Monday, April 5, 2010

Giveaway: e.l.f. Cosmetics

In the interest of full disclosure, I received three pieces of makeup from e.l.f., identical to those I am giving away so that I could review them and provide my thoughts. I received no other compensation, and all thoughts expressed are my own.

Earlier this winter (I'm in Chicago and choose to still call this season winter, so this is allowed), I had the fun of doing an e.l.f. makeup party in my home where several of my friends and I tried out e.l.f. products just for the fun of it. And it was fun. Check it out here if you don't believe me!

I'd heard of e.l.f. before that, primarily through the emails that would go around first enticing people to buy the good quality but oh so cheap makeup before Nordstom hiked the prices, then the emails that inevitably followed saying it was all in error. I have lots of gullible friends who aren't familiar with Snopes, apparently.

That being said, I first tried out e.l.f. for myself at BlogHer last year, and I was amazed at the variety of products they carry. I had heard of the $1 line, and that set of products is pretty decent. In fact, I currently use several of their $1 products on a daily basis and have replaced my previous makeup with this. They also have a studio and a mineral line that are slightly more expensive (although really, $5 for a mineral face powder can't be called expensive!).

Having now used the e.l.f. products regularly for the past several months, I jumped at the opportunity to try out some of their brand new products. They are launching tons of new products from their Luscious Liquid Lipstick to their Brightening Eye Color to their Beauty Encyclopedia and more.

I was able to choose three products from here, and it took me only a few days to finally decide which to choose. I ended up with the Beauty Encyclopedia, the Ivy Eye Brightener, and the Mocha Ice Plumping Lip Glaze. Once I placed the order, I was happy to see that I received quick confirmation of my order and its shipment, along with tracking information once it had shipped. I love getting tracking information so I can see when and where my items will arrive. The package came quickly, and I actually didn't recognize it at first. Isn't the packaging pretty?

I thought a friend had sent something cool to me - although perhaps that is the case? Inside, I found my goodies:

Now, I have to admit that I've held off on doing this review and giveaway for a little over a week in the hopes that my hair will cooperate and allow me to show you what I look like with ome of this makeup on. It hasn't, and I don't want to delay any further.

The first item I played with the was the $5 Beauty Encyclopedia.

Inside, there are twelve different eyeshadows ranging from pale blue to grey to brown and everything in between. I've had a lot of fun mixing and matching, and no one has complained yet. There is an eyeshadow brush also included to assist in application, meaning all I need to take with me when traveling is this slim case. The cool thing about the case is that it closes magnetically with a plastic sheet over it so that your makeup doesn't get nasty between uses. Kudos to whoever came up with that idea.

On the left side of the open encyclopedia is a written and pictoral editorial on how to apply eye makeup to its best effect. I love having this there to review whenever I'm feeling uncoordinated. It's similar to the instructions I've been given verbally over the years by the department store people, but having a reminder handy - that isn't just on paper and won't be wrinkled or destroyed - is awfully nice.

My two favorite products in the case, however, are the two cream eye shadows and the eyeliner. I hadn't used cream eyeshadow before, but I am absolutely loving it. It goes on so easily and really blends well. I had been a bit nervous that it would crease and come off easily, but that hasn't been the case. These are my new daily eye shadows! The eyeliner has also grown into daily use. I did learn to actually follow the instructions on the encyclopedia and use the eyeliner before the shadows and then again gently afterwards. Just putting it on after the shadows - like I usually do - wasn't effective with the cream shadows.

And speaking of shadows, the eye brightening kit in Ivy was the next product that I'd selected.

When I had my e.l.f. party, I accidentally discovered that I look good in green shadow. Who would have guessed? The dual greens here along with the browns that I had been more familiar and comfortable with are great in this $1 pack - seriously, $1 for four shades of eye shadow and enough that this is going to last me well into that third month when I need to replace all my eye makeup! I love the different shades and being able to play them up or down depending on whether I'm going to a PTO meeting or out for a girls' night. They are great shades, and they stay in place even when I'm too lazy to use my primer.

