Quick Draw! 10 Pencils Worth Writing About

Back when 90210 ruled the airwaves, chubby crayons and dark, matte lips were all the rage. Now those same fat pencils are staging a comeback, but in a sheerer, softer and more flattering form.

The appeal: They streamline any beauty routine. “You don’t use a chubby stick if you want details to be perfect—you use it so you don’t have to think about details,” explains celebrity makeup artist Nicole Bryl. The ability to scribble over lips, lids and even cheeks makes these crayons great for girls-on-the-go, moms attempting one-handed application, and those lacking the skills to apply traditional eyeshadows or eyeliners.

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Be sure to keep a large sharpener on hand; a tapered tip will help you get the smoothest, best-looking results from the pencil, says Bryl.

Now bring on the nostalgia with these ten modern takes.


Most credit Clinique with ushering in the clamor for fat pencils in the ‘90s when their line of “Chubby Sticks” caused a lip sensation. This doyenne of plump pencils is back in a sheer lip balm iteration that replenishes lips with mango and shea butter. Choose from 16 natural-looking shades.

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Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, $16


Go big or go home with this vibrant selection of jumbo lip pencils from NARS that come in matte and shiny finishes. Vitamin E and moisture-hugging hyaluronic acid spheres combine to help lips appear plump and fuller.

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NARS Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil and Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, $24 each


Pick your choice of finish with Tarte’s extensive offering of LipSurgence pencils. The Lip Tint is a sheer balm; Matte Lip Tint applies opaque; and Lip Luster lends a delicate shimmer. All three collections boast jojoba seed oil for moisture, peppermint oil for a soothing cooling sensation and vitamins C and E for antioxidant rejuvenation.

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Tarte Lip Surgence, $24 each


If you love a shot of color on your lids, these jumbo pencils by NYX come in an attention-getting range of shades from Electric Blue to Dark Brown. The pencil does double duty as a liner and eyeshadow and slides on gently without tugging on the delicate eye area.

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NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil, $5

5Urban Decay

Things are looking voluptuous at Urban Decay. New shadow crayons paint on intense color with a mineral oil- and paraffin-free formula. And beauty junkies will appreciate cult shade renditions of Midnight Cowboy and Sin. The jumbo lip pencils promise saturated pigments that wear longer than lipstick.

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Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color, $19

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil, $20


Revlon’s newest lip treat mimics the flush of just-kissed lips. The 12 lightweight stains slick on with the slip of lip balm and features a light peppermint fragrance—no doubt to prep the stage for the hopeful smooch to come.

MORE: The Truth About Lead And Lipstick

7Lipstick Queen

The purveyor of all things pout, Lipstick Queen offers up a bevy of fun, bright shades inspired by the brand’s bustling locale in NYC’s Chinatown. The super-sheer formulas are like a lipgloss in pencil form and comes with a jumbo-sized sharpener.

MORE: Lipstick Formulas 101

8Wet ‘n Wild

Who doesn’t love a budget drugstore delight? Wet ‘n Wild thrills with chubby sticks that glide onto lids thanks to a blend of aloe vera, paraffin and carnauba wax. The color selection is a smoky eye lover’s heaven, with shades of graphite, navy, plum, deep brown and green to select from.

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9Kimara Ahnert

For dewy color that looks like cream eyeshadow but applies with the higher color pay off of a pencil, these color sticks by Kimara Ahnert do the trick. We love the light, flattering shades that are a welcome departure from dark, smoky tones. With its lightweight formula that prevents product from settling into crease lines on the lid, it also doubles as an excellent base for powder eyeshadow.

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Kimara Ahnert Colorsticks, $25


Known for translating Brit runway fashion trends into affordable achievability, Topshop delivers again with a line of chubby pencils that look destined to pair with designer denim. Imbued with fine shimmer-glitter, the smoky shades and cream formula are easy to smudge along the top and lower lashlines.

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Topshop Make Up Crayon, $10