Makeup Review: e.l.f. Cosmetics

As we all know, makeup costs can really add up. Take a look through your makeup bag, and think about how much of your precious moolah you’ve shelled out for everything. I love trying out new makeup products and trends, but my wallet isn’t a big fan. When I stumbled across e.l.f. (eyes lips face) products, I thought they were too good to be true. As I tried out several e.l.f. Cosmetics products, I was shocked at how much I liked most of them, and my wallet certainly sighed in relief!

I tried out 20 different products all for only $47. You heard me right, ladies! Did I mention you can find them at Target? Here are the best, the “so-so” and the not-so-great e.l.f. products.

The Best

Eyelid Primer in Sheer

This is actually the product that started my love for e.l.f. It helps all of my eye makeup stay on all day; I swear by this stuff! It’s incredibly creamy and dries fast. This eyelid primer is one of my personal “must-haves”.

Waterproof Eyeliner Pen in Black

This liquid eyeliner might not be completely waterproof, but it comes pretty darn close. With the eyelid primer, this eyeliner refuses to budge. The felt tip works for thin lines as well as thicker lines. If you want to try out liquid eyeliner, start with this one.

Brightening Eyeliner Pencil in Black

This eyeliner claims to glide on smoothly without tugging, and it really delivers! The creaminess of the pencil makes tightlining effortless, even if you instinctively flinch like I do. Although you might need to go over your lines twice, for $1, it’s worth it. It also comes with its own sharpener.

Shimmer Eyeliner Pencil in Ivory

Lining your waterline and the inner corners of your eyes can help you seem more awake, and let’s face it, we could all use that. Although I wouldn’t use this to highlight under my brow bone, using it on my waterlines and inner eye corners did make me look more awake. The built-in sharpener makes it easy to throw this pencil in your bag for on-the-go!

Hypershine Gloss in Flirt

Although there isn’t much in the tube, this lip gloss is definitely worth purchasing. Even if you’re not a huge fan of lip gloss, this stuff will convert you. It has a vanilla and coffee scent to it, which I love. Not to mention this gloss isn’t sticky and has great color payoff. Flirt is a natural-looking color and has exactly the right amount of color and shine.

Eyelash Curler

Even though this eyelash curler is only $1, it works well for me. My lashes are naturally long but don’t have much curl to them. The curl lasts fairly long but will last even longer if you warm it up with a hairdryer for a few seconds before curling your lashes.

Studio Powder Brush

This brush of mine is several months old, but it is still as soft as when I first purchased it. There haven’t been any “shedding” problems, and this brush feels natural in my hand. To be honest, I prefer this brush to some of my more expensive brushes.

Studio Eyeshadow “C” Brush

This brush is another one of my favorites. It not only picks up pigments well, but it also blends well. The bristles on this brush have stayed soft over time and are the perfect size. This is really the only eyeshadow brush I use.

Kabuki Face Brush

When I opened up this brush, I couldn’t stop rubbing it over my hands and face; it’s so soft and feels wonderful against my skin! It works wonderfully for setting your foundation as well as for blush or bronzer. I would recommend this brush, especially since most kabuki brushes are much more expensive.

Studio Brush Shampoo

I try to wash my brushes every week, but it can be difficult to manage at times. This brush shampoo gets out every bit of makeup left in my brushes and leaves them feeling silky smooth and brand new every time.

The “So-So”

Flawless Finish Foundation in Porcelain

I have extremely pale skin, so I worried about this foundation being too orange or tan. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t a horrible match! Although it was a tad bit too yellow, it was easy to blend in. The thickness of the foundation was a major turn-off for me. This foundation feels like it would provide full coverage, but in reality it provides medium coverage. There is a pump, however, the foundation seems too thick to fit through. I also found that this foundation made my t-zone appear oilier than usual and did not make my pores appear much smaller. However, when I used the foundation with the Mineral Infused Face Primer, it was a different story.

