Sunday, May 29, 2011

e.l.f. Beauty Book (Smokey Eyes Edition) Review + Swatches

I showed you the Bright Eyes Edition last week and now I'm back with the smokey eyes one!

Same info and basic review as the other one, but in case you missed it:

e.l.f. is available from Target (limited range) and also from, and occasionally at dollar stores. I picked this up on clearance for $3.12, but they normally cost $5.

Here is the smokey eyes palette:

Top row of shadows, left to right. All swatches done over Too Faced Shadow Insurance.

First shade is a pale white-grey (shimmer).
Second shade is a medium 'blurple' (satin with loose glitter).
Third shade is a navy blue (shimmer).
Fourth shade is a very dark blue with blue glitter (satin with loose glitter).

Only so-so pigmentation on this. The colors in the pan just don't transfer onto the skin! The black/blue on the far right is crazy pigmented, though.

Middle row of shadows.

First shade is a fair skintone shade with grey undertones (matte).
Second shade is a violet burgundy (matte).
Third shade is a blackened burgundy (matte).
Fourth shade is a black with a hint of burgundy (satin with sparkle).

Does this look like the WetnWild Lust palette to you? It reminds me of it. Decent pigmentation here for mattes, the second shade in is my favorite. The first skintone like shade is a bit muddy and unnatural on the skin; you could use it as a color to blend out other shadows.

Bottom row of shadows.

First shade is a pale grey silver with a hint of purple (shimmer).
Second shade is a medium silver with a green overtone (shimmer).
Third shade is a dark grey with silver shimmer (shimmer).
Fourth shade is a flat black (matte).

This would be my favorite row if not for the crap pigmentation on the black. It's surprising because the blue higher up in the palette is SO pigmented. Anyway, the silvers in this row are quite nice. I think you could make a good smokey eye if you use a different black.

This palette has a better range of finishes than the Bright Eyes palette (which was mostly shimmers), so that I can appreciate. A few colors are disappointing, however... mainly the top row. They look gorgeous in the pans but really sheer out on the skin.

From here is basically the same overview I gave the Bright Eyes palette:

e.l.f.'s shadows are quite soft so you do have to pack on the color a little. You can't expect vibrant payoff with these -- they're meant to be a sheerer wash of color. You can get decent pigmentation out of some of the shadows with an eyeshadow primer, but you're not going to have anything eyeseeringly bright.

Now, my complaint is the design of the palette. These would be awesome for travel, but they're cardboard, for one, and second they are quite bulky. I get that they wanted to have a 'book' feel but they could have designed the palette into something more compact -- maybe 6 shadows across the top and 6 across the bottom, or a pull tray? There's just a lot of wasted space on these.

They also come with a little eyeliner but I would have foregone that to just cut off the entire bottom half of the palette!

As I said with the Bright Eyes palette, this would be great for a beginner who wants to experiment with smokey eyes or if you're not into really intense ones. I know I have trouble wearing them so this palette is appreciated for someone like me who prefers to create a softer smokey eye.


  1. the shades look great for beginners :) great swatches.

  2. That's a lovely palette! I love the swatches too. So pretty. =) Thanks for your review.


  3. Pretty nice for five bucks... I think they'd be nice for starters too.

  4. That's a lot of eyeshadow for $3.12! For that price, I wouldn't mind trying them out!

  5. these are really great! I need to pick up one just to play with them! great review and I see u have over 500 followers now! congrats!! u deserve it! :D