e.l.f is known for its super-affordable (and 100% vegan!) makeup. This past Black Friday, they had an incredible 50% site-wide sale so I decided to place an order.
What I bought & what I though:
16 e.l.f. Essential Lipsticks in Fearless - would buy again
Yes. Sixteen tubes of a lipstick I had never so much as seen in person, what can I say? They were only $.50 each! When I first started using this lipstick I hated it. It isn’t fully opaque, has a strong fragrance (kinds smells like those flavored lip balms we all used in elementary school), and you need it apply it several times to get the color that you see. However, after using for a while I absolutely love it. It is so moisturizing and creamy but actually wears well through a meal (not sure how that’s even possible). Also, I suggest that you don’t blot it, I find when I blot the lipstick tends to clump up.
10 Lengthening and Defining mascaras - would maybe buy again (but only if on sale)
If you’re ever wondering how makeup item can be so cheap just look at the packaging. This mascara is literally the size of a free sample but they make it look full size by making the wand really long. About the formula, there is nothing ‘lengthening’ about the formula of this mascara, which I kind of prefer for my lower lashes to be honest, I’m not about that spider-lash life. Also, the brush is tiny.
9 HD Lifting Concealers in Light - would not buy again
I have never ever been able to find a foundation/concealer that actually matched my skintone, when I looked online at swatches I hoped this would fit me, but of course it doesn’t. To sum it up, it smells slightly like lemons, is medium coverage, and is definitely not ‘light’, more like light medium.
1 Mineral Infused Face Primer - would not buy again
I haven’t used this because my face reacts to silicone but fair warning, the packaging on this thing is ridiculous.
1 pair of Natural False Lashes - would not buy again
This was my first pair of false lashes so I’m not sure what I can really say in terms of the quality, I would definitely not call them “natural” though.This glue is horrible though, once I got a tiny bit of glue in my eye and it was red for the entire day, you could legitimately see every vein. To make things even more difficult, there is only a tiny amount of glue, the applicator is difficult to use, and it doesn’t even have a proper screw on top so it dries out within a couple uses.
1 Eyelash & Brow Wand - would buy again (though I don’t think I ever will need to)
Your standard brow wand (for only $.50!), easy to clean and works great.
1 Studio Lip Stain in Red Carpet - would not buy again
First of all, this is not red, more like a dark reddish pink. I had a much more pleasant experience with this lip stain than Maybelline’s, unlike Maybelline’s, this actually lasted through a meal without flaking everywhere. I find the doe-foot applicator annoying to be honest, I must prefer the control that comes with a lip brush. As with most lip stains this was drying and made the lines in my lips even more prominent. A few tips for applying this: 1. DON’T APPLY MULTIPLE LAYERS, it will become patchy and gross, try and get an even coat of color with your first application, 2. don’t eat oily foods, oil is the enemy of any kind of makeup, and 3. don’t layer it with any other products, it will create a messy blob that slided around your lips until you wipe it off.
Face brushes: there are thousands of different brushes out there for use with powder, blushes, bronzers, contouring products and highlighters. Obviously you don’t need all of them but each one will produce different results. All the everyday gal really needs is a good powder brush and blush brush, you CAN just get away with a powder brush but a blush brush is great for a perfect application of blush, bronzer and contouring powder.
Foundation brushes: There are hundreds of foundation brushes on the market all of which create different effects and finishes, you don’t need all of them but a good foundation and concealer brush are always handy to have (plus they can be used to apply a multitude of products!)
TEST: Start off by testing the brush on the back of your hand on the inside of your wrist. If the bristles feel scratchy, stiff, itchy or annoying when you brush it on your skin, ditch it. If the brush doesn’t feel nice on your hands it definitely isn’t going to feel nice on your face.
BRISTLES: When you first test a new brush try gently pulling at the bristles, there is no need to be aggressive. A few bristles may come out (which is completely normal for new brushes) but if you find the brush sheds more than a few times it’s not very well made.
PRESSURE: You need to be able to apply pressure to a brush in order to get the best results with your makeup, if you can’t the brush will be useless in makeup application. Try pressing the brush on the back of your hand or drawing imaginary lines, the bristles should have some flexibility to help with blending, but they should not “fan” out or move a great deal.
BALANCE. This is one of my favourite tricks for testing out the quality of a brush. Hold the brush on the back of your hand with the bristles facing down and lightly bounce the brush, this test the strength of the bristles. It is perfectly normal for the bristles to have a slight bend, but if they splay or flatten out they will not be any good for applying makeup.
FERRULE: The ferrule is a key factor in makeup brushes and needs to be good quality.When testing out a brush try applying large amounts of pressure to the ferrule with your index finger. If the ferrule melts, moves, dents, changes shape or looks any different after you’ve applied pressure, give it a miss as it is likely the brush will fall apart. Try and opt for brushes which have “dents” in the ferrule as these are often stronger.
MAKE: The brush head (the tip, bristles and ferrule) should not be loose, spin easily or wobble on the handle if they do; it means the brush is poorly made.
NATURAL VS SYNTHETIC: Natural bristles vs synthetic bristles have been in debate for a very long time, but in the end it all comes down to personal preference. Natural/Animal hair bristles contain a “cuticle” around them which helps them grip onto powder products more effectively and are fantastic for blending. Synthetic bristles on the other hand are cruelty free and great for liquid and cream products.