Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Swatches: All 25 Shades!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Etude House's Play 101 Blending Pencils were launched some weeks back, and I've finally gotten around to swatching them for you! For those who are familiar with Etude House, you'll remember that two years ago the brand had launched their Play 101 Pencils, which I had reviewed at the time. The Play 101 Blending Pencils are a different product, and an extension to the Play 101 line.

Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencils: A new addition to the Play 101 line

Like the original Play 101 Pencils, the Play 101 Blending Pencils are also little pencil-form sticks of makeup that are multi-purpose - you can use them on your eyes, lips, or cheeks. But the difference is that the Play 101 Blending Pencils are thicker and chubbier than the Play 101 Pencils, and are more like lip/cheek pencils in size, than eyeliner pencils (which is what the Play 101 Pencils looked like). Also, the formula and texture of the Play 101 Blending Pencils on the whole seems to be more emollient, making them much more blendable, and more suitable for lip and cheek use.

I've finally gotten around to swatching all 25 shades above, so without further ado, let's get started!

Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil 1 to 9
Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencils: Shades #1 to #9

First up, we have shades #1 to #9, which are mostly eyeshadow/eyeliner-type shades. Most of these are Creamy finish, which means that they have a standard non-glittery, non-shimmery matte finish, but shade #1 is a Jewel finish, which means it has bits of glitter and sparkle.

Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Swatches 1 to 9
Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Swatches: Shades #1 to #9

#1 WH901 is an off-white ivory shade, and quite glittery and sparkly. I imagine this would be useful as a sparkly base shade for eye makeup, or in the inner corners of the eye.
#2 BE101
is a warm beige nude shade. This is also a great eye base shade, with a creamy finish.
#3 BE102 is another warm beige nude shade. (In the swatches, I accidentally swatched #4 first and then #3, because the testers were in the wrong position, and I only realized this after I swatched. Oops!) It's darker and yellower than #2.
#4 BR401 is a medium tan brown, quite neutral in undertone. It's a good lid shade, or a light contouring shade, if you want to use it for the face. I can definitely see this serving double duty for eyes and contour.
#5 BR402 is a medium tan brown, more ruddy in shade than #4. This is also a possible double-duty contour and eyeshadow shade. It's lighter than shade #4 too.
#6 BR403 is a dark brown with a slightly warm undertone, and I can imagine this being used in the eye area, or as a contour if you can blend it out, or if you have a deeper skintone.
#7 PK001 is a very nice muted pink shade with a hint of lavender. I can imagine this working very well on eyes, as well as possibly lips and cheeks if you have the right colouring for it.
#8 PP501 is a gorgeous purple-grey-taupe shade with cool undertones, and if you know me, you'll know this is probably my favourite shade to use on eyes just because I love taupes! This is so pretty!
#9 BR404 is a deep brown shade, but with a cooler undertone than the other browns in this range. If you're looking for a cool brown, this is nice, and very universally flattering too.

Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil 10 to 18
Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencils: Shades #10 to #18

Next, we have shades #10 to #18, which are a mix of eye and lip/cheek shades. Here some of the lip/cheek shades have a Jelly finish, which means they are glossy, and slightly more sheer - think of a glossy lip crayon, and you roughly know what the feel of the Jelly finish is like. As a result of their glossy, emollient finish, they also do have less staying power than the Creamy or Jewel finishes, just because they don't dry down and "set" the way the rest of the finishes do. Some shades here also have a Velvet finish, which is similar to a Creamy finish, but a bit less matte, and thus more suitable for application on lips/cheeks. The Velvet finish does dry down and "set" with a matte look like the Creamy finishes, but is somewhat easier to blend.

Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Swatches 10 to 18
Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Swatches: #10 to #18

#10 BK801 is a medium grey shade, with warm undertones. Some greys pull really blue on me and look kinda ugly, but this isn't one of them. It's more like a warm concrete grey, and would look good on a variety of skintones. I like this for the eyes.
#11 PK002 is a light pink shade, less lavender and purple than #7. It's a sparkly Jewel finish, so this is probably best used on the eyes - unless sparkly lips and cheeks are your thing!
#12 BR405 is a gorgeous metallic warm olive brown. This is such a lovely shade, and would flatter quite a wide variety of skintones. I do like that the Jewel finish here translates into a metallic sheen.
#13 RD301 is a burgundy-brown shade, very vampy and deep, and also has that metallic finish that #12 has. It's probably best used on eyes, but I could imagine someone rocking this on their lips too - I mean, Halloween is kinda around the corner!
#14 BR406 is a deep neutral chocolate brown. A nice basic shade for those who want a multipurpose shade for eyes and contouring. It's lighter and warmer than #9.
#15 BE103 is similar to #1 in that it is a cream, ivory shade, but this one has a Creamy finish rather than a Jewel finish. It's also less white-based than #1, and would probably look more natural blended in. This is definitely a great "eye base" shade.
#16 PK003 is a glossy light cool-toned pink, very pretty and girly for those who are looking for something a little bit more pastel.
#17 PK004 is a glossy light pink as well, but this one has a warmer undertone. It's also a pretty light pastel-ish shade.
#18 PK005 is a brighter, deeper pink, and this one also leans warm. It has a little bit of coral thrown in, too.

Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil 19 to 25
Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencils: Shades #19 to #25

Finally, the last 7 shades. These are all lip/cheek shades, to my eye, unless you are looking for red eyeshadow. These are mostly Velvet finish.

Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Swatches 19 to 25
Etude House Play 101 Blending Pencil Swatches: Shades #19 to #25

#19 OR202 is a bright orange shade, and definitely a daring colour to wear. It's great if you can pull of orange, and have warm undertones.
#20 OR203 is also another bright orange-based shade, but this one has more red thrown in. It's a good alternative to a red lip shade for warmer-toned ladies.
#21 RD302 is a very pretty glossy red shade, that can be worn a bit more sheerly for just a tint of colour. I love reds like these, they are very wearable and quite universally flattering.
#22 RD303 is definitely "the" red in this collection, so if you're going for that pillarbox red shade, this is probably the closest thing to it in the collection.
#23 RD403 is also another glossy red, but this one is more of a red-pink fuschia shade, with a cooler undertone than #21. I quite like this one for a pop of colour on the lips.
#24 BE104 is a MLBB medium nude pink-brown shade. I really like this one - it's a great nude on ladies with deeper skintones, and a great MLBB on fairer ladies.
#25 BE105 is also another MLBB shade, and this one is also pretty universally flattering, and one of the more wearable lip shades in the line. This is more of a rosewood shade, and although it looks a bit blah and brown in my swatches, it looks very pretty when worn.

So that's it for the swatches!


  1. Wow I can't decide which of these I like the most! There seems to be something for everyone, although not if you're fan of peacock colors. Those olive and burgundy eye shades are just stunning while there are so many pretty lip colors!

  2. if i didn't already have so many of the original play 101, i woudl want all of these. the fatter stick format would def be more useful for the eye though, which was a gripe i have with the original pencils when using as eyeshadow.

  3. WOW..!! All of them look awesome.. =)

  4. thanks so much for swatch!! I'm look the shade for contouring, first I thinking about #9 and now I know it isn't good idea. LOL my skin is NC20-25 which one better between #4 and #6?

    1. @hyokito: It also depends on how dark you want your contour to be, and how much blending you want to do. Honestly #4 will be just fine, but if you want something more dramatic or darker you can consider #6. Hope this helps!

  5. Wow, love the swatches. Are these pencils long lasting on somewhat oily eyelids?

    1. @Caren Tay: Yes, lasting power has been good on me! But then again I don't have particularly oily lids, so it's not too much of a problem for me. I suggest avoiding the Jelly finish, as those don't last as long, since they have the texture of lipbalm rather than an eye crayon. Hope this helps!


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