Wednesday, 4 April 2012

ELF Mineral Eyeshadows

Recently, I was talking to my friend about the burning desire to buy Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette and not being able to justify its price tag to myself. She heard that sad tale more than once, and I can't blame her for pointing out that I would get tired of it the minute I bite the bullet and buy the damn thing. At the moment it sounded like heresy to my ears and I told her that some things never get tiring for me, and I use them time after time, using ELF mineral eye shadows as an example. 

These little pots of colour are the first mineral eye shadows I tried, and remain the only mineral eye shadows I tried to date. I much prefer the convenience of pressed eyeshadows- they are far easier to use and transport, compared to loose eyeshadows in pots. I used to dislike my Avon palettes for being rather hard and not very pigmented, but they make for a good travel item- its hard to overdo on these and I know that they wont break when I carry them in my handbag.

For a festive flash of intense pigment on my eyelids, however, you can't beat these mineral eye shadows. They look simply stunning when foiled and that is my preferred way of wearing them (I use water on a fluffy ELF Mineral eyeshadow brush to mix the pigment). 

The first eyeshadow I bought from this line was Earthy- a bright golden green that looks almost entirely golden with just a hint of green when foiled. I tend to wear Earthy as all over wash of colour on my lids, and I think that this colour is very flattering on my brown eyes (the below photo was taken after a very lazy sweep of Earthy without any other make up, except maybe the traces of mascara on my lower eyelids. ):

Earthy, applied foiled all over the lid.

As you can see from this photo, there is a bit of fallout from this eyeshadow- but this is minimal and can be remedied easily by sweeping it off with a finger.
My collection slowly increased to include several other shades from this line- Beachy, Royal, Flirty and Outdoorsy were bought individually and Seductive/ Mysterious/Socialite were bought as a part of Smokey Eye Mineral Eyeshadow kit (which included two great natural hair brushes, one for all over colour application and another for contouring and a black pencil liner). 
I wasn't particularly impressed with Mysterious (dusty grey, almost like dry cement powder) and Flirty (pale pinkish lavender), they seem to be very chalky and the colours are not very flattering  on me, which is why I never reached for them and seem to have lost them (hence no pictures of those). I suppose they could be appealing for someone with a different colouring to mine, and someone who prefers cool, neutral matte shades.
Beachy is a deep cobalt blue that use foiled as a liner, often teamed with Earthy for a bright look in summer. It looks almost matte, but there is a very fine shimmer running through the deep base colour. It deepens when foiled with water, but returns to a medium bright blue when it dries after a while. It produces a bit of fallout, but nothing major:

Beachy, foiled with water.

Seductive is a deep, matte black, that I also wear as a liner, but this time, I use it dry over black cream eyeshadow (from ELF Cream Eyeshadow Duo in Liquorice, a black/silver combination). It gives me a great intensity for a slightly smudged smokey eye. I don't have pictures of Seductive, but there is not much to say about it, except that its an intensive black matte.

Socialite, foiled with water

Socialite is a curious brown-ish taupe in pot and when applied dry, with iridescent shimmer particles running through the base colour.The shimmer flashes with cool silvery and warmer red particles that overlay the base taupe. A very pretty and unusual colour. When foiled, it becomes even more stunning, almost a white gold colour over a deeper taupe. In my swatch above it looks faintly like Earthy, but its very different in real life.

Royal, is a shimmery, rich purple with iridescent shimmer, not unlike the shimmer in Socialite. It looks very close to Socialite in my swatches, but the base purple  in Royal is much more prominent than taupe in Socialite. Very pretty and great for both all over lid and crease colour.

Outdoorsy, foiled with water

Outdoorsy is a dark green (almost black) eyshadow with large golden green shimmer particles running through. It is rather faint when applied dry, but very rich and beautiful when applied wet- both the base colour and golden shimmer intensifies on foiling. My preferred way to wear this is either as a liner or as a crease colour to go with Earthy, for a green make eye make up.

Earthy, as I described before is a bright yellowish green when dry and a greenish god when foiled. My favourite shade out of the whole bunch, very pretty and versatile. 

All shades are prone to some fallout, although using a primer or a sticky base makes fallout less of an issue. They don't last that long on my oily eyelids, fading and creasing in around 3 hours. Use of primer (I use ELF's regular primer) or a cream eyeshadow base prolongs their vibrancy considerably, and in the case of the primer also keeps them from creasing. 
These eyshadows are packaged in small plastic pots with matte black tops.. There are four sifter holes in the pot, and all shades are prone to kicking up a lot of dust and spilling over the edge of a pot, which is pretty annoying.

Left to right: Outdoorsy, Royal, Beachy, Socialite, Earthy.

Swatched dry:

Top to bottom: Earthy, Socialite, Beachy, Royal and Outdoorsy.

Overall, these eye shadows are a great value for money, and are very bright and vibrant, with some very unusual colours available. They look very intense when foiled and would make a great choice for both everyday use and party looks. The negative points include fallout and mess during application (I tend to have a wet cloth on hand to mop up any spills), but other than that, these eye shadows are really good. Almost a HG status, I'd say. 
Of course, loving these hasn't stopped me from buying the UD 15th anniversary palette (albeit with a good discount, since I bought it on Buyapowa). I am now eagerly waiting for the arrival of said palette, whilst playing with my existing shades.

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