Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review: e.l.f. Cosmetics

Disclosure: e.l.f. Cosmetics and SheSpeaks sent me 289 pieces of makeup for my makeup party with my friends that also included goodie bags with brushes and the like for those in attendance. The makeup was split amongst those of us attending the party. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

I've heard about e.l.f. cosmetics for awhile, and I'm sure you've seen the emails floating around with false rumors that the $1 makeup line is about to be bought by Nordstrom and the prices then will go sky-high. I've tried e.l.f. a few times before I had the opportunity for this party. The first experience I had with them was ordering online, and I liked it but not so much that I needed to seek it out when I ran low. The local stores had what I was used to using, and that was just easier. While at BlogHer's conference this year, I attended a suite party hosted by e.l.f., which is where I learned how much things have changed.

e.l.f. doesn't just have their $1 line anymore. They now offer a studio line and a mineral line, both of which compare favorably to brands you're more familiar with at much lower prices. Better yet, e.l.f. is now carried in all Target stores, although my local Target only has the $1 line. When you order online, you have every product they offer, and there's always a special going on.

Needless to say, it didn't take much to talk me into having a party with some friends to try out the makeup. I didn't really get how much makeup 289 pieces is until I actally received the box with the makeup and started setting it all out.

With that much makeup, we had a lot of fun testing it out. Everyone started out sans makeup so we could have a clean palette to work with. Fortunately, I had plenty of beverages so that the embarrassment of being seen without our makeup was soon mitigated.

I was surprised that I found quite a few things that I liked from the selection. Before we started, there was a video we watched to ensure we (sort of) knew what we were doing, and we all learned some new tips and tricks.

I now wear undereye concealer, and the one I discovered is a pencil with a built in sharpener that has a brush on the other end of the concealer. It's so nifty! For $3, you can bet you won't see me walking around with circles under my eyes again.

Their shadow sticks were also some of my favorites (also $3!), although I struggle sometimes to get even application of the shadow. I have the same issue with liquid eyeliner. We tried their liners, and for the most part we liked them, although we discovered that we really need to shake them well before using or they were dry and somewhat flaky. Shaking made a big difference though.

Many of the ladies found that they really liked the all-over cover sticks, which they used in place of foundation. This was part of the $1 line, and they seemed to work well. Others used the mineral foundation. For $5, I'll definitely be using this one instead of the one I currently buy on sale for five times that amount. I was the lucky person to keep the kabuki brush that came with the makeup, and I have to say that I love it. It works well and isn't shedding bristles at all.

I had a hard time finding a blush that I liked, as did one of my friends. We both have a skin tone that tends to turn makeup orange on our faces, which was a struggle. I finally realized that one of the bronzers was perfect, and I've been using this as my blush since. A few of the women used the studio line of bronzers ($3) and are new converts to using a bronzer on a regular basis.

There were a few products that we didn't love as much as others though. The mascaras were a bit dry, and they seemed to clump somewhat. I went back to using my old mascara after the party. We also received some products that we weren't quite sure how to use, and the packages didn't give us much help, such as the shimmering facial whip. We finally figured out that it is a gel like version of shimmer powder, but we all prefer the traditional powder.

My only other complaint about the makeup is that the labeling of the products could be improved. Many of them don't list the color on them (e.g., the concealers, several shadow sticks), which makes it difficult to purchase the correct color on a return trip, unless your memory is better than mine. That's something that is easily fixed, though.

All in all, there are definitely some new converts to the e.l.f. line, myself included. I'm looking forward to my makeup running out and having to buy more -- and that's unusual for me.
Check out some of our before and after photos:

Several of the colors we ended up wearing were ones we would never have dreamed of trying if we were going to the store and buying more expensive makeup. We had lots to play with though, and we were surprised by what really worked well for us. And for $1 or $3 or $5, it's worth a try to see what you like that perhaps you haven't used before.

You can receive free shipping on any order over $25 from e.l.f. by using the code "MUAH" when checking out.  Enjoy!


  1. Wow Girls you look amazing!!! Shannon at Mommy Files had one at her house and I was so sad I missed it ;( I had to work. Talk about fun, but man I would have to go somewhere then ... LOL

  2. What great sports your friends are :)

    I bought a ton of e.l.f. for Kendall and myself for Christmas, and I love it all, except for the makeup brushes; they had glue in them that couldn't be removed, so I'll have to return them. That said, I LOVE their blush and bronzer, and of course, the fun crank-up lip glosses they have :)


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