Friday, July 3, 2009

Study Break: Eyes Lips Face (ELF) Cosmetics


Yes, it's true you can find decent products for just $1. Now, I'm not saying they're all hidden treasures, but select items for myself are keepers. Here is a break down of all the products that I am familiar with. The first reviews may leave a bad impression, but read on, I really do like some of their products!


ELF Eyeliner Pen
Waterproof Eyeliner Pen - This is great... for 1 day and then dries out. I went through 2 within a week because they dried out so quickly. I believe it's due to the flimsy cap. If they fixed the design flaw, it would be by favorite eyeliner. If I were in an emergency and this happened to be in the first drug store I stopped at, I would definitely use it because it is a great liquid eyeliner and it does last on your skin. $1 a use can get more expensive than the pricey brands though.

ELF Liquid EyelinerLiquid Eyeliner - This liner has a bad rap for smelling really bad. That is why I haven't even tried it. A lot of people claim it is a high quality liner, but if you can't get past the smell (which most people can't) you may want to steer clear. I've heard it smells like chemicals and that really concerned people when the ELF line first came out. On myself, I use Rimmel London Professional Liquid Eyeliner that runs about $6 at Walmart.

ELF Mascara DuoEarth and Water Mascara Duo - This is two-sided mascara where one side is waterproof and the other side is non-waterproof. I don't really have much to say about this. I would only recommend using this if you can't afford the $3.50-5 pricetag of Maybelline Great Lash or for some reason you really do need both regular and waterproof and just simply don't have room for 2 bottles of mascara.

ELF Lash and Brow MascaraWet Gloss Lash and Brow Clear Mascara - I didn't find that this product worked for me at all. My eyebrows did not stay in place at all, I don't think any product was even dispensed on the spool. Maybe I saw a little bit of a glossy finish on my lashes, but it could have just been hope. Again, I would go with Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara and Maybelline Define-A-Brow Gel instead if I could afford it.

ELF Brightening EyelinerBrightening Eye Liner - One word... OW! This pencil was so dry it hurt to attempt to use it. I read that if you sharpened it, it would become easier to apply and would stop tugging. It didn't help at all. I ordered it in Gilded (Gold) because I couldn't find another gold eyeliner. I'm keeping it just because I may need gold eyeliner some day, but I don't plan on using it unless I'm going for a specific gold look.

ELF Brightening Eye ColorBrightening Eye Color - I do like this eyeshadow. It's not as long lasting as say Too Faced or other eye shadows that will set you back $20 a piece, but use it over Urban Decay Primer Potion ($17 - that's just what I happened to use) and the ELF Duo Eyeshadow Cream ($1) as bases and it will stay true for a good 6-8 hours. This is totally worth $1. These quads are available in 14 combinations now, so this is all you may need!

ELF Duo Eyeshadow CreamDuo Eyeshadow Cream - Cream shadows should never be used alone because it will crease and smear, so I tested this under the Brightening Eye Color eyeshadow. For the first 4 hours, I couldn't even tell a difference between the eye with and without primer. I saw barely any creasing, I really had to look hard to even see it. I have unusually oily lids, so for someone with normal lids you may not even need an additional primer and you can just use this under your eyeshadow. These remind me of paint pots. This is a great deal, it is a good sized product and you get 2 cream shadow bases for just $1!

Eye Widener - I will not be trying this product because of reviews that it's dry and clumpy, just like the brightening eye liner.

ELF Makeup Remover PadsEye Makeup Remover Pads - I could see myself getting these if I'm traveling to carry with me if I don't have much room. It takes several pads to remove makeup properly. They do dry out quickly and only contain 18 pads, so if you plan on traveling for more than a few days or want a similar higher quality product I would suggest Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads (in the screw-top canister) 80/$5 at drug stores

ELF Duo Eye ShadowDuo Eyeshadow - I have not tried this product yet, but want to because they are the matching eyeshadow colors to the Duo Eyeshadow Cream. As I said before, you never want to use a cream eyeshadow by itself so if you really like the color of the cream shadow and want to maintain that exact color, pat this eyeshadow on top. For a professional look, put the lighter color on the inner half of your eyelid and the darker color on the outer half.