My other new favorite is the lip plumping gloss. I'd originally hesitated to choose this one, as I am a lipstick junkie. I have more tubes of lipstick than I do shoes and socks combined. And that's after I went through and got rid of the shades I no longer liked. The concept sounded interesting, however, so I decided to go ahead with the lip plumper.

I will admit that choosing a lip color online is somewhat intimidating. They give you a good view of what the color swatch will be, but until it's on your lips, you never know. I chose Mocha Ice and was mildly concerned that it would be too dark. Nope, not at all. It's actually a really great natural looking lip gloss.

I had trouble with it the first time I used it since I couldn't figure out how to unscrew it, but that was a me issue. The wands are in the middle section, with both ends unscrewing for the colored gloss and the clear lip plumper.

One cool thing about this? It's mint flavored. Or at least scented since I did my best not to lick my lips and eat my lipstick. I haven't had a flavored lip product since I was in high school and we had the fruity ones. I loved having the scent there, and it went nicely with the gentle tingling I felt from the lip plumper part.

Did I actually see a noticeable size difference in my lips as they plumped? Eh, not really. But I'm fine with that. I liked the feeling of it, the smell of it, and the color was great. For $1, I'm not asking for much more. However, I did get more in that this lip gloss lasted. I was able to eat and still have it on afterwards. I tried putting it on after dinner one night, and I could actually still feel it the next morning when I woke up. Now that's staying power, and I loved it! This lip gloss is currently the only one that's living in my itty bitty spring purse.

Enough on what I thought of the products. What do you get out of it? e.l.f. has generously agreed to give one reader a duplicate set of what I received - an Every Day Eye Edition Beauty Encyclopedia, a set of Eye Brightening Eye Color, and a tube of the Lip Plumping Glaze. The winner is able to choose the color of the shadow and gloss so that it best suits her style. Yay!

So what do you need to do?

First of all, let me stress that you must follow all the rules. If you do not follow the rules, your entry will not count!

This contest is open until Tuesday April 20 at 7pm CST. I must have a valid way to reach you, so leave me your email address in your comment or be sure your profile has your email address visible. No duplicate comments will count. This giveaway is open to US residents age 18 and older. Winners will be selected via and must respond within 48 hours of being notified by me or I will select a new winner.

Mandatory Entry: Tell me what color Plumping Lip Glaze you would choose from the e.l.f. website. If you don't do this one, no entries will count.

Bonus Entries (leave a comment for each entry - if you put it all in one comment, I'll count it as one entry):

1) Earn one additional entry for Tweeting this contest (leave a link to your tweet as your comment).
2) Earn one additional entry by following this review blog.
3) Earn one additional entry by following my “regular” blog Honest & Truly!

Good luck!


  1. I think I'd choose the Oasis for my GlitterGurl who has a deep deep love affair with make up of any kind.

  2. I follow your other blog too (although I have been sadly neglecting all blogs lately...sigh)

  3. I would choose Plum Pout. I'm a gal who has never worn makeup with any kind of regularity. As I'm getting older, I'm becoming more and more interested in it. Great giveaway!

  4. I follow your other blog too. :-)

  5. how can i resist baby doll? ^^

    xoxo elle
    ps: im having a giveaway ^^ ends april 25th

  6. Following Honest & Truly Reviews with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}]

  7. Following Honest & Truly! with Google Friend Connect [Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug}]

  8. Gotta go with mauve bliss! I'm just a bit pinker than mocha shades allow (like you, though, get surprised when different/non-brown&purple&pink&silver colors look good) :)

  9. I agree that it is hard to select a lip color online but would have to go with Ruby Kiss! Thanks for the giveaway!

    tech savvy mama at gmail dot com

  10. I think I would go with the peach passion!

  11. I follow your regular blog as well!!

  12. Fun giveaway!! I would choose Mocha Ice. elf seems like an awesome brand!! The price is right :)

  13. I'd go with the plum pout (has "plump" right in its name!) :)

  14. ... and your "regular" one, as well!

  15. AND I follow your other e-mail is pagescoi(at)yahoo (dot) com

  16. Ohhhhh love this, Ruby Kiss looks very pretty :)

  17. What a dork--I just noticed the date on this. Oh well....


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