If you're an earthtone eyeshadow lover and you can only buy one holiday palette this season, I would strongly consider the e.l.f. Natural Eye palette, which is now available at both Big Lots and Target (as you can see by the price tag below, I bought mine at Big Lots). It's also available online via the Target website.
Not to be confused with the Neutral Eye palette (which is the Urban Decay Naked Palette dupe and is no longer available), the Natural Eye Palette boasts some fantastic shades as well, and I dare say that this is the most impressed I've been with an e.l.f. eyeshadow palette in quite some time.
e.l.f. Holiday 2012 Natural Eye Palette
(retail: $5 at Target and Big Lots)
Keep reading for my full review, including swatches and a few eye looks...
(click to enlarge)
There are four mattes in this palette, seven shimmers and one shimmer with glitter. In terms of neutral, warm and cool shades, I think there's a nice selection of all three here.
Let's break down the swatches by row (all shadows swatched over primer):
- Creamy-beige matte
- Warm beige shimmer
- Peachy-coral shimmer (could double as a blush)
- Medium neutral brown matte
- Medium peachy-orange matte
- Bronze shimmer
- Cool brown shimmer
- Warm brown shimmer
- Cool champagne shimmer (purple undertones) with silver microglitter
- Cool taupe matte
- Purpleish-taupe shimmer
- Black shimmer with strong green undertones
Here' a look I put together using four of the shimmer shadows in this palette. I applied NYX HD Shadow Base before applying the e.l.f. shadows:
And here's a quick look I put together using no eyeshadow base and some of the other mattes and shimmers in this palette:
I just wanted to illustrate that you can get very decent pigmentation with these shadows even without the help of a primer (of course primer always makes things better). I also wanted to point out that the hidden gem in this palette is the black shimmer with green undertones. Do NOT ignore this one if you purchase this palette! When blended up top of the brown shimmers (also in this palette), the green in that black eyeshadow really comes out and the overall look is much softer than you'd expect from a black shadow. It's gorgeous in the crease (as I'm wearing in the photo above), in the outer "v" and also to line the eyes.
A few other thoughts...
I know that many of you cringe over e.l.f. shadows and their hit-or-miss textures. Believe me, I understand--you never know what you're going to get until you dig in and try one. Well, I'm pleased to say that there is only one stinker in this palette (for me, at least), and that is the cool champagne shimmer that also contains silver microglitter. It reminds of the crumbly, fallout-heavy shadows in this e.l.f. palette.
But other than that, the remaining 11 shades are wonderful to work with (even the mattes, although those do benefit the most from a good primer applied beforehand). In fact, some might consider the texture of these shadows to be a bit too hard, but I think that really depends on which brushes you use. I recommend e.l.f. eyeshadow brushes with this palette, as opposed to super, super soft brushes like those from EcoTools. I think if you try to pick up color using a brush that has super soft bristles, you might run into some problems. So try to use dense brushes that aren't super, super soft for the best results.
I'm SURE there are some Urban Decay and MAC dupes lurking in this palette--I just haven't had the time to do some investigating. If you know of any, please share in the comments!
FINAL VERDICT: Good pigmentation? Check. Good staying power with the help of primer? Check. Good color variety? Check. Good texture? Check. Good price? Check. Seriously, if you're an earthtone fan and you don't already own this palette, I would consider giving it a shot. At just five bucks, it's incredibly versatile and I've been reaching for it every single day since I purchased it about two weeks ago (and I'm nowhere near getting sick of it--I keep finding new combinations and ways to wear these colors!).
You can find the e.l.f. Natural Eye palette at Big Lots (check the holiday aisle and the gift area near the registers) and Target (both in-store and online).
Do you already own the e.l.f. Natural Eye palette? Thoughts?