E.L.F. Cosmetics Review and Swatches – Part 1: EYES

EyesLipsFace (E.L.F.) is a cosmetic company which started in the US in 2004, with the “mission to provide customers with quality cosmetics at low prices”. After hearing glowing reviews for over a decade, I wanted to try their products for myself. Upon visiting the E.L.F. UK website, I was faced with the message that the UK distributor had “decided to leave the e.l.f. family and embark on [their] own new, exciting adventure in beauty”. I was disappointed to see none of the items on my wishlist were in stock, but I did what any make up lover would do and took advantage of the stock clearance discounts and ended up placing two orders, the details of which can be found here.

I wanted to use the products properly before I reviewed them for you, and due to the sheer volume, it’s taken a while. I’ve split all the products up into three categories – eyes, lips and face (I wonder where I got the inspiration for that!), and so begin today with all the eye products that I got.

ELF studio eyeliner eyeshadow cream pigment mineral pressed shimmer matte review swatches

I got a variety of eyeshadows and eyeliners in all the colours that were available, so I could do a fair review. (WARNING: This post is very long and picture heavy!)

Custom Eyes Eyeshadows

“Customize the look of the moment. Place the custom pan in the custom compact and create your look instantly”, however, the custom compacts were sold out on the UK website. The eyeshadows are the same size as MAC eyeshadows, so fit perfectly into MAC palettes, and also have magnets at the bottom of each pan, making them perfect for magnetic based palettes, such as the Z Palette. Each pan has 0.05oz/1.5g of product, and retails at $1/£1.50. I got five shades: Sage, Golden Glow, Dusk, Wheat and Navy.

ELF custom eyes eyeshadows packaged

ELF custom eyes eyeshadows
Top (left to right): Sage, Golden Glow, Dusk; Bottom (left to right): Wheat, Navy.

ELF custom eyes eyeshadow 2504 sage review swatch

Sage (2504) – These shadows are aptly named, as this eyeshadow is the colour of sage, a very light olive green. I got this discounted at £0.45.

ELF custom eyes eyeshadow review swatches 2506 golden glow

Golden Glow (2506) – This is a golden eyeshadow, with orange undertones, which provides the ‘glow’. I got it for £0.75.

ELF custom eyes eyeshadow review swatches 2509 dusk

Dusk (2509) – This shade is dark grey, almost black, like the darkness in the sky at dusk. I got this one for £0.75.

ELF custom eyes eyeshadow review swatches 2511 wheat

Wheat (2511) – This is a light golden, wheat colour, with peachy undertones. This shade was discounted to £0.60.

ELF custom eyes eyeshadow review swatches 2514 navy blueNavy (2514) – This is a dark blue shade, with grey undertones. I prefer my navy eyeshadows to be richer and darker in colour, but this is perfect for a smokey eye look. I got it for £0.75.

ELF custom eyes eyeshadow swatches
Left to Right: Sage 2504, Golden Glow 2506, Dusk 2509, Wheat 2511 and Navy 2514.

These eyeshadows are very pigmented, and have fine chunks of glitter, creating a shimmer finsh. The colour when applied is true to the colour in the pan, but as with a lot of pigmented shadows, there is a lot of fall out. I recommend using an eyeshadow guard, or doing your eye make up before the rest of your face. These were the cheapest of the eyeshadows I purchased, but I was most impressed by them. They don’t have amazing lasting power, but if used in conjunction with a primer, I think they are worth the full retail price. I would definitely purchase more of these if they were available. Sage is still available on the UK website for £0.25!

Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow

This is part of the E.L.F. Natural Mineral Makeup range. “The beautiful pigment color and silky smooth texture of this eyeshadow creates easy blendability and wear. Infused with Rosemary, Cucumber and Vitamin E to replenish the delicate eye area and provide antiaging benefits for a more revitalized look.” There is 0.11oz/3g of product included, and retails at $3/£4. The only shade available was Bridal Party (6561), which was reduced to £2.45.

ELF pressed mineral eyeshadow bridal party 6561 white

ELF pressed mineral eyeshadow bridal party 6561 white single
ELF pressed mineral eyeshadow bridal party 6561 white single open

This colour is perfect for highlighting the brow bone or inner tear duct. It can also be used all over the eye lid, for a soft, natural, ‘bridal’ look, to give the eyes a wide-awake, fresh appearance. The colour is swatched on the left hand side in the photo below. It’s not as pigmented as I thought it would be, nor is it “silky smooth” as described, but it has good colour pay off and blends well. Considering this was the most expensive eyeshadow of the ones I purchased, I was a little disappointed, but I like the ‘Natural Mineral’ aspect of it, and look forward to seeing if I experience any of the benefits.

