e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow {Review} [DC]

This post contains affiliate links

Rating: 5/5 stars ★★★★★
Price: $3 USD
Shades Available: 26 shades
Weight: .03 oz
Where to Buy: Discontinued

Update: Unfortunately, the Mineral Eyeshadows have been discontinued along with the Mineral line.

Back in April, I bought five Mineral Eyeshadows from the e.l.f. mineral line: Elegant, Celebrity, Sweet, Confident, and Socialite. Each comes in a plastic transparent sifter jar with a black lid and holds .03 oz.

For those of you unfamiliar, the e.l.f. mineral line is supposed to be a knock-off version of the higher priced equivalents on the market. By and large, they do a good job making an economical, (mostly) vegan alternative to companies like bareMinerals. The costs vary from $3 USD for eyeshadows to $8 USD for the Mineral Glow products. On the mineral foundation level, I feel that e.l.f. completely misses the mark by only offering a scant five colour choices. Then again, I haven’t tried the e.l.f. mineral foundation.

Currently, e.l.f. mineral eyeshadow jars hold only .03 oz. As a comparison, Everyday Minerals eyeshadow jars hold .09 oz. The former is $3 USD, while the latter is $6 USD (EDM keeps changing things so I don’t have current figures). In relation to size, the width of both companies’ jars are nearly identical, but EDM’s containers are taller.

A comparison between e.l.f. and EDM eyeshadow jars

Despite being on the small side, the packaging works very well. The jar’s plastic is hard and durable, but not brittle. The biggest plus is that the lids close much better than those of Everyday Minerals. I’m constantly irritated with EDM’s packaging. Every time I use EDM eyeshadows, powder gets trapped between the lid and container, then falls out all over my makeup drawer. The lids for the EDM sample jars untwist and leak all over my purse. So far, I haven’t any major accidents, but I do periodically check the lids.

The sifter holes are the main drawback to the packaging. The four holes are square and too large for eyeshadow powder. For awhile, I thought I was running out of shadow, until I realized it had just transferred to the top section. As a side note, the containers shown on the e.l.f. website appear to be those for the foundation or blush jars, not eyeshadow.

A comparison between the sifters in e.l.f. and EDM eyeshadow jars

The little cardboard boxes the jar come in are not the best quality. The design is cute, but the cardboard is rather flimsy. It’s surprising, given the quality for the Mineral Lip Gloss—also $3 USD—is quite good. Then again, what do you expect for three dollars? If anything, e.l.f. should drop the packaging for the mineral line altogether. Maybe they’d give us an extra .5 gram in exchange.

All in all, not bad for a $3 eyeshadow, and mineral to boot. You won’t be embarrassed walking around these shadows in your purse (if you’re willing to risk having the lid unscrewing and spewing eyeshadow everywhere).


Overall the colors are really good. A little product goes a long way.

Left to Right: Elegant, Celebrity,>Sweet (Top Row)
Socialite, Confident (Bottom Row)

The shadow is very easy to apply and stays on a long time, even for those without access to an eyeshadow primer. But you should wear a primer.


The shades on the e.l.f. website aren’t accurate (e.l.f. swatches on the website not being accurate?), but do give a rough idea of how they appear in real life. I’ll warn you that the images for the eyeshadow on the website have been manually edited. That is to say, e.l.f. did not photograph each colour, but rather took one picture and altered the colour to approximate each eyeshadow shade. Yes, e.l.f. shouldn’t have done that…but that’s what they did. I find the little swatches to be more accurate than the container image that pops up when the mouse rolls over the swatch. On my monitor, Elegant, Celebrity and Sweet look fairly accurate, Confident is sort of similar, and Socialite is so wrong, I didn’t even recognize the corresponding swatch on the site. I am serious.

The e.l.f. mineral eyeshadow is extremely shimmery and usually results in a foiled look. Nothing by EDM even touches the shimmer in these shadows. If you’re in your early twenties, it’s probably not a big deal, but that’s not always the case those of us a little older.


e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Swatches: Innocent, Elegant, Celebrity, Golden, and Caffeinated

Innocent [matte]

One of the few matte shades in the e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow line, Innocent is an ivory cream shade bordering on white. It leans towards the chalky side.

Elegant [shimmer/metallic]

It’s one of the lightest shades in the line, but it’s not as light as depicted on the website. It’s a great highlighter and has a nice payoff. It’s not white, but more of an earthy gold. It’s basically a lighter version of Celebrity. The colour is very close to the pictures I posted.

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Swatches: Earthy, Royal, Innocent, Enchanting

Enchanting [matte]

Another matte Mineral Eyeshadow, Enchanting is a russet brown with strong warm undertones. It is similar to Kayak by Everyday Minerals (previously reviewed here), that I think has been discontinued, so I don’t know why I brought it up.

I really like this shade, but I think it’s a difficult shade for most individuals to pull off.

