Filed to : Things I didn’t need but purchased anyway. Blame laid to : beloved commenter Lawler, who brought to my attention the existence of a Christian Siriano / e.l.f. collab, which included a seven-pan eye palette with some shades that looked QUITE COMPELLING INDEED. Is it good? Is it trash? LET’S FIND OUT.
WHAT THAT IS
It’s a pretty cute and reasonably well-sized (at just shy of 4.5″ long, it’s easy to hold and not overly bulky) eye palette. The case is fuchsia chrome-finish plastic, with an overprint (slightly raised) of lime/black/rose in a vaguely ikat-fabric pattern. It has a magnetic closure, a mirror in the lid, a dual-ended brush, and a surface that collects fingerprints like a mofo (as all chrome-finish things do).
WHAT’S IT LIKE
The included brush is marginally useful. Bristles are synthetic (nylon, I believe?) and quite soft. The shorter brush end is of medium density, and is functional for A) applying a sheer wash of one of the lighter colors and B) some low-key blending. The longer brush end is comparatively sparse/loose/bendy, and really only good for dusting away fallout — it’s far too floppy to be much use in application, except maybe for just the lightest wash of shimmer-highlight. The shades are … a compelling yet kinda odd mix? Clockwise from top left, there’s a pale petal pink matte, a satin-pearl (very faint/low-key shimmer) peacock blue, a matte blackened eggplant with a hint of blue pearl, a big well of very shimmery pale peachy-ivory, a matte red plum/desaturated magenta, a bright parrot green metallic/shimmer, and a warm midrange gold-khaki shimmer. LET’S SEE SOME SWATCHES!
e.l.f. x Christian Siriano eye swatches
First, without primer. Annnnnd…yeah. Many of these do not do well on bare skin. The pale pink matte is almost invisible, as it’s a pretty close match to my own skin tone. The blue and eggplant have pretty abysmal adhesion on their own, the ivory shimmer highlight shade is fine (when are these shades ever NOT fine?), the plum is a bad joke except I’m not laughing, the green is actually pretty damn good, ditto the warm golden-khaki shimmer (which is also a really hard shade to screw up).
e.l.f. x Christian Siriano eye swatches, w/primer
With primer, there’s a good bit of improvement. The blue actually builds up to pretty good opacity and is a lovely shade, although I do wish it had more pronounced shimmer or sparkle. The eggplant also is easier to get opaque over primer, but the blue pearl that shows up in the pan is almost invisible when applied, and really only serves to make the finish look kinda muddy and dull. The plum also improves markedly over primer, and is actually buildable to opacity. The green and gold look even better over primer.
I did a look on each eye with these, to test their application and blending and so forth — the pink/purple hues on one side, blue/green/gold on the other. And btw, let me just apologize in advance for the effed-up state of my Retin-A-ravaged skin. Ohhhh boy are there some dry flaky things happening in the perimeter/brow area. :(
As with the swatches, the green and gold gave the most payoff, the best finish, and were the easiest to use. The green in particular is pretty fun — applied more sheerly/softly, it’s a nice wash of bright color. Built up, the hue and depth intensify, as does the shimmer-metallic finish. Nice! The golden sandy shade is also pretty foolproof, but honestly, you probably have half a dozen dupes for this already (ditto the pale ivory shimmer highlight shade). (I should also note the blue is the midrange shade I used to blend from bright turquoise to black in Monday’s LOTRT! So that one has already come in handy.)
The petal pink is … fine, and a shade I can probably use as a base to blend other things into. The plum/dull magenta color is, over primer, better than I expected it to be. On bare skin, this bastard is a patchy streaky sheer mess with lousy pigmentation and poor adhesion. Over primer, it’s actually fairly workable. It will build up in intensity, but it faded significantly while blending and I had to layer quite a bit of it to get something like pan color. The eggplant seems to adhere nicely over primer, but I swear to god it creased two minutes after I opened my eye to work on the other one. For real, this pic is not “after six hours of wear” — it’s immediately after I finished applying it, did the other eye, and then came back and tried to patch that weird bare spot with more of the plum and eggplant. Boooooooo.
THE VERDICT : EHHHHH? Listen, this thing was a whopping twelve bucks on e.l.f.’s website. My expectations were not particularly high, despite the fact that I’ve got three other e.l.f. eye makeup formulas I’m super keen on (the Smudge Pots, the Lustrous Long Wear potted creamy shadows, and the liquid Molten shadows are all extremely solid performers for me, and are things I’d definitely buy in more shades). For the price, really, this is fine — I’m sure I’ll use the three light neutral shades with some frequency, and the green and blue are both pretty fun and quite workable. I’m disappointed in the eggplant for its lousy performance and its muddy look even where it does manage to stay solid, and I kinda DGAF about the prune shade, because even if it were A+ and a breeze to use, it’s just not a shade I’d wear much, if ever.
DO YOU NEED IT? I’d say if you don’t hate palettes whose colors you won’t all use, and you feel that you’d wear three or more of these shades (maybe not including the iffy prune and the lousy eggplant) — then yeah, it’s worth getting. The two light shimmery neutrals are quite nice and pretty versatile, the blue can be fun, and the green is really pretty good! But if you’ve got dupes for many of the shades, and were just eyeballing this thing for the purple hues or the blue? I’d skip it. <3
GOT IT? Dig it or loathe it? Discuss!