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.


  1. Yay I'm so glad you made another post! :) I love elf, it's one of my favorite brands because if you buy something and hate it, it's not like you wasted a lot of money or anything. I really love their Studio Lip Balms, the Rose one is the perfect sheer, reddish pink and I also love their Blush and Bronzer duo!

  2. Yeah, I never really feel bad about the fails :) I do like the Studio Lip Balms, but I find they get a waxy taste after a few months so it's sort of love/hate.

  3. i agree many of them are still duds even for one dollar but i do have my staples from elf.
    i like the essential eyeshadow brush, studio HD powder and studio blending brush. :)

  4. This is a really useful post thank you :) I've never tried anything from ELF, I think that should change! xo

  5. ELF has some really great products. The standouts for me are the brushes, the $1 eye primer, and a few of their blushes!

    BTW, I have wanted to get around to doing the Return of the Look post for Wakka and Lulu that you requested a while back. I was just wondering if you wanted me to recreate the same look using other products, or use the same two eyeshadows to make a whole new look. Let me know so I can actually do it :)

    1. Oh yes definitely :D There are two or three colors that I am thinking of particularly from the Alchemy palette that would suit that look. Is there any colors in particular that you wanted me to use?

    2. I trust your judgement - love what you come up with :)

  6. Hi love,
    How are you doing? This will be my new blog now. =) Btw how's your little family?

    1. Hi Riya :) My little family is great; very busy! I'll be sure to check out your new blog.


I love comments <3