Sunday, 10 March 2013

ELF Haul March 2013

**Warning - this is going to be a long one**

For some time I have been debating purchasing a few ELF products. Last Sunday I stumbled across an E.L.F sale, 50% off for St. David's Day. As I am Welsh I felt I couldn't say no. Had to be patriotic and celebrate Dewi Sant now didn't we? So I purchased myself a few things. Yesterday morning my items arrived so here's some pics, swatches & reviews.

A little disclaimer for you all to start with *** These are all my own opinions & no one elses. I purchased all of the following items from with my own money. ***

OK so let's crack on. Apologies my digital camera died on me & I couldn't find batteries any where so had to use my i-phone to take the pics. If there are any items you want an in depth review on let me know and I will do that for you but if I go too much in depth this blog will be 900 pages long. I will give Full prices because this is how much they would cost if you went to purchase the items now.

The 9 piece professional brush set. It comes in a handy roll up with two zipped sections to put some of your cosmetics in, good for on the go or an over night bag. The brushes included are:

Total Face Brush, Bronzing Brush, Foundation Brush, Brow Comb and Brush, Eye Liner Brush, Defining Eye Brush, Smudge Eye Sponge, Eye Shadow Brush, Lip Defining Brush. Price: £15

Comments - 8/10 Good set & the majority of the brushes do what they are supposed to. They are new so not sure how long the life on these will be. The only brush I hate is the lip defining brush, all the others are generally OK. A few loose hairs but do what they are supposed to. Over all I like this set and you get what you pay for.

ELF 32 piece eye shadow palette. I purchased mine in 'Brights'. You also have the option of 'Everyday' & 'Natural'. Price: £5

Comments - 9/10 for only £5 this palette is amazing. The mix of neutral, bright & dark shades is what caught my attention. The colour pay off is good on all shades but better on others. My only criticism there are too many shimmers. I think there are 4 mattes, the rest are shimmery. For £5 though this is a really good palette & a brilliant start-up item for make-up newbies, I'm tempted to purchase the every day one also.

Elf All Over Cover Stick. My cover stick is in Ivory (middle). Other colour options are available. Creamy stick of concealer. Smells a bit like orange sherbert, or cheap orangeade. Price £1.50

Comments - 7/10 It was a bit more yellow in tone than I would have liked, as normally Ivory is more pink in tone. Coverage was medium, it is very creamy and blends well. I tried to use it on my lid just to even the tone of my skin as I get dark circles but it creased quite badly. There's not a lot of product in these at all so once you find one you like the colour of I would definitely buy a couple to have them in stock. As a concealer though & for only £1.50 it's a good product.

Elf All Over Color Sticks - color sticks (it's how the brand spell it sorry!!) are in Toasted (left) & Persimmon (right). Sticks of creamy colour you can use on eyes lips and face. They have the same orange smell as the cover stick but not as strong. The two I bought are shimmery not sure what the others are like, but there are other colours available. Price: £1.50 each

Comments - Toasted 10/10 I actually love this product. Toasted makes a good bronze/contour. I found it creased a little with out a primer on my lids but with a primer there was no problem. Worked perfectly for a lip colour, mix between a lipstick & a balm. It's quite shimmery, but I like that, it gives a nice glow.
Persimmon 6/10 I was disappointed. The swatch above looks deep in colour but the photo is misleading, there's very little pigmentation to this, it is mainly shimmer. I bought it as it appeared pinkish on the website so I thought it would make a good blush, but the pink/colour isn't strong enough to be a blush. It's very full of shimmer, good as a shimmery eye-shadow for a night look, or a highlight on the cheek, but I'm not a fan of this colour. For £1.50 this is a gem of a product as it really does work all over your face. I would advise if you find a colour you like then stock up & stick to it! Expect shimmer too.

Elf Single Eyeshadow - (L-R) Charcoal, Totally Teal & Butter Cream. Powdered Eyeshadows. There are 12 other colours in the range. Price £3.75 each.

Comments - Charcoal & Totally Teal 8/10 WOW! the colour pay off with these two are amazing. They apply well, blend easily but don't fade too quickly. They feel silky, are shimmery but not too much. The colour is strong enough to hold its own. Downsides for £3.75 I think there should be more product, and although mainly silky there is a bit of chalkiness there. 
Butter Cream 5/10. Compared to the other two this was a huge disappointment. It was very chalky and dusty. The colour looked amazing when I swatched it but as soon as I applied it to my eyelid the pigmentation was lost. Due to the shimmer it works well as a highlight though. Over all their eye shadow appears good quality & I would repurchase the charcoal & teal, but something went wrong when they made butter cream. Bit pricey for the little amount you get.

