ELF palettes: Mad for Matte & Prism Eyeshadow

Today it’s time for a long overdue palette review. And I have a good reason for holding it off for a long time: when I first bought these ELF palettes I just wasn’t impressed. While an entire beauty community set and sang the praises of these products, I felt underwhelmed and a bit meh about it. I say so in this video I recorded last summer. Luckily for these product, I gave them another chance, because after playing with these some more I now feel I have a much better idea of what these products are like.

elf eyeshadow palette review swatch mad for matte prism sunset

ELF eyeshadow palettes
Mad for Matte Vol. 1 & Prism Sunset

ELF (or Eyes Lips Face) make up products are incredibly affordable. At a price point of €12 for the Mad for Matte palette and €10 for the Prism palette, it definitely doesn’t break the bank. I had heard so many things about these products, that I was determined to try them. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a while for ELF products to become available here. The website is simply updated less frequently and we don’t get all the latest releases as quickly. that is why I hadn’t tried these until now.

The Packaging


Packaging on ELF products is plain is simple. I like the fuss free style as they make it all about the product rather than the outer edge. The black casings are sleek and slim, however if you have a few of these, they would be difficult to tell apart. The only difference between the two is the name printed on the front.

Mad for Matte Vol. 1

elf eyeshadow palette review swatch mad for matte prism sunset

Could this be the most hyped up palette on the internet? It could be and with hype comes expectation. The selection range of this budget friendly all matte eyeshadow palette is great. There is anything and everything in between: from good highlight shades to darker and medium browns. This palette has it all in a range of warmer and cool toned shades.

elf eyeshadow palette review swatch mad for matte prism sunset

It was when I swatched these when I first turned weary. While pigmented these shades are very powdery and many shades are very similar. This leads to them to blend away easily and become one big murky mess as everything blends either into nothingness or one another. On the other hand, some shades are very stubborn and difficult to blend.

This is why at first glance, I wasn’t in love with this. These shadows are soft and need a little bit of work if you want to turn this into a good eye look. I found this a palette that is great as a companion palette, but to be wearing this on its own just didn’t work for me. I found that with enough patience and if you take your time you can make this work for you and that makes this a good affordable option to keep around.

Prism Sunset

elf eyeshadow palette review swatch mad for matte prism sunset

Apart from the Mad for Matte palettes, ELF also does a full on shimmer range and again I had heard great things. There are three different varieties and I went with one that was a little bit more special but still wearable and more everyday. The shades range from pinks to peaches, golds, corals and you have a pink toned purple as well.

elf eyeshadow palette review swatch mad for matte prism sunset

Again swatches of these shades do not look too impressive. The pigmentation is alright and these aren’t as powdery. However, as shimmery as these look in the pan, that’s not how shimmery they are once applied. After a bit of trial and error, I found that these work best when foiled. Applied with a dampened brush these shades become much more intense.

My favorite shade here is the peachy shade (no. 3 from the left) and the coral (no. 5 from the left). The lightest shade makes a good inner corner highlight and I find myself linking to use this palette in accordance with the matte palette. I find that the shades in these palettes correspond quite nicely. However, I do feel that it makes for very similar make up looks time and time again. This is why I only have one make up look to show you.

The Look

elf eyeshadow palette review swatch mad for matte prism sunset

I don’t remember exactly what I did to create this look. What I do know is that I used the peachy shade from the Prism palette onto my moving lid and used Mad for Matte to complement the rest. I used the warmer tones in the palette, using mostly the shades on the left hand side of the palette, rather than the darker, more cool toned ones on the right. The final result is a pretty neutral eyeshadow look that is great for everyday.

elf eyeshadow palette review swatch mad for matte prism sunset

After using this a few times since buying it, I have to change my opinion every so slightly. This isn’t horrible by any means. It is just that I had expected more after all of the rave reviews. These shadows aren’t too versatile either which is another reason why I was let down. They are all a bit samey samey and blend away easily or just look the same on the eye. I have been happy with every look I created, but it’s not been mindblowingly awesome or anything that I didn’t already have.

The Conclusion

So my conclusion? For the price point, these are very decent palettes. They require a bit of work and attention, but when you do these are workable and great neutral shades to have. Are these the must haves everyone makes them out to be? In my opinion: No. If you already own a bit of make up then I would pass up on these. However, if you’re a beginner and am building your collection and are looking for a good mad and/ or shimmer palette to play with than these are a good find.

What do you think of ELF make up?

15 responses to “ELF palettes: Mad for Matte & Prism Eyeshadow”

  1. Too bad they’re not “wow” but I guess elf is a brand more for younger people who are just starting to wear makeup. I got an elf palette ages ago and the quality is similar to how you describe these – I can make them work if I put a base underneath.

  2. I like my elf primer & contour/illuminating palettes, but these eyeshadow swatches are pretty underwhelming. You look very nice as always, but it seems there are other brands out there doing this better. Sorry internet.

  3. Thank you so much for the honest review. I’ve heard so many people rave about this, that I’ve been wanting to try it out. But then again, I keep on accumulating make up, so I want to be sure everything I get is worth it! So this’ll be a pass for me! xoxox Sarah

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