Thursday, November 13, 2014

Elf Haul *Pic Heavy*

Hello again readers!

A few weeks ago, ELF had a sale on their website where everything was 50% off. On top of that, if you spent 40 dollars (80 dollars worth of merchandise) you received free shipping as well! Obviously, I went ahead and spent the 40 dollars to get a bunch of new things to try out.

I was incredibly pleased with how quickly this package arrived. I placed my order and got the package within a week, and it arrived in a large plastic bag, sealed, and surrounded with air pockets to keep it safe. No products were broken, and only one package was dented at all. I was really impressed with how everything came to me, and I was really glad I didn't have to worry about anything banging around in the box.

Edit: With the issues I had with the Contouring Blush and Bronzer Cream and the Conditioning Lip Balm, I emailed their customer service, and they handled it really well. They were nice, they were concerned, they asked questions, listened to my inquiry, and I had the option to get them resent or get a refund. Remember this if you place an order, if something is damaged or isn't quite right, don't be afraid to email them. They want you as pleased with your order as possible, and they are very kind in their emails and professional as well.

Soothing Lip Balm - Blackberry Creme - $1

The balm comes in a very slim packaging, think Soft Lips packaging except with a clear cap. It's not that sturdy, but I don't see it breaking with just settling in my work bag.

The product is a light violet color, that claims to be a Blackberry Creme. I actually am not too familiar with Blackberry, but this balm smells and tastes like grape bubblegum. Not too much like a berry though... 

The balm itself is very soft. If there is any pressure applied, it sort of breaks off onto your lips. Also, with the heat from your mouth, it melts really easily, causing any application to instantly go on thick quickly.

It adds a 'corpse effect' when I put it on. Since it does have some pigment, and it does go on thick, it leaves a light violet cast. To some, that's not ideal, to me, I enjoy it. I like the look I get from this, though it doesn't last that long.

The product feels sort of greasy and thick, but it does give moisture to the lips.

I have had better lip balms, so I don't see myself buying this again, but it's rather enjoyable to wear.

Acne Fighting Foundation - Ivory - $6

I've heard good things bout this foundation, from the performance to the coverage. The bottle is smaller than it looks, fitting into the palm of your hand, but it does have the classing 1 fluid ounce of product.

The product doesn't come with a pump, but rather it's a squeeze tube. I'd be more fond of this sort of applicator, if it was upside down. It's easy enough just to print the label the opposite direction, especially since there is no back label to this product. I can see within a month's use that I will have to turn it upside down myself to keep a steady distribution of the product onto the back of my hand or a palette.

Even though it's in ivory (which is supposed to be lighter than the porcelain), it is still far too dark for me. I do have to lighten it up with my Stargazer foundation in order to wear it, so it takes extra time to create the perfect shade. I can't simply wear it straight from the tube, so that makes this foundation unsuitable for everyday wear for me.

I have used it often, and I can say that I did notice an effect on my acne. I did have a rather violent breakout on my chin recently, and I started noticing bumps on my forehead. This product (paired with the ELF Zit Zapper and the Acne Powder Treatment mentioned later) reduced my acne greatly. I am a happy camper, now if only this came in a larger variety of shades.

The coverage is a light-medium coverage. It does cover up some of the flaws, but it could be a thicker coverage. I didn't have an issue adding more on top, and I didn't notice it getting cakey.

It sets rather fast, and putting a powder on top also doesn't affect the product.

There is a market for these products for the very lightest, to the very darkest of complexions, and it would be snatched up! If this came in my shade, I could see it being something I'd buy often, not just once in a while.

Blush - Gotta Glow - $3

Even though it's listed as a blush, this is no doubt a highligher. This highligher is in a traditional ELF Blush packaging, which I'm always a fan of anyways.

The texture of this is like some of their other blushes - powdery. It is smooth, but it also picks up a lot of powder when you dip your brush into the product because of how soft it is, and then powder goes everywhere. I've only used it a few times, and the ELF logo is almost completely gone from how easy it is to pick up this product. I have an issue with super soft products like this, because I don't see it lasting too terribly long.