ELF Get the LooksGet The Looks - I have not tried these products, but they look like good for beginners who don't know which colors or products to use for specific looks. At $5 can you really go wrong?

All Over Color Stick - See Face

Shimmering Facial Whip - See Face


ELF Plumping Lip GlazePlumping Lip Glaze - Anyone who has used a lip plumper before knows the tingly/burning sensation. I wanted to try a lip plumper without paying a high price and then hating it. This lip plumper works well for $1 and has very pretty colors. I don't like the feeling of lip plumpers, but I knew from the beginning that I wouldn't. If you do like lip plumpers or want to try one on a whim, I would suggest this product.

ELF Luscious Liquid LipstickLuscious Liquid Lipstick - I really wanted to like this because the color Ruby Slipper is really pretty. It was luscious at first, but quickly dried out and wore off. If you just need something really cheap for a short photo shoot or something, these will work.

Hypershine Gloss - I have not tried this product because I didn't really like the luscious liquid lipstick and they seem like basically the same product, they even come in the same dispenser.


ELF All Over Color StickAll Over Color Stick - I absolutely love this product. I use it in Toasted, which is a bronze color. I use it on my cheeks as a blush bronzer, on my eyelids as a cream shadow base and have used it on my lips as a bronze lipstick. It comes in 5 shades. I have not tried all of the colors, but I am anxious to try their new Golden Peach color.

ELF Shimmering Facial WhipShimmering Facial Whip - I should be trying this product soon. A TV personality put this product on her top 10 list for ELF products and it won Allure magazine's Editor's Choice Award. It now comes in 8 colors including a white highlighting shade called Spotlight.

ELF Bronzing PowderHealthy Glow Bronzing Powder - This product doesn't really compare to my $30 bronzing products, but hey it's $1! There are 2 bronzing shades (Sun Kissed and Warm Tan), 1 bronzing/contouring shade (Matte Bronze) and 1 highlighting shade (Luminance). I'm keeping it in daily my makeup bag and using it over foundation, even though I can't really see it. If I wear it on my bare skin it's a little irritating. I'm kind of up in the air on this because Sun Kissed really doesn't do anything for me, but I will have to try Luminance and Matte Bronze before making a final decision.

Custom Palettes
ELF Compact
Compact - This is a high quality compact that has a mirror, magnetic pot holes and a mini brush that is an eyeshadow sponge on one side and a lip brush on the other. It is very sturdy and I would only use these as a makeup artist for my pots if they didn't have the ELF logo on the front. They have better construction than the MAC 4 x Eyeshadow Palettes. If you just want one compact to take with you that has 2 eyeshadow colors, a blush and lipstick this is perfect for you. It's also great if you want to create your own 4 item makeup palettes.

Custom Eyes - I have the eyeshadow colors in Ivory and Mocha. I do like Mocha, which is a medium bronze shade. It may be too dark for light skin, but I think it's perfect for medium to dark skin. I found Ivory to be much too bright for me, it is a bright stark white. I really wish they had a more natural highlight color like MAC Vanilla or anything off-white that is almost a skin tone. You could create a smokey eye palette using Ivory or Pink Ice and Dusk.

Custom Lips - These are your basic cheap palette lipsticks with decent sheer to medium pigmentation. If you want to use your compact for on the go or emergencies, it's convenient and I would recommend it. If you're looking for something to use at home that will not really need touch-ups or to give you a high fashion luscious lips, you should probably go with something more high end.

Custom Face - Again, these are good for an on the go compact. I found that the color Shy didn't really work as well as I would like with my skin tone, but it only comes in 5 colors so I had to choose one. If you find a color that works really well for you that's great! Also, if you just need an emergency compact in your purse, choose the color that you think would look the best. If you need a really light pink blush, you could try using Custom Eyes Truly Pink.