Left to Right: Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow in Bridal Party 6561, and Studio Single Eyeshadows in Totally Teal 81133 and Purple Passion 81135.
Left to Right: Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow in Bridal Party 6561, and Studio Single Eyeshadows in Totally Teal 81133 and Purple Passion 81135.

Studio Single Eyeshadows

“Beautiful soft texture that melts into the skin for a vibrant colour that lasts.” The eyeshadows are packaged in sleek compacts, with a small mirror included. There is a window in the lid, so you can see the product inside, which comes in handy. There is 0.097oz/2.75g of product in the pan, and it retails at $3. I’m not sure how much they were in GBP’s originally, I got mine discounted at £0.70 each in the shades Totally Teal and Purple Passion, again as they were the only shades available.

ELF single eyeshadows

ELF Studio Single Eyeshadow Totally Teal 81133 and Purple Passion 81335
Left to Right: Totally Teal 81133 and Purple Passion 81335.

ELF studio single eyeshadow 81133 totally teal

Totally Teal (81133) – My finger went through the window as I was taking it out of the box, and this fell on the eyeshadow, damaging the surface. I love the colour in the pan – I wouldn’t describe it as ‘teal’, it is a bright, turquoise blue.

ELF studio single eyeshadow 81135 purple passion

Purple Passion (81135) – This is another bright, vibrant colour, in the pan. It looks like a pure purple shade.

Being part of the Studio line, I expected more from these eyeshadows. They have a chalky, powdery texture, rather than the creamy smooth texture I was expecting. However, they are blendable and perfect for spring and summer. I think they are worth what I paid for them, but I wouldn’t purchase them at full retail price.

Studio Cream Eyeliners

“Lines and defines your eyes. Long-wearing smudge-proof.” These come in small pots with a mini liner brush included in the box. There is 0.17oz/4.7g of product in each pot, which retails at $3. I don’t know the original price in GBP’s but I got them for £1.98 each. I got the three remaining colours – Copper, Plum Purple and Golden.

ELF studio cream eyeliners
Left to Right: Copper 81156, Plum Purple 81158, Golden 81164

ELF studio cream eyeliner 81156 copper

Copper (81156) – This is a gorgeous copper colour, with a shimmer finish.

ELF studio cream eyeliner 81158 plum purple

Plum Purple (81158) – This is a rich, dark purple colour, and looks stunning in the pot.

ELF studio cream eyeliner 81164 golden

Golden (81164) – This is a true golden shade with shimmer. I couldn’t resist swatching it before I photographed it!

Left to Right: Copper, Plum Purple and Golden
Left to Right: Copper 81156, Plum Purple 81158 and Golden 81164.

I am familiar with gel eye liners but this was my first time using a cream eye liner, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. They are very similar to gel eyeliners but the texture is creamier, meaning it is easier to apply, and can be smudged out to use as an eyeshadow, on its own or as a base. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cream liners are very pigmented and long-lasting. I had a bit of smudging along my lower lash line but there was no smudging or bleeding along my upper lash line, which is where I will mostly be using these. I would definitely recommend these cream eyeliners, if you can get your hands on them.

Studio Pigment and Matte Eyesahdows

“Create an intensely bold color statement with these rich loose eyeshadow pigments. The pigment-rich color delivers a vibrant effect while minimizing fine lies.” These come in small pots with 0.05oz/1.5g of product retailing at $3/£4. A mini eyeshadow brush is included in the box, with each of these. I got the shades Passionate Purple and Tropical Teal, in the Studio Pigment Eyesahdows, and Mint in the Studio Matte Eyeshadow.

ELF studio pigment eyeshadow packaged passionate purple

ELF studio matte eyeshadow pigment 81185 mint packaged

ELF brush included with eyeshadow

ELF studio pigment eyeshadow passionate purple tropical teal

ELF studio pigment eyeshadow 81225 passionate purple

ELF studio pigment eyeshadow 81225 passionate purple potPassionate Purple (81225) – This pigment is an aubergine purple, with a shimmer finish. I got this for £0.80.

