As you might guess, I have a decently-sized makeup collection. Off the top of my head, I currently have about 10 eyeshadow palettes in my collection. Some are high-end, some are affordable, some are custom palettes I designed for myself using single shadows, some are well-loved, and some have never been touched (seriously; don’t judge me). I like to have options! What can I say?
Even with so many options, I find myself using two palettes more than any others in my collection. They’re what I reach for when I don’t know what type of look I want to do. They’re what I reach for when I do know what I want to do (a neutral, light smokey eye – I mean, duh). They are the first makeup items I pack when I travel (for both overnight and longer trips). They’re just…that good.
Ready for it?
They’re the Mad for Matte (Nude Mood) and Prism (Naked) eyeshadow palettes from e.l.f. Yep, you read that right. Two palettes from the same brand that are 100% drugstore and less than $10 each. Shocked? Me too.
Mad for Matte Palette
Details from the e.l.f. website: This Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette in Nude Mood has perfectly curated ten matte eyeshadow shades for achieving both beautifully bold or subtle everyday eyewear. This collection of enchanting shades makes shading, highlighting, and defining the eyes an easy task. Use the satin matte shadows to line your eyes, across the lid, and in the crease of the eye for a contoured, smoky eyes. Name change! The Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette in Nude Mood was previously named Mad for Matte Eyeshadow Palette.
This palette has two big (I mean, huge!) things going for it:
- It has every shade I could ever need for any kind of eye look that uses neutral colors. Natural, smokey, dramatic, you name it; this palette has a shade for it. In theory, I could get rid of all of my other palettes and have every neutral matte shade I could ever need. That’s why it’s the perfect palette to travel with. I’ve done no makeup-makeup looks, and I’ve done nighttime looks with just the shadows in this palette. It’s seriously perfectly curated and includes everything from my perfect matte brow bone/inner corner highlight, to my perfect transition shade, to a great matte black. Plus, it offers a variety of both warm and cool tones, so you really can get a range of looks.
- It’s highly pigmented and blends well. Seriously. I judge drugstore shadows hard because so many high-end shadows really do look, feel, and function so much better, but this palette makes me eat my words. I’d argue that it blends just as well as some of my more expensive shadows and is just as pigmented if not more. I’ve never had a problem using any of the shades. They do what I want them to do and make blending away harsh lines so easy. Pro tip: make sure you tap off your brush. This palette doesn’t have a ton of fallout, but I like to do my eyes after doing my foundation/powder/concealer, so tapping off excess shadow before applying to the eyes is key.
I will purchase this palette again when I hit pan, which I’m sure I will with how much I use it! I’ve also heard good things about the Summer Breeze Mad for Matte palette, so I’ll probably pick that up at some point (when I’m not on a makeup-buying freeze. More on that to come!).
Details from the e.l.f. website: These ultra-silky and lustrous eyeshadows look like a powder but feel like a cream, allowing for a smooth and flawless application. The luminous, shimmery formula creates a gorgeous range of looks for both day and night. Use dry for a shimmery, pigmented wash of color or wet for a more intense look.
I don’t use this palette quite as often as I use the Mad for Matte palette, but it is definitely the perfect companion for those of us who like a little sparkle from time to time. I have the Prism palette in the Naked shade range, which is the more neutral of the two in the line. Just like the Mad for Matte palette, it has a great shade range (light to deeper, warm and cool) that allows for a variety of looks and functions. I’ve used the two lightest shades (a pearl-y white and a light golden yellow) as brow bone, inner corner, and cheekbone/nose/chin highlights. I’ve used every single shade as a touch of shimmer on the center of my eyelids to glam up an otherwise matte look.
My favorite way to apply these on my eyelids is with my finger because I feel like it gives the most color payoff, but I’m sure using a firm synthetic brush dampened with something like Mac Fix+ would give the same punch. I’ve only ever used these shadows dry, but trying them wet is on my to-do list!
Because this is a completely shimmery palette, I don’t anticipate hitting pan any time soon, but I’m sure I’ll repurchase when I do.
Who’da thunk?! Way to go, e.l.f.! What are your favorite, never-let-you-down eyeshadow palettes and/or e.l.f. products? I’d love to know!