Friday, December 14, 2012

On the cheap: Review of my latest elf haul

About a week ago Elf Cosmetics had their 50% off sale (this was off of everything, something they only do about once/year) and I placed an order. You had to spend $20 to get 50% off and at between $1 and $3 a pop, you can really pick quite a few items. I ended up with 10 items at $26, less the discount and add shipping I spent $19.95. That's still under $2/product WITH shipping. So, enough of the price breakdown, I wanna get to the good stuff!

Product #1: Gold Pressed Shimmer powder from the core line. The size is fantastic, the color is beautiful and the texture is so-so. You get enough pay off of product to see a highlight (I like it on the temples and upper cheek area best), but it doesn't rival the more high end pressed shimmer powders. Doesn't seem to have much longevity either. I'll use it here and there. 5/10

Product #2, 3, and 4: I'll combine these as it's the same product in 3 shades.The jumbo lip gloss stick is a knock off of the Revlon Lip Balm Stains that are a knock off of the Tarte Lipsurgence. The other 2 brands make the claim that it will stay for most of the day, which I do not find to be true. That being said, I still LOVE both of those other products and use them nearly daily topped off with a gloss. Elf doesn't bother to claim that it stays all day, but it does seem to have a little more lasting power than a regular lip gloss, for sure. The colors I got are all gorgeous- though I probably could've narrowed it to just 2 of the 3 are there are 2 that are a bit too similar for my liking. The best color, hands down is Movie Star! I freaking LOVE this shade!! It's a peachy nude with mega shimmer and absolutely no grittiness at all. And for the first of the somewhat similar shades, Sangria is a warm neutral reddish mid-tone shade. It may be a little too warm tone for me. And finally, Summer Nights is a sheer deep burgandyish, wineish, red. This is actually a great evening color and I'll end up wearing it for holiday parties this year...and keep it in my purse for touch-ups.
Color: Movie Star: 10/10, Sangria 4/10, Summer Nights 8/10. Texture: 8/10. Wear: 5/10. Overall: 7.5/10. I'll be using Movie Star until it's gone and reordering!

Product #5: Soiree, Long-lasting lustrous eyeshadow. This is a whipped texture pot of eyeshadow in a pinkish lavender. The color is really wearable for everyday alone for a quick eye or you can certainly go all out and use this as part of a smokey look if you want. I haven't tried it as a top off to other shadows as it always makes me nervous to put a cream over powders, but I think the shimmer alone with read beautifully. It's probably a Chanel dupe and I think it does a pretty awesome job. I prefer it either alone or with some highlighting colors under the brow and in the inner corner so that you can see all the gorgeous shimmer. It's microfine and really dense without being glittery. Pure shimmer. I have noticed that worn alone the color will fade throughout the day and you're left with just the shimmer, but even that still looks intentional and stunning. There are a handful of other colors and I will definitely be ordering a couple more of them. 8/10.

Product #6: Maximum coverage concealer in sand. This tube is so huge, that when I opened the package I thought they mistakenly had sent me a foundation or tinted moisturizer. Alas, it is a ridiculously huge amount of concealer that perhaps I should try it out as a foundation (sheered with a little moisturizer). Sorry to report though, as a "maximum coverage" concealer, it is lacking coverage. It goes on nice and smooth, so I was hopeful. But after being spoiled with MAJOR coverage from Hard Candy's glamoflage, it's tough to use anything else claiming to cover my circles. I can still use it on redness on my face, but for my under eyes it's only so-so. And that just doesn't cut it. I'm going to try it out a little more and perhaps try layering it with glamoflage and see what happens (I predict lots of creasing). So far, it's fine- just not fine enough for my standards. 4/10.

Product #7: Pitch Black waterproof eyeliner crayon. Funny, I'd already forgotten that I purchased this. I tried it the moment I unwrapped my order, lining my eyes with it and topping that off with some shadow. It created a great smokey eye. Then I tried it again just as an eyeliner and I found that it wasn't as Pitch Black as the name would suggest. Also, it isn't nearly as smooth, creamy nor have the payoff of something pricier that I like, such as Smashbox's chubby pencils (not the technical name, mind you). I'll have another go at it, but for now it's getting a 3/10.

Product #8: Mystic Moonlight Body Shimmer. This is actually a twist up solid highlighting stick. The name is really deceiving. The color reminds me of a Nars Multiple in Luxor and so does the texture. I'm almost certain this was the inspiration and you can use it in the same fashion. Because I purchased the highlighter type color, as opposed to a bronze shade, I will only be using it under brows, Cupid's bow, and upper cheeks. But with a bronze color, you could use it anywhere. I may just have to get that next... It seems to hold up well throughout the day and blends in well on top of foundation or powder. So far, so great. 9/10 (docking a point for payoff, as it's a harder texture so that it stays on better)

Product #9: Lip gloss in Trendsetter. The color is an indescribable combo of 5 shades: plum, nude, brown, pink, and peach. This is the type of color that I recreate by combining colors for people all the time. The texture is pretty good- medium weight and not overly sticky. The major problem that I have with the gloss is how tough it is to get out a decent amount. I must have dipped the wand in 10 times to cover my lips with a moderate amount. At first I thought (after 3-4 dips), "maybe I'll just use this to highlight the bottom center of my lip as so many people like to do". Then, determined, I forged ahead, wanting to know if I could actually achieve a full-on lip color with this gloss. What a shame, elf. Such a pretty color and good textured gloss- give it a brush tip applicator! 3/10. With a better applicator 7/10.

Product #10: Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in Turks and Caicos. The blush/bronzer duo that Elf came out with about 4 years ago as a dupe for Nars Orgasm/Laguna was a huge hit and has become one of the must talked about dupes ever. Another shade choice has been a long time coming and I was thrilled to see a darker bronzer shade that is a VERY close dupe of Nars Casino (a kit staple of mine) and the blush is a dupe for Nars Desire. When people talk about the difference in pigment often being what separates the expensive products from the drugstore products, they are NOT talking about this product. This is almost TOO pigmented! I never thought that I'd say that, but truthfully- it is THAT rich. It doesn't get powdery, but it goes on so strong that you have to barely touch the product with your brush when applying. Then trying to blend such a small amount of product can be tricky. I've noticed a few hours after applying that it either isn't holding up too well, is going streaky or I'm going to need to try a new application approach. I am so in love with these colors that I am determined to make it work! For now it's a 6/10, but I hope to discover a good brush to apply it with and knock that way up :)

Have you tried Elf products? Have any favorites? Share them below!