)

Keep reading for my full review...

This liner comes in two shades: Pitch Black (which is what I purchased) and Brown, which you can see here. Nyx claims that this is a "revolutionary gel-liner in a pencil" and that's it "smudge proof, waterproof and long wearing with a super intense color pay-off."

From the Ulta site:
"NYX Cosmetics high-powered twist-up Tres Jolie Gel Pencil Liner has the same payoff and precision as a pot, without having to use a brush. It comes with a sharpener to ensure precise application every time."

Made in South Korea

On the side of the box are various ideas for how to wear this liner.

This looks like a traditional pencil, but it's actually an automatic, twist-up pencil.

In the pic above, this is what it looks like after you twist up the pencil a bit (you can also twist it back down, which I'm grateful for since some pencils only twist up and not back down).

On the opposite end of the pencil is the removable sharpener.

Above is what this liner looks like after one gentle swipe.

Above is what this liner looks like after a smudge test.

For my smudge test, I waited a minute or two for the liner to set, and then I took my index finger and rubbed the line back and forth very firmly about ten times. As you can see, this liner performed very well. It basically does not budge under pressure once it sets. It did faded a bit, but no smudging.

As for how this liner wears on my eyes, I have some mixed feelings about it. The pencil has a nice, creamy consistency and it glides pretty smoothly across the skin. The shade, Pitch Black, is not the blackest black liner I've ever seen, but it does read as a true black on the eyes (not dark gray, dark brown or dark green--it is definitely black). 

I've worn this liner in a variety of ways. I've worn it without any eyeshadow, over powder eyeshadow, over cream eyeshadow, on my upper lash line, on my lower lash line and on my waterline. For me and my (super) oily skin, I have the best results wearing it only on my upper lash line and waterline. On my lower lash line, I find that this liner smudges for me after a few hours (basically once it has had a chance to interact with the natural oils of my skin). But if I wear it on just my upper lash line, it tends to say put for a solid eight hours with minimal fading. However, on warm days, even when I'm only wearing this liner on my upper lash line, I do notice a bit of transfer both on the outside corners of my eyes and my lower lash line. As for the waterline, this liner stays put there for a solid 4-5 hours or more, depending on the weather. In fact, I'd say that for me personally, it does the best job on my waterline. I also want to mention that you do have a little bit of time to smudge this liner out after application, but not much. It sets pretty quickly, so keep that in mind if you like to smudge your liner. 

Aside from the smudging and transferring that I experienced (which, please keep in mind, will really depend on your body chemistry--you may not experience any smudging at all) I was thinking that perhaps this liner would be easy to remove. Actually, not the case! This is definitely a waterproof formula and you'll need eye makeup remover or a cleansing oil to get it completely off. When I used just my standard facial wash, I had a lot of residue under my eyes.

Oh and one more thing: I have used the accompanying sharpener several times, and I'm not a fan. You of course need to twist up the pencil a bit before you can sharpen it, and you do need a light hand or else the liner may break off during sharpening. I was very gentle with the process and, the first time I sharpened it, I was able to get a pretty fine point, but the line I was able to draw on my eyes was not quite as fine you would get with a fine brush and a real gel liner. The second time I tried to sharpen this pencil, things went downhill. I didn't realize that the very tip of the pencil had broken off inside the casing of the sharpener the first time I used it, so when I went to sharpen it a second time, it just kept spinning and spinning without getting any sharper. Once I realized what was going on, I tried using a Q-Tip to clean out the sharpener, but that wasn't fine enough to clean it out. So then I tried a bobby pin, and I was able to get most of the residue out, but not completely. Then I switched to a safety pin and by the time I was done, I had black liner all over both hands and I was basically so frustrated that I vowed to never use the sharpener again.

So unless you're used to very delicate procedures and you have the time to spend with the sharpener, I think that this pencil is best reserved for when you want a medium-to-thicker line (in other words, the kind of line you get with most automatic eyeliners). This bummed me out a little bit though, because I like the idea of having the benefits of a gel liner in pencil form. But for me personally, achieving a fine line with this pencil wasn't worth the time and effort.

FINAL VERDICT: I'm sort of on the fence about this one. On the one hand, it's a nice, creamy, true black liner that is easy to apply, and I really like it on my waterline. But on the other hand, it does transfer and smudge a bit for me in warmer weather. Is this truly a "gel liner in pencil form"? Sort of. It does have the same type of creaminess, and it does set like a gel liner (it really does not budge after a few minutes). But much like some gel liners I own, it does tend to smudge and transfer on my oily skin (especially in warmer weather). One of the benefits of a gel liner is precise application, and I think that's where this pencil fails me. I just can't get on board with that tiny sharpener. I feel like I need the hands of a surgeon to really get it to a fine point without making a mess, and that's a bit of a hassle for me compared to using a traditional gel liner with a brush. I'm not sure I would repurchase at this point. But that's not to say it might not work for's just not a love-match for me and my needs (and clumsy hands).

Have you tried the new Nyx Tres Jolie Gel Pencil Liners yet? I'd love to hear about your experiences!

The products featured in this post were purchased with personal funds. For more information, click here.


  1. I would love to see a comparison of this and the Marc Jacob highliner! Also a gel liner that truly does what it says but is very pricey but so worth the money! Lol

  2. Thanks G! Not sure if I will ever have time to get a fine point on my eyeliner designs, pencil or pot. I'm still waiting for the cat eye trend to go away. The bonus for me here is retractable barrel and staying power.

  3. Do you happen to wear contacts and if so, did it make your contacts blurry or transfer onto your contacts? I find a lot of liners smudge onto my contacts if I apply it to the waterline :/

  4. This reminds me of the Marc Jacobs liner and if has a built in sharpener like the NARS liner. I'm really curious to try this. I have drier skin so I'm hoping it'll work well for me

  5. I scrolled past the pictures of the box to ones of the pencil and thought, "this must be Korean" as I read your review. Well what do you know!

    These types of gel pencil liners are very popular in Korea. Traditional pencils cased in wood that need to be sharpened are actually quite rare. The only pencil product coming to mind that isn't auto is a lip crayon from a brand called Too Cool For School, and it's easy why they went in that direction.

  6. I hate these up pencils. Much prefer wood that you have to sharpen. Rimel waterproof are amazing.


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