There are a lot of pencils like these on the market these days, but I've found problems with every one of them. The Milani ones crease horrendously on me (post) and Rimmel's color selection isn't suited to the type of product (post), so I'm pleased to say that CoverGirl has done well with these babies.
I have particularly high standards when it comes to eye shadow pencils, because when something is meant to be incredibly convenient (like any pencil makeup should be) the product shouldn't require any extra steps or trouble, like priming the lid or layering a shadow on top. CoverGirl clearly feels the same, since they've just about nailed these shadow pencils.
I picked up 350, a warm, shimmery sandy-bronze perfect for sweeping over the lid. There's a surprisingly large color selection of these products, but with any shadow pencil, it's important to have one-shade-does-it-all colors like 350. Pigmentation is great, with one swipe giving you good but not intense color, and another pass providing a darker, more saturated shade. This color in particular is very build-able, with one swipe wearing well as a soft, daytime look, and another few layers basically taking on the form of a bronze smokey eye. Can anyone say day-to-night?!
The pencil can feel a bit hard and waxy across the lid at first, but after a few uses it becomes soft and easy to work with. I found that any difficulty with the pencil was completely gone after I sharpened it, so it's likely an outer layer issue.
To test longevity, I wore 350 with a primer underneath on one eye, and the pencil by itself on the other. The eye with the primer looked absolutely perfect after 12 hours, but the eye without started to crease on me around hour 7. It was fairly mild creasing, and it didn't look any worse around hour 12, so I actually wouldn't mind wearing this without primer. The Maybelline Color Tattoos crease on me in a very similar way, and I can't usually be bothered to wear a primer with those, either. It's worth noting that I have extremely oily eyelids, so depending on your skin type, you may not need a primer at all. (Shaking my fist at dry-skinned girls!)
Normally I'd gripe about having to sharpen pencils, but in this case, I'm glad it's not a twist-up. These pencils are a good size and diameter--large enough to cover the lid easily, but still narrow enough for a more precise line at the lower lashes. A twist-up pencil wouldn't be able to retain a sharp enough point for under-eye work. That being said, you'll need a larger pencil sharpener for these--the larger hole of my Sephora one works pretty well, though it's still a bit big.
You know how attached I am to the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze, but lately, I've been reaching for 350 instead. I love the color of Bad to the Bronze and absolutely prefer it, but the pencil is just so much easier to work with. If I want to take Bad to the Bronze under my eye, I have to use a brush (it feels like a much bigger deal in the early mornings), whereas 350 is pure pencil and finger-blending.
Even with the wildly uncreative names (is there anything more boring than numbered colors?) and mild creasing problem, these pencils are now my favorite, everyday eyeshadow.
I haven't investigated their other colors, but I'm hoping there are more wear-alone shades like
I didn't see a pencil version of Bad to the Bronze at the display, but a girl can dream, right?