Fortunately, the color is to die for. I was a little worried, because in the pan it doesn't look like much, but on the skin it's absolutely beautiful. It's a white tint with gold shimmer through it, and sometimes picks up other colors too, sort of like multi-shimmer in certain lighting. It doesn't look glittery on my cheeks, and just a tap gives me noticeable sheen.

The other downside, is that this product is attracted to my pores, so if I'm not wearing a good foundation or my Baby Skin primer, it makes my pores look very noticeable.

Baked Bronzer - Los Cabos - $3

The packaging isn't the most amazing packaging ever. Matte black base with a clear plastic lid. I can see this breaking if I'm not careful, so I have to make sure that I don't accidentally drop this.

Los Cabos is a warm toned bronzer with a sheen to it, almost like a shimmer but not as intense. The surface of this product is smooth, and it it looks to have a sheen. 

And on the skin, it's just not for me. You can definitely see the sheen turned into more of a shimmer on the skin, and it isn't suitable for carving out the face. I can't contour with it, and I'm not really that big on 'bronzing' my face (like most bronzers are actually meant for!). I have embraced being really pale and this just isn't a product I can get a lot of use out of..

Fortunately, I have found out that if I top it over one of my other blushes, it adds a sheen, so I get a highlight and a slightly darker/warmer blush.

I wouldn't buy this again, because like I said, I'm not huge on warming my face or body up, but if you like traditional uses for bronzers, you'll love how this applies, because it just goes on so smooth and wonderful. I'm glad I found a way to get use out of this, because I'd hate to cast it away.

Baked Highlighter - Moonlight Pearls and Blush Gems - $3 Each

Moonlight Pearls is a champagne highligher, while Blush Gems is a rose gold highlighter. The packaging is identical to the Baked Bronzer compact.

They look really intense, but I put a heavy swatch on the skin. They go on very smooth, not sheer, but not super pigmented either which is ideal for highlighters. I get the glow to my skin that I look for on some days, and I don't have to worry about looking like I dropped a bottle of glitter onto my cheeks.

I was really impressed with both, but especially Moonlight Pearls, I have been using it almost every day!

Great choices, and you really can't go wrong with picking one up, I put the last one in my wishlist!

Bronzer with Brush - Truly Bronzed - $2

This is from the Essential line, which is their 1-2 dollar range items (sometimes more). The packaging is stark white, and just feels like typical cheap plastic. I'm not a fan of the Essential packaging, since I just don't find it appealing, but I wasn't expecting much.

The brush is scratchy and to me, useless. I just pitched it so I wouldn't have to worry about it falling out when I'd go to use the product.

Truly Bronzed is a matte, warm brown. Don't let any glitter you may see in the pan fool you! 

I was really impressed with the quality of the powder, for the product being so cheap. I don't have any issues applying this to the hollows of my cheeks, and it blends out so easily, like butter. It's a little warm, but it's similar to my NYC Sunny Bronzer. Warm, but it still hollows out my cheeks enough to give me definition to the face.

Conditioning Lip Balm - Mellow Melon - $3

The packaging for this product is sturdy. Plastic all the way through, but it gives the look of a more polished material, with the matte plastic lid, and the clear plastic bottom giving it the look of plastic on glass (though we know better!). It looks pretty good, but one of the biggest problems I have with this product is...

It's just so large! It takes up majority of my palm! It seems really unnecessary to have so much excess plastic for this packaging. It's bulky, and it just doesn't store easily. Unless I have it sitting out, it takes up a chunk of my lip drawer. Though, I suppose if you're keeping this in your purse, you can rest easy with the knowledge that this should be easy to find.

The product was covered with this seal, that at first was pretty hard to pull out. I was happy with that fact, because it would keep this from drying out on me before I got uses out of it.

The color is a warm pink. This is the type of color I gravitate toward when I go towards nudes/pinks. I just can't seem to get enough!

