One of my biggest pet peeves are pencil eyeliners that don't have with those firm little sponges at one end. It's a real shame that so many brands don't bother adding them to their packaging. I find myself carrying around an old liner (I know, yuck) that is almost gone, but has a tip topped with a sponge. One of the best ways to create an easy smoky eye is by blending and smudging an eye pencil. Here are a few of my top picks for sponge accessorized pencil eye liners.
Elizabeth Arden Color Intrigue Smoky Eyes Powder Pencil ($16) is a long-wearing eyeliner pencil that creates a really soft, yet defined look. To use it, just line your eyes and then use the spongey smudge tip to "smokify" your look. It's available in six colors, but I find that basic black and Espresso (a deep, blackish brown) are the best for everyday use.
For three more smudgy sponge-topped eyeliners
Trish McEvoy Classic Eye Pencil ($20) is a silky soft eye pencil that allows for easy application. It can be used for subtle definition or for a more intensified look. Available in black, brown or cream, which can be used for the inner rims of your eyes.
Estee Lauder Artists' Eye Pencil ($18.50) is a creamy and long-wearing eyeliner pencil that glides on easily and allows for precise application. Also, I find that this brand blends really easily with the sponge tool. Available in seven shades.
Finally, a budget-friendly option is
Cover Girl Perfect Blend ($4.49). It comes in six shades including neutrals, but there's also a not-so-basic cobalt blue. When it comes to unusual colors like that, I often go with the drugstore version. If you're not going to wear it every day, why spend lots of cash, right?