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Hidden Gem of the Drugstore Beauty Aisle: Revlon Photoready Eye Art Pens

Alisha Adkins is an author of horror and speculative fiction. A self-described "aging goth," she has a strong interest in creative makeup.

Revlon Photoready Eye Art Pens


Rhapsodii: Revlon Photoready Eye Art Pens Review

A Hidden Gem

When it comes to drugstore cosmetics, quality is generally hit or miss, and the wow factor is typically nonexistent. However, Revlon Photoready Eye Art Pens are truly a hidden gem tucked away in the beauty aisle.

Revlon's Photoready Eye Art Pens are literally easy to overlook -- you might even walk right past them without realizing what they are. Although an eye product, this product's packaging is so similar to that of Revlon's Nail Art Sun Candy and Moon Candy Nail Enamels that what it is may not be readily apparent.

Several major drugstore brands have recently started producing good quality eyeshadows that mimic high end eyeshadow pigmentation and performance. Revlon's entry into this field is Photoready Eye Art Pens, a unique and playful take on higher quality eye pigments.

As a matter of fact, Photoready Eye Art Pens are a convincing dupe for Josie Maran's coconut water cream eyeshadows (which retail for $18).


From top to bottom: Desert Dazzle glitter & shadow, Peach Prism glitter & shadow, Lilac Luster glitter & shadow, Burnished Bling glitter & shadow

From top to bottom: Desert Dazzle glitter & shadow, Peach Prism glitter & shadow, Lilac Luster glitter & shadow, Burnished Bling glitter & shadow

Pigmentation & Consistency

Photoready Eye Art Pens are double ended, containing both a liquid eyeshadow and a glitter gel liner.

The liquid shadow is incredibly highly pigmented and goes on evenly. It is creamy and metallic. The glitter liner is a clear gel containing colored glitter. It is less opaque and applies unevenly, but can be built up through multiple applictions as desired.

Swatches (pictured to the right) were all taken with a single swipe of a makeup brush over unprimed skin. As you can see, the shadow is intensely pigmented. Liquid eyeshadow took about one minute to dry. Once it set, it was long-wearing, did not transfer or fade, and remained until removed with an oil-based makeup-remover wipe. Glitter did flake off over time (probably from contact).

heartsKarla: Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art Swatches & Demo

Shadow Application

Photoready Eye Art Pens are advertised as a product for lid, line, and lash. That's a lot of territory to cover, and as you might imagine, they don't do everything equally well.

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First, the liquid eyeshadow, as a shadow, works well and can be used as an eyeshadow on its own or as a base over which to apply other shadows.. It applies smoothly, going on creamy and feeling slightly cool against the skin. The pigment is fully opaque. It has a doe foot applicator; learning to work with this applicator could take a little bit of practice, but it's not a terribly steep learning curve. Once applied, the shadow can be smoothed out with the doe foot applicator, a standard blending brush, or even your fingers. It is easy to blend while wet. Once dry (after about a minute), it sets, staying put until removed with a makeup remover.

The liquid eyeshadow can also be used as a mascara. This requires a bit more patience and dexterity, but the variety of available colors still makes it an appealing option.

Burnished Bling

Burnished Bling shadow over eyelid with its glitter used as a highlight over eyelid and in the corner of the eye

Burnished Bling shadow over eyelid with its glitter used as a highlight over eyelid and in the corner of the eye

Jay Woods: Creating a Look Using Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art

Glitter Liner Application

Theoretically, the glitter liner can be used as a liner or mascara. Unfortunately, the glitter portion of the Eye Art Pen is less opaque than the shadow and applies unevenly, making it difficult to use as a liner. Additionally, it has a consistency similar to that of a clear adhesive with glitter in it, which makes it uncomfortable to wear as an eyeliner.

The glitter is useful, however, for applying sparkle to the corners of the eyes or eyelids. The biggest flaw in the glitter portion of this product is its applicator tip, which is not fine enough to apply smoothly. The easiest way to apply the glitter is probably to squeeze out a single dot at a time and then move the product around as desired using a flat brush or q-tip.

The glitter liner can also be applied to the eyelashes as mascara. Or, since the product is essentially clear with glitter, it might be more effective to simply apply Revlon Eye Art Pen glitter over existing mascara for some added sparkle. That is, if you like glittery eyelashes. I did not test out this aspect of the product.

While the glitter portion of these art pens falls short of the product's claims, it is still not without some merit. It offers a way to apply glitter with no fall-out, and that isn't a small feat on its own.

10 Shades

Product Variety, Signature Shades, & Price Point

Revlon's Photoready Eye Art Pens are currently available in 10 color duos.

The most popular shades seem to be Burnished Bling, a vibrant metallic copper, and Desert Dazzle, a metallic khaki olive green, and Topaz Twinkle, a bronze shade.

These pens typically retail for around $9.99.

StyledLady4Ever: No Mess Glitter!


When you walk down the beauty aisle of your local Rite Aid, Walgreens, or CVS, you will see a ton of eyeshadow products -- and there won't be any other one like this one. To me, that in itself is reason enough to give Revlon's Photoready Eye Art Pens a try -- because, in a sea of mind-numbingly similar products, this one is unique. On top of that, it's a good product besides. Is it perfect? No. But its colors are beautiful, and playing with it is an awful lot of fun.

Desert Dazzle

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