The other issue I had, was when I took off the seal, it looked like this. I'm not sure if it was sweating, but it looks like it's indented. For all I know, it could be mold, and that's incredibly alarming.

The color itself is a pale, warm pink. I do like the color, and for a balm it goes on rather pigmented which surprised me. I've seen higher end brands not quite bring a balm with a tint to life, but ELF really nailed bringing color and moisture in one product.

On the lips it does give pigmentation, and I did notice it moisturizing my lips. I can't fault it for that, because it does exactly what it claims to do. I can put this on when my lips feel like a desert, and staring to crack, and it rights them back into softness again. 

The product doesn't feel heavy on the lips, and it feels slick, which is a very good thing, especially since I am not a fan of tacky lips!

Though, I really am suspecting maybe something was up with my product, because from other reviews I looked up (even more recently) they all claim that the product smells really good, a bit like vanilla and really sweet. I didn't get that AT ALL.

My product smelled off -- more like it's trying to be vanilla, maybe melon, but it didn't get anywhere near it. It smells a bit like my friends e-cig, and that's not sweet at all. 

Moisturizing Lipstick - Party in the Buff - $3

I am more and more attracted to these lipsticks. After trying Pink Mink, I just fell in love! The packaging looks great - sleek, matte black, and it has a clear bottom so you can see what color you're getting in the tube. The bottom shade is accurate to the lipstick itself, so that's great for when you're picking them out!

Party in the Buff is a peach toned nude. Similar to my Rimmel London Nude Delight. I loved this shade just as much as I loved that one, and I have been picking this up constantly. It's easy to wear, and I don't have to worry about messing up.

The lipstick is REALLy creamy, which is a blessing and a curse. Being so creamy, it feels slick, but without a liner or a lip lock, this product can move around and smear. I don't find it too off putting to just line my lips with a clear lip lock pencil, so I don't see that as a downside really.

The lipstick smells sweet, like vanilla, and it applies like a dream. I have more in my wishlist I'm eyeing, so the next sale I'm going to have to swipe them up.

Nail Polish - Fairy Dust - $2

I'm always torn with their polishes, because applying them is a nightmare in the way that the polish just smells pretty bad, like spray paint. Fortunately, it doesn't apply like spray paint, and that's what keeps them in my eye. The scent goes away after the polish dries, and then I don't have any other issues with scent.

Fairy Dust is a iridescent glitter in a clear base. This is one base over ELF's red polish. It's a bit like Essie Shine of the Times, but with glitter and not flakes. I'm an instant fan, and it adds such a subtle flair to your manicure.

I'll have better photos of this polish in the future, but this will do for now.

Studio Angled Blush Brush and Angled Foundation Brush - $3 Each

I really do enjoy the studio line of brushes as a whole. I'm really a fan of the sleek black look of the brushes, and it makes them look a bit more posh than they are. I mean, they're three dollars! You can afford to go crazy and pick up multiples of your favorites with how cheap they are, and though they're cheap they generally perform really well.

The Angled Foundation Brush is not one of those brushes. It's a synthetic, stiff, foundation brush, that is only different than the regular foundation brushes that you 'paint' the foundation on, because of the angled cut of the bristles. This brush bled a lot when I went to wash it the first time, and then 
applying foundation with this brush was like being back in high school. 
This is good for beginners, but now that i know the joys of other brushes that work better and faster, I just don't have the time for this brush, even if it's good for getting around the nose.. I'll be using it for face masks instead.

The Angled Blush Brush is a different story. I upgraded to this one after using the Professional Angled Blush Brush by ELF for years, and I love the upgrade! It was really easy to apply blush to my cheeks, and I can even use this brush for contouring my face with ease. 
This brush did bleed during the first wash, but after soaping it up and rinsing it twice, the water ran clear. 

Contouring Blush and Bronzer Cream - $3

I have the powder version of this (St. Lucia) combo, and I really wanted to try out the creams. I do prefer powders for my face since I'm oily, but I waned to give creams a try, especially since it'll be winter and my skin will be drying out a bit during the harsh temperatures.

