Lowbrow Cosmetics Review: e.l.f.

Every once in a while I get hit with another round of those email scams exclaiming that Macy’s or Nordstrom’s is buying out the e.l.f cosmetics line and that I should buy now while prices are low. For the record, neither retailer has ever been in dealings to buy out e.l.f.  At last check (not today, I’m lazy), both stores had Web pages dedicated to debunking the persistent myth. The truth of the matter is, e.l.f. is a low-priced line of cosmetics that has a respectable policy of not testing on animals.* So, the last time the email came around, along with a handy coupon code for 50% off my order (up to $15), I decided to go for it. Here’s what I got for $21.45, after shipping:

Eyelashes: Can’t beat the price, and they’re more flexible than cheapo-but-still-more-expensive N.Y.C. lashes. I didn’t use the glue they come with, so I can’t vouch for its efficacy. I’m not terribly picky. They just need to stay where I put them, but come off when I want them to. For this price, I bought 4 pairs.

Eye Widener: This “soft” white eye pencil is not soft enough to use along the tear line as intended, thus rendering it useless. Skip it. Maybe use it under your nails for a subtle French manicure look.

Eyebrow Lifter & Filler: I like this one. A double-tipped pencil with a light neutral end for highlighting under the brow, and a colored end for filling in. Easy-peasy. In fact, its ease of use is why I’ve neglected to more frequently use the:

Eyebrow Kit (e.l.f.’s version of Benefit’s ‘Brow Zing’): I only used it once, and forgot to pay any attention to it throughout the day. Sorry! At least it wasn’t noticeably BAD, right?

Lip Definer & Shaper: Another double-tipped pencil, with one “natural” end and one “nude” end. When used according to directions, I thought my mouth looked sloppy. As a last resort, it makes for a couple of neutral, frosted lip pencils.

Lip Brush: I don’t remember the web site mentioning that this brush had two tips (one for lining, one for filling) AND that they both tuck inside for tidy travel. Which is, yes, neat. You can load them up with color at home, retract and tuck the brushes inside the handle, and go out on the town without having to carry your lipstick with you. That being said, though, I personally have trouble with lipstick brushes. I guess I need some instructional help or something, but I can never seem to load up the brush enough to fully color my lips.

Lip Liner: It’s a pencil lip liner. I don’t have a lot to say about it. Functional, nice color (I chose “bitter,” heh heh), and inexpensive.

Concealer Pencil & Brush: Love love love! The blending brush that is included on the other end of this pencil does a great job of feathering the edges of your concealed blemish, and the concealer end is just waxy enough to stay where you put it with good coverage that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing concealer. I wonder if I should order more before they do something dumb like discontinue it?

Tinted Moisturizer: SPF 15, in a range of colors. It’s not greasy or heavy, which is nice. I know that it’s hard to pick shades via a web site, but it’s just tinted moisturizer, not full-coverage foundation. I did fine with Tone 1.

Cuticle Pen: This is like a fat magic marker filled with cuticle oil. Very handy for dabbing at my ragged Winter cuticles before I go to bed. Immediate results without the oily mess of using cuticle oil and a cotton swab. I’m sure it would work even better if I remembered to use it more often.

I also bought a shadow brush and a blending brush, but haven’t used either one yet (my Sephora brushes are doing me fine).

NOTE: ALL of the e.l.f. pencils come with sharpeners. All but the lipliner’s are built into the cap, which is nice for carrying in your purse, if you do that sort of thing. However, all of the double-tipped pencils have the writing that explains each tip printed near the sharpened end of the pencil. Sharpen that thing twice, and you no longer know which end is which. When it’s a dark/light pencil like the Eyebrow Lifter & Filler it’s not a problem, but the Lip Definer & Shaper colors are so similar that it would be tricky to determine. And you wouldn’t want to define your lips with the shaper end, or vice-versa (rolls eyes).


* Does e.l.f. test on animals?
We do NOT test on animals or endorse such practices. Our products do not contain animal derived ingredients. Beeswax has been replaced by synthetic beeswax and lanolin has been replaced by Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladinpale-2. We currently support HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project.

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