Urban Decay’s Grindhouse sharpener is a double barrel tool for all your sharpening needs. It has a thin sharpener for typical eyeliners and lip liners and a fatter one for jumbo pencils. It’s $10 at Sephora, but it often comes free with other Urban Decay products and… well, read on.
This is a terrific sharpener. I had no idea a sharpener could be this good. I’ve struggled for years with cheapies, thinking they were all the same so why spend more, only to have my pencils gobbled down to nothing – so much wasted product, and often times not even enough sharpness after all that. This sharpener changed all that. It sharpens the pencils to as fine a tip as you could want, with as little product waste as possible, and the blades seem to stay good for a very long time. My only criticism is that I dropped mine, and the plastic casing chipped and it was hard to keep the whole thing together after that. I wish it was a little more shatter resistant.
Cleaning is also easy – you just pop off the plastic panel (and as the shavings gather under it, they’ll practically push it off themselves if you don’t clean it often enough) and you just drop the shavings into a trash can, knocking it against the side to jar the worst of them loose. There’s also a little pointy stick hidden under the casing – slide it out, and you can use it to get more shavings out. If you feel the need to really clean it more, just dip a swab in alcohol and run it over the edges of the blades and inside the plastic casing.
Now, here’s the thing: it’s been said that Essence makes this exact same sharpener for $1. Essence does indeed make a very good sharpener that’s shaped much like this one, also “Made in Germany”, etc. I even could believe they’re from the same factory. But I’ve had two of the Essence and two Grindhouse, and I’m finding the blades on Grindhouse are consistently a tad better (and so did Ivory and Olive). Better enough to be worth the $9 price difference? That’s your call. The Essence sharpener is very good, but you can often get Grindhouse for free with other Urban Decay stuff and both of mine have lasted about a year already with no downward shift in performance. I don’t think Essence is going to waste your pencils