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Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: e.l.f. Holiday 2012 Natural Eye Palette

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?


  1. Super cool! Not bad pigment on some of the colors and not a bad price :) Your eyes look amazing in these pix :)

    1. Aaaw,.thank you so much, PDX! xo

  2. I bought this tonight at Walgreens and I want a back-up!!! The cover is different; no black bow but white glitter with a larger photo of the palette centered and framed by a dotted design. I think this is THE perfect holiday gift for a makeup friend or relative! Thank you so much for the fabulous swatches and looks.

    NouveauCheapers, you need this!

    1. Oooh, Barbara! Thank you so much for the tip about these being at Walgreens too! I think I didn't make the connection precisely because, as you said, the cover is different at Walgreens (oh elf, why do you like to confuse us so?).

      And I love how you said ”NouveauCheapers”!!!! :) xo

    2. I think I saw this at my Walgreens too. They had half an endcap of ELF palettes (other half was other holiday-branded palettes, I believe), rather surprised me since they don't normally carry any and they didn't have the Disney Villains either, but they completely rearranged that third of the store after Halloween and I couldn't find their usual clearance bins anywhere.

      Moral: do not rule out WAGS just because they normally don't have ELF.

  3. How fortuitous, I just picked this up today at my local Walgreens... but, with a different cover. It didn't have the silver glitter or black bow to dress it up for the holidays.

  4. This looks pretty nice. I picked up an 100-shade rainbow palette from the Target ELF Holiday display - I haven't swatched it yet though. It's my first giant multicolored paletted!

  5. Hey G,

    Wow the shadows look great on you! I just ADORE neutral, earth-tone colors.
    Do you think this palette works for darker skintones? I'm NC45 in Mac and Caramel in Revlon Colorstay Normal. I'm afraid that the colors might not show up on my skin, or that they would appear "washed out" or too pale.

    Can you, or anyone else, let me know if it's worth it? I have to travel some distance just to come across any store that sells ELF products (and I'm too impatient to wait for shipping from online haha).
    Jen xx :)

  6. I bought this last Christmas at Target and have really enjoyed it. I find the pigmentation to be really good for an elf product, and you can't bet the price! Love the looks you created, G. Could you tell us which shadows you used and where? Thanks so much for the great review!

  7. Very pretty. I just have so many neutrals!

  8. Elf is such a hit or miss, but I love when they hit. This looks like a must-haul for the holidays. What lovely highlight colors.

  9. I bought this palette when elf was on daily deals at, so it was only about $3 if I remember. I do absolutely love it, especially the finish of the third shade in the fourth row. I've been wearing it nearly every day.

  10. The 32 color natural palette in the elf website and at wags is awesome too! and it's different than their older "warm" palette! ITS 50% Off now on the elf website!!
    Brights is also great! The quality is wonderful!!

  11. Is this the same palette they released last year? 'Cos I purchased last year's palette and it looks exactly the same. I love e.l.f.!

  12. yay! I got this awhile ago at a Grocery Outlet and thought it was a fluke. I've had it at least a year but was getting confused since nobody else seemed to know about it, I thought I was mistaken and had a mislabeled one but its the exact same. New or old either way I love it and kept it and the natural face one too, :)

  13. I was super duper excited you got this one. I picked this up at big lots not to long ago and wondered if I would see this on here. There was 3 palates to choose from. But this one I felt was so wearable. It is nice for the price. Some of the shadows are not so great, but still worth the purchase!

  14. I actually picked up this palette on clearance from thanks to a tweet from you. I completely love it!!


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