It’s not much of a haul but I was curious about some items and, after mentally going back and forth for a long time, I decided to just give in and buy the darn things! The total came out to $16.95. $10 for the items and $6.95 for standard shipping.
The empty eyeshadow palette and the single eyeshadows that fit into it are all $1 each, whereas the lipsticks come from ELF’s Mineral line and retail for $5 a piece. However, I decided to take advantage of one of ELF’s coupon codes for 75% off anything from the Mineral line, so the lipsticks ended up only costing $1.25 each. Not bad.
I ordered 4 of the Mineral Lipsticks to try. I knew that I definitely wanted to get Nicely Nude, which has gotten pretty good reviews on MUA, You Tube and various blogs. The other 3 shades I purchased — Natural Nymph, Runaway Pink, Rosy Tan — are new shades. From the online swatches on ELF’s website I could see that Natural Nymph and Runaway Pink were going to be very light colors. I’ve always shied away from nude lipstick shades but at a discounted price of $1.25, it seemed like a good time to experiment with some paler shades.
There are just a few minor details about the Mineral Lipsticks that bug me. Overall, I’m impressed by the packaging which is a matte black plastic. Very minimalist and chic. However, I noticed that the packaging is not very consistent. 3 out of the 4 lipsticks I have are the same with the ELF logo on the side and top of the packaging in silvery white, but the fourth lipstick I own (Nicely Nude) is different. Nicely Nude has the same logo on the top and side of the lipstick packaging but its uncolored/black. I actually prefer the black on black packaging. Without the glaring white ELF logo, you could probably fool other people into thinking the lipsticks are from some high end brand.
Another thing that I, and others, have noticed is that while ELF advertises a lipstick called Runway Pink on their website, the actual lipstick that customers receive is called Runaway Pink. It seems like an easy enough typo to fix: just change the lipstick name on the website to Runaway Pink. It’s not as if they can recall all the lipsticks that have already been sold and change the labels.
Overall I’m very pleased with the Mineral lipsticks but the items that I was the most surprised and impressed by were the Custom Eyes eyeshadow singles. I already own one of ELF’s $1 Brightening Eye eyeshadow quads (in Nouveau Neutrals) and several of their $3 Studio Single Eyeshadows (in Sand Dollar, Butter Cream, Wild Wheat, Saddle, Pebble and Coffee Bean), and the Custom Eyes blow all of those out of the water. Sure, the Studio eyeshadows have lovelier packaging. But the $1 empty palette is just as nice and even sturdier, in my opinion. And, sure, the Studio eyeshadows are more tightly packed. But not by much.
Clockwise from the top left, the 4 Custom Eyes I purchased are Pink Ice, Moondust, Sage and Golden Glow. All of them are very soft and smooth, and they’re much more pigmented than the Brightening quad and the majority of the Studio eyeshadows I have. When I swatched the Studio eyeshadows, I had to go back and forth several times with my finger in the pan just to get the color to show. However, with the Custom Eyes all I had to do was lightly dip my finger in any of the shadows and I got a really good color payoff.
I’m really excited to play with these shadows some more and I definitely want to try more items from this particular line from ELF. The Custom Eyes are loosely packed but I find that’s the case with all of ELF’s powder products. I’m just surprised by how pigmented they are, not just for $1 shadows but in general. Two thumbs WAY up! It really makes me regret buying anything from the Studio line. Aside from the Warm Bronzer (which is good but not great) and the Studio Powder brush, I’ve been really disappointed by the Studio line. The pigmentation of the Studio Blushes sucked, the Golden Bronzer was a metallic glitter bomb, the Studio Eye Primer and Sealer was nothing more than a glorified concealer and eyedrops in a tube, and I found most of the Studio eyeshadows to be chalky and not very pigmented.
I don’t know why I bought into the hype surrounding the Studio line but I should probably stick to the regular $1 line in the future. Most of the ELF items I love are from the $1 line. However, ELF’s supposed to be coming out with some new items soon in their Mineral and Studio lines: a Mineral face primer, Studio foundation, Studio powder, Studio HD powder, Studio SPF 45 powder, Studio minty lip gloss, Studio lip stain, Studio cream eyeliner. I’m really tempted to try them out of curiosity but I should probably hold back and wait for others to review them.