Tuesday, December 6, 2011

E.L.F. review

I purchased a bunch of things when E.L.F (eyes, lips, face) had a sale awhile ago and I got basically everything you see here for about $31.00, shipping included. I've heard great things about some of their products and seen them in video reviews, so I figured I would give them a shot, after all they are so inexpensive it's hard to stay away (most of their products are sold for $1/product). I don't know how they sell everything so inexpensively, but it goes to show you that a lot of makeup products are so overpriced and are probably filled with the same kinds of chemicals. Obviously there will be *some* quality difference, I wouldn't purchase face creams and health-related items from an inexpensive website because you don't necessarily know what you're getting, but in terms of the things I got, I'm perfectly fine with the quality. This is my haul:

I decided to experiment with bronzers but I wasn't willing to pay too much for them because I don't know how often I'll be using them or which shade I like best, I figured it was best to first try my hand with these big products from E.L.F. that I knew would last me awhile. It also helps the packaging is basically a mimic of NARS packaging, which gives it a higher quality feel. I also purchased an eyebrow kit, brushes, brush shampoo, sponges, shimmering facial whip, cover sticks, all-over face powder, blushes, and an eyelash curler (something I've always wanted to try out but never wanted to splurge on as a purchase).

 For $3 each I purchased the 'Golden Bronzer' and 'Contouring Blush and Bronzing powder' from left to right on top of the photo, respectively. These colors are true to the way they look, the color payoff is great, and they have a beautiful shimmer to them, which isn't too sparkly but appears as a dewy finish on your skin. In terms of single-shade bronzer, I chose the $1 each 'Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder' in 'Sun Kissed' and 'Matte Bronze'. The latter of these is too dark for my fair skin tone, but they also have a little bit of sparkle (matte bronze has considerably less and will not give you a dewy finish). Finally, as an all-over face powder, I chose 'Clarifying Pressed Powder' in 'Rosy Beige' because I was running low on my MAC Mineralize Skinfinish. Obviously, this product's quality is nowhere near that of a MAC powder, however I was pleasantly surprised that it is just as good as any drugstore brand (L'Oreal, Revlon, etc.) which usually retail upwards of $8. I found that the powder colors appear darker in reality than they do on their website photos, had I known this, I probably would have gone with a lighter shade.

I was intrigued with their $3 each blushes being package duplicates of NARS blushes, so I purchased one as a highlighter in 'Gotta Glow' and one in 'Mellow Mauve' because I normally purchase colors that are lighter, so I wanted to try a darker blush for a change. I have used the highlighter a whole lot, it's useful for the inner corner of your eyes to give you that refreshingly awake look and for on top of your cheekbones so they appear larger and more beautiful. I was glad I went with a darker blush because the color payoff doesn't appear to be too great with these blushes, you have to put quite a lot on your brush to get any color at all out of it. Finally, I purchased the 'Natural Radiance Blusher' in 'Blushing', this one had larger glitter specks inside of it and is much more pigmented than the other ones, but the packaging is just awful. I wouldn't purchase this again even though it was only $1 because it's really a small amount of blush, in a very annoying package that you have to slide to get open every time (it even took me awhile to figure out how to open it!).

 I got extremely excited when I saw that they had a 'Waterproof Eyeliner Pen' because I thought that for $1 I could get the equivalent of Stila's waterproof eyeliner pen (which this appears to be a packaging duplicate of). Right off the bat I purchased three of them in plum, coffee and black. when they arrived, I was excited that they tip is easy to use and went on waterproof on my hand. Unfortunately when I tried it out on my eyes, I found that the formula was too dry and the pen has to be pressed too hard onto your eye and you never quite can achieve that perfect line that I go for. If you're fine with just a smudged line, these are ideal. But if you're looking to do that perfect cat eye, stay away from these pens because you'll just be disappointed. I also purchased a $1 eyelash curler which is just as good as any other eyelash curler I've ever seen and even comes with a replacement pad. Then, I went for the $3 'Eyebrow Kit' in 'medium' which happened to be the perfect color for my eyebrows. This comes with an eyebrow pigmented wax (the darker color) to fill in your eyebrows and keep them in place, as well as the lighter brown color as another aid to filling the color in and setting the wax. I'm very happy with this product and I use it every day now, it also came with a handy little brush if you don't have one to begin with.

The difference between the 'All Over Cover Stick' and the 'All Over Color Stick' is that the former is very matte and can cover your pimples (it's a thick formula) and the latter is sheer and slides onto your skin like cream (it has a shimmery finish and is not matte at all). At $1 each, they are both worth the price for their respective uses (one to cover pimples, the other to add highlights to your face). The 8-pack of sponges is also $1 and is just as good as any sponges you will get at the drugstore, while the brushes I purchased were also the same price. I'm a big fan of the 'Defining Eye Brush' for contouring my eyes with nude colors because the color doesn't go on too harsh as with other brushes, the bristles are more spaced out and give a fluffier appearance to the brush. However, I have nothing positive to say about the 'Foundation Brush' and the 'Eye Shadow Brush'. The foundation brush is far too small to do anything with, it would take you much too long to apply your foundation with this poor excuse for a brush (it's way too thin and small overall). The eye shadow brush is also really flimsy and very short, you can't pack a whole lot of product onto it, so unless you like a very faint wash of color on your eyes, this is not a good brush.

 A video review convinced me to purchase the 'Shimmering Facial Whip' which is a product of creamy consistency which a very potent color. These colors also have a ton of staying power, they won't come off or wear off as the day goes on at all. They're a great value at only $1 each, I purchased the colors 'Lilac Petal' and 'Toasted'. I use these as a base for eyeshadow looks by placing them on my eyelid instead of primer or concealer, they give a very sheer finish. You can use these in any way you want on your face, they are very versatile, I have read of people using them as lipgloss and blush. This is definitely a product I recommend.

You can purchase a bunch of their items online at Amazon as well, they make great stocking stuffers or Christmas gifts and really are very inexpensive for a large quantity of good products:

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