It’s time for part two! Lea’s haul of uber-affordable e.l.f cosmetics includes seven items that run the gamut from primer to setting spray, and they are all $8 or less. Although nothing will break the bank here, are there products that stand out and others that aren’t worth even the tiny price tag?
Price: $4-$8 (as reviewed)
Find them HERE
Tested October-November 2020
I have no experience with e.l.f. makeup. I’ve seen it at Target but never picked anything up. In middle school, Liz and I used to walk to our local Target and peruse the makeup aisles, so I suppose I (unfairly) associate lines carried at Target with tweens. The price points are certainly something middle-schoolers can afford.
Recently, however, I’ve been hearing plenty of authorities in the beauty community rave about e.l.f. products. When Liz added to the buzz with her recent eyeshadow reviews (see her haul in our e.l.f. part one post), I took the bait. Let’s see how the products I picked compare with my grown up expectations.
HD Lifting Concealer, $4
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what this is supposed to “lift”. I had to refer to the website where e.l.f. claims “this HD lifting concealer gives you lightweight, skin firming, all-day coverage” and is infused with vitamin C, green tea, and mulberry “to help soothe, and improve skin texture.” Now I remember why I picked it.
Unfortunately, I can’t speak to the long term benefits this may have because I wasn’t able to use it more than twice due to it being the wrong shade. The concealer only comes in three shades: Fair, Light (the one I purchased) and Medium. Can you imagine if all the people of the world only came in three shades? It really is a shame, because the formula is incredibly lightweight with fantastic pigmentation and coverage. Check out the photos below to see just how well it spot concealed. I might just go out of my way to pick up the lightest shade to try, and that’s saying a lot for this busy, working mom.
Waterproof Gel Eyeliner, $4
When I looked up the link for this eyeliner in order to paste it here for you, I actually laughed out loud…waterproof my a$$!! I don’t like this liner and I’m glad it was a free sample and not something I spent money on! While the shade Coffee glides on incredibly smooth and pigmented it doesn’t stay put AT ALL. All three times I’ve worn this, I’ve caught myself in the mirror and thought, geez I look tired…are those dark circles? Nope, just my eyeliner smeared halfway down my face. And usually after just a couple of hours. My pencil had found a new home- in the trash. Just compare some of the eyeliner from my above concealer pics with this smeared mess.
Correct & Set Undereye Powder, $4
I suspect this Correct & Set Undereye Powder was a free gift with purchase online because the product has been phased out. It can’t be added to the shopping cart on the e.l.f. site, and that’s fine by me because it didn’t come through with any of its claims- no brightening or camouflaging. It slightly mattified my concealer, but in doing so actually made the area appear darker because the sheen was no longer bouncing back any light.
The reason I’m even bothering to include this product is because it inspired me to dig out and compare another yellow (correcting, setting) under eye powder that does work. ColourPop’s Locked & Loaded Setting Pressed Powder is almost identical in color but WAY better. Unfortunately, it seems this too has been discontinued.
ColourPop’s website does have a loose powder version called No Filter Loose Setting Powder in the shade banana, and the customer reviews are stellar. For $10, this will be my next purchase because a yellow powder seems to really counteract dark pigmentation and brighten under my eyes (see the right eye in the photo below).
Ride or Die Lip Balm, $5
I bought this in the shade Just Peachy and can’t believe I’m saying this, because it’s only 5 bucks, but it isn’t worth the money. In comparison, Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm is the exact same price and I like both the color and feel of Burt’s better (check out my review of that product here, where I compare it to Clinique’s cult favorite Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey).
For me, the Ride or Die Balm is way too thick. I put it on at night and lay awake afraid to turn my head for fear of smearing it all over my pillow. I will say the peach scent is fantastic…but lots of things smell like peaches without getting stuck in my hair. Also, at the end of all that, my lips didn’t feel any better than before I had applied it.
Glow Primer Stick, $8
I figured this was called a “glow” primer stick because of its balmy sheen, so I’m surprised to see e.l.f.’s description say it supposedly has gold shimmer in it. The word shimmer is a generous descriptor in my opinion. Despite that, I really like this Glow Primer Stick! The first time I swiped it under my eyes I enjoyed the cool sensation so much I actually stood there swiping and re-swiping just because it felt so nice. I was able to massage any excess over the rest of my face (which the e.l.f. website recommends anyway) and all was well.
The e.l.f. website also says this can be worn alone, so one day I really went for it and seized the day bare-faced. When I did this, my under eyes felt sticky and I was rather annoyed by the sensation. So there is a such thing as too much of this product. When used lightly, however, I feel like this does a great job of hydrating my under eye area before concealer and laying down any dry flakes elsewhere on my face. I wouldn’t use this in place of a moisturizer and I don’t think it extended the wear time of my makeup at all, but it did add a smoothing, slippery layer that made my cream products go on easier and more evenly. I did notice one warm day that this seemed to be melting a little just like coconut oil, so I’m not surprised to read that in the ingredient list.
I have really sensitive skin and this didn’t bother me at all, nor did it make me break out. If you live somewhere warm, keep it in the fridge, or at least out of the heat. I don’t think it’s revolutionary. It’s glorified coconut oil and shea butter pressed into a stick. But from someone who used to dig her fingers into a coconut oil jar and smear it all over, this is much easier to use and less greasy.
BB Cream SPF 20, $6
I chose the shade Nude in this BB Cream, which is the third lightest of seven shades. Nude is quite warm, as you can see in the photos below. This product is all kinds of terrible. I broke out like crazy both times I wore this. It feels like thick sunscreen, it smells like thick sunscreen, and it’s hard to wash off like thick sunscreen. On top of all that, the color isn’t even a good match for me.
Now that I know it’s possible to have an undetectable sunscreen (check out our dual review of the amazing Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen here) I can’t tolerate the thick, oily, old-school creams.
It took forever to rub in and still felt like it sat on top of my skin all day. You can even see it separating in the tube. I will say I was particularly glow-y while wearing it, but anyone would be with a stick of butter spread all over her face. Hard pass.
Dewy Setting Mist, $8
It only took one spritz of this Dewy Setting Mist for me to hate the packaging. Uneven, thick droplets everywhere. Luckily, I had a nearly empty bottle of Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray on hand (a tried and true favorite), so I just poured the e.l.f. mist into that and moved on.
I love the coconut scent of this! It isn’t overpowering and makes me think of vacation. This mist does everything it says, and for only $8, I will definitely be repurchasing. I use this all over my (usually very dry) face for a healthy, youthful glow. Not shiny, not shimmery, just supple and healthy. I also spritz this onto my fingertips and tap my under eye concealer in, which sets it and allows me to skip powder and any creasing altogether. If I happen to overdo it with a powder product, this mist on a sponge comes to the rescue and melts everything together like a dream. Kudos e.l.f.!
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