Tuesday, August 27, 2013

E.l.f. Review!

The time has come for me to review some e.l.f. products. Really quickly, for those of you who don't know, e.l.f. is an affordable makeup brand that can be found at Target stores and e.l.f.'s website
This is what they have to say:

"At e.l.f. Cosmetics, we believe that beauty comes from within all of us. Our line of luxurious cosmetics captures great looking skin with gorgeous colors and quality ingredients. Our products are designed to let your inner beauty shine through. "

E.l.f. has several lines, including the Essential line, in which most products are $1-2 USD, the Mineral line, in which the products range from $2-5 USD, and the Studio line, which is right around $3 USD per product. Each line has their own palettes and gifts which obviously are more and less expensive than the above prices. The essential and studio lines have brushes for $1 and $3 each, respectively.  E.l.f. has been known for creating dupes for higher end products for considerably less prices.

I'm quite partial to e.l.f. products, but once in a great while, I come across products that I'm not as pleased with as others. The first product I'd like to review is one of them, and I'm displeased to say that my expectations were extraordinarily high due to great reviews across the board. I present to you the e.l.f. studio line stipple brush. Photographed below, the brush is obviously gorgeous. The handle is smooth and fits nicely in my hand, the bristles are bright white on the top, and the lettering has yet to wear off, an issue I typically have with e.l.f. packaging. All that said, however, the issue with this brush is the bristles. As one can tell from the photograph, the bristles are uneven and sometimes painful when applying foundation in a stippling motion. When a circular motion is used to apply the foundation with this brush, it leaves a streaky look that must be blended with the fingers. A good look can be achieved with this brush...with a LOT of work. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Pros: Gorgeous, easy to hold, seemingly well put together 
Cons: Uneven/prickly bristles, streaky application

Next up, the e.l.f. essential eyelid primer in pearl. This primer comes in several different colors, sheer, champagne, pearl, and gold. I decided that the pearl would be nice to try, and I am quite pleased with my decision. The formula is nice, easy to blend into the skin, enhances eye shadow colors, and really keeps the color vibrant all day long. The pearl color is white and shimmery, and can easily be substituted for a brow bone highlight if you have a lighter skin tone. My only issues with this primer so far is the packaging. The letters wore off within three uses, and I'm not a huge fan of the doe foot applicator for sanitary reasons.  

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros: Smooth, easy-to-blend formula, lovely color, long-wearing, color enhancing
Cons: Less than satisfying packaging

Next is the e.l.f. studio makeup mist and setting spray. This product works in such a way that one sprays their face with the spray before makeup application for easier blending, or after their makeup application to set the makeup or freshen for a slightly dewy glow. I've had this bottle for about 10 months now, and I've only just gotten to the bottom. I use the spray about 3 times a week, so this stuff is really long lasting! It is a great way to freshen up after a few hours of wearing makeup, or directly after application to leave your makeup in place all day long. The only issue I have with this product is the smell that the liquid gives immediately after spraying. I have a hard time describing it because the smell goes away quickly after spraying, but the initial spray is shocking!

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros: Lives up to all it's claims
Cons: Kinda weird smell that disappears immediately 

E.l.f.'s essential lipstick in Sociable is a new personal favorite, for a several reasons. The color is SUPER pigmented, and the swatch pictured below is one swipe. ONE SWIPE!  The color is super moisturizing and isn't too bad with feathering. I bite and lick my lips often, so as of yet, I can't tell exactly how long wearing it is, but so far, it seems fairly good. Also, the packaging is so gorgeous, and with the exception of the lettering wearing off (I'm pretty sure they label their products with washable Crayola marker or something, the lettering almost never stays), I'm really pleased with it. The color of the lipstick is clearly visible from the side of the tube, which makes for easy storage.

Rating: 5/5

Pros: Great color payoff, moisturizing, good packaging, beautiful color
Cons: A teeeeeny bit of feathering if you're oily or sweaty

E.l.f. Essential Clarifying Pressed Powder is a pressed powder with trace amounts of salicylic acid, a popular acne fighting chemical, that is intended to cover and clear breakouts at the same time. This powder comes with a powder puff (not pictured as it's so dirty, I thought I'd spare you guys) that makes it easy to apply the powder. This product is very matifiying and I haven't noticed any new breakouts, and in fact, they've seemed to calm down a bit since using this powder. I can't definitively say that the powder is the reason because correlation doesn't prove causation but hey, the correlation is there. Do with that what you will.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros: Long-wearing, color matches, may possibly prevent/calm breakouts
Cons: Not a lot of product, I hit pan pretty fast on this one
e.l.f. essential nail polish. This color is either electric pink, flirty fuchsia, or raspberry sorbet, I'm thinking it's raspberry sorbet, but the sticker has since come off of the bottle, so the world may never know. The polish is highly pigmented, with beautiful packaging, and dries within five minutes. Without any clear coats however, the polish does chip quite easily. With top and base coats, the polish lasts several days without chipping too badly.

Rating: 4/5

Pros: Pigmented, quick drying, great packaging
Cons: Chips easily

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in St. Lucia. I obviously like these, as I've hit pan on both. They last forever (10 months at the taking of this photo) are well pigmented, and compliment most skin tones. You have to be careful with the pigmentation of the bronzing powder, obviously if you are more fair, use less, and if you're darker, use more. The packaging is gorgeous but easily dirtied, and recalls the NARS packaging, and both colors are said to be dupes for NARS Orgasm and Laguna. 

Rating: 5/5

Pros: Great Packaging, built in mirror, good pigmentation, high end dupe
Cons: easily dirtied packaging

E.l.f. Essential Little Black BeautyBook Eye Edition in Day Edition

This 48 eyeshadow palette is geared toward daytime looks and contains a combination of shimmery and matte colors. There is a large mirror in the book on the warm color side, and the other side contains cool colors and a small double-ended sponge brush (I don't use this, so it's still taped in). The packaging is cardboard but the book is magnetized so it easily snaps open and closed. The colors are fairly well pigmented, the shimmery ones more so than the matte, and below are a few of my favorites swatched.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros: Nice packaging, built in mirror, warm and cool colors separated, many looks can be created (this may be called the day edition, but you can certainly create several night looks)
Cons: Packaging easily dirtied, matte colors slightly less pigmented

And there you have it! In general, I love my e.l.f. products, even the ones I rated less highly. Also, I did have a pair of e.l.f. essential tweezers that I loved, though I didn't think it imperative to review these, but they do appear in a picture, so I decided to let you guys know that I do, in fact, love them.

Thanks so much for reading, I'll see you next time,

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