Review: Elf Holiday Palette

I decided to redeem myself since last year’s ELF review fiasco, and do another review- this time of the 144 eyeshadow palette.  I do not change my opinion about last year’s palettes not being worth the money- you all know that I am no makeup snob, and love many drugstore products (here’s some posts HERE on best drugstore makeup), but I will be honest and say if I like something or not.

Here’s my beliefs on where to spend your money when it comes to makeup:

  • Buy high end foundations or face powders if possible, as they generally are formulated with better ingredients and provide better coverage (except the Revlon Colorstay- I have sworn by this foundation for years)
  • High end brands have a wider range of brushes and will last longer especially if you’re using and washing them on a regular basis. Spend your money here as your brushes will last you many years.
  • Save money by buying less expensive lipglosses, eyeliners, mascaras, and lipsticks- these are just as good if not better than high end brands.  I know for fact that almost ALL eyeliners are made from the exact same lab, so don’t bother buying a high end one unless they have a color that is unique
  • Save money by buying less expensive eyeshadow palettes IF you know they are good quality.  Loreal HIP has some great shadows, and the 120 or 28 eyeshadow palettes put out by Mani, Coastal Scents, or BH Cosmetics (these are all manufactured from the same labs in China- FYI. )  Brands like MAC, Urban Decay, and Makeup Geek have wider range of colors for you to choose from, so if you like playing with lots of colors, buy these to supplement your other drugstore brands.
  • Blushes- Milani has some great blushes, and ELF’s blushes are nice as well.  I prefer spending a bit more on Tarte’s blushes as they are more organic in ingredients and don’t break me out.  This product is totally up to you on how much you want to spend and how sensitive your skin is
OK, enough of me blabbing about where to spend your money!  On to the ELF palette review :)

I picked up this palette at my local Target as I wanted to see if the shadows were any different from previous ones.  ELF has several different palettes that come out around the Holidays- this neutral one looked most promising :)

It has 144 eyeshadows- each shadow is about an inch square just for reference.  I love the mixture of shimmery and matte finish shadows as well as colors.  It has browns, nudes, silvers, and even purples and coppers.  The quality isn’t bad for the price, but the shimmery shadows are better than the mattes.  The mattes tend to be a bit chalky and don’t show up well, so you definitely need a primer under these.

You definitely can’t beat the price, and the palette is very eye catching as it’s so dang big!  Plus there’s enough colors to play with for the entire year- haha!  My main complaint is I wouldn’t wear any of the matte shadows because they don’t show up well for me, but I would use the shimmery ones :)


  • Cannot beat the price for this many eyeshadows
  • Great variety of colors and finishes
  • Sleek plastic case so is easy to clean and carry around
  • Clear lid so you can see all the colors


  • Matte shadows are too chalky and not pigmented
  • You will need an eye primer to keep the eyeshadows from moving while blending

Price:   $15

Where to Buy:  Target or ELF online

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CEO of Makeup Geek and Makeup Educator


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Hi Marlena! I’ve found the same thing with a lot of elf’s matte shadows, particularly in the larger palettes. It almost seems as though there is a hard layer on the outside of the matte colors. If you work at it, it’s almost like the color “softens up” or something. Maybe you can shed some light on that? Can makeup oxidize or “dry up” on it’s outer layer?

Hi Marlena!

I think you are absolutely beautiful and I am very new to a lot of things makeup, including Makeup Geek. I just wanted to say that I love watching your You Tube videos which is where I came across you! I just watched your review on the “E.l.f. Neutral Eyeshadow Palette”, I am looking into purchasing the “E.l.f. Everyday Eyeshadow Palette” actually, it comes with 100 shades for $10 where I am. I believe the palette includes all warm, cool, and neutrals? I’m not really sure. Besides e.l.f., are they any other eyeshadow palettes you would suggest for a gal in college with a budget? Well, you are very inspirational and do keep up your wonderful work! Thank you!!

I just bought the 144 Brights palette and I love it! Every color has been amazing so far, even the mattes. I got it on sale and used my employee discount at Target so I got it for about 8 dollars. Super steal! Plus it’s just so pretty to look at, with all the pretty colors. :D

I looked at the 144 Brights palette too. I have not went shopping yet, but I am gong soon. At first I decided against the 144 Brights palette because that’s 144 shades, a lot of shades. Is the palette a mix of matte and shimmery shadows? A mixture of all cool, warm, & bright? I’m not sure, I didn’t really look much into it, however, now that you recommend it, and I did look at it before, I will check it out again! :)

I also wanted to leave in here, I know this has nothing to do with eye shadows, but, it is makeup based, any comments from anyone about Makeup Geeks brushes? When I shop, I’m looking into some new brushes for myself and I thought about doing a mixture of Eco Tools and Makeup Geek. Currently, the only brushes I have are basic ones that came with a Bare Escentuals Get Started Kit I bought a couple years ago. Any comments will be greatly appreciated!

Hi Marlena !

I’ve just bought the “E.L.F 100 piece eyeshadow set” (it’s not the same palette as in the video) and it’s exciting to have all of these colors for so cheap. But some of the eyeshadows are not well pigmented and it’s a little bit hard to blend them. I used the “Lemon aid” eye primer by Benefit but it makes the eyeshadows look cakey. Which primer should you recommend for E.L.F eyeshadows?
Thank you so much

Kind regards from Paris (and by the way, sorry for my bad english ;)) )


I just bought this palette too. i’m new at doing make up so would really appreciate if you’d create looks using this product. thanks!