Thanks to my tax return, I've put in another order from e.l.f. (Eyes Lips Face). They had a special running where you got 10 free mineral eyeshadows with any purchase of $20 or more, so I have a LOT of stuff to review! My e.l.f. review posts always end up so long that I'm going to break this one down into at least 3 parts so it is less overwhelming.
In general, I like e.l.f. a lot. The products can be kind of hit or miss, but where else can you spend $25 and get 25 new makeup items to play with?
My biggest negative for e.l.f. is that they ship via the slowest carrier in the world, FedEx Smart Post. Seriously, carrier pigeons would be faster. Apparently their service has improved since a few years ago when it would take people a month to get their order, but when you are used to getting things 3-5 days after your order them, seeing something take an entire week to travel about a thousand miles gets annoying. Seriously, my package arrived in Earth City, MO at 5pm on the 18th, and didn't leave that location for two entire days (NOT a weekend!)! Earth City is 4 hours from my house. It took another 2 days for my package to make that journey! I ordered on the 11th and got my package on the 22nd. 11 days! The online companies I order from most often get my stuff here within 3-4 days of when I order(and they offer free shipping!), but I think anything under a week is fine.
The item I was most excited about from this order is the 100 color eyeshadow palette, which is $10. It was obviously inspired by the success of the 88 and 120 color ones from BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents.
What you see is pretty much what you get here- the photo from the site is a nice representation how the colors actually look in person.
I love that this has a built-in mirror, but I find it kind of hilarious that it comes with TWO eyeshadow applicators. Two? Even if they are dual-sided, that is only enough for 8 colors, unless you clean them religiously between uses. I obviously clean my makeup brushes between colors, but sponge applicators just aren't worth cleaning. I guess you could use them for your favorite colors? I'm just really not sure what the logic was behind this. Putting a two sided sponge-tip applicator in a eyeshadow quad makes perfect sense, because you can use one surface for each color. I mean, including 20 little applicators would have also been pretty silly, but how about three or four mini brushes instead? I just don't think I will get over the hilarity of TWO applicators in a 100 color palette any time soon.
I like that this palette offers a nice mix of bright colors and neutrals. If you are new to playing with color, this would be an awesome way to find out which shades look good on you without spending a ton of money on colors you may never use again. I mean, out of 100 colors, there have to be at least a few you love, right?
I wondered how many colors in this palette would be duplicates of ones I already have, since I own almost every shade of e.l.f.'s eyeshadow quads. Surprisingly, not many. There were a few that felt familiar when I saw them on, but I think that for the most part these are new colors.
The main down side to the palette is that the quality of the shadows is a bit hit and miss. I'd say that around 60% are nice, soft, richly pigmented colors. Sadly that means that about 40% are not so great, mostly because they barely show up on the skin. I'm trying to figure out a way to go through and mark the colors that work well (or maybe mark the ones that don't work?) to make this easier to use.
Although some of the colors go on smoothly and blend nicely, some are almost impossible to blend or get even coverage with, and others get that sort of gritty look you sometimes see with cheap shadows.
I would love to see this redesigned with a focus on 1) removing the low quality shadows so that you can use all of the colors together with the same results and 2) a little more thought put into the colors included. For instance, there isn't really a nice dark brown, they are all medium tones. When I was doing a green eye look, I really wanted a nice deep, dark green to use in the crease, but no luck. An actual yellow (the only one in the palette is super pale and a bit golden), a light blue and some better medium greens would also be really appreciated!
It is also really tough to tell how the color is going to look on just by looking on it. Some colors that look dark in the tray are pale on the skin, and you can never really tell which are shimmery and which are matte.
I'm not going to go through and swatch all 100 colors, but I did find this site which has some nice swatch photos if you are interested.
I tried out a pretty run of the mill pink look, and a somewhat more unusual green/grey one. Here's how they turned out:
I swatched the bottom 5 colors in the 3rd row. The next to last one is the lid color from my green eye above.
Overall, I would give this 3/5 stars. If I am going to have a 100 color palette with little bits of each color, I would rather have it be mostly bright colors that I don't use often and would thus only need the small quantities of to experiment with. Instead this is at least half neutrals, which feels like overkill.