The Eye Pencil Primatif
Compared to the competition, Kevyn Aucoin's The Eye Pencil Primatif is just a so-so eyeliner pencil. While we love how smoothly the fragrance-free formula goes on, it fails to offer stay-put color. Even if you're using this to create a smokey eye, you can end up with more smudging than smokiness, so the look ends up looking sloppy rather than sophisticated.
The Eye Pencil Primatif is a traditional-style eyeliner pencil, which requires routine sharpening, though it doesn't come with a mechanism to do so. What it does come with is a smudging tool, which works well for its intended purpose—but that's partly because this formula is already so smudge prone!
The ever-so-slightly creamy, soft pencil texture is great for drawing an even, bold line of color, but on the flip side, it's also somewhat prone to transferring and smudging by day's end. It's not so bad that you'll have raccoon eyes, but given there are plenty of other eyeliners that can go the distance, why put up with lackluster performance? Adding fuel to the fire, we also noticed a smidge of flaking during wear.
That's a shame considering Kevyn Aucoin's The Eye Pencil Primatif comes in an excellent range of matte-finish shades including purple, navy, green, brown, and of course, black—all of which look great in the beginning, but have trouble solidly making it through the end of the workday.
For options that don't have the drawbacks of this pencil, (and in many cases cost less), see our list of Best Eyeliners.
- Slightly creamy, soft pencil texture goes on smoothly.
- Comes with a smudging tool, which is handy for creating a smokey eye.
- Beautiful range of matte-finish shades.
- Prone to smudging.
- Can flake during wear.
- Requires manual sharpening but doesn't come with a mechanism to do so (and at this pencil's price, it should!)
Kevyn Aucoin was arguably one of the most iconic makeup artists of the 20th century. A self-trained, highly sought celebrity makeup artist and best-selling author, his work appeared regularly in countless fashion magazines, as well as his monthly column in Allure. Not surprisingly, his work has influenced countless makeup artists and YouTube beauty vloggerswhether they know it or notand at the time of his passing in 2002, he had just launched a small range of products under the Kevyn Aucoin brand. Although Aucoin left us far too soon, at least his products serve to compliment his lasting legacy.
Today, the Kevyn Aucoin brand continues with his motto that anyone should be able to experiment with makeup and feel beautiful while doing so. The brand's range of unique products reflects the emphasis on makeups role in our lives as more than just utilitarianit should be enjoyable, accessible, fun, and the outcome always rewarding. The approach is enhancing ones self-esteem rather than using makeup to cover up what you or others might perceive as unattractive.
Thus, the products themselves are something of an experience to usefrom their packaging (beautiful) to their focus on perfecting skin and mix of basic to bold color options. This line isnt for those who think of makeup as a chore!
The price points are higher, to be sure, but there are also quite a few exceptional and unique standouts that allow this brand to nicely distinguish itself in a sea of makeup artist-fronted lines. There are some shortfalls here and there, but overall, it is a range that is well worth experimenting with should you happen upon a Kevyn Aucoin counter at your local Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus. (Note: Kevyn Aucoin is sold online at a number of beauty sites, from Sephora to Beautylish.)
For Beautypedia, we have chosen some of what we feel are Aucoins best products along with those that are OK, but for one reason or another may not be worth the expense.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.