BEAUTY REVIEW: Sticky Bases Jumbo Pencils VS. Pots

I've been doing dramatic makeup more often lately, for the League of Space Pirates' Live from Space monthly episodes. I've been playing with a lot of products more lately. My makeup needs to last for a few hours for photos and the broadcast. I always use an eye primer and a colored sticky base for the eyeshadow to last for hours and stay as intense as when it was applied. They are often called "cream eyeshadows", but I don't recommend using them alone. They crease easily, without having a normal eyeshadow on top of them. They work great as a base for powder eyeshadows, because the stickiness adheres to the powder well. The color of the base helps intensify the color of the shadow. You can make your eyeshadow instantly warmer, cooler, metallic, darker, or lighter, depending on which color of base you use. Because the bond with the powder, they increase the longevity of the eyeshadow.

There are two different types of sticky bases, jumbo pencils and pots. I've been using both for different looks for over a year now. I've learned that I prefer the pot form to the pencils. Here are some pros and cons to both types of sticky bases:


  • They are a nice size that can easily fit in a makeup bag/box or purse
  • They come in a stick form with a lid
  • They come in many colors
  • Several companies have them in their makeup lines now (NYX is the most well known)
  • They average about $3-$4 a pencil, over the span of brands
  • You can depot the product by melting or pushing it into a small pot container

  • They pull at the skin while applying the product
  • You lose product when you need to sharpen them
  • They need a special sharpener, because of their size and plastic material
  • I have trouble applying it evenly and controlled
  • They are sometimes called "eyeliner pencils", but they are too thick of a pencil to use as eyeliner


  • They are a nice size that can easily fit in a makeup bag/box or purse 
  • The pots are made of glass or a thick plastic with a screw on lid
  • They come in a few colors. The grey, white, silver, and gold are available from Maybelline, and you can get a lot use from those (they have more colors too)
  • Some large brands carry them...MAC, Maybelline, and e.l.f are the easiest to find
  • I apply the product with a small flat brush, which gives me application control, lets me build color, lets me blend easily, prevents tugging, and ensures I can get all the product out of the pot easily

  • There aren't available in as many colors as the jumbo pencils, but you can get by on the basic, white, gold, and silver
  • There are less brands that carry them
  • They are more costly, at $3-$20 a pot, depending on the brand

For me, the easy application using the pots won out for me. Even though they are a cream and I consider them a base, you still need to use an eyeshadow primer. This will seal your skin where you apply it, which makes your eyeshadow more intense, increases longevity, and prevents creasing. Which do you prefer? What is your experience with these two forms of sticky bases?


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