Opening the lid I saw sweating immediately. It's not the worst case of product sweating I've seen, but sweating is like a magnet for bacteria as well. Also, in the bronzing cream there is a fiber (hair??) stuck right into the product. I'm not really sure what that's all about, but I'm confident since it's in the product itself, it was a manufacturing error.

I did go ahead and swatched this for you (I threw caution to the wind and tried it on too), and these are REALLY cream, and REALLY pigmented. They are really pigmented, but blend out really nicely. I was really impressed with how much color you get on without too much effort.

I apply my makeup with a heavy hand, so I have to watch myself so that I don't pack on too much at once, and it's always easier to go back in and add more than it is to take pigment away.  

Eyebrow Treat and Tame - Light and Medium - $3 Each

I've heard good things about this product, so I wanted to give it a try myself. The Eyebrow Treat and Tame I bought in both light, and Medium, since I wasn't sure which shade would look better on me.

The packaging for both is almost identical, but 

I was a little frightened, because they both have shimmer in the bottles (light is more noticeable, because the packaging isn't as frosty/matte as the medium one is) and I was worried that my brows would have noticeable shimmer - fortunately, on the brows, it isn't noticeable at all.

The first step is to add the 'treat' side to your brows. It comes with a brush-on applicator. I was really hesitant the first time I tried it, but the bristles spread to catch the hairs at the front, and then go back into a tip for the tail of your brows. It doesn't get all over the place, and it doesn't drip down into my eyes either, it stays in place. 

It's meant to encourage hair growth, but I don't notice any of that, but my brow hairs feel really soft, so there is that.

The other side is a spooly brush applicator for the 'tame'. It has little fibers in the product that catch onto your existing eyebrow hairs and makes it appear fuller.

Light is a cool toned brown, while Medium is a warm toned brown. I really hate warm toned browns for eyebrow products, because unless you have warm toned hair, it just looks ridiculous. I can't wear medium at all, but Light seems to be okay, even if it's lighter than I prefer for daily use.

I am really impressed with this product. The treat I didn't find to do much, but the tame is great. It takes a little getting used to, and you have to build it up to have the look you like, but the end results make me very happy.  It takes me about two minutes to do my brows compared to the five it takes me to do my brows with a gel and an angled brush.

Quick, easy, to the point, and cheap!

Hydrating Under Eye Primer - $3

I have been having issues with my undereye concealer creasing, so I thought I'd give this product a try. I really in love with the packaging. It's sleek, black, and it's surprisingly small.

The product is distributed through a pump! I am so in love with products with pumps, and this is no exception. It gives just the right amount of product for both eyes. I have to stress this, because I went overboard and thought it was one pump for each eye (don't look at me like that, we all make mistakes) and I had a mess because there was too much product on my face at once.

It catches you off guard, because it says it's clear, but it comes out this pale pink. Don't worry, because it blends it seamlessly into the skin and you don't even notice, but it's great because you can see if you've blended it all in or if you've missed a spot.

This product leaves that area feeling slightly tacky, so it grips any concealer I put on top and holds onto the pigment. Especially for someone like me who has really dark circles sometimes from my sleeping disorder, this is a life saver. I can see this lasting me for a long while because of how little you really need to apply, and I can definitely see myself repurchasing this product in the future. I am completely in love with it.

Lip Stain - $3

The packaging is exactly like the Eyebrow Treat and Tame. One side has the Lip Stain, and the other an accompanying gloss. Both apply with a brush tip applicator.

Heartbreaker is a coral pink lip stain. I didn't actually notice any significant staining, even having it on my lips for a while. I did enjoy the color. The accompanying gloss is just a clear gloss, but it gets dirty quickly after applying over the stain.

The stain is the oddest feeling. It's incredibly dry feeling on the lips, and at the same time it feels greasy. It feels like I slapped on some fuzzy french fry grease onto my lips. The product also balls up, settles into lines, and looks generally unappealing. It looked so gross, even after exfoliating and reapplying again.

