e.l.f. Now Available at Target

This post contains affiliate links It’s amazing how much one’s plans are dashed after being struck with the H1NI flu for the past two months. I have a lot of reviews to write, so bear with me as I get back into the swing of things. I intended to post reviews from my other two mini hauls first, but a recent trip to Target changed the order.

Since this article ran long, I will put the Target e.l.f. haul review in a forthcoming article.

Big News: Target Now Carries e.l.f.

I know of a couple Targets at the Iowa/Illinois border, some three hours away from my place, that carry e.l.f. So far I haven’t been able to justify the amount of gas it would take my ailing Neon on a trip to see what’s available. The local K-Marts carry a smattering of e.l.f. products that I’ve shown off in earlier reviews and the local Dollar Generals also carry a few of the tools and brushes. Nothing compared to what is available online.

Imagine my surprise and joy to learn through a recent e.l.f. newsletter that (supposedly) all Targets now carry e.l.f. I later learned that the big box chain was slated to carry e.l.f. starting November 1st, but things apparently worked out a bit earlier, because I clearly remember dashing off visiting Target before Halloween.

When I arrived at the makeup section, I scanned all of the rows, not knowing exactly what or where to expect Target to hide the e.l.f. line. I half expected to see some of the usual dollar fare tucked in the back of an aisle à la K-Mart. It was also possible that Target could carry gift sets, something I inferred from the newsletter picture.

I checked the rears of the makeup aisles first, since that is where K-Mart hides their line, but found nothing. I proceeded through each row, suspecting to find something closer to the organic/nail/miscellaneous sections. Still no dice. As I emerged disappointed from the last row, I happened past the front aisle displays on my return to the electronics section. That is when I discovered a whole wall of e.l.f. gift boxes and loose dollar items–all in sleek black packaging and silver lettering.

Turns out Target is now home to a line of Special/Limited Edition products and “luxury” gift sets for the eyes, lips and nails. There are some items that originate from the dollar line dressed in new packaging, but most of the items are new kits, now also reflected on the e.l.f. website. I’m not sure what is in the store for the gift sets after the holiday season concludes.

I found myself scanning the rows of new products in a state of euphoria, completely forgetting my desperate hope of finding Studio or Mineral products, something remembered only after I arrived home. FYI: an interweb rumour states that Target will carry the Studio line Spring 2010. Possibly sooner.

Thanks to the wonders of the interweb, here’s a picture that someone took of the actual Target display:

Yayyyy I found @eyeslipsface at #Target tonight in Mobile!! on Twitpic

Click to see the full image.

I wish I was brave enough to take a picture of a store display. I’m too terrified some employee will yell at me.

The display at both Cedar Rapids, IA Targets were a little different, with the LE single products on the top row. Otherwise it looks the same. Less than a week after the debut, most of the items had sold from one of the Targets.

Available Products

I originally attempted to list all of the kits I saw—and failed miserably—but thankfully I discovered that all of the kits are available on the e.l.f. website under the Gifts section. From what I can remember, all of the gift sets are represented online. Single items have yet to be listed on any online store as of yet. Then again, you’re only missing out on a couple of LE products.

I won’t list all of the sets individually. As stated above, I will publish a review shortly of the specific products I purchased. If you want to know more about each set, you can visit the e.l.f. website for details.

The Luxury Gift Sets

All of the gift sets (as I remember) come packaged in a black cardboard box with a mirrored cardboard insert. The products themselves are suspended in a molded plastic form. Kinda overkill, but standard packaging fare. These are gift sets, after all.

Each product is tagged with a round price sticker that is easily removed for gift-giving purposes.

  • $3 Gift Sets
  • $5 Gift Sets
  • $10 Gift Sets
  • Hollywood Eyelashes Kit
  • The Beauty Encyclopedia: Eye Edition:
    • 12 Eyeshadows, 2 Cream Shadows, 1 Eye Liner, 1 Eyeshadow Brush
  • The Beauty Encyclopedia: Lip Edition:
    • 12 Lip Colour Shades, 2 Lip Gloss Shades, 1 Lip Liner, 1 Lip Brush

Special Edition Individual Products

There were also a few individual products in the new shiny black packaging. I can’t remember exactly what Target had, so this is far from a comprehensive list.