ELF studio pigment eyeshadow 81229 tropical teal pot

Tropical Teal (81229) – This is a true teal colour, again in a shimmer finish with tiny gold specks. This was also £0.80.

ELF studio matte eyeshadow 81185 mint green

Mint (81185) – This is a loose matte eyeshadow, in a light, mint green. I got this for £0.50.

ELF Studio Pigment Matte Eyeshadow swatches passionate purple tropical teal mint green
Left to Right: Studio Pigment Eyeshadows in Passionate Purple 81225 and Tropical Teal 81229, and Studio Matte Eyeshadow in Mint 81185.

I’m not very good at handling any loose powder products, I always end up making a mess, and these were no different. Considering these are loose pigments, the colour pay off was not that great, in particular the matte eyeshadow in ‘Mint’, which perhaps was too light for my skin tone. I think these are worth what I paid for them but I certainly wouldn’t purchase them at full price. I look forward to experimenting with them – I think they would work well over a creamy base, or with a primer.

Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil

“Instantly brighten your eye with the shimmering metallic liner that glides on smoothly without tugging the delicate eye area.” The lid of the pencil liner has a sharpener built-in, for sharpening on the go. Each pencil comes with 0.05oz/1.38g of product, and retails at $1/£1.50. The only colour available was Grassy Green.

ELF shimmer pencil grassy green packaged

ELF shimmer pencil 7606 grassy green eyeliner

Grassy Green (7606) – The pencil is indeed a grassy green, with subtle shimmer. I paid £0.35 for this.

ELF Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil Grassy Green 7606 swatch swatches
Grassy Green 7606

This Shimmer Pencil is smooth, creamy and has a beautiful shimmer to it (as the name suggests). I was apprehensive about it, I thought it might be glittery like some other eyeliner pencils I have, but it’s not. For me, it is the perfect consistency for an eyeliner pencil – it’s not so hard that it pulls on the skin when applying but not so soft that it smudges all over the place. I applied it all around my eyes, and it stayed in place all day, although it didn’t show up on my water line. I would definitely purchase more of these, at the full price.

Below are before and after swatches of all the products, side-by-side. The top photograph is when I applied them, and the bottom photograph is five hours later.

ELF eyeliner eyeshadow cream pigment pencil pressed mineral studio matte swatches before and after
Left to Right: Custom Eyes Eyeshadows in Navy, Wheat, Dusk, Golden Glow & Sage; Studio Single Eyeshadows in Purple Passion & Totally Teal; Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow in Bridal Party; Studio Cream Eyeliners in Copper, Plum Purple & Golden; Studio Pigment Eyeshadows in Passionate Purple & Tropical Teal; Studio Matte Eyeshadow in Mint; and Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Grassy Green.

Overall, I was really impressed with the eyeliners (both cream and pencil), and with the Custom eyeshadows. I had higher hopes for the other eyeshadows, but I think I’ve been spoilt with UK high street (drugstore) eyeshadows from the likes of Make Up Academy and Sleek, and expected the same quality from E.L.F., especially from the Studio line. Have you tried any of the products mentioned, or any other eye products from E.L.F.? I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, if anyone has any advice on how to make better use of the products I didn’t get along with, I would gladly receive it.

There are still a few items left on the UK website, all under £1, so pick up some bargains. I will be reviewing E.L.F. lip and face products next, follow my blog so you don’t miss those.

Until next time, take care my friends.

Latifa xx

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this post, and I purchased all the products with my own money. All opinions and photographs are also my own.

29 thoughts on “E.L.F. Cosmetics Review and Swatches – Part 1: EYES

  1. Amazing haul and review / swatches! Funny how the cheaper eyeshadows perform better than the Studio ones! You got a great deal at this sale! I have a few Elf makeup items but my favourites are probably their Studio brushes – great quality for such low prices!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. 😊
      Some of the studio brushes were on my wishlist but none of the things on my list were in stock. I’ll have to wait till they get a new UK distributor or I go to the US, although the latter is bound to be detrimental to my bank account!! 😆

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really want to try the cream eyeliner! I’m usually a pen/liquid liner person and have been too scared to mess around with creams and gels. Looks like a good product to possibly start with until I become confident! Such an awesome haul babe! DF xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All the swatches are looking pretty sleek and all are very pretty colours 🙂 I don’t wear eyeshadow at all but all are a great buy!

    Liked by 1 person

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