Things I Don’t Love: E.L.F Baked Eyeshadow Palettes

Welcome back to my ‘Things I don’t love’ series.  Today I have three baked eyeshadow palettes to discuss from E.L.F.

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California

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Swatches of top row

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Bottom row

Here is where I have to admit a very amateur mistake.

These baked eyeshadow palettes from E.L.F looked so beautiful online that I purchased three of them from the range on impulse in a single order.  And if the only purpose of these palettes was to sit there and look pretty, they would be great.  In the pan, these look beautiful, BUT, they are supposed to be wearable as eyeshadow… and in that role, these palettes are very disappointing.

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NYC

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Swatches of top row

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Bottom row

  • Firstly, they are very hit and miss.  There are a couple of shades in each palette which seem to bee quite smooth and pigmented and are really pretty but these are in the minority.
  • For the most part these shadows are hard, dry and lack pigmentation.  The swatches I have provided here are heavy finger swatches – these are not nearly so pigmented with a brush.
  • These get a hard pan layer really quickly!!
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You can see here that the shadows are already getting a hard-pan layer

  • It is difficult to pick up product unless you really scrub your brush into them, at which point they crumble.
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Here you can see how the shadows crumble when used

  • You WILL get shadow everywhere when using these.  Shadow in the palette, on your work surface and fallout all over your face, particularly if you use them dry.
  • You can use a fixing spray, water or some other mixing medium to foil these and that does work, but I still find them to be quite patchy.
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I picked the most pigmented shade from the California palette for this example.  The top swatch is foiled with fixing spray and the bottom is the same colour swatched dry with a brush.

Overall, I was SO disappointed by these.  The reviews online seem to be quite good and one girl on youtube actually put these in her ‘top products from E.L.F’ video – but I have to be honest, these palettes are not worth the trouble in my opinion.  I have not had a look from these that I have been happy with and they really are just a hot mess to work with.

The most pigmented of the three palettes is Seattle.  Some of the purples in the top row are quite pigmented and very pretty, but the bottom row contains some of the worst shadows I have ever used – very hit and miss!

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Seattle

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Swatches of top row

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Bottom row

To put it bluntly, these palettes are more trouble than they are worth and I will be decluttering them.

If you are looking for a cruelty-free, budget-friendly baked eyeshadow you can buy great little trios from MUA (see my review here) or quads from Makeup Revolution (see my review here).  Both brands produce creamy, pigmented and totally beautiful baked eyeshadows that work really well dry and look stunning when foiled.

As for these shadows from E.L.F, I really don’t love them.

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