Mad for Matte: e.l.f.’s Insanely Good $10 Eyeshadow Palettes

There are some products in the world of affordable beauty that no one really talks about, and I can’t figure out why. e.l.f., for one, makes more products than you can shake a stick at, so the chances of having one that’s amazing is pretty darn good. In their case, though, they have an entire eyeshadow line that performs better than some prestige brands. The e.l.f. Mad for Matte eyeshadow palettes are entirely worth the $10 e.l.f. asks for them.

My first Mad for Matte palette was the second one, the Mad for Matte 2… which I just learned two seconds ago is actually called the Summer Breeze Palette. Then, I picked up their most recent release, the Holy Smokes Palette. Now, they’re releasing their fourth Mad for Matte offering, Mad for Matte Jewel Pop, which makes talking about these palettes officially long overdue.

The first, original Mad for Matte palette, Nude Mood, honestly looks kinda bland next to its siblings.

Sure, these are valuable shades, and if you have everything but neutrals, bases, and transition colors – get this! But I have these shades about four times over in various eyeshadow palettes, so I’ll likely never buy it.

The Jewel Pop palette was released like two days ago, so I don’t have that either. If I were to buy one more, though, it would be Jewel Pop. Those colors look super fun, and if they’re anything like the other Mad for Matte palettes, they’re worth at least three times the asking price.

The only potential duplicates in the Mad for Matte Jewel Pop palette are maybe the two left-most neutrals. And maybe a version of that purple showed up in the Mad for Matte 2 (ugh, Summer Breeze, whatever) palette. Oh, and the black shadow. In fact, we need to talk about that.

If you’ve experimented with any number of eyeshadow palettes, you undoubtedly know that 90% of black eyeshadows are actually grey. Or charcoal, at best. It’s always harrowing to dip a finger in a palette’s black shadow for the first time, you just never know what you’re about to get.

The e.l.f. Mad for Matte palettes, however, have been consistently exceptional.

Mad for Matte Summer Breeze (left) & Mad for Matte Holy Smokes (right)

Look! Black! Actual black! The pigment of this one shade makes each $10 palette infinitely more versatile. You could mock up some black liner, deepen corners into oblivion, and smoke out pretty much any eye look with no issues. Ironically, if I had to choose the better black shadow, it would be from Mad for Matte Summer Breeze. The black shadow in Holy Smokes is fine, but compared to the other one, it looks a tiny bit lighter.

I’m pleased to report that the rest of each palette is just as impressive as their darkest shades. There are peaks and valleys of quality in each, but for the most part, these palettes are reliable and easy to use.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Holy Smokes Palette

Holy Smokes is obviously geared towards darker eye looks, which is why it includes some deep blues and a selection of grey shadows. I love that they included a couple of neutral-to-warm tones with transition shades in mind. The two lightest colors look the most lacklustre because, well, the white in the palette looks like a foundation powder on me. I assure you that they’re pigmented, though the cloudy, light blue is the least impressive performer in the palette.

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The darker blues both perform really well, though they have very different textures. The furthest right blue shadow is much more dry than the other. Two brush dips into any Holy Smokes shadow is enough to get your job done. The kick-up isn’t bad at all. There is some, but just enough to let you know that there will actually be pigment on your brush.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Summer Breeze Palette

I picked up this palette after KathleenLights posted a glowing review. Once I got it, I couldn’t help but see some distinct Modern Renaissance dupe potential in the ten pans. Overall, it’s a mustardy, rosey, warm palette that has an unbelievable number of uses. It is, after all, where the good black shadow lives.

Despite my assessment of this palette as “warm,” there are some shades that run a little neutral. The taupe-grey-brown shade (top row, far right) is a great neutral, and the deeper brown (bottom row, second from right) can also swing both ways.

The Summer Breeze palette has a tiny bit more kick-up than the Holy Smokes palette, but again, it’s really not bothersome. It might require a tap before you start applying, so if for some reason you hate that, take note!


Mad for Matte Application, Longevity & Wear

Neither palette really gave me any fallout issues, but I don’t tend to pack on matte shadows, so my chances of experiencing fallout are already smaller.

As far as longevity goes, I’m impressed. Like, quite impressed. Even after swatching these on my arms, I was able to rub off about half of the shadow, but there was clear pigmentation left behind. The times that I’ve worn these for an entire day, I’ve been pretty happy with my end-of-day mess.

e.l.f. Cosmetics Mad for Matte Summer Breeze palette

If you see one you love, pick it up on e.l.f. Cosmetics website for $10 each:

Bonus: You can get 5% cash back using Ebates, and new sign-ups will get $10 after their first purchase.


Get it now: e.l.f. Mad for Matte Vault!

Yes, e.l.f. threw out a holiday vault featuring three Mad for Matte eyeshadow palettes and some extras.

The Mad for Matte palettes they included are the Nude Mood, Holy Smokes, and Summer Breeze. They’ve also included five lipsticks from three different collections, a blush compact, and a setting mist. It’s pretty much everything you need on the daily minus mascara – BYOFC (Bring Your Own Foundation/Concealer).

Grab all of this for only $45 for a limited time!

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