E.L.F BeautyBook Neutral Eye Edition: a Basic Palette

Hi everybody,

This feels like an E.L.F week, doesn't it? Yesterday, I reviewed the one-dollar ELF eye shadow brush, which I think is the best eyeshadow brush for its price. Today, I am going to review the E.L.F Beauty Book Neutral Eye Edition. This is a part of the "Back to School" edition of the ELF display at Target. As I am a neutral eyeshadow aficionado, I could not resist this palette. It is $5 and you can still get it at ELF website.

E.L.F BeautyBook Neutral Eye Edition ($5 USD)

This palette is the slimmer and sleeker version of the old Beauty Encyclopedia. ELF decided to put it in a cardboard case that looks like a note book. The whole palette is secured inside a foam frame. It has a tiny mirror, a mini eyeliner in Coffee, and a dual-ended foam applicator.

The whole palette

Close up at the colors
 The weight of this palette is 24 grams. Taken away the pencil and the applicator, which I estimate around 2 grams, we still have 22 grams of eye shadows. Which means, an eyeshadow weights roughly 1.8 grams. For the sake of comparison, a MAC eyeshadow weights 1.5 grams and costs $14.50 USD compared to 5 dollars for this whole palette.

With the exception of the light colors (the ones on the first column), the rest of them are pigmented. These eye shadows are very soft and easy to blend. Except for the middle and last color at the bottom of the last column, the rest are shimmery. As you move from left to right, the colors are darker and more pigmented. The light colors on the first column are quite chalky.

Here is a breakdown of all the colors in this palette, column by column, top to bottom:

First column

  1. Top: white eyeshadow with a hint of gold shimmer. Very chalky. Is a bad imitation of MAC Vanilla eyeshadow.
  2. Middle: white eyeshadow with light peach/pink undertone. Is a better highlighting color. Shimmery.
  3. Bottom: light flesh tone with peach/pink undertone. Reminds me of MAC Naked Lunch. This is the best color of this column.
Second column:
  1. Top: shimmery light brown eyeshadow. Very pretty but light. Doesn't really show on my eyelid, though, since it's too light for my skin tone. Is a good contouring color.
  2. Middle: cute ballerina pink eyeshadow, also shimmery.
  3. Bottom: this is a darker dupe of MAC Amber Lights, my favorite color. It is more orange than gold but still, it's a pretty color.
Third column:
  1. Top: very pretty golden brown eyeshadow, also shimmery
  2. Middle: shimmery mauve color.
  3. Bottom: this is a good dupe of MAC Cranberry. When I first swatched it, I was like, "This is Cranberry!" I love that there are so many colors that are similar to MAC's in this palette.
Fourth column:
  1. Top: dark shimmery golden brown. It's my kind of brown eyeshadow.
  2. Middle: dark purple eyeshadow, matte. 
  3. Bottom: dark brown eyeshadow, matte. Probably a dupe of MAC Handwritten or Brun.

The instruction
The eyeliner is just a basic dark brown eyeliner. There's nothing so fancy about it except it creases very much.

Now, here are the hard questions:

Would I buy it again?
Probably not. This is not a small palette. I have enough materials to work for a while. Also, with the exception of the dark colors, the rest of this palette is quite chalky. The light colors are hard to work since they are chalky and light. This is a cheap palette and flaws like these are unavoidable.

Would I suggest it?
If you are a newbie and have low budget, this palette would probably serve its purpose to get your feet wet. However, if you are already waaaay into makeup like me and you love neutrals, I suggest you to save some money and get a better neutral palette.

Neutrals are a bit tricky: if they are too dark and pigmented, they get into a situation where it is hard to blend. If they are too light, they might be chalky. This palette however, has colors on the chalky side. The dark ones are pigmented and blendable. If I were to suggest anybody, I would say you should buy this palette but get a separate good highlighting color instead of using the ones in this palette.

Another pet peeve I have is the flimsiness of this palette: the cover is made of cardboard. Hence, it is not the best material to travel, despite the palette being a good size. Also, it tends to bend. Once it does, the palette will not lay flat, which is annoying to me.

Of the three palettes available in the "Back to School" edition, this neutral eye palette is the weakest link in term of pigmentation and texture. While it has some nice colors that resemble those from MAC, this palette can be skipped. Instead of getting this, the Smokey Eyes palette is a lot better and more pigmented. I will review it as well as the Bright Eyes palette in the upcoming weeks.

RE: the lack of replies

Blame it on my lack of sleep which is induced by Belly. I know I haven't been replying to your comments, which is so not me. Believe me, I've read all of them. I just don't have time yet to reply them. I love all of your comments so please keep them coming. Also, I'll pick the winner of the CLEAN giveaway soon.

Disclosure: this product was purchased by me for personal use.

P.S: If you like my blog, please subscribe to my feed. Thanks a lot!

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