Mineral Infused Face Primer

Priming your face before applying foundation is similar to preparing a canvas before painting on it. At a bare minimum, a primer should help minimize pores and matte some oilier areas. When I applied this primer, the first thing I noticed was that I could barely get the primer through the pump. I ended up unscrewing the top and getting primer from directly inside the bottle. The primer went on smoothly and made my skin feel great. However, I didn’t notice much of a difference in my pore size. They were slightly less noticeable, but this is by no means a miracle worker. When I used the Flawless Finish Foundation over the primer, I saw my largest pores become nearly invisible. This primer is silicone based, so you absolutely need to wash it off at night in order to avoid breakouts.

I wouldn’t buy either of these products individually, but I would use them together.

Studio Blush in Pink Passion

The first thing I noticed was the brightness of this blush. I expected it to be a sheer color, but instead it was very highly pigmented. The color payoff is wonderful, and the blush does melt into my skin. Pink Passion is great for bringing life to your cheeks, but you must use a gentle hand. If not, it can be difficult to blend this blush in order to reduce the color. If you use a light touch, this blush will look fabulous; If not, you’re in for some trouble!

Eyeshadow Palette in Natural

Some of the eyeshadows in this palette are more pigmented than others, which earns it a “so-so” ranking. The top three shades are more pigmented than the bottom three, which give a very sheer wash of color. I use this palette almost everyday, and I enjoy using it. The colors are all very natural-looking and are perfect for everyday use.

Liquid Eyeliner in Copper

This glittery eyeliner isn’t irritating at all. However, the glitter is not very concentrated. The glitter is also more noticeable on its own than over another eyeliner. It would be fun to try a glitter cat eye or winged eyeliner for a Mizzou basketball game! For $1, I can go over my eyeliner multiple times.

Studio Makeup Remover Cleansing Cloths
($3 for 20)

These makeup remover cloths are tough and remove makeup fairly well. I have slightly sensitive skin and noticed that if I rubbed around my eyes too much, they would sting. I have never experienced this with other cleansing cloths, so I was caught off guard. In a pinch, these cloths will definitely work, but, in my opinion, other cleansing cloths work slightly better.

The Not-So-Great

All Over Color Stick in Pink Lemonade

I was looking forward to testing this product but was immediately disgusted with it. When I took off the cap, I was hit with the scent of play-doh. As an eyeshadow, this product is very sticky, and the color is reminiscent of Barbie’s hot pink sports car. As a cream blush, it’s difficult to blend the color into your cheeks. It also cannot be applied directly from the stick unless you want to end up with hot pink splotches on your cheeks. The worst use of this product was as a lipstick, hands down. The size made it awkward to apply and made my lips look frosted. Honestly, it looked like the 80s had taken over my face when I finished using this color stick. There’s a reason we have moved away from 80s makeup, everyone!

Studio Lengthening and Volumizing Mascara

With my naturally long and fairly thick eyelashes, I don’t need much to make them more dramatic. The effect of this mascara is hard to explain; it made my lashes look stick thin but also made them clump together. There is hardly any pigmentation in this mascara. The most bothersome thing about this mascara is the wand; The mascara wand is three inches long, which makes it difficult to apply the mascara.

High Definition Powder

This powder certainly doesn’t live up to its name. Instead of masking my imperfections, it simply looked like I had put translucent powder on. The packaging also detracts from the product. The box is very large and was only half full when I opened it. The powder comes with a puff, but it seems more like a foundation sponge. When I used the puff, I found my foundation rubbing off on it.

Angled Contour Brush


The only problem with this brush is that it is too large. When I used it on my eyelids, my eyeshadow extended past my brow bone. The size makes this brush much less usable and only creates a mess of eyeshadow around your eyes.

For the most part, I adore e.l.f. products. They are affordable, and the quality is typically good. Next time you want to try out some neon eyeshadow or need new eyeliner, head over to Target and snatch up some of these products! Your wallet will definitely be grateful, and this can justify trying every shade of hypershine lip gloss.

By: Katie Harbinson | Images: 1, 2, 3


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