Celebrity [shimmer/metallic]

I read nothing but good reviews of Celebrity before purchasing and it lives up to the hype. From the swatches I saw online, I expected the colour to be more similar to how Elegant is in real life. It’s not. It definitely has a lot colour. I use it solely as a lid colour, with Elegant on the brow highlighter.

I expected the shade to be very gold, similar to Everyday Mineral’s Oasis. It’s very metallic, but a champagne shade, as opposed to a yellowish-orange, 14k gold.

Confident [shimmer/metallic]

I prefer a subtle look, so I don’t often use what I refer to as “crease shadows”—the dark, smokey colours—on my lids. Confident is a taupe-y brown with purple undertones and matches a lot of my pink/brown eyeshadows.

Golden [shimmer/metallic]

Like the name implies, this is a gold shade. It’s almost a spot on dupe of Urban Decay’s Half Baked.

Erm, for some reason I don’t have any swatches of this shade. I’ll have to get on that.

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Swatches: Royal, Socialite, Confident, Wild, Caffeinated, Sassy

Caffeinated [shimmer/metallic]

A good crease color, Caffeinated is a mid-tone brown with gold and green undertones.

I haven’t been too interested in this color due to the green undertones. I don’t think it works that well with my skin.

This shade is very similar to Silk Natural’s Scout, a clone of Urban Decay’s Smog.

Wild [shimmer/glitter]

Wild is one of the shades I haven’t liked. It is a strong brown with large, silver flakes. The texture is oddly granular.


e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Swatches: Sweet, Natural, Enchanting, Sassy, and Earthy

Sweet [shimmer/metallic]

I’ve been on a real big pink kick lately and wanted a nice pink eyeshadow. I read a lot of good reviews about the colour Sweet, so I about had a heart attack when I pulled the jar out of the box. It’s really, really pink. Not subtle in the least. I attempted to make the photographs I posted reflect just how bright pink this shade is, and I think I succeeded. Fortunately, it’s the one colour that doesn’t go on as pigmented as it looks in the jar. It’s still too strong of a pink to use all over my eyes, so I layer it on top of Celebrity or Elegant on the eyelid.

Natural [shimmer/metallic]

A shade very similar to Sweet, but warmer and leaning towards peach.

Trendy [shimmer]

I like Trendy a lot. It appears pinkish/purple in the jar, but it’s really just shimmery. There’s not a whole lot of color pigmentation. It’s a great shade when you’re going for a tame look, but still want to have a little fun sparkle.

Temptress [matte]

This is a really weird mauve shade. I don’t personally find it flattering.

Sassy [shimmer/metallic]

If you loved the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, Sassy is probably up your ally. It is one of those amazing rose colored neutrals.

It’s very similar to Silk Natural’s Loaded—my favorite eyeshadow shade ever and a clone of Urban Decay’s Toasted—though Sassy is a bit warmer.

Greens & Blues

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Duo Swatches: Green Fields Collection (Earthy and Outdoorsy)
and Sea Blue Eyeshadow Collection (Dreamy and Beachy)

Earthy [shimmer/metallic]

This is probably the easiest shade of green I can wear. Earthy, as the name implies, is a subtle green with yellow undertones.

Outdoorsy [shimmer/metallic]

This would be a great shade of green if I could apply it without it turning muddy. Unlike other shades, green tend to have a black base. Even when I’m being uber careful, I still end up looking like I’m wearing a sparkly black eyeshadow.

Dreamy [shimmer/metallic]

A very pretty light, aqua blue that borders on turquoise.

Beachy [shimmer/metallic]

This is a very vibrant shade of blue. It’s super pigmented.


e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Swatches: Girly, Trendy, Temptress, Mysterious, Confident, Royal, and Socialite

Royal [shimmer/metallic]

I originally expected this to be a blue shade (you know, royal blue), but it’s a really gorgeous purple. I don’t wear purples too often, due to having warm undertoned skin, but I think Royal works well for me.

Mysterious [matte]

A light lilac with very little shimmer and strong blue undertones.

Girly [shimmer]

A strong lilac shade with warmer undertones than Mysterious.

Socialite [shimmer/metallic]

This is a very dark taupe with slight brown and purple undertones. While very similar to Confident, Socialite is on the cooler side, appearing almost purple.

It resembles Revolver from Silk Naturals, a clone of Urban Decay’s Pistol.


Final Thoughts

Pros: Budget-friendly, huge selection of shades, pigmented, easy to apply, color range, durable packaging
Cons: Shimmery finish, lack of matte/pearl shades, sifter holes could be smaller

Overall, I think the e.l.f. eyeshadows are wonderful. They are very inexpensive—dare I say, cheap—apply well, and come in nicely designed sifter jars. The colour options are very good, long-lasting and show up well on the skin. Honestly, I think they are better than the Everyday Minerals eyeshadows. I have difficulty getting EDM shadows to show up well on my skin.

That said, I think e.l.f. needs to tone down the shimmer. I adore sparkle, but here it’s way too much! I would also like a little more product, but maybe I’m expecting too much. I still have nearly full containers, though I purchased the shadows back in April.