Review: Elf’s Rose Gold Palette

Is anyone else just in love with all things rose gold? It really seems like rose gold is having a moment, most likely thanks to the success of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette and all the dupes it inspired. As someone who loves drugstore makeup–I don’t know why, but I just reach for it so much more often than my high-end stuff–I have been loving all of the beautiful rosy-toned eyeshadows I’ve been seeing! I stumbled across this Elf Nude Rose Gold palette on Instagram and have wanted to try it out for months, but it’s been sold out on Elf’s website, and it’s not sold in stores (yet). Now it’s finally back in stock, and I have really been enjoying it. It retails for $10 on Elf’s site, and contains 10 shadows that are a mix of matte and shimmer.

(UPDATE: If you’d like to see how this palette compares to other drugstore and affordable rose gold palettes, check out my Battle of the Drugstore Rose Gold Palettes post!)

First, I love the packaging. It is in the same packaging as Elf’s other 10-shadow palettes (Mad for Matte, Need It Nude, etc.) as well as their Prism palettes. It is long and thin, sturdy but not bulky, and contains a mirror that runs the full length of the palette. One potential drawback is that because the packaging is all the same on their palettes, if you own a bunch of them it can be hard to differentiate (the name of the palette is often only printed on a sticker) but for me, I actually like when a brand uses consistent packaging. The Naked palettes drive me nuts–they are all part of the same series but they all look slightly different. This is obviously totally a personal preference thing, and it wouldn’t keep me from buying them, but it does just bug me. But back to Elf …

Elf has really stepped up its game in the eyeshadow department. They’ve never been bad, but the eyeshadows in these new palettes are really exceptional. They are not stiff or powdery, and they are very nicely pigmented. They’re not as highly pigmented as, say, an Anastasia Beverly Hills palette (I swear, the Modern Renaissance palette is gorgeous but actually intimidates me with the level of intense pigment in those shadows), but the shadows are solid, true-to-color, shadows with very little fallout. The blend beautifully but the look does not become muddy–you can still distinguish the different colors on the eye.

I was a bit surprised, however, that these shadows were called “rose gold”–in my mind, that typically indicates a very warm shade range. This is easily the most cool-toned rose gold palette I’ve tested. All of the shades seem to have slight lavender undertones, so the resulting look is somewhere between purple are rose. For those of you who love the rose gold trend but prefer cool-toned shadows, this is the perfect drugstore palette for you. It is not so cool-toned that people who like warm shades would be unable to use it, however. I have fair skin with olive undertones but I don’t feel this palette makes me look gray or sallow, as some cool shades do. It just walks that line perfectly.

I’ve included a close-up of the palette and swatches below. While some appear warmer in the pan, you can see the lavender undertones in many of the shades in the swatches.

As you can see, some of the shades could certainly make a warmer look, but overall they veer lavender. I actually love the shade range in this palette. The matte purple-y taupes are stunning, and one of my favorites is that steely, smoky purple (second from the top)–it creates a perfect cool smoky eye. But there are also shades like that warm copper (in the middle) that could be combined with the cream and taupe to create a completely different, less rosy look. You could go with shades of pink (swatched on the bottom) for a beautiful springtime look, or combine the upper shades for something more deep and fall-like. You could really go as natural or as smoky as you like with this palette. For all of these reasons, I think it is a versatile palette, great for travel, and a really solid addition to the rose gold selection at the drugstore.

Final word: I highly recommend this palette for anyone, but especially for those of you who prefer cool-toned eyeshadows and are feeling a bit left out by all the warm palettes that are currently saturating the market. This is also a perfect palette for those of you who, like me, love warm tones but want to experiment with cooler shades. It is an easy, versatile palette to use, and the shadows are not so pigmented that they are intimidating to work with, but are pigmented enough that they show up true-to-color and do not become muddy. This is another solid palette from one of my favorite brands.

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