ELF Baked Eyeshadow - (L-R) Pixie (Pink/gold), Enchanted (Peach/gold) & Dusk (Gunmetal grey/blue with silver shimmer). Eye shadows baked in the oven. They are silky shadows with shimmer. Price:£3.75 each.

Comments - 9/10 I have wanted a product like this in forever. Well since I saw MAC's Mineralize range. But at £16.50 per shadow I couldn't bring myself to try this. So when I realised ELF had these products I had to try them. I am not saying they are the same quality as MAC as I have never used a MAC product yet. (Always wanted to but breaks my heart to spend that much money on one item). Dusk was actually the one when I ordered I wasn't sure of and when it turned up I loved this more than the other two. It's pigmentation is intense, perfect for a smoky eye, a liner, crease colour or if you are brave an all over lid colour. I am in love with this colour. Enchanted & Pixie are both well pigmented, high in shimmer, very warm for an all over lid colour, but also possibly could be highlights too. These three shadows won me over big time & I am definitely going to purchase the other three colours. Well worth the money, a must try product I'd definitely advise you get DUSK as it is a little treasure pot of joy! 

Sorry I forgot to take a swatch on the next two products!! fail. Moving on.

ELF Baked Blush - In pinktastic (Shimmery beige with pink marble). There are three other colours & also some baked bronzers available in their range. These Blushes are marbled silk shimmery blushes baked in the oven. Price: £3.75

Comments - 6/10 The low score is 100% because this isn't a blush. Their Peachy Cheeky, Pink Passion & Rich Rose look like some lovely blush colours and since seeing some swatches a friend showed me they are pigmented blushes with a hint of shimmer. Pinktastic is a highlighter at best. The product quality is amazing. It's very silky, and the beige pigment has a really good pay off. A light amount of this will give you the full effect of the product. The pink however isn't strong enough to show up in the haze of shimmer, is washed out and so makes a useless blush. I will be purchasing one of the other colours as the product quality is good but I definitely don't recommend the Pinktastic unless you want a highlighter... blush wise it doesn't do what it's supposed to.

Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder - This was in Sun Kissed. They also have, Luminance, Warm Tan & Matte Bronze. Don't be fooled by that last name, they are all shimmers. Price: £1.50

Comments - 9/10 I love this bronzer. It is silky smooth, very light & not much product is needed to give you a glow. It is a bronzer but it is very gold in colour too. You can build it up to get a stronger bronze colour quite easily though. Definitely one for the repurchase list.

ELF Jumbo Shadow Sticks - (L-R) French Lace (Light pink/champagne with gold shimmer), Rock Out (Taupe/Brown with bronze shimmer) & Little Miss Thing (beige/gold with a gold shimmer). There are other colours available. These are creamy eye shadow sticks and all of the colours in the range, except for Like a Boss, are shimmery. Price: £2.50

Comments - 8/10 I really like these. They are very creamy, easy to apply. I've read people complaining they don't make a good eye liner. Well dear that would be because its not. Its a jumbo crayon of cream eye shadow. They do crease with out a primer, but with a primer they seem to work fine. FL & LMT are very good base colours but do fade after a few hours so if you want a long lasting look i.e. day through night then you will either need to touch up or use something else. For £2.50 the quality is quite good, once again you get what you pay for.

Elf Eyebrow Treat & Tame - in Dark. There are other colours (Light, Medium, Ash & Deep). One end is a clear vitamin enfused formula that promotes regrowth of brow hair & conditions the brows. The second end is a Brow mascara. Price: £3.75

Comments - 9/10 I seriously love this. The only reason I haven't given it a 10 is I haven't had long enough to try out the treatment side, I've only used it once. The Brow mascara is amazing. It coats the brows but doesn't look product heavy & you can't feel the product after application (which sometimes pencils make me feel cakey in the brow area). Definitely a re-purchase. Good quality.

