Monday, May 23, 2011

How do e.l.f.'s Cream Eyeshadows Measure Up Against High End Brands? Swatches and Review

Recently when ELF was having a 50% off sale of their Studio and Mineral lines I bought all four of their cream eyeshadows.  At only $1.50 after the 50% off I figured these were worth a shot.  I'm obsessed with cream eyeshadows that are usable on their own without primer and last all day without fading.  I love Benefit's Creaseless Creams but always wish they came in more interesting colors and weren't so expensive.
Well, I knew these weren't going to check the "more interesting colors" category but they definitely fall under "not so expensive".

e.l.f.'s Studio Cream Eyeshadows
e.l.f.'s Studio Cream Eyeshadows

The first thing I noticed is that these things are GIGANTIC.  Way too huge in my opinion.  Look at how big they are compared to one of Benefit's cream shadows.  But they hold 0.35 oz of shadow while Benefit's only hold 0.16 oz.  The only thing is that I'm not so sure these won't dry up before you are able to use that much eye shadow.

From left: Candlelight, Dawn, Eggplant, Bronze
 The texture of these is like a cross of Benefit's cream shadows and those old Maybelline mousse eye shadows (these).  These don't feel completely mousse-like, but aren't as creamy as Benefit's shadows.  I have somewhat of a difficult time picking the first two colors up with a brush.  I don't mind too much because I usually use my fingers for cream shadows anyway.  But, you can tell in the swatches that the texture of the first two doesn't look too appealing.  Blended out on the eye, they look okay, but they just felt drier and clumpier than the two darker shades.  I emailed e.l.f. about it and they are mailing me two new shadows.  It was weird, they didn't email me back or anything, I just got a notice that my order had shipped.  So I went to check their website because I was confused and it looks like they're sending me new shadows.  Weird.  We'll see how they compare when I get them.

EDIT: Got my two replacement shadows in today.  The texture IS better, more smooth and creamy and my brush can pick the color up easier, but they still aren't as good as Eggplant and Bronze.  If you order and aren't happy with the texture, you should email and ask for a replacement.

But look how nice, smooth, and pigmented the last two colors are.  They can blend/sheer out if you want, but they also wear just as well like this.  Bronze is absolutely gorgeous and a must own in my opinion!

This is just Candlelight all over my lid and I think maybe a bit of Eggplant in the crease.  I did this really quickly without primer to see how it would last.  I wore it 8 hours without primer and it never creased on me.  I haven't personally tried using these as a base for powder shadow, but seeing as these don't crease on their own, I'm sure using these as a base would work.

Here is a better eye look.  This is Bronze over my whole lid, Dawnin the crease, and Candlelight to highlight.  Oh, and I used some Eggplant below my lower lash line.

Can you believe that this picture was taken after wearing the shadows for 10 hours?!  They did not crease at all and the colors stayed vibrant.  I absolutely love Bronze.  It was definitely worth the $1.50 I paid for it.

See?  No creasing!

  • Really inexpensive
  • Bronze and Eggplant are richly pigmented and smooth
  • Blend well
  • Last all day on me without creasing
  • Over twice as much product as Benefit's cream shadows
  • Only 4 colors available
  • Candlelight and Dawn seem a bit dried out
  • Can be hard to get the color to stick to a brush
  • Packaging is way over-sized


Thank you for reading and have a great day/night/whatever!


  1. Eggplant and Bronze are lovely - I like that they look pigmented enough to use as liners, too. Seems very bargainous!

  2. Bronze and Candlelight look sooo pretty. I normally never a neutrals gal, but lately if it's pale and almost invisible, I need it ;) $1.50, what a steal! Also love the last look you did.

  3. ELF is such a hit or miss brand, that I always have to look for reviews. There's another cream shadow formula they have and it's TERRIBLE. Thanks for this review: now I know this'll be okay to buy with my next elf order!

  4. @ Robyn- I haven't used them as liners yet, but I want to. Very bargainilicious, even. :)

    @ RoboZelda- I know what you mean, I love wearing bright colors, but I don't like wearing bright lips and bright colors on my eyes so I pull out the neutrals sometimes. And thanks! That look was super simple. I love when a look just works out.

    @Vijaya- Yeah, elf is definitely hit or miss. Is it the cream shadow in a duo? I haven't tried it, but it looks like it would crease instantly.

  5. wow, great post! very helpful. they look gorgeous. :)

  6. Whoa, that bronze makes the green in your eyes POP! I love it. My interest is def piqued now....I want to try eggplant!


Thank you so much for your comments! I appreciate them all and read every one!

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