My first E.L.F. Cosmetics Purchase!

A couple of weeks ago, my lovely friend Twitter informed me that ELF was having a sale where their entire Web site was 60% off. I had heard quite a bit about ELF, particularly that their "higher quality" Studio and Minerals lines were worth a peak, so I decided to check out the site and see if I could find anything that I liked. Now, I had heard several times that ELF was the site to go to for dirt-cheap makeup, but even I was shocked to see that most of their items were $5 or less. Of course, at this point I couldn't resist trying a few things! Since I've been on a bit of an eyeshadow binge lately, I steered clear of the eyes section and instead focused on lips and face. In total, I purchased 12 items and received a 13th for free for referring some friends -- and my whole order came to less than $30 because of the sale! You can't even get prices that good at the drugstore.

(Barely Bitten and Nicely Nude)
For lips, I ordered 7 shades from the Minerals collection (they have 16 total), since the Studio line only produces glosses, and I've got a million of those already. As you can see from the top picture, the lipsticks are packaged in a white cardboard box with the shade listed by color on the front. Initially, I thought the packaging looked pretty cheapy, but once I opened up the box, I was pleasantly surprised to find an angular, heavy plastic black case with the ELF logo engraved on the top and side. The packaging compares to professional brands, and in my opinion, is nicer than drugstore brands like Maybelline, Cover Girl and Rimmel.

The colors I picked up were (from left to right) Party Pink, Pouty Petal, Cheerful Cherry, Runway Pink, Fiery Fuschia, Barely Bitten and Nicely Nude, which are all in the pink/berry/red family (unfortunately the colors in real life aren't entirely true to what my camera is picking up...everything is a bit more pink, whereas the camera is giving things an orange/coral tint). This relates to my one complaint about these products: the colors on the Web site really aren't true to the colors in life, so it's a bit of a blind order. Also, a lot of the colors are quite similar on, even though they look different in the tube/swatched.
(Party Pink, Pouty Petal and Cheerful Cherry)

I haven't yet had the opportunity to wear all of these shades, but I did wear Pouty Petal yesterday and found it to be quite moisturizing, albeit a bit sheer (all of the other shades are substantially more opaque). The staying power was probably about average -- I eat and drink a lot throughout the day, so in general, lipsticks don't tend to last very long on me. Overall, from a first impression standpoint, I don't think ANYONE would guess in a blind test that this lipstick cost $5, while my MAC lipsticks cost $14!

For face, I picked up three blushes from the Studio line (which retail for $3 a piece at full price): from left to right, Blushing Rose, Mellow Mauve and Tickled Pink. Of the three, only Blushing Rose has shimmer. The packaging on these items is even more impressive than the lipsticks -- the case is a really high-quality, hard black plastic with a little clear window so you can see what color is inside (the casing is similar to NARS, but with a smooth finish). The products themselves are SUPER creamy for a powder blush -- I actually thought that I accidentally bought a cream blush when I swatched Tickled Pink for the first time because it felt SO silky to the touch (in truth, when you apply them, they are powders, just very soft ones!).

Then I also got the blush and contouring kit, which was said to be a dupe for NARS Orgasm blush and Laguna bronzer. This is the one item that I think I regret buying (but thankfully I only paid $1.50 for it!). Although I think the blush is pretty, it's very sparkly, and the bronzer is much too muddy for my skin tone (on me, it looks like I smeared poo on my face unless I use a very light hand and blend really well...for that much work, I'd much prefer to grab my Too Faced Sun Bunny bronzer and be done with it!). If you're slightly less fair-skinned than me, this might be a better match!

As I mentioned earlier, ELF also included a free gift in my purchase since I referred some friends after checkout. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the free gift was one of their famous Shimmering Facial Whips, which I had wanted to try out, but thought I'd leave for a future purchase. The shade they sent me is citrus, which looks more bronze in the tube, but rubs out into a pinky highlight shade. Word on the street was that this product was a dupe for Benefit's High Beam, and I think, on a color perspective, that's true. On a consistency perspective, the Shimmering Facial Whip is much thicker of a product, whereas High Beam is liquidy. For this reason, you need less product of the Whip to achieve the same result with High Beam. The best part is that it only costs $1 and it comes in EIGHT different shades!

The final product that I tried was one of their nail polishes in the color Passion Pink (retails for $1). Now here we have another instance of ELF misrepresenting their colors on the site. If you look at the picture they post, Passion Pink is a bright, hot pink color (I've copied the photo, below at left). Now compare that to the photo I took of the bottle of polish with my painted fingernails: the color is a true coral! It's so coral that I would consider it a near dupe for Essie's Cute as a Button, which I did a NOTD with not that long ago. As a matter of fact, when I was browsing the ELF site this morning preparing to make a second order (they are offering a promotion right now where you get 10 free full-size mineral eyeshadows of your choice, which is a $30 value, with a $25 purchase), I was so convinced that I had purchased the Mango Madness nail polish that I almost ordered Passion Pink again. Thank goodness I caught myself!

And that completed my first ELF order. Overall, I think you receive a much higher value than the price you pay, so I'd definitely suggest trying out their line if you're looking for high-quality budget makeup. Just remember that their site doesn't always portray the colors of their products correctly -- it makes it a bit of a guessing game, but for the price, I think it's worth the risk!

ELF cosmetics can be purchased online through their Web site:


  1. I love the Mineral lipsticks. I have them in Runway Pink, Rosy Tan and Nicely Nude. Will be trying the Pouty Petal soon! :-)

  2. I love e.l.f.'s products..I'm waiting for a really good sale for another purchase.



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