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Friday, June 11, 2010

Huge e.l.f. haul review...finally!

I promised a big e.l.f. review about a month ago, and well, I got so much stuff for so little money that it's taken me this long to feel like I had a handle on all the products so I could review them! As I mentioned before, I've been buying their products for years...everything is so cheap that it's impossible to resist, and they are always doing special offers and giveaways. I would say I am impressed with 98% of the e.l.f. products I've tried, and that's especially huge for a line that boasts items for $1, $3, and $5, with only a handful of items going above that. I think they have only gotten better over time, especially as they've expanded with the Studio and Mineral lines, though there are a few discontinued products I miss from the early days. They've also recently expanded their selections at Target, though you won't find the full line and have to order some things online from their web site. Let me note that this review is completely unsolicited by e.l.f. I hope they will feature it!! But they didn't ask me to write it.

If you want to make a purchase, click the banner below to get a FREE mineral makeup package with any $20 purchase (and think of how much makeup you can get for $20 here!!), and you'll also get a chance at being their 2 millionth customer, who will win a huge prize!

So...let's dive in, shall we??

Eye Primer & Liner Seal duo *** - The liner seal creates liquid eyeliner from any shadow and works really well; the other end is pretty good if you use a thin layer, and it's also not a bad stick concealer if it matches your skin tone.
Lavender Blossom Moisturizing Hand Cream **** smells like Johnson's lavender baby powder - yum! (But it's not an overly "baby powdery" smell.) I am in love with this lotion and already want to buy more. I wish they had this at Target.

Powder brush, Complexion brush, and Blush brush (Studio line) **** = awesome. I like e.l.f.'s regular $1 brushes too, but these Studio brushes are heavenly soft and apply products beautifully. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on more expensive brushes!!!!! I have never been a "brush snob," and now there's no reason for ANYone to be, because these are just as good or better than more costly brushes. The Complexion brush is amazing for applying finishing powder and giving you an airbrushed look, and the Powder brush will apply product in a more concentrated way because of the flat top, so it just depends on the finish you want.

Natural Nymph lipstick *** - It's sort of a light peachy nude...very pretty.  If you feel like you look a little washed out, a bit of gloss will give it enough of a boost to override that if you think you need it.

Cool Coral lipstick *** is a nice color's got a hint of shimmer, but I wouldn't say it's metallic. The reason for 3 stars is simply that I prefer a creamier lipstick, but that's not to say these are dry. They are great lipsticks.

Nymph Dreams Brightening Eye Color quad **** - The fact that I bought 2 products with "nymph" in the name must be related to our Narcissa story!! :) I really, really like this quad. I'll admit, I already have other shadows that are similar in color, but it's so nice having them all neatly together in one little package. Their shadow quads in general give good color payoff and go on nicely. Call me crazy, but I prefer pressed shadows to loose...less messy.

Eye Transformer **** is a really innovative product! It's 4 pastel-colored pressed shadows you can use alone OR over existing eyeshadow to completely transform its color! Especially interesting applied over dark colors like black and very dark green! It's also great for highlighting the inner corners and browbone on its own. The little brush it comes with is a bit small for applying all-over color but is perfect for highlighting. These give a teeny hint of shimmer but not too much.

Shimmer Palette *** - I need more shimmer palettes like I need more...well, like I need more of ANY makeup. ;) I find it impossible to resist something that promises "shimmer" or "highlight" in the name for some reason. It's nice on lips if you put just a bit in the center over lipstick or gloss. At least for me, it creases on eyes if you use too much, even with primer, which is unfortunate. It's nice as a subtle highlighter on the tops of your cheekbones under your eyes, as well as down the bridge of your nose. Just go light with it.

Undereye Concealer & Highlighter duo **** - I really, really like this! You may have to use 2 layers of concealer under your eyes depending on your needs (or you may be fine with one), but the thin formula allows you to build your coverage without caking/creasing or tugging on this delicate area. The highlighter seems to be good as a primer and is good for inner corners, under brows, and outer corners. A fellow makeup blogger posted a different take on this product here, which I feel I owe it to everyone to post...I don't know much about the ingredients she mentions, but it's only fair to bring it up!

