Monday, September 1, 2014

Best ELF Products (And What To Skip) - Eyes and Lips

If ELF had an award for somebody who has the most items from its whole line, I feel like I will be a top contender. I've been using ELF ever since I first gotten into makeup (which wasn't too long ago. 2 years to be exact. But I've made up for lost time, trust me). I genuinely feel like it's one of the best lines to go to if you're a beginner at makeup or even a seasoned one who would like to play with colors without breaking the bank. With products ranging from $1-$8, ELF is definitely under every makeup lover's radar.

What I love most about the brand is how great the quality is for most of their products. I can even name a few things from the ELF line which, I swear, is as good as, if not better than some of the higher end pieces from my collection. If you're new to ELF, choosing which products to get can be pretty overwhelming, especially now that they're coming out with more and more products.

Being the proud Elfette that I am, I have gone through my entire ELF collection and did the work for you! Here are my top products from ELF by category. It was really, really hard picking only a few favorites but I did it! I also included one product per category that did not work for me and I wouldn't recommend. In this post, let me share my picks for EYES and LIPS. (Also check out my picks for face and tools)

This is gonna be a long one so let's get started!

Before I tell you about my picks, let me just share a couple of tips for when shopping for ELF products.

(1) They often have promo codes and they hold pretty good sales. I almost never pay for anything full price, including makeup. I know that the prices are already so cheap but still, that $3 you save on a sale will give you another great product so I say wait for a good promo code! They come by pretty frequently so just be patient. For me, I wait for when they have 50% off which happens a  few times a year. I stock up on my favorites and that's enough to hold me off until the next 50% sale.

(2) Try to reach the free shipping threshold. I think shipping is more or less $6 and again, that could be a couple more products for you. So if you're almost at the limit, I say just add more things in your cart instead of putting that money towards shipping. This is a great opportunity for you to try out new products.

(3) If you're only getting one or two things, I suggest looking in your local Target (or anywhere else they sell ELF). Sure, the selection wouldn't be as extensive but again, I think paying for $6 shipping for a $3 product is ridiculous. Target is starting to carry more products from the line so chances are, if you're looking for a popular product, they would have it. Also, I'm hearing that more and more places are starting to carry the brand!

Finally, on to the products!


Let's talk about their eyeshadows. Honestly speaking, if I was making this list even a year ago, I would recommend the eyeshadows from ELF. I had a few collections that were just chalky, not pigmented and were basically useless. I'm not quite sure where the turning point was but ELF has definitely stepped up their eyeshadow game. If you're looking to buy an all around palette, I would definitely recommend the 120 Piece Eyeshadow Palette ($12). 

How beautiful is that palette??? Ugh. Just looking at it makes my heart flutter! I love this design! The one down side to this layout though, is that you get less on some colors, more on some. That's not necessarily a deal breaker for me because unless you're doing hardcore costume makeup everyday, I don't think you'll run out quickly. I forgot to include picture for size comparison but this palette is huge! It's bigger than my ipad mini! This is such a great still. Just look at these colors from random swatching:

Unbelievable, huh? I was pretty surprised when I first swatched on these colors. I couldn't believe how pigmented they are. Some shades are a little chalky but as long as you tap your brush a little, then you should be fine. I mean, have you seen those blues??!

If you're looking into getting eyeshadows knowing what colors you want and would prefer a more compact one, then I definitely recommend building your own Essential Custom Compact ($1) with the Refill Pans ($1/each).

Just like the Geo Palette, I was so pleasantly surprised at how pigmented these pans are. You can keep up to 4 shadows in a palette which makes them great for travelling. I have 2 palettes (8 pans) for now but looking forward to building a palette for different looks (neutral, smoky, purples, etc.) I can't wait til they add more colors to this collection but with 18 colors to choose from right now, this is definitely a steal! As with the Geo Palette, some colors come of a little chalky but nothing too bad. I especially like how vibrant the darker colors are!

All the swatches I've done so far are without any primers but if you are looking for a great primer, then I would say try the Essential Eyelid Primer ($1). I have all 4 colors but I especially like the shade in Pearl (white). I use primer mainly because I have oily eyelids and shadows tend to crease on me. This definitely helps with that and as an added bonus, it makes the colors so much more vibrant. Note that this dries up quicker than any other primer I have tried which can be a good thing and a bad thing. Just make sure you blend quickly or else you'll see white patches when it sets.  

The last product in my list of top eye products is the 3-in-1 Mascara ($3). I don't think it necessarily volumizes or lengthens but because of the shape of it's wand, this mascara is perfect for using on your bottom lashes. I love how it separates my lashes without weighing it down. I also have not had any issues with running. I love the formula of this mascara! I think I'm on my 3rd tube now!

As for the ELF eye product I would not recommend, I say skip the Mascara Primer ($3). I love using 2 in 1 mascaras with the white fibers so when I saw this one, I was pretty excited to try it out. Unfortunately, I've used it a few times but it doesn't really do anything for me. It barely holds on to my real eyelashes and I find that it makes whatever mascara I put on top run like crazy (even after letting it dry before I put on the mascara). At most, it adds SOME volume but it's hardly worth it. 

Also, before I move on from the eyes category, let me quickly mention the Smudge Pots ($3) that ELF fairly recently came out with. These are some of the most recent additions to my collection. I have not used them enough for me to feel comfortable putting them on my top list. I have tried them a few times and they work pretty well and I think I like them. They're a little creamier than expected but they do what they're designed for so so far, so good. I've only used them as cream eyeshadows and I like the darker colors better for using by itself. BUT I want to try to use the lighter colors as bases and I think they will work well for that! I say these are worth a try if you're looking for more things to add on your cart.

Now, on to the next category.


These Matte Lip Colors are awesome. I have 3 shades out of 9 and I'm looking forward to getting more colors. These come in pencil form which I love because with matte shades, you have to be more careful as they're so much more pigmented and they stain your skin making it hard to erase mistakes. The pencil just makes application more precise and that much easier. They also wear pretty comfortably. They don't dry out my lips too bad, as the case with most matte lip products. The colors are superb and the lasting power is also impressive.

I also really like the Studio Moisturizing Lipsticks. I have the old packaging and my favorites out of the ones I have are the shades Ravishing Rose and Rosy-Go-Round. These lipsticks are so moisturizing that they almost feel like I'm only putting on colored lip balm. The colors are not too intense so it's perfect for everyday use or for applying on the go. 

I also like the shades Rich Raspberry and Rosy Raisin from the Mineral Line of Lipsticks. These two colors are perfect for everyday wear and I think would flatter a lot of skin tones. These are also comfortable to wear and also almost feel like just lip balms.

The one thing that did not work for me in the lips category is the Essential Lip Stain ($2). This dried out too quickly on me, I don't think I even got to use it more than twice. I have the shade Hot Tamale and it swatches okay but just doesn't stick on my lips. I had to go over my lips 3 times before I got any color pay off and even then, it just applied unevenly. Maybe I got a dud but I'm not inclined to repurchase this.

So, that's the end on the EYES and LIPS category. Side note: If you're wondering about the lip Exfoliator, I decided that that's gonna go on the "tools" list. I hope you find this post helpful and stay tuned for my picks for FACE and TOOLS!

Have a great day,

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