After I've heard some good things about e.l.f. Beauty Encyclopedias and saw a heavily discounted one in TJMaxx, I've decided it would be interesting to compare it to some other neutral eyeshadow palettes I own, particularly the famous Urban Decay Naked palette. Does the e.l.f. Encyclopedia stand the test?
The e.l.f. Beauty Encyclopedia Eye Edition comes in a sturdy cardboard packaging with a magnetic closure, a plastic film over the contents and some instructions inside the cover - it would easily survive a journey, but that plastic films keeps getting in the way. I believe this particular product must have been discontinued and replaced by various Beauty Books, which retail for $5 and are quite a similar concept; see, this review might still be helpful to some people...
Inside, there's 12 powder eyeshadows, 2 cream eyeshadows, 1 black eyeliner pencil and 1 useless sponge tip applicator. I'll be straight with you: I was pleasantly surprised by the pigmentation of these shadows. Most of them are velvety smooth, apply evenly and stay on for a long time without fading. My only gripe with these shades is that most of them contain a lot of glitter, but then it doesn't seem to move much when used with a base. The cream eyeshadows are beautiful neutral colors and stay well enough on my oily lids when used with a primer and powder eyeshadow on top. The black pencil is creamy and pigmented, but again has a lot of silver glitter, which is why, I think, they call it 'brightening'. All in all, this set really does have everything you need for quite a neutral subtle or dramatic eye look, minus the tools.
The silver glitter is particularly visible in the lighter powder eyeshadow shades, so if you like sparkly eyeshadow, this is perfect. Matte lovers should probably steer clear. My two favorite shades are in the bottom right corner: a particularly buttery taupe and a creamy bronze, both pearl finish.
As you can see, the cream eyeshadow are also very shimmery, but not in a glittery kind of way. The texture is smooth and easy to apply. The two swatches on the right show the difference in vibrancy between an eyeshadow used over a cream shadow (top) and an eyeshadow alone, no base (bottom).
Here's the look created with the eyeshadows from the palette after good 6 hours of wear. I've used my regular eyeshadow primer, one of the cream eyeshadows as a base and then a glittery peach on the lid with the taupe in the outer corner. I lined my eyes with the pencil liner and smudged it in. There is some creasing visible in the photo, but no fall-out or smudging and minimal fading.
Overall, I think this palette is a fantastic value for money and would make a great purchase for someone who travels a lot and is afraid of bringing more expensive make-up, or for someone just getting into cosmetics. Admittedly, the quality and shade selection of the UD Naked Palette is much better, but it does come with a price.
What is your favorite inexpensive eyeshadow palette?