MAC Aim To Please Velvetease pencil. I was keen to know if this line would approach the quality of the Nars Velvet Mattes that have long been my favourite pencils. My only pissiness with the latter is the dreadful need to sharpen; I get around this inconvenience by dabbing the shaved curl back onto the remaining pencil because I am a ridiculous tightarse, but it still irks.
Let's go right for the practicality jugular. MAC Velvetease pencils are wind-up and in theory this is obviously preferable to a conventional fixed crayon-style presentation.
The sight of all that expensive product falling away into oblivion from a sharpener, like tears in rain, is always a stab straight to the thrifty, beauty-conscious ventricle. But not all winding pencils are created equal, as you probably know by now. This Velvetease pencil winds up and down pretty well without wobbles or skidding so no complaints in that direction. The stick of product is thick enough to withstand the pressures of said motion and the housing is pleasant enough, a silver-flecked plastic that feels neither cheap nor flimsy. I'm not embarrassed to produce it in public. The lid stays on in one's bag or pocket. It doesn't melt like butter between thunder thighs or turn into octogenarian candle wax three days after purchase.
Even if the stubby, fat-arse tip shape on this windy pencil annoys me, there's nothing intrinsically bad about Aim to Please and I'll be keeping it. If it is generally representative of the MAC Velvetease line, the Nars pencil formula still comes out ahead IMO due to its superior richesse; it is denser, more pigmented and just feels a wee bit more luxe. I'm just biased in favour of a heavier, more hardcore-saturated product.
Nars Dolce Vita (VM version) in a range of natural light