  • Waterproof Eyeliner Pen—two shades in black and…I don’t remember. Midnight or Coffee.
  • Some mascara…
  • Liquid Eyeliner – I think I remember seeing two dark shades of this.
  • Hypershine Lip Gloss in New York City
  • Luscious Liquid Lipstick in…Baby Lips (Eh? How disappointing.) The only Luscious Liquid Lipstick in the entire Target line.
  • A few tools—lunky tweezers, three brushes, I think there was something else…

Online Exclusives

Target now carries 15 items available for purchase online, of which four are online exclusives.

  • e.l.f. Studio Brush Set
  • e.l.f. Studio Large Brush Holder
  • e.l.f. Studio Medium Makeup Collection
  • e.l.f. Studio Large Makeup Collection


The products I had the most difficult time not purchasing were the Beauty Encyclopedias. Both retail for $5 USD. Comparing the live product to the website depictions, I expected these to be a bit bigger. I would say the books are about 5″ wide and 7″-7.5″ tall. (The website lists the Beauty Encyclopedia at exactly 5″x7″.) These are not the same products sold on the website. There are only two “volumes” and the contents are different–double the colour shades, but less product of each. I feel compelled to point out that the full boxset of three “books” on the e.l.f. website retail for $20 USD. I can only conclude that it must have one super-duper, high quality box sleeve.

The Beauty Encyclopedias are nicer than I anticipated; very sleek and well presented. However, I’ve never understood the makeup kit concept. So many times I’ve looked at the e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mini and shook my head. It looks cumbersome to transport and use. I’d much rather take out an eyeshadow compact than whip out a 5″x7″ “book” or—worse—a ginormous, black plastic cube. I suppose that’s just me.

That said, I dare anyone to look at the e.l.f. Studio Large Makeup Collection and not be moved.

In case you wondered, the main strikes for me against the lip encyclopedia were the animal hair lip brush and the vegan lip colours. For the eye encyclopedia , it was the similarity in colours between the shadows and the Smokey Eye Kit I purchased, the inclusion of two cream eyeshadows, and exactly how much eyeshadow do I need? The colours in the eye volume appeared so similar to the other eyeshadow duos that even if they were different, they were close enough that I didn’t need duplicates.

I really wanted to get the Plumping Lip Glaze box set for a couple of colours I have yet to try, but I cannot push aside the feeling that I am paying primarily for the double-sided packaging and not the product.

There were also a few other kits I wanted to purchase, such as the Lip Color Duo Set, but I didn’t want to buy a set with an animal hair brush, no matter how minuscule it might be. Almost all of the kits include one, and as it turns out, I did purchase one kit that contains an animal-derived brush (the packaging in the Smokey Eye Set covered one end of the dual eyeliner/eyeshadow brush). I was less than pleased, considering I went out of my way to avoid all kits with brushes.

On the positive side, the best deal was the Candy Lip Tin gift set, retailing for $3 USD. These contain 1 oz less product than their $2 counterpart and I think they smell so edible good. I’m a real sucker for cookies and chocolate.

There is absolutely nothing for the face. No blush. No bronzer. No powder or concealer. Nothing. Hopefully that will change in the future.

Bottom Line

It’s great to see new products from e.l.f.—and a decent selection in a real-life retail store like Target—but in the end, it’s still the same uninspired products from the dollar line. If the Target/e.l.f. Studio rumor is true, I am greatly anticipating this Spring. Hopefully, there will actually be a selection of products, unlike that of K-Mart or Dollar General.

The new black packaging is…erm, strange for the me used to the pastel colours. Don’t get me wrong. It looks fine; nice even.

It has the trappings of the Studio Line, but on the inside it’s still the same ol’ dollar line.