e.l.f. Haul #2 Breakdown

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My final post on the e.l.f. haul number two. Took longer to write the review than I expected due to illness in the family and bad internet connections. Plus, it takes gobs of time to prepare the images.

For the remainder of my order, I bought two products from the Mineral line, two products from the Studio line, and the remaining three products from the main e.l.f. line. Altogether, this ran a whopping $15.

Overall, I was more or less happy with my order. Putting it that way makes me sound rather ambivalent about my purchase, doesn’t it? As I’ve said before, it’s difficult to harshly judge products that run from $1-$3 USD. You don’t exactly expect much going in.

This review is #3 in a three part review on my recent e.l.f. haul. You can find the other posts here:

e.l.f. Mineral Lip Gloss

I wanted to try at least one of the new Mineral Lip Glosses, and decided to go with Pageant Princess. The shade is a little heavy on the bright pink, but as with most e.l.f. lip glosses, it applies sheer.

e.l.f. Mineral Lip Gloss Pageant Princess

The container is on the small side and features a sponge-tipped applicator. I’m guessing the container would be closer to traditional full sizes if the glosses sold for $5 USD, like the mineral lipsticks. Eh, three dollars still doesn’t seem too bad for some vegan glosses.

e.l.f. Mineral Lip Gloss Pageant Princess with Swatch

Since becoming vegan, I’ve only tried two types of tube glosses and they were both from Gabriela Cosmetics (the company that manufactures the Zuzu Luxe line). You can see both the Gabriela and Zuzu Luxe tube glosses at Vegan Essentials. These are excellent products and I highly recommend them. However, they run at least three times as much (and I’d point out that the Zuzu Luxe tubes are quite narrow).

I’d like to try another couple of shades from the e.l.f. Mineral Lip Gloss before I make a final judgement. Hopefully, the line will be expanded soon. The current colours run a bit too pink for my tastes.

Update: This product has been discontinued, but I have a full review on the e.l.f. Mineral Lip Glosses you can find here.

e.l.f. Studio Mineral Eyeshadow Primer

I’ll start off by saying that I’ve never used an eyeshadow primer, although I have been bombarded by positive reviews about Urban Decay’s version. I don’t have the money at the moment to buy such a product—even if UD is a really awesome deal and lasts a long time. Maybe during next tax time.

e.l.f. Mineral Eyeshadow Primer

In the meantime, I thought I’d give e.l.f.’s Studio Mineral Eyeshadow Primer a spin since I’d heard that it’s just as good. I’d never had problems with creasing until a few months ago. I started applying EDM base to my eyelids and that seems to help.

I’ve tried e.l.f.’s primer a couple of times and haven’t noticed much different than using my base. I’m not sure if this is because I have dry skin or for some altogether different reason. I won’t say that buying this product was a waste, only that I need to try it out in more situations (like winter) before I pass judgement on this product.

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder

I suspected the e.l.f. Studio Bronzer would be kicked off my order for being out of stock and, having passed up an Everyday Minerals Pressed Powder Bronzer, I was adamant to have at least one bronzer. I’d heard some good comments about it, so I tossed the e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing Powder in the cart. Three dollars to try something new.

From what I’ve heard, this product mimics a similar item by NARS. I’d never heard of NARS until I read reviews for this blush/bronzer product, so I cannot comment on how they compare. I would assume e.l.f. fails big time, if we go by past experiences.

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder

The cardboard box is fine; nothing special there. It is mostly black with a picture of the product on the front. The packaging for the duo is much larger than I expected. It’s silky black and the plastic doesn’t feel too cheap—at least not as cheap as many of the other e.l.f. products—but it’s rather clunky. I certainly wouldn’t carry this in my purse. The packaging also does not come with any applicator, which I found odd. Then again, I probably wouldn’t use whatever applicator e.l.f. gave me. The last major feature is the huge mirror. Makes taking pictures of the compact very difficult indeed.

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder opened

As for the bronzer. Well…it’s really, really dark. Probably darker than is safe for me to use. I suppose I can apply it with a very light and careful touch. Considering how much e.l.f. caters to the fair skinned, I find this product amusing. The blush, on the other hand, is a rather sheer peach shade with a light shimmer. Very pretty. I didn’t think the blush was that sheer until I swatched it. I had a tough time applying enough product to my inner arm to be visible for my dense camera. On the other hand, it only took a couple of swipes for the bronzer.

e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder swatches

In the end, I’m glad I bought the blush/bronzer duo, but I almost never use it so…hmm. Maybe it’s a collection thing?

This product is definitely aimed at those average Americans with skin tones a couple of shades darker than mine. The major advantage to this duo is that there seems to be a fair amount of product for three bucks.

Update: I now have a full review of the e.l.f. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder/Cream products. Read more here.

e.l.f. Essential Luscious Liquid Lipstick

Though I already have most of the Essential Luscious Liquid Lipsticks by e.l.f., I wanted to try Ruby Slipper. I was lured in by the name and user images, but alas, this is not close to being a true red shade. It’s closer to burgundy and sort of a darker version of Pink Lemonade. In fact, a couple of days ago, I thought that’s what I had put on, until I double-checked the label.

Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Ruby Slipper

It’s pretty, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it when there are a couple of similar shades I can buy directly at my local K-Mart (Pink Lemonade and Cherry Tart).

Update: You can read the full review on the Luscious Liquid Lipstick here.

e.l.f. Essential Nail Polish

I didn’t want to buy gobs of polish with this order, so I bought just one nail polish in the shade of Sunset. I will say that I like the containers the polish comes in, though I have never received a polish with the fake drops on the lid. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s not important. The actual packaging the polish comes in is cheaply made and excessive. I don’t care for it and would prefer they find an alternate display packaging.

e.l.f. Nail Polish packaging

Sunset is a pretty colour, but different from what I expected. I wanted, and thought I was getting, a dark shade with red/wine undertones. This is undeniably a purple/lilac shade.

e.l.f. Nail Polish in Sunset

Don’t be fooled by the picture above. I like to wear burgundy and wine shades, not those that clearly deviate to purple. I might wear Sunset on my toes, but probably not my hands.

e.l.f. Essential Candy Shop Lip Gloss

I received a free e.l.f. Candy Shop Lip Gloss in Berry Pop on top of everything else for submitting three friends’ e-mail to be spammed with e.l.f. specials thrice daily.

For my first e.l.f. haul I had wanted to get one of these lip glosses even though I wasn’t sure I’d use it, and bought Candy Fix. After I referred my three friends I ended up with a second Candy Fix, which I found strange. Why not a different flavour? Well, it’s not like I can complain over a gift. At least I got a different flavour this time.

e.l.f. Candy Shop Lip Gloss in Berry Pop

I do like these glosses, though they are messy due to their inherent “dip and use” method of application. I used to carry one of the Candy Fix tins in my pants, but I guess the lid doesn’t fit tightly and I ended up with lint all over the gloss. Not appetizing. I now carry it in the makeup bag of my purse.

I don’t see much colour when the gloss is applied, but it might be a very sheer coat. Most of the difference lies in the smell. The scents do correlate with the flavor and are aptly named.

Update: This product has been discontinued and is no longer available. See my Throwback Thursday post here.

e.l.f. Essential & Studio Brushes

I ordered two brushes this time around, mostly due to curiosity. The reviews I’ve read for all of the brushes have been all over the place. I decided to go with one from the Essential line and the other from the Studio line.

e.l.f. Eyeliner Brush and Studio Powder Brush

e.l.f. Essential Eyeliner Brush

It occurred to me during this order that only a couple of brushes from the Essential line were actually vegan. I would have been ticked with myself if I had accidentally purchased a brush with animal hair. Fortunately, I realized in time and only put the Essential Eyeliner Brush in my cart.

I already have a couple of liner brushes—my favourite is the brush by ecoTOOLS in the Starter Set—but I wanted this one to either use as a cheap lip liner or to apply creme shadow, things like that. I haven’t used it on my eyes as an eyeliner, but the brush looks to be a little on the thick side, so be careful in that regard.

The eyeliner brush feels cheap, and I would highly recommend the angled eyeliner brush by ecoTOOLS, mentioned above, as a much better alternative. If you’re looking for something super cheap or already making a large order, this isn’t a bad brush, per se, but it’s nothing special either.

e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush

The last item up for review is the e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush. I read recently that flat top brushes are better for applying powder, which was news to me. So I forsook my Retractable Kabuki from ecoTOOLS and ordered the Studio Powder Brush. I wanted to get the Flat Top Brush from Everyday Minerals, but I didn’t want to get another brush from EDM because it would take up a slot in my Super Custom Kit and simply didn’t need another brush. I mostly wanted to compare the Studio line to the other brushes I owned.

e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush

I’ll admit that I’m conflicted. The handle seems cheap and I don’t much care for the design. It feels outdated. The bristles are soft, similar in texture to my Long Handled Kabuki brush from EDM, but they look chintzy. I think this might be because the bristles from the Studio line are dyed solid black and clearly look like nylon bristles. I compared them to the LHK and individually they seem about the same. Maybe it would make a difference if the bristles were two-toned or if they had different lengths like ecoTOOLS and EDM?

e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush

I’m not sure, but admittedly, this brush does a good job. It’s certainly done a better job than the EDM Foptic Brush (my post on this ill-fated product here). I’m not convinced it’s better than my Retractable Kabuki, but it does work as well. So far, I’ve used it for mineral foundation and finishing dusts and haven’t had any problems with shedding.

Comparison of different brushes

I do like that the Studio brush comes with a plastic protector. Without thinking, I tossed the little plastic wrappers that came with the EDM brushes only to realize later that they would have good to keep. Definitely a “doh” moment. The e.l.f. plastic wrapper is sturdy and works great. I attempted to put it on my other brushes, but most of the handles were too wide.


Final Thoughts

Pros: Economical, good colors
Cons: Some chintzy products, some products too pigmented

Aside from the mineral lipsticks, which I love and am happy I bought, I’m more ambivalent about the rest of my order.

In some cases, I need more time to review some of these products, like the Mineral Eyeshadow Primer, and in others, I need to try more shades to make a better decision.

If I view this order as more of an educational experience, I’m not disappointed. I also only spent $30 USD for the whole order so I cannot complain.