Kevyn Aucoin was one of many famous makeup artists who loved the "heavy neutrals" supermodel look of the 90s. While he passed away in 2002, both his legacy and the impact of the 90s live on in the Flesh Tone Lip Pencil. There are currently 7 shades in this pencil, ranging from beige to bright red, but I own the two originals, the shades that have existed for a decade and harken back to Aucoin's roots: Minimal and Medium.
Here I've swatched both shades side-by-side. Also, check out the shape of my swatches, get it?! Ha ha ha ha this is why I don't have friends.
Minimal is a mid-tone mauve, while Medium is a soft brown. I'd say both are relatively neutral, though they lean more cool than warm. I don't generally believe in saying color cosmetics "suit all skin types," since that logic is usually centered around how well things look on light to medium skin, but these pencils come pretty close: Minimal would likely suit anyone very fair to medium-dark, though the darkest skintones may find it too ashy/white, while Medium is a bit too brown for the fairest skin, but will likely look wonderful on light to very dark skintones. Also, I wear Medium anyway because I'm stubborn, so make of that what you will.
These are traditional wooden pencils with a slightly hard formula, meaning they aren't too smeary or greasy-feeling. That being said, they're soft enough to give you full, even pigment without scratching or tugging on your lips. The harder formula means they'll need sharpened less as well, since it takes a while to wear down the point; I always recommend refrigerating your pencils for 15 minutes before sharpening, but it's not entirely necessary with a formula like this.
Both shades are optimal for lining the lips to make them look fuller and more three-dimensional. In the lip swatch on the left, I've lined my lips with Minimal, then filled them in with MAC Faux lipstick. This has become a favorite lip look of mine, neutral and plump and pretty without looking too harsh on my skintone. And you can absolutely fill your entire lips in with these pencils, maybe topping with balm or gloss, and wear them on their own.
The one part where it gets a bit fuzzy is when you fill in your entire lips with a pencil, then apply a less-than-opaque formula on top; for instance, the lip swatch on the left shows Medium all over the lips with some Flower Beauty Sweet Peach lip butter over it, and the lip butter has done little more than soften the color and add some shine. These are so pigmented that they can and will alter most lip shades you apply on top.
These are absolutely rave-worthy pencils, but I will mention that my NYX lip liners perform similarly for a mere fraction of the cost (and they come in more colors). Still, these two shades are stand-outs that I haven't found exact dupes for, and at $25 for 0.04oz of product, they match other high-end pencils for cost-per-ounce and out-perform almost every other pencil I've tried. In short, Kevyn Aucoin's Flesh Tone Lip Pencils could definitely become standards in most collections.
RATING: 5 out of 5
Pssst--if you're interested in trying these, stay tuned for a giveaway. ;)