Friday, November 30, 2012

The E.L.F. on the Shelf

I'm not rich, but I am a makeup fanatic and spend anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 on beauty products in any given year (remember that budget I was trying to stick to from this past February? I managed to stay within the budget for 8 out of 10 months :-D The two bad months I spent about $430 and $745... yikes!).  The funny thing is, lately I've noticed what a HUGE majority of my go-to products on my everyday shelf in the bathroom are from Eyes Lips Face, better known as E.L.F., which is just about the cheapest makeup brand that I can think of.  So, while E.L.F. products take up a tiny fraction of the money I spend on makeup/beauty products, they're really the workhorses of my daily face these days.  Crazy, right?  Here's a list of the ones I'm using almost every day:

Essentials Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 in Light Beige (I don't know how but this doesn't break me out and does a darn good job of evening out my skintone) $1

Studio Maximum Coverage Concealer Oil-Free in Sand (this works so well in my undereye area!) $3

Studio Concealer Brush (works with that concealer flawlessly) $3

Studio Tone Correcting Powder in Cool (does a great job of keeping the undereye concealer free of creases) $3

Studio Cream Blush/Bronzer Duo in St. Lucia (so natural, I adore it!) $3

Studio Angled Blush Brush $3

Studio Golden Bronzer (Dior Amber Diamond dupe, worn as my highlighter) $3

Essentials Sheer Eyelid Primer (doesn't really make eyeshadow colors pop like a base product would, but it does keep my eyeshadows from creasing) $1

Studio Waterproof Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara (honestly doesn't lengthen or volumize very much, but it is very black, holds a curl, and provides a really great daily mascara look) $3

Essentials Spoolie (for my brows) $1

Some other favorites that I don't use daily but have bought multiples of:

Studio Flat-top Powder Brush (one of my favorites for applying liquid foundations) $3

Studio Contour Brush (one of my favorite eyeshadow brushes) $3

Essentials Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal (a nice dupe for Benefit High Beam) $1

When I noticed that I could be doing my makeup for special occasions or everyday life using all high-end brands like Burberry, Chanel, YSL, etc... and yet keep reaching for these budget gems I thought it was worth sharing with you all!

What E.L.F. does need to improve upon:
Eyeshadow.  The bad ones are crumbly, powdery and terrible and the good ones aren't quite pigmented enough or just fade very quickly.
Eyeliner: Actually, the cream ones in the pots in the Studio line aren't too bad, but packaging is a big problem with E.L.F. (of course, with high-end makeup part of what you're paying for is really luxe and well-designed packaging) and they dry out incredibly fast.  The E.L.F. pencils I've tried that require sharpening are too hard and tug at my delicate eyelids.
Foundation: They don't make any worth using if you have anything that needs covering, but the quality of their new Maximum Coverage Concealer does give me some hope.  Foundation is one of those products, like skincare, that most people are probably better off splurging on, though, anyway.

To be honest, I've not really tried many of their lip products... they seem to be pretty typical of cheap drugstore quality to me, and I simply prefer my lipsticks to offer a luxurious experience.  Especially because lip products tend to be all that I carry with me and who doesn't love to whip out a beautifully packaged lipstick or gloss in public?

I'm not in any way affiliated with E.L.F., just a satisfied fan of them.  I think their website is relatively navigable, and I haven't had any problems with them except for one recurring issue: they have made order packing mistakes on 3 out of my last five orders!  I know that's a pretty terrible rate, but each time I e-mailed them and they either rushed me the missing items or immediately credited my money back, no questions asked, within a couple of days.  So, while their order packers are kind of crap, their customer service is excellent.  You can get all my favorites for $31, likely with free shipping, at, and some of their products are sold at Target.

Can you guys recommend any other E.L.F. winners to me?  The worst part about E.L.F. is it's so cheap I'm always itching to buy back-ups I don't need... XD

<3 Sarah S.

Monday, November 26, 2012

L'Oreal Buys Urban Decay and... I just don't have anything left

Maybe you've heard this news.  As a gal committed to her vegan makeup collection, I find this super-disappointing and ultimately rather depressing.  Makes me feel like I don't even want to write a beauty blog anymore (what's the point, if practically all the makeup companies are owned by one or two BIG companies that test on animals? I don't want to promote them, even in my microscopic corner of the internet).
I'm still a big fan of Too Faced, and independent companies like Lime Crime and Fyrinnae.
I get tons of my basics from ELF, which is both affordable and of decent quality.
I guess all I'm trying to say is I really appreciate all of you guys and the support you've given my little bloggie for over a year, and I'll enjoy your blogs whether you're into cruelty-free only or not... but I'm feeling like I don't really want to blog anymore myself.  I've always bought everything for this blog with my own money, and I just don't know if I can generate a decent number of posts when I only use a few brands.
Anyway, <3 you guys.  This might be good-bye.
Sarah S.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Please help me decide?

Hi guys! I hope all has been well.  Sorry I have not been blogging but life has simply been all kinds of cray.

I finally decided to build my own Urban Decay eye shadow palette, and I'm stumped as to the last shadow to include... so I though I'd put it out to the blogosphere for assistance.  I already have the first five shadows picked out, and I'm just not sure whether I want to round the palette out with Cobra or Naked.  What do you guys think?

Top Row: Roach, Chase, Mushroom
Bottom Row: Foxy, Maui Wowie, Naked

Top Row: Roach, Chase, Mushroom
Bottom Row: Foxy, Maui Wowie, Cobra

*Please note: These are NOT my swatches.  I got them from the internet - I think most of them are from Temptalia. I couldn't swatch them myself because I don't have them yet.  I will gladly take them down if Temptalia asks me to.  Hope I'm not being a complete jerk using them for this purpose!

If I wasn't a terrible blogger I'd embed a poll or something, but as it stands I'd really, really appreciate it if you left me a comment about which shadow to choose.  Thanks, guys!
<3 Sarah S.