I'm on the fence about the Corrective Concealer ** - just can't seem to work this product. It's very sheer, and it's hard to get any product on the brush or your finger. It seems to work best if you use green and THEN add concealer on top, rather than using the green alone. It does fill in pores nicely on either side of my nose. I just need something thicker, creamier, and more opaque in certain areas. If you have any tips, let me know! The concept of it is good; maybe they will reformulate it.

Nail polish - I got Nude ***, Dark Navy **, Chocolate ****, Mint Cream ****, Lilac ****, Desert Haze ****, Innocent****, and Smoky Brown****. I mean, they're only $1!!! And they're good-sized bottles at that. Nude goes on sheerer than how it looks in the bottle - like a glorified clear, but better than clear, and a little like a French manicure look...very natural-looking and mistake-proof. I believe I used 2 coats when I tried it, and I probably would have a different result with 3. Dark Navy didn't go on as metallic as it looks in the bottle, and 2 or 3 coats yielded more of a matte, SUPER dark navy that almost looks black...I was hoping for a more shimmery, bluish color, but it is still nice. All the other colors look exactly like you think they will! You may have to apply 3 coats for some, but to me, this isn't a big deal. They typically last about 4 days on my nails and then need to be touched up or redone. I've never met a nail polish that lasted longer than that, so it doesn't bother me. If I HAD to pick a, I can' 2 faves are Lilac and Mint Cream. But whichever one I'm wearing at the time is my favorite. As soon as I saw 5 new colors had been released for spring (the last 5 in my list), I couldn't wait to get my hands on them...or get them on my hands, as it were!

                                         Desert Haze                                                   Lilac                                                       

Complexion Perfection **** - this is, hands down, one of my FAVORITE e.l.f. products! Love the pretty colors. It becomes whitish when swirled together and applied, like a high-def powder, but it blends very nicely once it sets. Not sure if it's correcting, per se, but it does leave a very nice, smooth finish. Best when used with the Complexion brush for all-over, in my opinion. I don't think this is meant to be used as a finishing powder. I apply it over my foundation and then apply powder over top...and let me tell you, I don't even need a primer to get superior oil control ALL DAY when I use this in between my foundation and powder!! I'm truly amazed. I love it!! I also love that it has a full-sized mirror. Good thing it's only 3 bucks cuz I'm gonna be going through this stuff fast.

Eyebrow Kit *** in Medium- Another one I really like. Medium is a perfect match for my dark brown hair color, not the dark one, which surprised me. You'll get the best results if you brush/comb through your brows before applying it. Then you use the double-ended brush that comes with it to apply it...use the angled side to apply the creamier-looking product and the other side to apply the powder over top to seal the deal. I usually comb through my brows one more time afterward too. I think it looks pretty natural and does a great job of filling in a bit and holding shape. I'd been using Bourjois Eyebrow Mascara forever, but it has been discontinued, unfortunately. Still, e.l.f.'s product is $3, and that was $13. I'd give it 4 stars if I somehow didn't need the extra step of brushing/combing through to make sure my shape is right because it would save time, but really, it's not a make-or-break thing.

Duo Eyeshadow Cream in Butter Pecan *** - very good for days when I want to be a little more natural, a little less bold and bright. It creases a tiny bit, later in the day, even with primer, but not much. It's so easy to swipe across your lids with your finger, and then you're done. This has better staying power than CoverGirl ShadowBlast for sure.

Lip Lock Pencil *** - Sally Hansen used to make an invisible lip liner that I really liked, but I would run out SO fast, and it was $6. This has a lot more product in it for a lot less money and does the same thing. Just be careful with it so it doesn't break (mine did). It is, however, a product that delivers. I get better results applying most any lipstick when I use a product like this first. I don't like regular lipliner at all, so one that's clear is perfect for keeping color within the bounds of my lip shape and making it last longer.

Mineral Lip Gloss in Trophy Wife ** - pretty but very sheer; gives a light golden dusting of shimmer. I'd love if it went on more like how it looks in the tube.

Therapeutic Conditioning Balms **** in Blackberry Creme and Orange Creme - lovely smells, nice texture; these are a must-have to keep on-hand.

