I’m starting a new series of posts about specific drugstore brands, and the products I would recommend (my picks) or not recommend (my skips) to other people. I’m going to try my hardest to place every product I’ve used into one category or the other. No “I’m on the fence” wishy-washy-ness. It’s either “like” or “don’t like.”
To kick things off I’ll be looking at e.l.f.’s regular $1 line of products first. Since e.l.f. offers such a wide array of products, I’ll be doing a separate blog post for the Studio and Mineral lines.
Note: As with most beauty products it’s often a case of “your mileage may vary.” What works for me might not necessarily work for you, and vice versa.
- Eye Shadow Brush – a nice, dense brush that’s great for packing on eye shadow colors.
- Blending Eye Brush – I use this with powder to set my concealer sometimes.
- Eyelid Primer – on my dry lids and skin, this helps prevent creasing and works just as well as the Mineral Eyeshadow Primer.
- Duo Eye Shadow Cream – I have Butter Pecan and Berry Mix. The color payoff is actually really good but I don’t suggest using them on their own. They work better as bases underneath powder eye shadows. Try not to apply too much to your lids, and make sure to blend well, because they’ll crease and can feel a bit greasy. If you’re looking for a cream eye shadow that can be used on its own, I highly recommend the Studio Cream Eyeshadows instead.
- Waterproof Eyeliner Pen – I was looking for a very waterproof eyeliner for my watery eyes and this just didn’t cut it. I also didn’t care for the felt tip applicator which wasn’t as fine as I liked, and splayed and lost its sharp point after the first use. The color wasn’t very pigmented (I have it in Black) at all. Jordana’s Fabu Liner in Black isn’t waterproof either (it doesn’t claim to be) but it has much better color payoff.
- Brightening Eye color – I have the quad in Nouveau Neutrals. The texture is extremely chalky and I experience a lot of dust and fallout when I use these shadows. The color payoff was extremely poor as well. Perhaps the other quads are better but I would not recommend Nouveau Neutrals.
- Liquid Eyeshadow – I own Sultry Satin. The consistency is very thin, it applies unevenly and streaky, and the color payoff is terrible. The shimmer shows up but the actual color doesn’t.
- Eyeliner Brush – I have this brush but it’s hiding in my room somewhere. The bristles are extremely stiff and rough against the delicate skin of my eyes. Also, the width is far too wide for me; it’s extremely difficult for me to use this brush to draw a fine, precise line that follows the curve of my lash line.
- Mechanical Eyelash Curler – I know many people love this curler but I hate it. It pinches the skin on the inner and outer corners of my eyelids.
- Super Glossy Lip Shine – I own the shades Mauve Luxe, Malt Shake, Candlelight, Goddess, and Watermelon. I adore these glosses. They’re creamy, thick, nicely pigmented and, in my opinion, non-sticky. My favorites are Malt Shake, a fantastic non-shimmer “my lips but better” color, and Watermelon, a shimmery pink.
- Plumping Lip Glaze – I have this in Mauve Berry. I’m not really into lip plumpers and I don’t use the plumping side of the Lip Glaze all that often but I like the gloss side. It has good pigmentation and a creamy, non-sticky texture. The plumping side of the product has an equally nice texture but it has a mentholated scent and tingle that reminds me of Halls cough drops.
- Luscious Liquid Lipstick – I have this in Ruby Slipper. It takes forever to get the product to come out the first time you use it but I think it’s worth it. It provides a lovely, sheer red tint to the lips and isn’t sticky.
- Therapeutic Conditioning Lip Balm – Now this was a hard product to categorize. I own this product in Blackberry which, to me, smells exactly like Japanese grape-flavored gum. Yummy. However, as a lip balm I think it feels very greasy, and isn’t very moisturizing or long lasting.
- Candy Shop Lip Gloss – I simply can’t get past the gag worthy scents which are overpowering to say the least. I received Cherry Bomb, Frosting Fanatic, and Candy Fix as free gifts with purchase and Cherry Bomb is the most pigmented out of the ones I have. The texture’s not bad at all — thick and non-sticky — but the fragrance is too strong. I would recommend the NYC Lip Sliders or L’Oreal HIP Jelly Balms, if you can still find them, over the e.l.f. Candy Shops tins any day.
- Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder – I own Luminance and Sun Kissed. If you can get past the fact that these are very loosely packed and powdery, Luminance is a very pretty cheek highlighter and Sun Kissed a very nice bronzing powder (though a tad reddish). I actually prefer Luminance to the Studio Golden Bronzer because the shimmer isn’t so obvious.
- All Over Cover Stick – I have several of these in different shades but to be honest I don’t use them too often. They’re multi-tasking products that I like to keep around just for emergencies. In a pinch, they can act as medium coverage concealers or eye shadow primers.
- Tinted Moisturizer SPF – I have Light Beige and Rosy Beige. If you need a lot of coverage or want a super moisturizing product I wouldn’t recommend this. The coverage is sheer to light, and the consistency’s a little thick but blends very well. I can actually get away with wearing either Light Beige or Rosy Beige because it’s not heavily pigmented, although I think I should probably try Ivory. Just make sure to moisturize well beforehand because this product can accentuate dry patches. It also smells like sweet oranges.
- All Over Color Stick – I own Pink Lemonade and Persimmon. You only need to use the tiniest bit of product because they can look quite shimmery/frosty and feel a bit heavy/greasy otherwise. Persimmon makes a nice cream cheek highlight and Pink Lemonade a lovely blush. They’re okay but not must-have e.l.f. products.
- Foundation Brush – I don’t care for this brush at all. When I use it to apply liquid foundation it leaves streaks and brush marks behind.
- Custom Compact – The empty compact is a great buy. It comes with a large mirror and is magnetized to hold e.l.f.’s eye shadow/lip/blush pans. It’s not flimsy at all.
- Custom Face – I own Glow which is a gorgeous blush. It’s a peachy pink color with a subtle shimmer that’s in the same family as Milani Luminous and NARS Orgasm. The texture is a bit powdery but it has excellent color payoff (better than the Studio Blushes I own).
- Custom Eye – The eye shadows are very soft and loosely packed, and pigmentation varies from shade to shade. The best of the bunch, in my opinion, are Sage, Golden Glow, Moondust and Mocha.
- Custom Eye – The color payoff of Pink Ice and Wisteria leave a lot to be desired. I wouldn’t recommend these shades.
Sorry, but all of the nail polishes are a skip for me. I own a bunch of shades and the formula’s streaky, applies unevenly, and chips easily. I’m also not a fan of the brush applicator which splays and doesn’t offer much precision or control.