With the gloss, it's better. It still has color bunched up in odd places, but it doesn't look like the product settles into the lines of my lips anymore.

Overall, this product is pretty terrible. I can't even get much use out of it, because it just does nothing for me.

Eyebrow Kit - Light - $3

I really wanted to give this one a try, since I was so in love with my Medium kit, I wanted one that went a little lighter.

The light kit is a warm toned, but paler brown. Surprisingly, even though it's warm, it doesn't look too bad on my brows. Not ideal, but it's something I will continue to use because I love these kits so much.

Compared to the Medium Kit, you can see that this is significantly lighter. I'm still really enjoying it. I really am a huge Eyebrow Kit fan, because I like the entire package. I like the gel, I like the powder, and I love the little mini dual sided brush that comes included. I just adore these kits, and will always suggest picking one up for yourself.

Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow - Gala - $3

I do like the packaging on this. How I wish some of the other products were packaged. Not too bulky. Still plastic lid on plastic, so I do worry about the product drying out.

And it's already got a crack in it. Anyway, Gala is a chocolate brown with multicolor shimmer in the product.

This product is super soft and fluffy to the touch. Like a whipped mousse product. It's really fun to press your finger into the product to make little craters.

And I am just as in love with this shade as I was Soiree. It goes on so smoothly, and it blends out nicely as well. You can also use these to add some extra glitz to a makeup look, by lightly tapping this on top of it to add a little extra shine. A downside to these shadows, is that you have to set them with a primer and a powder, or they'll crease like crazy. I prime my eyes anyway, but the powder isn't a big deal, I just use a translucent powder and that takes care of that issue.

I do notice that they really aren't long lasting however. Even with the preemptive measures, they still fade through the day, and you can tell the difference from when you first apply the product, to when you go to take it off later in the day.

They're such a wonderful product to give a try to, and you won't be sorry.

Cream Eyeliner - Midnight - $3

The packaging for this product is once again, plastic on plastic. ELF doesn't use glass for their packaging, which is not so great since it can let more air in, but really great because if you drop it you don't have to worry about it shattering.

Midnight is a true, matte navy blue cream. It looks almost black in some lighting, and noticeably blue in others. Though if you're using it to line your eyes, it can definitely appear to be black unless you're really looking at it.

The product applies really well. I did have to go over it with another layer, because in a couple of areas, it went on patchy, but overall the product is creamy and glides on well.

The biggest downfall, is the staying power. If you're rubbing at your eyes, it will smudge. I know you're not supposed to rub, but sometimes you just can't help it, and if you put too much pressure it'll come off. Also, they aren't waterproof, so if you have watery eyes (like I do!) then you'll see the edges wear down. 

I can get a good chunk of wear time out of this product, but I do have to touch up the edges if I'm wearing these for 6+ hours.

Smudge Pot - Crusin' Chic - $2

I was really in a way refreshed to see this packaging. This isn't like the studio products with the black lids and the square packaging, but this is the essential line. A lot of white, really. 

Crusin' Chic is a warm taupe metallic shimmer! I go crazy for taupe shades, and this is no exception.

I am in love. If I didn't already have Color Tattoos that are similar to the others I would buy those up too. This product goes on so freaking smooth. It doesn't take that much to get great pigmentation, it glides on, smudges out, and sets! This sucker is a lot like the Maybelline Color Tattoos where it can be worn on it's own, and it lasts like crazy. This is a shade that goes with the all-over-the-lid color trend that I adore, because I can be lazy, and be assured that this product will last me all day long.

 Waterproof Eyeliner Pen - Midnight - $2

Another gem from the essential line. This product used to be in black packaging, but they changed it a while ago to go with the different lines - studio and mineral is in black, essential is in white. I'm really happy with the change, because for me, I really like the look of these liners in white compared to them being in black.

The packaging is fantasic itself. It has a spring-loaded cap, that bounces up once you take it off, but it snaps closed. If the cap pops back up, and you don't hear the snap, then you haven't pushed it down far enough or hard enough. It ensures that the product stays juicy longer.

