I hate sharpening pencils of any description. If I use a knife, I'm terrified of cutting off one of my fingers. If I use a sharpener, something invariably gets stuck or breaks off. Don't get me started on plastic casings either - I have yet to find a sharpener that actually works on them. Frustration Central.
I avoid using pencils wherever I can and love the dial up pencils you can get for lip liners and the like. But, you can't always avoid the conventional stick, so decanting is a major boon in my book. It's such a simple, easy process as well - basically you're reversing the steps of filling the pencil in the first place. Apply some heat, let the filling come out, and you've got an easily accessible pot of colour - it's also a lot easier to see what you've got!
- Grab a takeaway coffee or soft drink lid - the kind with the straw hole in the top. (You can ask nicely and snag one for free.) Make sure to wash it if it's been sitting on top of your latte!
- Slot the pencil through this hole so that the pointy end is visible on the underside
- Pop the lid over the pot you want to decant the pencil into - you might have to tilt the lid slightly. The lid basically helps to steady the pencil and stop it from falling over. You can get a stack of plastic pots here - anything like this will do.
- Pop everything in the microwave and do full power bursts for ten seconds at a time and check to see the pencil's progress. Once it melts you'll see it oozing down and you don't need to apply any more heat. Don't let anything burn.
- Discard the pencil casing and let the liquid cool completely before use. Done!
Hugs and kisses,