Can you believe it’s October already?! I thought I’d write this review on the e.l.f Essential Beauty School Books because it’s already almost time to start Christmas shopping. They’re excellent presents/stocking stuffers and I highly recommend buying this for yourself or for somebody else.
**All photos are click to expand.
Mine are from 2011/2012 but e.l.f always brings these awesome beauty books back with re-vamped looks. The books from 2011/2012 were covered in glitter that fell out everywhere so I duct taped the covers to avoid having silver glitter all over the place. I don’t think e.l.f has had glitter packaging since then so now the beauty books are perfect. The shadows themselves are pretty nice. You’ll see in the photos that I’ve given my books quite a bit of love so you can definitely tell that I love them.
The beauty books that are currently being sold on the e.l.f website are nicely packaged but only come with 9 eyeshadows. Despite the 3 shadow difference from last year, I still think it’s a steal. I would have given up 3 shadows from my glitter books to have a smooth, sleek appearance. I still think the current books are worth the $5.00.
Because the books are repackaged often, the products and the amount of shadows included vary. With my 6-shadow books (sleeker packaging), I also had a primer, eyeliner, and an applicator. Some of my books had 12 shadows, an eyeliner pencil mini, and an applicator. Another had 9 shadows, 3 cream liners (terrible), a pencil eyeliner mini, and an applicator. Each of the books have easy to understand instructions (with pictures) on how to use the shadows.
- Rating: 8/10! You cannot beat the value. The only reasons it gets 8/10 are because they are online-only books, and the eyeshadow quality isn’t 100% consistent.
- Buy it or avoid it: BUY IT! Definitely buy it!
- Included: Most books contain:
– 9-12 eyeshadows
– Half-sized pencil eyeliner (not bad but not good for lining waterline)
– Instructional diagram on how to use shadows
– Plastic cover to protect the book from getting dirty
– A mirror (it’s actually a reflective piece of metallic material but it does come in handy)
- Ease of use: Super easy to use and understand! I love the shades selected for each book. You can create plenty of looks without being overwhelmed by a huge number of eyeshadow colors.
- Ease of depotting: Very easy. They’re glued in well enough but they’ll pop right out without shattering if you wanted to put them in a customizable palette. If not, a little heat from a blow dryer should do the trick.
- Quality: Hit or miss. Most shadows are good, some are excellent, and some are lousy. To my surprise, it’s not entirely the matte shades that are lousy. Some of the poorly pigmented shades are satin finish shades.
- Pigmentation: Overall, I’d say 10 out of the 12 shades perform nicely per book, which equates to 1 out of 6 shades performing questionably. The dark shades are nice but they’re not as saturated as some may like them to be. For those who like subtle smoky eyes, these will be great. For those who like to use dark shadow to line the eyes, these books might frustrate you.
- Fall out: There is quite a bit of fall out if you use it dry and with a brush. There isn’t much fall out when used dry with a clean finger.
- Bendability: Pretty great. These shadows are packed a bit looser compared to higher end brands but I think that helps with blending all of the colors of your look together seamlessly. I barely have to put any effort into blending my shadows when I use e.l.f.
- Wet/dry application: Most shades can be used dry without much trouble. I, however, do like to use the eyeshadows wet so I can reach maximum opacity of the colors and to avoid any fall out. I actually use the e.l.f Mist & Set spray to wet the eyeshadows rather than using water. I love the outcome when I do this.
- Performance: This depends entirely on your choice of base/primer. I haven’t had a problem with most eyelid primers. They work well with long-lasting cream shadows. I don’t think they’re great with cream bases but I’m also somebody who has oily lids, so cream products slip right off if they aren’t a long-lasting formula.
- Variety: You get every type of eyeshadow with these books – glitter, shimmer, satin, and matte finishes.
- Would I repurchase: If I didn’t already have 10 e.l.f eyeshadow palettes/beauty books, I definitely would repurchase. I’m actually very tempted to buy the ones on the site but I know I don’t need them.
First photo: random swatches from 6 shadow palettes
Second photo top row to bottom: Natural Eye Edition Book, Every Day Shadows Book, Smoky Eye Edition Book
Third photo: Eyeliner swatch