I've had the ELF EYE TRANSFORMER for a little while and decided to review it. It appears to be a rather popular item, seeing that several beauty-blogs have also reviewed it, but here is my take on it =)
First impressions - I thought they could have come up with a better name for the product instead of EYE TRANSFORMER (made me think of the cartoon about vehicles that transform into robot warriors?). At the back of the packaging, there is a shade name (although there seems to be only one variety available): "Pastel Illusions". Now that sounds better than Eye Transformer, doesn't it? For a budget brand, a better marketing strategy might be to come up with more attractive, exotic sounding names; but I don't think they quite worry about that, since their selling point is above-average quality MU at unbelievably low price-points (mostly between USD$1 - 3).
So what does it do? According to the ELF website, the Eye Transformer can:
"Convert your shadows into brand new shades with these four opalescent shadows. Wear alone, under, over or in combination with your other makeup. The opal tones transform your dark color into a new shimmering hue. Wear alone or in combination with your favorite eyeshadow or liner color to transform the shade. Simply blend in with other color to create your unique hue."
Image taken from http://www.eyeslipsface.com/studio/eyes/eyeshadow/eye_transformer
As many have noted, many ELF compacts are reminiscent of NARS packaging - rectangular, sleek black compacts with white lettering; I very sadly DO NOT OWN any NARS products *wail* and cannot judge for myself. The Eye Transformer has a small see-through window where you can see the product. The flip-top compact opens to reveal a rectangular mirror - I must point out that the mirror is of good quality; its not one of those that distorts or magnifies your reflection.
There are 4 pans of the opalescent shadows - GREEN, ORANGE, PINK and BLUE. The total product weight indicated is 10gm; each pan is thus reportedly 2.5gm each. For reference, MUFE eyeshadows are also 2.5gm but the pan sizes are very very different; it could be that the ELF Eye Transformer pans are very deep (as opposed to the flatter, shallower MUFE pans?)
The Eye Transformer also comes with a little brush. Usually, I almost immediately toss brushes that come with compacts / palettes, given that they're often of lousy quality. Can't say the same for this one - the brush, while TINY, is well made and very soft. It is like a miniature version of the ELF Studio Line Eyeshadow C Brush - below are some pictures which demonstrate the likeness.
See how tiny the brush is?
L-R: ELF Studio Line Eyeshadow C Brush; Brush that comes with Eye Transformer
There is no discernible scent at all.
Texture and My Method of Use:
For such an inexpensive product, I was expecting the opalescent shadows to be powdery and leave a tonne of fall-out. Boy, was I wrong - I have zero fall-out with it and while the shadows seem powdery when you swatch it on your fingers (i.e just swipe the product with your fingertips), they blend very smoothly on the back of my hand and eyes. On their own, the colours are not strong at all; in fact, it might be a little difficult to differentiate them, especially the orange and pink. Below is a heavy (dry) swatch of the 4 opalescent shadows WITHOUT ANY BASE.
Swatches of Eye Transformer without any base
The shadows can be used to transform either an eyeshadow or an eyeliner. Like other reviews have mentioned, I find that the best effect is obtained when the opalescent shadows are layered over a deep BLACK eyeshadow or eyeliner. The deepest black eyeshadow I have in my stash in the Ed Pinaud baked eyeshadow (which I usually use foiled) and my deepest black eyeliner is the Bourjois Contour Clubbing Waterproof eyeliner in Black Party. Below are swatches of the black eyeshadow and black eyeliner that have been "transformed" by the Eye Transformer.
PS: The pictures are not of the best quality, but I hope you can see the "transformation" =)
Above 2 pictures: SWATCHES OF EYE TRANSFORMER ON ED PINAUD BLACK EYESHADOW
Above 2 pictures: SWATCHES OF EYE TRANSFORMER ON BOURJOIS CONTOUR CLUBBING WATERPROOF EYELINER in BLACK PARTY
For application on eyeshadow: It seems to work well with any brush; so far, I've tried it with the ELF Studio Line Contour brush and Small Smudge brush. I've even tried to blend it with my pinky finger and had no application issues. I find that the intensity of colour can be built up by layering it on a few times and blending it with the eyeshadow.
For application on eyeliners: I've used it with my small angled brush and the miniature Eyeshadow C brush that came with the palette. For obvious reasons, it worked better with the small angled brush =)
As you can see, it actually works well - its great for smokey eyes with a colour-kick or to coordinate your eyeliner with your eyeshadow, if you don't already have coloured eyeliners. The opalescent effect really makes the colours pop on the deep base; the tranformers are also pigmented enough to totally change the look of the black eyeshadow and eyeliner - it is neither faint nor pastel. Personally, I prefer the effect of the BLUE and GREEN transformers; the PINK is nice but I think MAC's PINK OPAL pigment creates a similar effect, albeit more intense. I found the ORANGE to have a sheerer effect and it doesn't stand out as much as the BLUE and GREEN; perhaps I need to play around with it more to see how I can better it.
When I bought it, I was hoping that it would create sort of a duochrome or even holographic effect (flashes different colours at different angles) but I'm happy with the opalescent effect created nonetheless. I've been using this to jazz up my black shadows and liners rather often.
Its a good product to have if you can get your hands on it and at USD$3, its definitely value-for-money. I would love it if ELF would create another palette with another 4 colours - let me help them decide: GOLD, SILVER, BRONZE and PURPLE!!!
Do you like what you see? Would you get it?