The tip is a felt tip, like a marker. I'm admittedly not the biggest fan of felt tip applicators, because they end up fraying towards the end of their life and you can't be as precise with the application as time goes on.

Midnight is similar to the gel, where it looks almost black unless you're really looking at it, or if you're looking at it in certain lighting. It's different in a way, because with this marker, it doesn't dry matte, instead it has a sheen to it.

This product is a lot like I remember back in the day when the packaging was still black. It goes on great, and lasts a really long time. Unless I'm tearing up and rubbing at my eyes, I don't really notice a lot of transfer. Of course, I do notice a little bit of smudging here or there, but it holds up really well for a long period of time.

Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon - Champagne - $3

This crayon is packaged in a foggy white plastic cap, with a black plastic tube. The best part? This product twists up! I really love twistable products, because I don't have to worry about finding a proper sized sharpener.

The odd thing about this, is that towards the bottom, it looked like it dropped in a bunch of oil... Like I dropped it into a packet of french fries. Not sure what was up with that, really.

Also, it was so dry, that dragging it on my skin made it pop right out. I don't think that is supposed to happen, but I had myself a good laugh over it.

It is a warm toned champagne shade. Really this is more like a rose champagne. Because the product is so dry, it draws on a very thin line.

The most amazing part of this, is that in the time it took me to draw this line, and take the photos, I had to get out my heavy-duty eye makeup remover to get it off. Once it sets, it's on there. I don't fancy this as much as an eyeliner, but for a pop of shimmer in the inner corners it works beautifully, even to line the bottom lash line.

Waterproof Shadow Crayon - Taupe - $3

Same packaging as the Waterproof Eyeliner Crayon. It is so easy to confuse these products, really. They look almost completely identical, down to the colors.

Taupe is a light taupe shade. Really light. Really, I had to triple check that I didn't mix these two up, because I thought for sure this one was going to be the champagne color, even if it's not.

This product goes on very smooth, and it sets really quickly. Similar to the other product, once it's on - it's on, and won't budge.


They both have the foggy caps, that snap on. I wish more pencil/crayon items had snappable caps, because they snap on and then I don't have to worry about them falling off randomly. They are secure, and they fit on the tubes perfectly.

Even though they look similar in the tubes, they look different on the skin. Also, the feel of them is completely different too. Champagne is dry and rough, while Taupe is smooth.

Really, I don't think you need both, not at all. I pick Taupe over Champagne almost every time, because I just love the application over Champagne. 

I'm not sure if that goes for all shades, or just these too.

Mineral Blemish Powder - $8

The Mineral Powder has unique packaging compared most of the other products that I have ever bought from ELF. It's a plastic container, with a silver plastic lid.

The product is a pale color, and comes out with a sifter. Thank goodness for sifters, since it's a loose powder.

You apply the powder with a brush, but it comes with this small synthetic brush for you to use. This brush bled when I first washed it, and I don't know what it is about their flat synthetic brushes getting washed, but it holds a lot of the black dye in them. This brush however, is perfect for putting this product right on your spots.

This is NOT a concealer!

I needed to bold that, because there have been some people out there that claim that this is a shitty concealer. They are right. It is a terrible concealer, because it's not meant to conceal anything. It's meant to treat your acne.

It smells odd, because it has sulfur in it, and when applying it you can get a wiff of it. Don't let it alarm you. I like putting this under, and over my concealer, and it's what I set the areas where I have spots after applying foundation too. I use this with makeup, I use this without makeup. I use it all the time.

And I have noticed a difference in my acne. I had a bit of a bother with some spots on my forehead. They weren't discolored, but they were raised, and there were quite a few of them. With this, and the Zit Zapper, those spots were gone in two days. I was absolutely surprised with how well, and how quidkly I get results with this.

I still get a behemoth spot, even with this, but the smaller spots don't pop up like they generally would. I am just so impressed with this product, and I'm kicking myself that I haven't gotten it sooner.

I am definitely going to covet this product, and I urge you to give it a try yourself.

Thanks for reading!

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