An Eye Shadow Steal: ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette

I Bought It

ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette review and swatch pictures
Have you seen the e.l.f. Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette California? It looks quite a bit like the Sephora Moonshadow Baked Palette – In The Nude, which is obviously much more expensive. They’re pretty good dupes in terms of shades, though I’ve found there are a few tricks to using this palette. I do really like it, I included it in my post on the Best Products From ELF

ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California

All 10 shadows in this palette are metallic with frosty shimmer. While you probably wouldn’t go overboard with this palette for an every day look, it’s great for adding a little extra something to a daytime look or to create an amazing smoky eye for night!

Swatch of ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California

Here I’ve swatched the shadows on my arm, both dry (and I hope you’re not using shadows dry) and with primer. I grabbed the ELF Glitter Primer for this, mostly because I had ordered them together so the tube was sitting right next to me. However, after using the shadows for a while (it’s been about 6 months) I’ve found that you really do need to use a primer with some “grab” when using these shadows, they’re just too powdery to work well with a regular eye shadow primer. So, the ELF Glitter Primer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance or Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy are my choices.

Review of ELF Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette in California

When swatching this palette, I found that the shadows are pretty hard, even for a baked shadow. I had to press quite a bit with a q-tip to get any shadow, and when it came it was pretty powdery. Then, once you have that shadow you need to pat (not sweep) it on to the area of application (where you have a grabby shadow primer). This is true when using the palette on yourself as well. I actually use q-tips to apply it to the area I want, then go back to blend with a brush.

While it does take a little extra to work with these shadows, once you’ve figured out the tricks I think they’re a steal! For $10 you get 10 really pretty shimmery colors that you can work into almost any look. I really love that upper left shadow as an inner corner highlight and many of the darker colors are amazing along the lash line (I blend them into black liner using a stiff angled liner brush).



  1. March 6, 2014 / 4:57 pm

    @ 15minute beauty—thanks for the post, it looks like a great neutral selection. And very affordable, always nice. I'm new to your blog and always use eye shadow dry, can you please explain or link to using it wet?? Thanks for your time.M.

  2. March 6, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    Hi Love your blog! You are an excellent writer and your medical expertise really ramps up the impact of your opinions.
    anyway lately I am concerned with products "made in China." Lots of press about the lack of safeguards in manufacturing, toxic chemicals, etc.
    Elf cosmetics are "made in China," so I have avoided buying them.
    what is your opinion?
    How about the country of manufacture of cosmetics: does that make a difference in the potential safety of the products?
    Does the EU have better safeguards for cosmetics safety?
    Any way, thanks for your great blog!

  3. March 6, 2014 / 5:30 pm

    @Lysee Gyrl- In order to be sold in the US, there are certain manufacturing and ingredient guidelines that have to be met, otherwise they wouldn't be able to sell the products here. A large number of products from other US brands are made in China as well. Many brands have their own guidelines that are even more strict than what the FDA has put out for cosmetics. I wouldn't worry so much about the safety because of where it is made in particular, but rather where the formulations are allowed to be sold. The EU does have stricter guidelines for the products sold there (not necessarily made there), so if a product is formulated the same for use in the EU as in the US it probably has met different standards. I don't know of a way to ensure that you're getting EU formulations other than buying there, there are some products sold in the US and the EU that have slightly different formulas for the areas, even Nivea cream is different over there than in the US.

    @Marianne, not wet, just over a primer. Applying something to the lid will make it "grab" on to the shadow, making it more intense, last longer and cut down on creasing! You can use a wet shadow brush to apply shadows, but that isn't generally something for every day use (it creates a much more intense look, great for going out at night), I think I've done it once or twice.

  4. March 6, 2014 / 6:46 pm

    @Christine—thank you!! Duh, sorry, I took it a little too literal:). Thanks for your time.

  5. March 6, 2014 / 8:00 pm

    Wow! that was fast and so informative! thanks so much for your response

  6. March 7, 2014 / 5:11 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I bought the palette after your "Best Products from ELF" post, then was disappointed in the pigmentation of the shadows. I used a primer, but it was the NARS Smudgeproof, which isn't sticky at all. I try using a different primer with them, and the q-tip method is worth a try as well. The colors are so pretty, I want to make it work!

  7. March 7, 2014 / 10:04 am

    Can you get them in UK? Sounds really good and reasonable.

  8. March 7, 2014 / 1:20 pm

    I have read from another blog that things that are sold in china has to be animal tested, I do not know if that is true, and i do not know if made in china products have to be tested as well ..

  9. March 7, 2014 / 3:02 pm

    Sold in China does have to be tested, but just made in China and sold elsewhere doesn't.

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