NYX Pencils vs. MAC PencilsNYX Pencils vs. MAC Pencils

NYX Pencils vs. MAC Pencils

So I was reading this fantastic article (read here) on Beauty and the Bullshit that discusses the fact that there are about three major suppliers of lip and eye pencils worldwide. In fact, most of these pencils are made in Germany, France and Italy, and the top makeup brands (yes, the ones in your drawer and kit) buy their pencils from these same suppliers. What does that mean to you? It means that there is a good chance that the lip liner you spent $18.00 on is the same formulation of another brand that sells theirs for $2.00. Sucks huh? It makes sense when you think about it. These cosmetics companies are not making their own pencils, that’s why they have manufacturers.

Ding! A lightbulb went off in my head and I went straight to my kit to pull out some pencils. I have been obsessed with NYX lately, their pencils are so fantastic and at such an amazing price that they are slowly edging out some other brands in my kit. One being my MAC pencils. What I realized is that my MAC pencils and my NYX pencils are so similar that I decided to do a little test. I wasn’t too surprised to find that they are both made in Germany, but I was surprised at the similarity of the texture of the formula when I applied them side by side. Now, I have no hard evidence that these are the same pencils, but they are strikingly similar! So similar in fact, that It will be a while before I shell out $$$ for another MAC pencil.

MAC Lip Pencil in Redd (top), NYX Lipliner Pencil in Orange (bottom). Notice that they are both made in Germany..


For my test, I applied three lipliners to the back of my hand, 2 NYX (Lipliner Pencil) and 1 MAC (Lip Pencil). They are not the same color as I don’t have an extensive range of MAC pencils. However, application and formula-wise, I couldn’t tell the difference. All of them glided on smoothly, with rich pigmented color! The only difference I found is that my MAC Lip Pencil was longer (1.45g/0.05 US oz) than the NYX Lipliner Pencil ( 1g/0.04 OZ), but considering the MAC pencil was $13.00 and the NYX pencil was $3.50, I’ll just buy two of the NYX and color it happy.

NYX Lipliner Pencil in Orange (top), MAC Lip Pencil in Redd (middle), NYX Lipliner Pencil in Hot Red (bottom). I couldn’t tell the difference in formulation, felt very similar. Again, not comparing color here although I saw no difference in pigmentation.

Now, I know what the makeup artists are thinking; does the NYX stay on as well as the MAC? The answer is YES! I applied an eyeliner from MAC (Powerpoint Eye Pencil, $14.50) and NYX (Eye/Eyebrow Pencil, $3.30) one after the other, waited a couple seconds and swiped my finger across. There was no difference in the how they smeared, and it took the same effort to remove them from my hand later. Again, the colors are different because I don’t carry that many MAC pencils, and I applied slightly more of the NYX because of the color difference, but there is very little difference that I can see.

NYX Eye/Eyebrow Pencil in Electric Blue (top), MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Brown (bottom).


What about the pro-discount? MAC does offer a 40% discount to pros (with a $35 annual fee), but NYX offers a 30% discount without any annual fee. I’m just saying..

* UPDATE: MAC is no longer Cruelty-Free and has since been removed from Peta’s Cruelty-Free List. For more info, please see Peta’s Press Release here.