Skip or Steal?

UPDATE: I have a new blog! I blog about modern Midwestern cooking at Midweek Minimalist.

For something that gets washed off every night, make-up can get pretttttty expensive.

Most of you have probably heard of e.l.f. products, as they recently became available at Target. The products are dirt cheap (starting at $1!) and boast pretty high claims for the price they are. I love e.l.f. products, especially when I want to try something new. However, I’ve learned that some of their products aren’t as good as their more expensive counterparts and others that work great. So without further ado:

elf header picture

1. Studio Tinted Moisturizer: I chose the “studio” line over their regular tinted moisturizer ($1) because I was looking for something a little higher quality for a face product. It also provides a SPF of 20, which is a nice perk. I planned on using this tinted moisturizer if I was planning on having an errand running day or going to the beach.

Verdict: skip! I found this moisturizer to be too sheer for me. It moisturizes well, but does not provide much coverage. If you have a perfectly even skin tone (lucky you!) this product might work well for you.

2. Essential Eye Primer: I don’t wear heavy eye make-up a lot, so I was mostly looking for something to even out the tone on my eyelids and provide a little “grip” for the eyeshadow I do wear.

Verdict: steal! The applicator on this product is super handy and blends into skin easily. At $1, it does what it needs to do and really does make a difference.

3. Endless Eyes Pro Mini Eyeshadow Palette in Natural: This is the first shadow palette I have ever purchased. I chose this because of the neutral color palette and the versatility.

Verdict: steal! I love how many different looks I can create with this palette. My one complaint is that although it is a packed shadow, it seems to get sort of powdery and loose once you start to use one color. The pigment is pretty good for the price point also.

4. Studio Makeup Mist & Set: This setting spray is alcohol free and contains moisturizers. It is designed to be sprayed on top of your finished makeup and “set” it in all day. I thought this would come in handy for long days, especially in the summertime.

Verdict: skip! I didn’t really notice any difference in the longevity of my makeup. The only time I find myself using this is if I need a little bit of light moisture on my forehead after I apply my foundation or setting powder. I would recommend trying a little higher quality setting spray like this one. 

5. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer: I had been wanting to try primer for quite a while when I bought this but hadn’t really found one in my price range that I was willing to buy. The closest I could find was a L’Oreal primer that was over $10 for a tiny tube. This primer is one of the higher priced “studio” products out of the e.l.f. line and is supposed to help even out your face before you apply foundation.

Verdict: steal! I love this primer. After I put it on I really feel like my skin is more smooth and that my foundation goes on easier. I bought this at Target and they only have the clear version, but I really want to try the tone correcting ones they have online!

6. Essential Nourishing Cuticle Pen: I bought this pen on a whim after having a bad experience with Sally Hansen cuticle oil. I tend to get really dry cuticles, especially in the winter and was hoping that this would combat the dryness.

Verdict: steal! This really made a difference in how dry my cuticles are. I typically only apply it when I paint my nails because I forget, so I think this would be super effective on a regular basis. The application pen is really handy as well, it can easily be tossed into a purse or makeup bag. The oil soaks in fairly quickly and goes on mess free without any drips.

7. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder: This brush and bronzing powder is supposed to help sculpt Kim Kardashian-esque cheekbones and bring a little glow to your face. I bought this after reading about how to HAC on Maskcara (favorite beauty blog!)

Verdict: toss up! I bought this in the color St. Lucia and wasn’t a fan of the blush color at all. The bronzer is okay, but it has too much shimmer to work for contouring. I still use this as a bronzer, so if you are looking for a bronzer/blush combo this would be a steal for you! I noticed they sell a cream version of this and think that might work better for contouring. I recently found a flat bronzer at Victoria’s Secret Semi annual sale for $5 that gives a more natural glow than the e.l.f. bronzer does.

 8. Studio Concealer: This lightweight stick concealer is supposed to fully conceal spots and blemishes. I was looking to use it to conceal under eye circles and the occasional blemish.

Verdict: steal! I keep this concealer in my purse for quick touch ups during the day. I wouldn’t say the coverage is super heavy, so if you have heavy acne this probably wouldn’t work the greatest for you. I prefer using this for touch ups only instead of as an under eye concealer. I use Maybelline Dream Lumi to conceal my under eye circles now because it goes on smoothly and brightens that area up. 

9. Makeup Brushes: I didn’t write up each individual e.l.f. brush I own because I own quite a few! I included them in this roundup because I think they are all a steal. Most them are in the $1, but you can get the better studio brushes for a little bit more. I especially love the foundation brushes because those tend to get gunky the quickest and I can just go buy another one. The crease brush is another favorite as well!

27 thoughts on “Skip or Steal?

  1. If you are looking for a setting spray, I would recommend Skindinavia or Urban Decay over Elf or NYX. My favorite Elf product is their brow kit. Just as good as some “high end” brow kits and only $3. Also love their studio brushes. Just purchased a set of them for my collection. For $3 a brush you can’t beat it.

  2. Don’t forget their “zit zapper,” not the greatest name, but it leaves one with no confusion. It is $1 and has the same amount of salicylic acid as Clinique’s version (which is over $25)!

  3. I have been using e.l.f. products for years. My new favorite thing is the HD Powder. Now…I haven’t coughed up the $35 for the real thing from Make Up For Ever but I’m impressed.

