(Contains one press sample. Affiliate links.)
If there's one thing I trust Make Up For Ever to nail - every single time - is the waterproof claim. When those guys say something is waterproof, it's enough to last through a deluge. (There's a reason MUFE is heavily favoured by both folks who do water ballet and makeup artists who do bridal.)
The Aqua Matic Waterproof Glide-On Eye Shadows are no exception.
The Aqua Matics are not only waterproof, they're very nearly indestructible. They refuse to rub off, and easily make it through tears, sweat, and showers. Micellar waters make a dent only with significant elbow grease, so I had to rely on my trusty oil cleanser at the end of the night. (No rubbing-induced wrinkles for me, thank you!)
I've read that some people find them to be drying, and that wasn't the case for me, but the way they set does create a particular sensation on the lid. It feels almost like a bit of a light film? The closest comparison would be the way your skin feels immediately after applying a setting spray. It doesn't feel unpleasant or drying to me, but I can see how it might.
Aside from the waterproof qualities, I think these pencils are generally very long lasting. They really resist wear and tear, and last 10-plus hours on me. They're a little firmer and less creamy than other eyeshadow pencils I've tried, but not so much that they're uncomfortable to use. The packaging is also really practical, with a twist-up function and a sharpener built into the bottom of the pencil casing.
They can be worn alone or as a base, and depending on the shade you choose, the base option might be better. The I-30 (Iridescent Lime Green), I-22 (Iridescent Electric Blue) and ME-50 (Metallic Golden Taupe) all have great pigmentation, build up to complete opacity without a problem and apply smoothly. The D-10 (Diamond Black) is sheerer to begin with, and doesn't really look opaque on the lid, no matter how much it's built up. It does have an interesting oil-slick sort of look, however, so for a lived in, "greasy" look smoky eye that actually doesn't rely on greasepaint, it's a neat option. (Probably more editorial than the casual consumer would like.)
I do find that the Aqua Matics are best for an intense, graphic eye look if you're using them as eyeshadow. (The blue is particularly stunning applied all over the lid, with an exaggerated wing and smoky crease - if I have time, I'll do a video with this look.)
I tried applying these shades as more subtle washes, and they just end up looking patchy and odd. They're also difficult to blend out, because they set literally in seconds. If you want to buff the edges out, you have to work in small increments. For a more natural look, the neutral shades are best, because you can apply them all over the lid without sheering them out, and then layer a shimmer or satin powder eyeshadow over them for a softened effect. If you do want to try applying them as washes, I would suggest dabbing a little on with your finger instead of going straight from the pencil, as the body heat will make it a little easier.
If you want to use one of the vivid shades without committing to a bold eye look, they are excellent used as eyeliners, or accent shades in smaller placements (especially if you're prone to water-based wear along your lash line or inner corner, for example).
I don't think these are as user-friendly for the average consumer as similar eyeshadow pencils from other brands, but if you're looking for something waterproof and long-wearing with a lot of intensity, then these are exactly what you need.
Availability: At Sephora stores and www.sephora.com. Also available from Naimie's and Nigel Beauty Emporium, via phone order. Price is 21$ USD and 25$ CAD.
Have you guys given this a try? How does it stack up to other eyeshadow pencils you have?
(Shade D-10 was provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. I purchased the other shades. All opinions are my own, this review is not sponsored or compensated. Affiliate links.)