Tuesday, July 26, 2011

E.L.F. The Beauty Encyclopedia (Eye): A Review

I have a penchant for makeup palettes, especially eye makeup palettes. They remind me of the old-school watercolor kits we used back in grade school. It had tiny blocks of hardened colors where you can choose from and then combine with any other color you like. The E.L.F. Beauty Encyclopedia (Eye) allows me to ‘almost’ do the same thing, painting, except that I use my face as the canvas.

Following the encyclopedic theme, the palette is packaged like a tall, slim book that you open to reveal 12 powder eye shadows, two cream eye shadows, one black mini-eyeliner, and a double-ended applicator (one has a sponge tip, the other a mini brush head).  It has a magnetized closure mechanism to ensure that it stays shut. This is good especially if you plan to bring this with you or if you’re the type of person who puts on her makeup at work, in school or you plan to do your makeup somewhere else.
E.L.F. Beauty Encyclopedia (closed)
When you open it, you will see some application tips on the left ‘page’, an eye-makeup illustration, and the definition of the term ‘eye’. I think that makeup beginners will find the information useful. More adept makeup aficionados will most likely be familiar with the technique and will probably opt to do an eye-color design as they see fit. On the left side are the colors, pencil, and applicator. There is a stiff plastic insert that serves as cover and protection between the left and the right pages. This is a neat idea since it will help keep the product sanitary to a certain extent.

(The palette when opened.)

 The colors in the palette are mostly neutrals, ranging from white to black.
#1 – is a matte white shadow perfect for inner eye corner and brow highlight
#2 – shimmery dark gunmetal with silver flecks of shimmer
#3 – boot black with flecks of shimmer (although upon application the shimmer doesn’t show up much and  looks more like a satin to matte eye color)
#4 – medium silver shimmer with silver flecks
#5 – icy silver shimmer with silver flecks
#6 – satin taupe with a slight khaki-ish undertone
#7 – matte light beige flecked with shimmer
#8 – matte medium brown flecked with shimmer
#9 – pale yellow with gold shimmer
#10 – matte melon with gold shimmer
#11 – satin deep plumy brown
#12 – bronzey-copper on a medium to deep brown base (I originally thought this was a deep shade of bronzed gold, but upon application, the reddish-orangey sheen appears)

More swatches below (the colors are reversed, starting with the bronzey-copper on the left):

These colors have very good pigmentation although some are more densely pigmented (these are the white, black, deep gunmetal, silver, taupe, bronze-y copper, dark plummy brown, and icy silver). They have a powdery texture. When you gently stroke or swipe a brush over these you’ll notice some powder residue. I don’t personally mind this but I do find it less elegant to use and somewhat wasteful. Blendability is also ok.

Two cream eye shadows are included, both of which are shimmery: golden champagne and bronze. Both are oil and wax-based and have silver and gold shimmer. These do not have much color payoff so I prefer to use this as a base for the shadows.  Since the shadows have a powdery consistency a creamy base made them adhere better and the colors more vibrant. Used together, in my experience, they lasted the whole day sans touch-ups.

Do note that I have oily skin; a person with dry skin might be able to use these cream shadows by itself.

(the cream shadows inside the palette; these are not that different when applied)
the champagne cream e/s

the bronze cream e/s

The mini eyeliner is a true black color. This isn’t ‘decaffeinated’ black. It applies richly, has a creamy consistency, and doesn’t drag on the eyelid when used. I used this yesterday and it didn’t smear (my experience with some pencils required me to set it with a powder shadow in the same color). So far, so good. But if you want to be sure this lasts the day with you, you can opt to set it with the black shadow included in the palette.

Lastly, the mini brush included is not the typical throw-away variety. It’s small, but not too small that it becomes hard to hold. The best way to describe it is small and portable. The brush head is dome shaped and can do precision work. I’ve used this to pat shadow on the lid, smudge dark shadow to line my eyes, even apply crease color. But if you want to do a more complicated application, you will need to use other eye brushes.

(gauging the size of the brush on my palm)

Overall, this is a good buy. If you’re a novice, this will be a good way to start your collection. If you’re an addict, this would be a nice addition to your collection (I’m in this category by the way *wink!). This is good for travel; you’ll have all the colors you need. Just add mascara and a few brushes and you’re covered. The major winning point is that all of the contents of this palette are perfectly useable. It has a good assortment of neutral colors, ranging from black to white, and can be used to create a variety of eye designs. Looks wise, it isn’t as elegant compared to some of the more high-end palettes, both in packaging and product (although personally, I find this palette cute). And finally, the icing on the cake: the price, if I remember correctly, is around PhP400.00. The real deal-sealer. =)

This tends to go out of stock quickly, so grab one when you see it at your local beauty store.


  1. where can we buy that?

  2. Wow! Php400? I'mma go look for one! I love the colors. :)

  3. @youngwife - this palette is available wherever e.l.f. is sold (in SM health and beauty outlets and Watsons, Landmark beauty section, etc.). Please know that this palette quickly goes out of stock.

    Thank you for visiting my blog! =)

  4. @Ai - Ai girl! Oo, mura no? Get one, sulit sya. Thanks for visiting my blog! Come back again, soon. =)

  5. Hi, I found your blog through your post on the local makeup thread on Femalenetwork. I really like how you write about makeup and I look forward to more posts from you. :D

    I'm not very good with eye makeup yet but this palette seems like a really good buy for beginners like me!

  6. @Dee - Ah, thank you for your kind comments. =) I am actually a 'silent' follower of your blog as well (and immensely enjoy you're writing, too). If I'm not mistaken we both attended the same University in Quezon City. =) I'm a late bloomer with blogs and blogging and have yet to figure out how things work.

    This is a good buy, sis. They actually have new versions out: a neutral and a smokey one. Although I think it doesn't include the liner and cream shadows anymore. They also have another huge eyeshadow palette with more than 40 (?) shades if I remember correctly. All are priced at PhP399.00