Wednesday, December 19, 2012

e.l.f. Essential 5-Piece Get The Look Eye Set in Brown - Review and Swatches

Holy cow, y'all... this set!

This just might be the best $5 you can spend on an e.l.f. product. They offer these "Get The Look" sets in 3 different colors (Brown, which I got, plus Purple and Smoky). Each set includes a black liquid liner, black mascara, eye shadow brush, eyelash curler, and a trio of eye shadows. You can buy the liner, mascara, and eyelash curler separately for $1 each, but the brush is slightly different from any of the single brushes available, and the shadow trios are only offered in this set.

I have reviewed the liquid liner in the past (you can find that here) and I won't be reviewing this mascara since I haven't used it (I set the one that came in the set aside for a giveaway since I already have zillions of mascaras). The eyeliner does contain parabens, so if you only use paraben-free products, you might want to skip that one.

The eye shadow brush is pretty nice. It seems to be a slight step up from the $1 shadow brush in the essential line. It's definitely handy to have around, but nothing super special. Neither the packaging nor the website specifies what the brush is made of. As a guess, I'd say the bristles are synthetic, but I'm not positive.

The eyelash curler is also pretty standard, except that the one I received was a little crooked.

I know this is a little tough to see, but the left side has a much smaller gap than the right.

To be honest, I almost never use eyelash curlers because a) I think my lashes look fine the way they are and b) lash curlers kinda freak me out. If this wasn't crooked, I'd vote it as not being bad for $1, though.

What really makes this kit worth buying is the eyeshadow trio. These are *awesome*!

Although the darkest color looks sort of charcoal black in the official photo, it's much more of a deep brown in person, which makes more sense with the other colors included.

The top half of this photo is the shadows over bare skin, the bottom half is over primer. As you can see, they go on pretty nicely on their own, but the primer does help a tiny bit.

I am really liking these so far! They are soft and easy to apply, they stay on a long time, and they're colors that will look good on almost anyone. The lightest shade works nicely as either a highlight color or on the lid, and the darkest makes a great eyeliner when used wet.

The best thing about this trio of shadows is how much variety you can get in the looks you use it for. You can stick to mostly the lighter two colors for a very natural look, or really make it dramatic by using more of the dark brown. Here are a couple of examples:

For this subtle look, I started by applying the lightest shade over the entire eye area, from lashes up to brow bone. I then added a bit more of the same color to the lid and just under the brow, but applied wet this time to make the color just a little stronger. Next, I covered the lid (from lashes up to the crease) in the medium brown. I finished it off by using the dark brown as eyeliner by applying it with a damp angled brush.

For this more dramatic look, I started by applying the lightest color to the upper half of my eye (everything above the crease) with a damp brush. Next, I painted my lid with the medium brown color (also wet), and then used the darkest brown in my crease. I finished by using the dark brown as liner again, but this time I topped it with a thin line of black liquid liner along my upper lashes. (The mascara used in both photos is e.l.f.'s $2 volumizing mascara.)

Overall, I think this trio of shadows are the best quality eye shadows I've tried from e.l.f. I wish they were sold separately, since I'd like to try the purple trio, too, and I don't really need a whole extra kit. I'd also like to see more color options added, since the Smoky (silver, dark blue, black) colors don't appeal to me at all.

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