I came across Etude House Play 101 pencils months ago and had every intention of writing the review right away, but then life happened.
I came down with a case of summertime pneumonia that knocked me on my ass for a good many weeks. On the day that I finally went to the hospital to get treatment, I noticed the pencils sitting next to my makeup mirror and decided now was as good a time as any to bust them out and give them a quick try.
I feel like I have to break in here and address the fact that I put on eye makeup to go to the hospital. I'm sure some of you think that's insane, but I was raised as an old-school Southern lady, and it was understood you put your face on before you do anything. I once did my makeup before surgery while in ICU -- not even joking. I even put on mascara and blush while waiting for an ambulance to arrive while literally hemorrhaging. Yeah, it's just pure muscle memory at this point.
Anyway, my only regret in putting these on while I was on my way out the door was that I didn't have time to photograph these pencils while they were still pristine. Because let me tell you, from the very first moment I used them, I was absolutely hooked, and I haven't been able to put them down since.
I have shades #1, a deep true black; #6, a sparkly but not overly glittery pinky-beige highlighter shade; #8, a matte shade not far off from my skin tone; #19, a beautiful orchid shade; and #20, a magnificent hot pink.
The very first thing I noticed was how remarkably smooth the black shade glided onto my somewhat dry lids. I normally hate pencil eyeliners above/below the lash line, but this was almost gel-like in terms of consistency. I was very impressed.
Next came the #6 highlighter shade, which I popped on my inner corners and below my eyebrows to give a flash to my sickly-looking eyes.
I then slicked on shade #8 on my waterline to look a bit more wide-eyed and lively, which looked great, but where this pencil really shined for me was as a concealer. It made short work of the deep purple discolorations I had in the inner corner of my eyes next to my nose thanks to being sick. The thick formulation drew right over and covered the purple but was still easily blended out. I was thrilled!
I drew and then blended out shade #20 onto my cheeks which made for a really pretty, healthy, natural flush. I topped everything off with #19, the lovely purply orchid as my lipliner and lipstick. I stepped back and admired my stellar performance these pencils gave me, I was floored and instantly in love with them.
In fact, they worked so well, that they made my life a little harder that day. When I finally got called into the examination room, the doctor looked at me skeptically when I told him I was pretty sure I had pneumonia. He gave me the "I'm sure it's probably just a cold" speech and side-eye until he listened to my lungs and sent me for an x-ray that confirmed the pneumonia. I think if I had went in looking as pathetic and sick as I did before I used these pencils, I would have gotten more sympathetic treatment immediately.
As if these pencils weren't already perfect enough, they have a smooth mechanism that makes twisting up the product, as well as retracting it back into its housing, easy-peasy. And then just to rub their flawlessness in my face, they come with a detachable built in sharpener at the tip! What?! Marry me!
So there you have it. These little glorious bastards saved the day (short of curing my pneumonia) and continue to be a part of my everyday makeup routine. I'm going to have to stock up on several backups because I don't know what I'd do without them. Available in a whopping 50 (!!!) shade selections that can double as eyeshadows, lipsticks, liners and blush, I want to catch these all like beautiful little Pokemon.