    What I wasn’t impressed with was the mineral line from e.l.f. It was so awful and clay like… just pass on that all together.

    I agree on the brushes. I had a coupon online (fyi search e.l.f. coupons and you can get some pretty good deals beyond free shipping) and it was something like spend $25 get the complete brush set for free! Best purchase ever. The brushes clean well and have held up very nicely.

    • I’ve been using the MUFE for a while. I found myself running low and decided to try the ELF before I ran out. While I SLIGHTLY prefer the MUFE, the ELF is a quality product and I think, considering the price difference, I will be using the ELF!

  4. Pingback: e.l.f. Studio Mineral Infused Face Primer | WWW.DBESTREVIEW.COM

  5. They have pen like eyeliner that i am in love with, its liquid in a pen form, it stays on for days, it easy to use, and is the ONLY liquid eyeliner that drys without cracking and doesnt transfer to my upper lid, best part its only 3 dollars!!!! i bought 5 after my first time using it, i would most defiantly recommend 🙂

    • OH and they have a make up removing pen, i use heavy mascara that can sometimes get all over the place and the makeup removing pen is perfect for perfecting your eyeliner or touching up around your eye brows 🙂 i buy this one in bulk as well 🙂

  6. You don’t think the mineral face primer smells like moth balls? Did I just get a bad batch? I tried it too. Loved the texture, but brought it back on account of the gross smell.

  7. My absolute favorite e.l.f. product is their eyebrow kit, it is my all-time favorite eyebrow product, no matter what the price!

    • I too love the eyebrow kit….it’s great. And the nail polish remover pads are great because they’re portable.

  8. Thanks for posting this, I love e.l.f products and loved this post! I use the Studio eyeshadow a lot, but I actually use it as a primer for my lipsticks and it makes it stay on longer.

  9. I ALSO love the e.l.f. blushes – my 2 faves are “tickled pink” and “fuscia fushion”, i love wearing them together in the summer, it makes my skin glow and I get so many compliments on my makeup when i do! My other fave product is the High Definition Powder. I use it every single day at the end of my makeup routine to set my concealer and foundation (if im wearing any that day). It makes my skin look super smooth and even complected, as well as keeps my T-zone from developing any oily spots throughout the day (or at least keeps them from being too visible!).

  10. Their lip stain pen/markers are awesome! They smell awful, to be honest, but they give just enough color if you want more than a balm but less than a gloss or lipstick. The regular stain is pretty good too-not my favorite, but I do buy it in colors I don’t use often, like fairly nude colors.

  11. I love their shimmer whip. My local store categorizes it as a blush but it’s really multi-purpose! I put it on my upper eyelids, in the inside crease of my eyes, and on my cheeks. In the tube it looks pink but it’s really just an iridescent shimmer that’s good for any type of use. AND it’s only $1!

  12. I have been a big fan of e.l.f. eyeshadows for a long time! I got a few of their Beauty Books at first, then I tried the eyelid primer, and bam! I’m addicted to this line. The primer works with my oily skin even on the hottest, most humid Florida summer days. I recently picked up the 11-piece Studio Brush set at Marshal’s for a steal (R.O.S.S. and TJ Maxx are also great for that), and omg, they are the SOFTEST brushes ever! I love the case they came in as well, as I can fit all the brushes, a couple of eyeliners, mascara, lip glosses, and my eyeshadow palate all in the case with room to spare.

  13. LOVE e.l.f. products and I agree with just about everything you said. The only thing I can say that I dislike is that the total face brush gets a really bad smell when you wash it. I wonder if their brush shampoo would make a difference? Luckily, they are only $1 and I can always just get a new one! 🙂

  14. Elf eyeliner and brow kit totally worth it. I have tried kat Von d eyeliner and I gotta say I prefer elf. For the brow kit I have never tried high end but this kit is great IMO. Blush not so great the eyeshadows are good just use primer

  15. My fav elf product is their matte lipstick OMG it is wonderful especially in red … It’s the most perfect red I’ve ever found m, that really Cadillac apple red!!😍😍

  16. e.l.f. also has oil blotting sheets that are awesome, one dollar per pack. My nose is super oily, so I blot with these a couple times a day. This is the ONLY product that has ever kept my nose looking matte, and you can’t beat the price. 🙂

  17. I love every E.L.F. product I own! I’ve almost always used MAC, Covergirl, or Maybelline exclusively. I still use MAC powder, but I’m currently looking for something with similar quality, but at a much cheaper price. The liquid liner (with the wand) I’ve found to be completely opposite to what others have said. It’s brilliant. However, I’m not into the whole dramatic-makeup thing. I do HAC, but very minimally, and with powders. So when I do a cat-eye, it’s right along the lash line and a tiny flick. I find this eyeliner perfect. It’s not sheer, or cracks or anything. It stays for days. I do agree about the tinted moisturizer, not my cup of tea. The palette eyeshadows are great also! I have one with 4 colors, a neutral one, and use the darkest brown to fill my brows. It’s perfect!

  18. I actually love the elf make up mist and set spray! I work in a retail store and find that if I just put foundation and set it would powder that by the end of the day it was pointless for me to even put any on. With this spray it stays a lot longer, Especially when I get overheated doing something physical at work! Love it and definitely NOT a skip!!

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