Natural Lash Kit **** - I don't know that any false lash kit actually looks "natural" because nobody has lashes that are THAT long...except maybe my fiancee, who was blessed with lush fans that leave me green with envy. But this kit gives a pretty, long-lashed look without being overly dramatic. I will most likely wear these in our wedding! 

Liquid Eyeshadow **** - I got this one in Cream Dream to use as a browbone highlighter, and it's perfect for that. And sometimes I like to wear nothing but white shadow, which KameraWhore got me started on. It lasts really well and leaves a nice, shimmery finish. It's faster and easier to use than a regular pressed or loose highlighting shadow and isn't messy, so you don't get white shimmer all over your cheeks from fallout.

This pic shows both the Natural lash kit and Cream Dream liquid shadow.

Clarifying Pressed Powder *** in Light Beige - best with Complexion brush if used as a powder, but I also tried applying it with the flat-topped Powder brush as a foundation, and it actually did a great job, but my oil control isn't as magical as with my normal mineral foundation-Complexion Perfection-powder cocktail. Would be too dark on me in the winter but might be good as it's getting warmer. I really should've gotten it in Ivory, though. Poo. :(

Natural Radiance Blusher **** in Glow - I've been using this one for a loooong time; it's fabulous. It easily rivals NARS blush in Orgasm. It has a peachy-pinky color with just a very slight hint of shimmer. It makes you look awake and glowy, just like the name. I do also like the Shimmering Facial Whips and All-Over Color Sticks for blush, some other oldies but goodies (I especially LOVE their sugar orange scent, and I hope e.l.f. never does away with it!!).

Eyelid Primer (the $1 kind) *** - they were out of the mineral eye primer when I was ordering, so I got this one, and I'm happy with it. I can't say how the two compare to each other, and there are mixed reviews everywhere about which one is better. It's still a helluva lot cheaper to try than Urban Decay! It goes on smoothly and dries quickly. It seems to be doing a good job, at least with pressed powder shadows.

Mineral Booster (mineral finishing powder) *** - the only thing that would make me love this more is if it came in PRESSED formula. Just like with shadows, I prefer pressed powder to loose because it's less of a mess. For that reason alone, I'm still drawn to my Physician's Formula pressed mineral powder. But if you like mineral makeup, particularly products like B.E. Mineral Veil, you will love this even more because it costs you less and does the same thing!

Mineral Mascara **** - WOWZA!!! A $3 mascara that actually rivals (I would say outdoes) L'Oreal Telescopic and CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion??!  Yes'm, indeed! You get a lot of product in the tube; it goes on dark black; it gives you length AND volume with its rubbery bristles; it separates beautifully; and it has no flaking, clumping, or smudging...what more could you ask for?! This is my new mascara. The end. No falsies in this pic.

WHEW!! I think that's everything!!

Have you tried any of these products, or wanna weigh in on any others??


Ariel Grimm said...

I've been wanting to try e.l.f makeup for a while now, I didn't know they were so cheap! I can't wait to try the nymph collection...

Nicki said...

I really enjoyed reading your review! I've been seeing e.l.f. products cropping up everywhere on the blogs I read and I am interested in giving them a try... Perhaps I will! =).

Taryn Young said...

I have to agree with so much of this! I don't have ALL that you have but my favs are the concealer/hightlighter combo and the mascara. Even the $1 mascara is pretty good too.
I love their studio shadows in saddle, coffee bean and pebble. I need to get a few more because they are so pretty. Love some of the $1 hypershine glosses and liquid lipsticks. Pretty stuff. I am so not a brush snob either and REALLY love their brushes, probably like the $1 even more like you. Oh e.l.f. I just adore you :)

PoorCollegeStudent said...

Nice review, straight to the point! Thanks for linking my post!

Ariel said...

Ah I need natural nymph..badly! Haha and the desert nailpolish looks pretty too :)

Jenarcissist said...

I'm going to add in another elf banner over to the right. --> Just click on it to start shopping and get $1.98 shipping!! That should help you out to purchase the Nymph items and some nail polish! ;)

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