Brushes and Tools

ELF Total Face BrushTotal Face Brush - I felt this brush in its package at the store. I found it to be too rough for me, but I am very picky about brushes. In fact, I even find the Bare Escentuals brushes that are $30-40 too rough. There is no $1 or even $5 alternative though, so if you have a tight cosmetic budget it's a decent brush. If you are willing to spend more, I would recommend the Posh Blush Brush for $14. This may seem like a huge jump to some of you, but professional brushes from Sephora or MAC will set you back $30-45.

ELF Eyeshadow Brush
Eye Shadow Brush
- This is a nice, dense brush for applying color to the lid. I would say that it is professional quality and recommend it. Some of the other brushes looked more sparse, but this one is solid. It also has consistently cut bristles. I have not tried some of the other brushes because it looks like the bristles are not cut uniformly.

ELF Slant TweezersSlant Tweezer - For $1, any tweezer as long as it closes is worth it in my opinion. I checked them in the store to make sure the two ends close properly and they did. Good enough for me! I use these for all kinds of things besides plucking. If you want serious professional plucking tweezers, you'll have to invest in some Tweezermans for about $15 at Ulta or Sephora.

ELF Shine EraserProfessional Shine Eraser - This is basically just tissue paper. I'm used to using the Clean and Clear Oil Asborbing Sheets ($5), which actually do absorb oil well. I would save my $1 for another e.l.f. product. I think I would have better results using a tissue and I can find 8 travel packs for $1 at Dollar Tree.

ELF Travel MirrorTravel Mirror - I saw these in the store and they looked good. I didn't need a travel mirror, but if I did I would buy this one. One side is a regular mirror and the other is magnifying. There's no point in buying a more expensive travel mirror as long as it doesn't break easily.


ELF Nail Polish Remover PadsNail Polish Remover Pads - It took about 4 of these to do the job that 1 cotton ball with nail polish remover could (and it was the regular stuff, not 100% acetone). They also dry out fairly quickly. If you may need to remove nail polish suddenly for any reason, you could carry this with you. Only expect to get 1 use out of it.

Other Lines

Studio - ELF has introduced higher quality products with their Studio line. These products range from $3-8.

Mineral - ELF now has mineral makeup that should be comparable to more expensive brands.

Sugar Kiss - This line is aimed towards younger girls. They have some fun products.

All of these other line products can also be purchased on the main ELF website (

About the Store Locator

It doesn't work at all. It lists about 8 stores in my area that are supposed to carry it... well I went to 2 and they don't carry it. The other stores don't even exist. If you don't want to pay the $6.95 flat shipping fee, you may just have to happen upon it. I do know that the Texas grocery store H-E-B carries it in some of their stores, but they carry limited products. Even with $6.95 shipping, if you're ordering 10 products you're still getting them at $1.70 each so, at least in Texas, it's only 61 cents more than you would pay with tax anyway. From there the price per item just goes down because it is truly flat shipping.


As coupon codes change, I'll try to update this post with more recent codes. This will be for big sales, not like get one $1 item free when you buy 10. These codes are for their 5 year anniversary sale that lasts 5 weeks. I have no idea when it started, so if you're going to use these codes do it now! None of the coupons can be combined

Free Cosmetic Bags in Metallic Burgundy!
Wristlet free with purchase of $10: ECREDAY
Signature Case free with purchase of $15: ECREDBY
Train Case free with purchase of $25: ECREDCY

10 $1 items for the price of 5: 5FOR5FREE (you have to put 10 items in your cart)

50% off the Studio line products + $5 gift card: 50FOR5STUDIO

50% off Minerals line + $5 gift card (max discount $100): 5FOR5MINERALS

Free $1 Bronzer
Sun Kissed: ECBROAZ
Luminance: ECBROCZ

$5 off e.l.f.'s mineral starter kit with orders of $20 or more: ECMINZ

Free shipping for orders of $30 or more: ECTAPBY

$5 shipping with any order of 10 items: ECPICKZ (I would use 5FOR5FREE instead because you'll save $5 instead of only $1.95)

50% off of a third product for every 2 products you purchase: ECBUYBZ

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