If you haven't been to your local Big Lots lately, then you might not know that many of the e.l.f. kits that were part of this Target end-cap display are also now available at Big Lots. Just about every eyeshadow set that is in the Target display, as well as the 10-piece brush set, etc. have been spotted at not only my local Big Lots locations, but other locations across the nation (thanks to many of you for confirming that). So if you're interested in getting any of these sets and you haven't seen them at your local Target, check Big Lots!
When I first spotted the influx of e.l.f. sets at my local Big Lots, I immediately purchased the Neutral Eyeshadow Compact. I've been wanting it for a while now and never found it at Target, so I was happy to finally get my hands on it.
NOTE: You might have noticed that the title of this blog post doesn't match the name of this kit when compared to the box below. That's because e.l.f. sometimes changes the names of their products, but I figured it was best to call it by its official name that is currently on e.l.f. website: e.l.f. Essential Beauty School Eyeshadow Compact in Neutral (also known as: e.l.f. Eyeshadow Collection Neutral Eyeshadow Compact).
e.l.f. Essential Beauty School Eyeshadow Compact in Neutral
(aka: e.l.f. Eyeshadow Collection Neutral Eyeshadow Compact)
(retail: $3, 0.17 oz)
There is a small mirror at the top of the inside of the case:
Five of the six shades in this palette are shimmers, and two of those shimmers also contain a good amount of loose sparkle. There is one matte shade in this palette, and that's the chocolate brown shade in the top row.
All swatches were done on bare skin, then over NYX HD primer.
Looking at the pic above, you can see that the first two colors in this palette (cream and champagne-beige) both contain not only shimmer, but a good deal of loose sparkle. This sparkle causes a lot of fallout due to the crumbly, powdery nature of the shadows themselves. When swatched over primer, the first two shades in this palette take on a foil-like effect. The third shade in the top row is the only true matte in the palette. It's very smooth and pigmented even on its own, but becomes quite intense with the help of primer.
The finishes of the three shades in the bottom row of this palette are very consistent. All three are shimmers, but the texture of the beige and medium-brown shades is much softer and more powdery than the darker brown shade (last shade in the palette) which has a harder consistency and a weaker color-payoff when worn on bare skin (thought it does come alive over primer). The first two shades in the second row look weakly-pigmented in the photo above, but in reality, when applied with a brush to the lid, the color-payoff is quite good, even without primer. I think they just look weaker in my pictures because the colors blend into my skintone, making them harder to see.
The palette after multiple uses:
As illustrated above, the texture of the first two shades on both the top row and bottom row is loose, powdery and crumbly. I'm not particularly hard on my shadows, but after a few uses, there is fallout all over this palette. Obviously you can see that the texture of the last two shades on the top and bottom row is a bit different and makes for cleaner application. These two end shadows have a firmer texture and are easier to work with.
FINAL VERDICT: This palette is a mixed bag. The first two colors in the palette are unwearable for me personally, because they contain a lot of loose sparkle that floats in the air and ends up all over my face during application. But on the other hand, the chocolate brown shadow in the top row is wonderful--it's a creamy, soft matte that blends beautifully and is highly pigmented even without primer. Moving down to the second row, the first two shades are nice shimmers with good color payoff, but they're crumbly and powdery during application. The last shade in the palette has a firmer consistency and isn't great on its own, but it does look quite nice over primer. Overall, the pigmentation of the shadows in this palette was more impressive than I thought it would be, even without primer. I also found the staying power to be good (about six hours on my lids without primer--longer with primer). But the texture of four of the six shades leaves something to be desired, and could require more work than you might be willing to invest. Is this palette worth $3? I guess it depends on your patience level and if you already have similar shades in your collection. If I didn't already have some good matte chocolate browns in my stash, I'd certainly consider buying this palette just for that one shade. I don't think this is a must-have palette for everyone, but if you have specific needs and are on a tight budget, it might be a good one to pick up if you happen to see it at Target or Big Lots.
Do you already own the e.l.f. Essential Beauty School Eyeshadow Compact in Neutral? If so, I would love to know how it's working for you!