Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Haul: e.l.f. Cosmetics

Hey, friends! Today's blog post is brought to you by a snow day, because without it I wouldn't have time to write this. (Though, technically it isn't an official snow day, because my school is lame and only cancelled classes until 4pm.)

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share my miniature e.l.f. haul with you. I have a really hard time getting e.l.f. products, since the closest Target to me is an hour away. Even then, Target doesn't have a lot of the stuff that e.l.f. makes, so my only real option was to purchase from their website. I finally had accumlulated enough products on my To Buy list from e.l.f., and with a "Free Shipping on $15+ Orders" code in hand, I placed my order. I used Christmas Consumerism as an excuse to buy this for myself. Yes, this haul is actually a few weeks old, but that just means I've had time to play with the products and can sort of review them for you. See? Everybody wins.

Before we get started, I just have to mention one quick thing. Have you ever looked at the banners on their website?

Seriously, I want to know who does their advertising. I subscribed to their newsletter for a little while when I was waiting for a good time to make my purchase (always wait for a sale!) and I got emails like this all the time. It was like this picture, where things might be on sale, but they also compare it to department store prices. Now I love e.l.f. and I think they have some great quality stuff, but I wouldn't say their stuff is department store quality. For example, their $1 eye pencil is even comparable to Urban Decay's 247 Liners, but the exact type of thing e.l.f. would do is say "This pencil is a $19 value!" when really it's not. Also, where did they even get that $200 number for this picture? Ugh, that just bugs me, but I guess it must work for them so who am I to judge? (But really, I am totally judging).

Anyway, in this haul you'll mostly find makeup brushes and other tools I can use to utilize the makeup I already have, as opposed to actual makeup. But enough blabbing--on to the good stuff!

Studio Small Stipple Brush ($3)

I bought this for cream blush, but to be honest, I'm not really a fan. My fingers seem to do a better job of blending out cream blush that this brush, as fingers often do. Fingers are great: you get ten of them, and they're free. But, this brush was only $3 and I'm glad I got it. I actually kind of like it for blending out concealer, even if it is a little big. There's almost always multiple ways to use a brush, especially one of this size, so I'll be playing around with it some more and get back to you! 

Sheer Eyelid Primer ($1 for .11 fl oz)

I don't often wear eyeshadow primer, since I don't have oily eyelids and don't have much problems with creasing (thank you, Life). I typically use a cream shadow, such as the Revlon Smoky Shadow Sticks (they're discontinued now, I'm crying) and Maybelline Color Tattoos (I was lusting after one of these for awhile). They make my eyeshadows pop and give them a creamy base to stick to. But I'm excited to try out this primer and see how I like it. I mainly purchased it after realizing that half the eyeshadows in my e.l.f. Beauty Book are sheer and dry, so we'll see if this helps!

Studio HD Undereye Setting Powder ($3 for 1.2g)

I noticed my undereye area was looking a little powdery in the morning after I set my concealer, so I thought I would try this. This is a very finely milled loose powder, and I'm actually enjoying it a lot. It has a subtle sparkle in the container, but it's not noticeable on the eye. I think it provides a slight brightening effect. I really enjoy the packaging on this, because whenever you shake the product into the lid, only the tiniest bit comes out. You only really need a minuscule amount to set your undereye concealer, so I'm happy it didn't turn out to be like bareMinerals and get everywhere. A great $3 find! As for the brush....well, I accidentally threw it out with the packaging when I was gathering the trash, so that might say something about the what I think of the quality. Oops. 

Studio Daily Moisture Stick ($6 for .53oz)

I purchased this to help with the powdery-ness of my undereye area after watching emilynoel83's video on it. This was $6, so the most "expensive" item in my haul by far. Still, $6 is like 1.5 lattes at Starbucks, so I was really hoping I would like this. I haven't tried this for refreshing my look throughout the day, but I think it might have actually made my undereye creasing worse. I'm still playing around with ways to apply it, so I'll keep you updated. I just really want to like this, but so far I don't, and I'm determined to find a way that I do.

Studio Makeup Mist & Set ($3 for 2oz)

I bought this, like the eyelid primer, to help with eyeshadow pigmentation. Rather than using this as a makeup setting spray, I plan to use this mostly as a MAC Fix+ Spray dupe. I was reading Phyrra's post on this, and for $3 it seemed like a steal. I have a lot of e.l.f. shadows in my Beauty Book that could use a little (or a lot) of help, and also some higher-end shadows as well. The Urban Decay shadow in Zodiac I received in my Ipsy bag last year looks beautiful in the pan, but I couldn't seem to get the beautiful pigmentation out of it with a brush alone, so I'll be enlisting the help of this spray.

Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara ($1)

I needed more brow gel. This was a dollar. It's just that simple. I don't wear clear mascara--my lashes are blonde. Besides, if I'm going to exert the effort of putting on mascara, I want my lashes to at least be noticeable. I'm really baffled! Does anyone wear clear mascara? If you do, please let me know in the comments below so I can understand this phenomenon. 

Also, this technically wasn't in this haul, but around the same time I bought the Studio Stipple Brush from e.l.f. as well. I got the free $10 credit from Luvocracy (that site that all the YouTube beauty "gurus" were promoting for awhile) for signing up. I don't think they're doing the $10 credit offer anymore, so I don't see a reason to sign up. I used it for the free credit, got my free brush (it was $3, plus like $6 for S&H! Crazy! But still free), and then never used them again. Eh.

I wasn't crazy about how this blended out my BB cream/foundation products. Again, I found that my fingers did a better job. Why do I keep doing this? Though, I recently earned $20 in Amazon gift cards via Bing Rewards (referral link) and bought myself a nice Sigma Sigmax F80 foundation brush, so I'm excited to use that. Seriously, if you don't use Bing Rewards, go sign up right now. It's like free money. I don't pay for things anymore. I just earn free Amazon gift cards and let myself go wild.

Well, that's my haul! Some of these things I'm excited about, and others I'm not. Still, all in all I'm happy with what I got. I still plan to do more messing around with the products, especially the brushes and Moisture Stick. I usually love the Studio line, so I'm not pushing these products to the back of my drawer just yet.

Have you ever tried any of these products? Got any tips for me? (Oh, and I wasn't kidding about the clear mascara thing. Seriously, WHY?)

Disclaimer: I purchased all of these things with my own real people money. The e.l.f. Stipple Brush was purchased using that free $10 Luvocracy credit that the YouTube community was giving out like candy for awhile. That's really it. 

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