ELF Flawless Finish Foundation - I purchased Porcelain. Semi Matte, Silky, Liquid foundation with SPF 15. Price: £6.75

Comments - 6/10 This isn't the worst foundation I've ever ordered and for me it did what I needed. I've marked it down as it was a little on the orange/yellow toned side when I first applied it. Usually Porcelain/Ivory are pink toned but ELF so far hasn't stuck with this. I had to really blend this in to get it to match, but it did blend well so it wasn't a major problem. It says oil free but if you have oily skin I wouldn't recommend this product. My skin is quite dry normally but it appeared dewy when wearing this. It looked good & healthy glowing compared to my usual dryness but on someone with oily skin I don't think this would work. It creases quite badly in the eyelid so I would recommend minimal product in this area or your shadow will crease with it. It's quite expensive for the small amount of product. The glass is thick & chunky and the product minimal. If I see a half price sale I will repurchase but for almost £7 there are much better products, less oily and with larger quantities of product.

Elf Lengthening & Defining Mascara - Black Mascara. (Brown also available) Price: £1.50.

Comments: 10/10 I've given this full marks because it's a £1.50 mascara. It has a brush (not a plastic wand) and because as an everyday mascara I'd be quite happy using this. It's a little product heavy, so I probably would invest in a better mascara for when the occasion calls for it. It's £1.50, don't expect miracles. I was happier with this mascara than I have been with plenty of more expensive products.

OK so until now ELF for a low priced cosmetics range has done OK. A few glitches, but mostly positive. These two items I REALLY hate. With a Passion. So much so I've had them less than 24 hours & I've binned them. I never bin anything, I always make it work even if I use it with another product but ELF, you really scraped the barrel with these products!!!!

ELF Waterproof Eyeliner Pen - I had Purple. There are other colours, but save yourselves the trouble & don't purchase this. Price: £1.50.

Comments: 0/10 Awful. Just awful. I took a swatch & was delighted at first with how vibrant the pigmentation was. Went to draw a second line & if you look closely you will see only half a line on my hand, as it seemed to have dried out. I attempted to use on my eye, it was very 'catchy' on my eyelid, it dragged at the skin and left little to no cover on my lash line. Next I looked at the nib. After drawing three lines (and I was careful with the nib) this had happened:

I'm sorry about the quality of the picture, but basically the nib has bent, it's gone flimsy and now won't draw a solid line... i.e. it doesn't fulfill it's purpose as a liner. It's just awful. On top of that this item claims to be waterproof. So as I put away my product, disappointed enough as it was and reached for a piece of tissue, dipped it in water, 1 wipe and the product was gone. So thats NOT A LINER, NOT A GOOD QUALITY PEN/NIB & NOT WATERPROOF. If you purchase this item you will be disappointed. No, just no ELF.

ELF Essentials Lipstick - I chose Seductive. Is a moisturising Lipstick full of colour. Price: £1.50

Comments - 1/10 This only just beat the eyeliner. It scored one point because it does actually still work. Seductive appears to be a dark pink with undertones of purple/brown on the website. I liked it a lot from the picture. It turned up & it is actually a vibrant Rosy pink, it almost looks red in some lighting. Check out sociable on the website & that is what seductive looks like. OK so I don't do Rosy colours on lips but I thought I could make it work. I swatched it and it is basically a gloss in stick form. It's a sheer rosy colour. It took about four back & forths to get the colour on my hand as deep as it was in the picture above, and it isn't brilliant there. Moisture wise, yes it works, but so does a gloss or a balm. Its very watery/glossy although thankfully not sticky. It creases on your lips the second you apply. It's a nightmare. I would probably use this as a balm or gloss with a proper lipstick. OK so yes it is a cheap product, but I've bought glosses for £0.99 that were better than this. So disappointed in this product, I wanted to love it but it just didn't work at all.

So overall how much did I spend: £74.75

                                With discount: £39.87
Overall ELF score: 8/10
Comments: Overall I was pretty impressed with ELF. For such low price items the quality was a good standard and pretty consistent. There are a few items I would never purchase again as they were dreadful and even at such a low price I'd expect better. There are a few products I will be reserving judgement until I try different colours (i.e. the blush). Equally, there are products I am in love with and will repurchase them at full price it I don't catch them on a sale. I am excited to try some items they didn't have in stock when I made my order such as the HD Powder in translucent, The eye primer and their studio range of lipsticks. 

I did notice that an awful lot of their products are shimmery, which is great for a night out but for the office I don't want to turn up sparkling like Edward. I'm very much alive & not trying to hunt down or marry a hormonal teenager. Sometimes a matt eye shadow & blush are needed and even if you can find a matt on ELF I'd be very surprised if it was in stock. I like ELF products and will continue to purchase them, but my main piece of advise to you all is You are getting what you pay for. It's cheap so don't expect the quality of NARS, MAC, Benefit or Urban Decay.

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